SPOILERS: 10 Awesome (And Surprising) Ways CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR Sets Up Marvel's Phase 3 Movies
Captain America: Civil War is now in theaters worldwide, but did you notice all of the ways it sets up Marvel's Phase 3? From subtle clues to massive reveals, this movie points to big things to come...
While there's still another few days to go until Captain America: Civil War reaches North America, the movie opened in pretty much every other country (well, apart from China and Russia) this weekend, and didn't waste any time in setting its sights on breaking box office records. $1 billion already seems like a guarantee for Marvel's first Phase 3 release, a figure which kicks off this wave of movies in style.
The focus may remain on the conflict between The Avengers, but between all of the new characters who have now been introduced and the long list of releases we have to look forward to between now and Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War obviously also makes world building a priority, putting fan-favourite heroes in interesting new places and sets the stage for some big developments.
What you'll find here is an in-depth look at all of the ways this movie lays the groundwork for where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to go next in Phase 3, and possibly even beyond. Needless to say, MAJOR SPOILERS do indeed follow for those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, but if you're interested in knowing what to look out for in Captain America: Civil War, you may too want to read on!
10. Black Panther/Bucky Team-Up
Captain America: Civil War ends with Bucky deciding that the best thing for everyone is him being put back to sleep until his mind can be cured and he's no longer a danger to others. Honestly, this feels like a way of just taking the character off the board until Cap's next movie hits due to him being unable to play a role in Avengers: Infinity War (after all, Iron Man wanting to kill the guy makes a team-up more than a little complicated).
However, now that he's safely tucked away in Wakanda and Steve mentions that there's a good chance "they" will be coming for him, it makes perfect sense that we'll see Black Panther wake the former Winter Soldier up in order to get his help in fighting off whoever ends up attacking his nation. Throwing a popular character like Bucky into the mix also increases the movie's chance of box office success and is a good way of continuing his story away from Steve.
Captain America: Civil War wraps up with the hero breaking his fellow Avengers out of the raft, but he's wearing only a regular jacket. Does that mean we'll see Steve Rogers wearing the arguably pretty ridiculous Nomad costume somewhere down the line? Probably not, but he's going to have to suit up in something before inevitably getting the shield back when Thanos attacks Earth!
However, seeing as his letter to Tony makes it clear that his team of fugitive heroes will be there whenever they're needed, Cap getting something a little more practical to head into battle with in the meantime makes sense. I wouldn't be surprised to see him don an updated version of the costume above then, and we'll hopefully get to see that when the formerly patriotic hero show up in another Phase 3 release.
8. Future Romances
Where exactly these will be explored remains to be seen, but Captain America: Civil War points to a future romance between both Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter, and The Vision and Scarlet Witch. The latter two have been split apart by taking different sides, but seeing as this movie makes it clear that their powers are closely connected (Wanda is able to take control of the Infinity Stone in the android's head), Thanos setting his sights on them both - and potentially even taking control of them - wouldn't be that surprising.
Things with Steve and Sharon are equally as complicated, especially as she's been forced to go on the run after supplying her aunt's former flame with his gear and the intel needed to rescue Bucky. Still, don't be too shocked if he's tracked her down and made her part of his outlaw team of Avengers by the next time we see them together on screen again. Where else is she gonna go?
7. Ant-Man On The Run
Scott Lang has been left in an intriguing position following the events of this movie. Ant-Man ended with his name cleared and him able to spend time with his daughter, but now that he's an escapee from The Raft and part of Captain America's team of outlaw Avengers, something tells me he won't be sharing dinner with his ex-wife's cop boyfriend!
As a result, Scott is back to being on the run from the law, something which makes his status quo in Ant-Man and The Wasp hard to predict. You have to believe that neither Hank Pym nor Hope Van Dyne will be too happy with his decision to go off and become an Avenger (though the former may approve of him kicking a Stark's ass), and director Peyton Reed is now going to have to find a way to deal with an Ant-Man who has a bigger role in the MCU.
6. (Baron) Zemo
Marvel's habit of killing off their bad guys is infuriating to say the least, but at least Colonel Helmut Zemo is still breathing by the time the credits roll on Captain America: Civil War. It's pretty obvious that they have bigger plans for the man who succeeded in destroying The Avengers, but will that include donning a purple mask and adopting the title of "Baron"?
Time will tell, but now that he's in the custody of Everett Ross, chances are that Zemo could end up in Wakanda, somewhere that character being played by Martin Freeman is also heading in 2018 if past rumours are to be believed. The conversation they have at the end of the movie is pretty intriguing too, and I for one couldn't help but feel like we were about to get a twist ending where it's revealed Ross is also up to no good and recruits Zemo for something even more sinister. That never happened, but these two are well worth keeping an eye on.
5. General Ross, MCU Big Bad
General Ross may no longer have The Avengers in captivity, but there's no way the Secretary of State's story arc is going to come to an end with Captain America: Civil War.
Regardless of whether he's going to have a recurring presence in the Phase 3 movies moving forward or will show up in some capacity in Avengers: Infinity War (an inevitability considering the fact that Tony is still supporting the Sokovia Accords, an act he'll likely go against when push comes to shove and he needs to reunite The Avengers to battle Thanos), Ross remaining an antagonist feels like a given.
It's a shame really that The Hulk is going to be off Earth for a while as it would be a lot of fun seeing Mark Ruffalo sharing the screen with William Hurt, but that too is hopefully something we can look forward to.
4. Spider-Man's Spectacular MCU Adventure
Spider-Man's role in Captain America: Civil War is extremely satisfying, and he's very much part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when all is said and done (which thankfully dispells theories that he would show up here, then star in an awful Sony movie which barely referenced his time spent as part of #TeamIronMan). We already know that Iron Man is going to show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and much of Tom Holland's debut is spent establishing their relationship.
What's really interesting though is that Tony in some ways manipulates Peter into taking on Captain America's team, and it will be interesting to see whether that leads to a divide between them or if the focus will remain on building a friendship between the characters. After all, he's given Spidey a great new costume and a piece of tech (revealed in the after-credits scene) which should add shake Peter's solo adventures up in a big way.
3. King Of Wakanda
Captain America: Civil War serves as an origin story for Black Panther, and while the nature of his abilities is only ever hinted at, this movie chronicles his journey from a brash prince looking to follow in his father's footsteps to a newly crowned king with a very different perspective to the one he started off with. His journey is a fascinating one to follow, and now that we've had a glimpse of Wakanda, it's obvious that it will be a lot of fun to further explore that nation come 2018.
However, his support for Captain America is easily the most interesting thing we're teased with here; does he still support the Sokovia Accords and just wants to help Bucky or is he going to end up being part of Steve's team of Avengers when the call comes? Seeing as he doesn't hand the former Captain America over to the authorities, I'm betting on the latter option, and that leaves T'Challa in a very exciting and intriguing place from here.
2. A Solo Adventure For Black Widow?
The Russos have made no secret of the fact that they would like to see Black Widow get her own movie, and just like Captain America: The Winter Soldier proved that she would have no problem shining given the chance, Civil War seemingly sets the stage for her to go off on her own.
Firstly, there's a mention of her and The Winter Soldier having a past, something which we could see explored either in flashbacks or in a movie set in the past which details Natasha's origin story and how she ended up crossing paths with Hawkeye and joining S.H.I.E.L.D. Secondly, the movie concludes with her going on the run after Tony makes it clear that General Ross is coming for her, and while that's more than likely just going to lead to her joining up with #TeamCap, it too could be the basis for a solo outing.
1. Avengers Assemble
There aren't any direct references to Thanos in Captain America: Civil War, though The Vision does talk about hoping to learn how to control the Infinity Stone in his head and his desire to learn where it comes from (something which will no doubt eventually lead to the android crossing paths with The Mad Titan). However, the movie does still tease something big for Avengers: Infinity War by setting the stage for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to reunite, something which will hopefully lead to us finally hearing "Avengers Assemble!" come from Cap's mouth.
After all, the team reassembling is bound to happen, and Cap's letter is clearly a pretty obvious way of building to that. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised to see Iron Man attempt to tackle Thanos with his own group of Avengers to begin with, with their swift defeat leading Tony with no other choice than to pick up the phone and give Steve a call for help.
Did you notice any other ways Captain America: Civil War set up the rest of Marvel's Phase 3 movies? Which one of these was your favourite? As always, let us know your thoughts below.
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