26 Things We Learned In Civil War

Civil War was the best Marvel movie to date. It had everything—fast-paced action, epic fights, probing themes, developed characters with meaningful arcs, priceless humor, sweet tech. The list goes on. There was so much at play in that movie, it’s […]
on May 10, 2016 · 27 comments

Civil War was the best Marvel movie to date. It had everything—fast-paced action, epic fights, probing themes, developed characters with meaningful arcs, priceless humor, sweet tech. The list goes on.

There was so much at play in that movie, it’s hard to wrap your mind around it. The cure? A list of highlights.

Warning: major spoilers in the area. Please abstain if you haven’t seen the movie. Unless of course you don’t care. 😉

If you don’t know what happens decide to continue on, some of them won’t make any sense.

Here are twenty-six things we learned in Civil War.

  1. Tom Holland is going to be the best Spiderman we’ve seen thus far.
  2. Oftentimes, the right decision isn’t obvious. As much as we want to paint the world in black and white, life tends to exist in the gray areas.
  3. Loyalty is a powerful motivator.
  4. Revenge is also a powerful motivator.
  5. A movie can combine weighty themes and grittiness with humor, without sounding cheesy.
  6. There’s someone in the world who makes Black Widow look like an apprentice combatant.
  7. Bucky’s metal arm is so cool.
  8. Ant-Man is full of BIG surprises.
  9. Tony has a conscience, even if it’s in the form of a tiny person short-circuiting his suit.
  10. Cap has some sick biceps.
  11. Tony may have a crush on Aunt May.
  12. If the superhero gig doesn’t work out, Scarlet Witch could make a living creating wells.
  13. Betrayal is a painful thing and can lead to irrational behavior.
  14. Cap may be in love.
  15. Despite all the good superheroes do in saving the world and protecting people against evil, innocent bystanders still get hurt.
  16. Vision looks terrible in regular clothes.
  17. A battle between two teams of superheroes is one of the most intense, exhilarating scenes you’ll see on the big screen.
  18. Even the best of us, those who seem perfect, make mistakes.
  19. Cap is a law-breaking rebel.
  20. Black Panther owns a sweet hideout.
  21. Friendship can be a tricky thing. It makes us blind to faults yet fiercely loyal.
  22. Spiderman is attached to his homework.
  23. A house divided against itself will fall.
  24. Tony “Stank” is the best mispronunciation of any last name in the history of the world and is now officially a thing.
  25. It’s better not to trust Vision with the preparation of meals.
  26. Even when it’s not popular, even when the consequences are painful, you have to stand up for what you believe.

What were some of the highlights of Civil War to you?

Zachary Totah writes speculative fiction stories. This allows him to roam through his imagination, where he has illegal amounts of fun creating worlds and characters to populate them. When not working on stories or wading through schoolwork, he enjoys playing sports, hanging out with his family and friends, watching movies, and reading. He lives in Colorado and doesn't drink coffee. He loves connecting with other readers and writers. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Goodreads, and at his website.
  1. Steve says:

    I wasn’t crazy about it. Honestly. It was just… too much.

    I love the initial conflict- the Cap/Iron Man debate- and I found each argument persuasive and great motivations for the characters, but the action was just too much. (Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE action.)

    I thought Spider-Man stuck out like a sore thumb, and lacked any believable reason for being there at all. Is Spidey now a hero for hire, or are we meant to believe that a nerdy high school kid- albeit, with super powers- is willing to potentially suffer serious harm at the hands of much more experience, powerful, and older heroes for the price of a new suit?

    …Or was Marvel just looking to plug the new Spidey movie in any way they can?

    Plus, when it’s all said and done- and this is major spoiler here- the evil villain behind it all, the one pulling all the super strings, the one responsible for all the death and mayhem, the one that broke apart the Avengers… is a psychiatrist?! WHAT?!!

    So, an evil Dr. Phil broke apart The World’s Mightiest Heroes? Really?

    “Civil War” wasn’t bad, but I found the first Thor movie much more moving and even Shakespearean in its storytelling. For me, the first Avengers film still stands as the most successful comic book translation on to film ever.

    • Tim Frankovich says:

      Um… No. Zemo was NOT a psychiatrist. He killed and took the place of the real psychiatrist in order to gain access to Bucky. His background (in the MCU, anyway) was as a Sokovian special forces leader.

      • Steve says:

        Okay… so a special forces impostor broke up The World’s Mightiest Heroes? …You’ve got the most insane fighters in the world with uber hi-tech weaponry, you’ve got an android with a cosmic stone of unearthly power in his forehead, you’ve got a smattering of physically enhanced human beings, and you’ve got humans with amazingly unique powers all at each other’s throats by a special ops guy? A special ops guy who shows no special skills other than what we are told (not shown) and who is apparently incapable of taking his own life even with the gun in his own hand?

        Sorry. That’s a bit lame. Anti-climactic to say the least.

        Might as well have been an evil Dr. Phil.

        • Tim Frankovich says:

          That was kind of the point. He recognized that he was unable to defeat them physically, so he did his research and concocted a scheme to make them fight each other. Evil genius. Not every villain is super-powered. (And he couldn’t kill himself because Panther blocked the bullet with his vibranium glove.)

          • Steve says:

            Yes… an evil genius special ops guy who can’t kill himself even though he’s got the gun in his own hand. Like I said, lame.

            Maybe in the next movie there’ll be an evil accountant who’ll liquidate all of Stark’s funds. 🙂

            • Tim Frankovich says:

              Your loss, I suppose. I love seeing a different type of villain. I recommend watching the Hulk movie. You get a big, powerful villain there named Abomination. Maybe that’s more to your liking.

              And it’s not Zemo that’s lame. It’s that Black Panther is that awesome.

              • Steve says:

                There is no loss. My point is that this is a comic movie- superheroes and costumes and powers and all the stuff we wish we had in our daily lives but don’t.

                A regular guy with a gun is a let down (i.e., lame) when we are dealing with SUPER humans (and non-humans) who can fly, throw trucks at each other, and shoot lasers from their foreheads.

        • Melissa says:

          Well, a failed painter raised up Nazi Germany and divided the world in real life, so…

          The point was there is no end of the spear, until someone forgives. Eye for an eye is infinite.

  2. Tim Frankovich says:

    #16 – False. Vision was hilariously awesome in regular clothes.
    #20 – It’s not a hideout. It’s a country. That he’s king of. Because he’s awesome.

  3. Hannah says:

    Yes, I agree with all those highlights, and that’s why I loved the movie.

    But the plot was absolutely terrible.

    Alternate version: Villain emails Tony the video, Tony kills Bucky before Cap even knows what’s happening. Cap gets angry at Tony, and ta-da, the Avengers split up (already split over the accord). So much simpler.

    I couldn’t believe how many steps and stages the villain went through just to get Tony and Cap to watch a video and turn on each other. In the end, the additional Winter Soldiers had no point to the story, and simply served as a disappointing detraction from the uniqueness of THE Winter Soldier.

    Anyway, rant over. Lol, just had to get that off my chest.

    • Hannah says:

      To clarify, that alternate version is not what I WANTED, it only was so much for reasonable for the villain’s end goal. 😛

      • Hannah says:

        Also, didn’t mean to be a total wet blanket on a positive post, I LOVED the characters, so thus I did like the movie. 🙂

    • Tim Frankovich says:

      The entire hunt Zemo took throughout the movie was to FIND the video.

      • Steve says:

        You getting a cut from Marvel, Tim? 😉

      • Hannah says:

        Then what I would like to know is how the video existed in the first place. Elderly couple transport super secret and deadly material in forest back roads, happen to crash right next to the security camera in the wild. And the Soviets planned to have the camera RIGHT there to film the whole thing then why did the Winter Soldier shoot it? Just saying…..

        • Hannah says:

          Either way, the additional winter soldiers were so pointless. *sigh* There is only ONE Winter Soldier. Only one. And he does not share power.

          • Apples says:

            It is definitely not pointless, I am pretty sure they are not dead and in fact are either the Winter Guard or the Soviet Super Soldiers

          • Melissa says:

            I felt they existed as “the prestige” – a twist – in which the audience perception of the villain instantly changes. But yes, it was a bigger red herring than usual.

        • Melissa says:

          This was my husband’s immediate question. And a good one.

  4. I didn’t love it more than CA:WS — there was too much going on, too many characters to really explore in any depth (though I was impressed with how much character development they crammed in despite that). It had a lot of fun moments and was definitely better than its premise — I was pleasantly surprised at how nuanced they managed to make what is essentially a cheap excuse to have a bunch of superheroes fight each other.

    That being said, it’s still a pretty silly premise and the movie mostly depends on Cap making some highly questionable choices for the sake of a friendship that the film does a not-very-good job of selling to us (I found the Bucky-Falcon friendship more convincing than the Cap-Bucky one, in this movie anyway). Black Panther was fantastic, as was Spidey, and I loved the Vision-Wanda moments (up to and including the aforementioned well-drilling episode). But although I am all about Sharon Carter generally I found the resolution of her subplot somewhat less than satisfying.

    Also, it made no sense for Natasha to be on Team Tony except to even out the teams, and WHERE IS MY BLACK WIDOW MOVIE. COME ON, MARVEL. (Though I am definitely excited now about the Black Panther movie, because T’Challa had the most convincing and interesting character arc in the whole film.)

  5. MereChristian says:

    I get the feeling you prefer Cap’s position. I think they both have a point, but lean more towards Tony. You can’t have almost NO regulation of folks that are effectively an NGO with more power than most (if not all) actual govs.

    • Steve says:

      Exactly what government body would you entrust that regulation to? Considering the bitter bi-partisanship that is tearing the US apart, would you trust our government? And considering that the UN includes Iran on their council of women’s rights and considers Israel the highest violator of human rights, would you trust them?

      The movie is really discussing the gun debate we have now. Should the individual be allowed the capacity to wield deadly force, or is that allowed only to government? And if the government controls all the gun (i.e., superpowers) who would protect the people from governmental overreach and/or oppression?

      It’s a big question.

      I lean towards Cap because good men with powers/guns pose the least threat to the people. Bad people with powers/guns are called criminals and wouldn’t obey the government anyway.

      Freedom is always the way to go, but the flip side of that is good moral character. The ability to control one’s self.

      • MereChristian says:

        That is a good question on who would do regulations. Maybe individual countries. What I do know is that I think neither side is right completely. You can’t have the gov completely control folks, but you can’t give the folks who could kill someone with a thought and a wave of their arm no regulations. Even if such is a standard of who to punish or protocols for doing so.

        A gun is very diff from Vision, Wanda, and when they come back, Hulk and Thor. The gov in the US allows private ownership of guns. It doesn’t allow private ownership of nukes, daisy cutters, artillery, 50 cals, so on.

        • Um, Thor doesn’t really count. He’s not from Earth, and he’s super-powered by his very nature. He’s in a unique position. Earth governments can’t really control him.

          And given the government’s horrible track record in the Marvel-verse, I wouldn’t trust them with super powers, either. When the world’s at stake, there’s no time for committees.

          The problem with the registration plotline is that it’s mainly used as an excuse to get everyone to fight each other. Then it gets dropped. There was no exploration of it’s impact on the wider world. Even a shot of protestors on TV, waving Cap and Iron Man signs, would have been nice.

          The fight scenes were too long. Too many characters just drop out. (Why did Black Widow just wander out of the movie?)

          I loved the heroes and their interactions, was underwhelmed by the villains, disliked Iron Man (the pro-reg side had little respect for the laws they claimed to uphold), and wasn’t a huge fan of the plot. It seemed too . . . mundane. We’ve had aliens of all kinds and varieties, crazy supervillains trying to conquer the world, robots . . . and now bureaucracy. It’s so realistic it’s depressing.

          It was still better than Age of Ultron, but The Incredibles did the whole ‘superheroes vs the government’ plotline so much better.

  6. Travis Perry says:

    Er, sorry, I really disagree with you and am about to tell you how in detail. Civil War qualifies as a good movie–it was interesting. Worth watching. But is was not by any means great.

    It’s biggest flaw was there were far TOO MANY characters to be able to track them at all in any reasonable way and far too many introduced suddenly. A comic reader of course already knows the characters but I’m only a part-time reader and knew nothing of The Vision or The Scarlet Witch before the movie–and scarcely know more about them now. Since they pretty much cancelled each other out in battle, BOTH of them were gratuitous and should have been removed from the plot.

    Spiderman and Ant Man also were gratuitous, but at least these characters had been thoroughly introduced elsewhere. Still, I think it would have made a clearer story line to have left them out–though in fact, both provided plenty of comic relief. So I can live with them being there, I guess, but they muddled things nearly as much as helping them.

    The best battle in the movie IMO was shorter one at the end between Iron Man, Captain America and The Winter Soldier (Bucky). The long battle between the massive full cast drug on too long and was improbably far too even. I found myself going, “Yeah, OK, what’s the next perfectly evenly matched thing that’s going to happen?” But the length of the battle was caused by the attempt to give all the characters important roles–and there were simply too many characters in the story.

    The idea that The Winter Soldier killed Tony Stark’s dad was an interesting twist. But the portrayal of the act itself was weird. Mr. Stark the elder has already been shown to be a genius with difficulty expressing emotion to his son, a multi-millionaire sitting atop a massive industrial empire. Now all of the sudden he’s basically an ordinary family guy from the period, driving himself and his wife in a station wagon? WHAT?

    The movie had other moments like that for me, dissonant ones that didn’t match already-established story parameters very well. I’ll refrain from detailing them all.

    Overall, again, I’m sorry, but if I gave the movie a letter grade it would be C+. OK, maybe a B- (maybe).

What do you think?