After the perfection of The Winter Soldier many wondered what movie would top it as the best entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Civil War does that by not only having stuff the long-time comic readers will geek out over, but as well as enough for casual fans to love.
Surprisingly faithful to the 2006-2007 crossover that continues to be one of the most popular Marvel trades out there, the movie adapts that story line to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a way many didn’t think was possible. Where the original comic story involved a superhero registration act (which doesn’t really work with so many public identities in the MCU), the movie builds off all of the Avengers’ collateral damage to create government oversight to manage all Superheroes.
I was surprised how well the original story was translated as most of the major beats are in the movie. There’s a big amount of collateral damage caused by a superhero team, the mother who lost a son who confronts Tony Stark about it, the split in teams of Avengers and what basically are the Secret Avengers (although Cap’s team isn’t ever called that), the involvement of Peter Parker and a new suit made by Tony Stark, and of course a huge battle between the teams that is easily the best comic book battle ever on the big screen.
This is still a Captain America movie, as the focus remains on him and Bucky. Story threads from Winter Soldier are completed here, and it does feel like a great third entry to the Captain America trilogy despite so many other Avengers appearing in it. Never does this feel like “Avengers 2.5”. It’s absolutely a conclusion of the Winter Soldier story, and since his actions in the past did impact Tony Stark it makes sense for Iron Man to be involved in the end.
But since it is a Marvel movie, this is kicking off Phase 3. That means we’re introduced to a Black Panther (and yes, Wakanda) that is so perfect you may walk out of the theater in shock. T’Challa is realized in the MCU so perfect comic fans will probably be even more excited about seeing him in the movie than Spider-Man.
That’s not to say that we don’t get the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man screen. We do. This is the best Spider-Man you’ve ever seen. And Marvel finally addressed one of the huge leaps in story telling that the previous movies ignored. How could a teenager create such a professional-looking costume? Simple, Tony Stark made it for him to replace his crappy home-made one.
There’s another thing in here comic fans will likely get a big smile out of. It’s very small, but there is a definite start to the Vision/Scarlet Witch relationship that Whedon dropped an Easter Egg for in Age of Ultron and fans have been hoping to see on the big screen.
Early screenings of the movie only include one mid-credits scene, and that’s of a reveal of Wakanda that is also pretty accurate to how it appears in the comics.
At first I didn’t think it was better than Winter Soldier. But then thinking about how well it adapted Civil War, the absolute perfect of Black Panther, and how great it was to see Cap & Bucky together like this pushed it beyond the second movie in the trilogy for me.
With First Avenger, Winter Soldier, and now Civil War the Captain America movies form the best superhero trilogy of all time. Even better than the Nolan Batman trilogy so many people praise. It’s the new trilogy of comic book movies that all should be compared to.