The Truth About Captain America: Civil War


Captain America and Iron Man’s fight is one of ideals in Captain America: Civil War.

It’s a battle that’s been brewing for years, almost from the moment they met, standing next to each other for the first time and sizing each other up. They argued about what makes a hero special, what it takes to be a hero, and how to fight a war. But when lives where on the line, the fought side by side to protect the world. Now they are going to fight each other in Captain America: Civil War. Are you Team Iron Man or Team Cap?

Captain America: Civil War is a War of Ideals

Almost from the inception of comic book superheroes in the late 1930’s, one of the most common themes (aside from good vs. evil, of course) is the philosophical argument about the right way to be “the good guy”. This is the Ends-Justify-the-Means versus Always-Do-What’s-Right debate. Are immoral actions acceptable if a “Greater Good” is achieved? Or should heroes always make the moral choice? We’ve seen this scenario played out time and time again between heroes in the comics. Batman and Superman (The Dark Knight Returns, for instance), Wolverine and the other X-Men, or Punisher and everyone else. We will likely see this concept in Captain America: Civil War and likely to a clearer extent than we did in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batman had become much more violent to combat the increasing crime in Gotham which lead to Superman’s intervention. Superman thought Batman’s tactics were too aggressive.

Captain America and Iron Man have had an uneasy friendship ever since The Avengers, thanks in part to Loki’s staff, but also due to socio-economic and cultural differences. However, their philosophical differences really came to light during Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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After working with a technology that he didn’t really understand (the gem in Loki’s staff) and failing to inform the rest if the Avengers about his research, Tony accidentally creates the artificial intelligence known as Ultron. Cap sees this as breach of trust and he already has trust issues after discovering that S.H.I.E.L.D. was actually Hydra. He feels that the right (moral) thing to do would have been for Tony to discuss it with the team and all of them agree on the right course of action. Tony, concerned that the others wouldn’t allow it, rationalizes his decision because he feels that creating at a way to prevent wars is more important than any possible consequences. What would you do? Would you risk friendships if you thought it would save the world? Or would you trust your friends to help you?

How We Got To Captain America: Civil War

Of the major events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ve seen the destruction of New York in The Avengers, the destruction of Washington DC in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a portion of Wakanda destroyed in that fantastic Iron Man Hulkbuster vs. Hulk scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and — possibly the worst event (and the main reason the UN wants superheroes sanctioned) — the destruction of Sokovia. The world’s governments feel that superheroes need to be held accountable for their actions and via the United Nations, they demand that the world’s superheroes sign the Sokovia Accords, an agreement that would put the heroes under the control of the U.N. This is where the philosophical differences emerge.

Tony always has his eyes on the future which, he thinks, allows him to see the “big picture”. He realizes that if he doesn’t take the lead in establishing a co-op between the Avengers and the U.N., then perhaps one of the world’s potential super-villains could, as proven in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Tony’s ego is big enough that he feels he can prevent that from happening this time around and perhaps do it better than his father, who helped found S.H.I.E.L.D. Conversely, Captain America, having been front and center for the events of The Winter Soldier, realizes that if he signs the Sokovia Accord he could end up in a S.H.I.E.L.D./Hydra scenario all over again. Because of his adherence to always doing the moral thing right now, he feels that it’s better for superheroes to stay independent rather than being duped by yet another government agency. 

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Tony see the big picture: a world where all violent acts are stopped before they can happen. Captain America, has already seen what good intentions can do. Remember, Project Insight (the three super Helicarriers) were meant to function similarly to how Stark wants to protect the world. It didn’t end so well for Project Insight.

Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now.