I’ve got my tickets to Captain America: Civil War. My children and I 1 will be heading out to see a show this weekend. I am moderately excited, especially after the disappointment that was Batman vs. Superman, but not quite “ohmygoshitsstarwars” excited 2.
I’m familiar with the comic arc which was the main source material for the film, and I do find the idea of super heroes turning on one another over philosophical differences intriguing. But the more interesting thing to me about the movie is, by far, the concept of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) itself.
Marvel has somehow managed to create an intertwined reality through several different film series, and it works. From over-the-top films like Age of Ultron to quirky stories like Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, the shared reality of the MCU is quickly evolving into a something independent from the comics. Eventually, because of the nature of actual living people, the MCU will either have to end completely 3 or become an entirely new Marvel reality.
Why? Because the movies will have to do something the comics have put off for decades. They will show the passage of time. Comic book readers have gotten small tastes of time passing in works such as Alan Moore’s excellent Watchmen or Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, but the MCU will be the first time some of our more popular heroes will be seen aging, and maybe even being forced to retire altogether.
The MCU’s version of Spider-Man, for example is still in high school, so the movie arc will follow him growing up as the more established heroes begin to become less active due to age, injury, or just simple burn-out. What will it look like for Tony Stark to be a an elder statesmen 10 years from now 4, as Spider-Man trains up a whole new bunch of younger heroes? What if some of those heroes are created solely for the MCU, rather being versions of characters found in the books? This is the type of development for which I’m hoping.
I love world building, and watching a new world emerge from a version of something with which I am familiar is very exciting 5. The action and plot might be key draws for Civil War, but to me the real star of the film is the MCU itself.
- My wife is not geeky at all. I took her to see Empire when it was re-released as the Special Edition and Darth Vader got behind her in line a the concession stand. That pretty much ended any possibility of sharing this bit of my life with her. ↩
- That’s a whole other level of excitement. ↩
- And, given it’s ability to generate cash, this doesn’t seem to be likely at the moment. ↩
- That is, if Robert Downy Jr. agrees to play the role that long. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but he’d be expensive. ↩
- It’s what I was hoping for with the Star Trek reboot, for which I had great hopes until they decided to remake Wrath of Kahn and label it “Into Darkness.” I was fine when JJ Abrams moved to direct Star Wars, it was clear he wanted be making those types of films anyway. And Episode VII was amazing, so I’m glad JJ is where he is. ↩