Marvel’s Civil War storyline is a far-right paranoid fantasy and a mess. Could the movies fix it?
Next summer, Marvel Comics will reboot the 2006 Civil War storyline, in which a superhero registration law divides heroes into two camps: The pro-registration side, led by Iron Man, and the anti-registration side, led by Captain America. This coincides with news that Robert Downey Jr. will join Chris Evans in the upcoming Captain America 3 as a co-star, as part of a plan to bring Civil War to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For fans of comic books and superhero movies, this is a huge deal. Civil War transformed the status quo of Marvel Comics and set the stage for almost everything that followed in Marvel’s top-tier properties, including the creation of new Avengers teams (featuring Dr. Strange, Ms. Marvel, and Black Widow, all characters with rumored or forthcoming films), not to mention an alien invasion. Civil War will give Marvel a chance to reshape its film properties, deal with the departure of older stars, and continue the brand into the next decade.
Which is why it’s important the studio gets the story right, and doesn’t fall into the traps of the original Civil War. Because, for all of its importance to the brand, Civil War—or at least the main seven-issue limited series—is bad. Completely, unfathomably bad.