Captain America: Civil War revives classic debates


Lauren Frias and Hannah Mason

Below are two writers’ takes on the latest Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America defends Avengers

What do you think of when you hear the word “superhero”? Maybe you picture Superman saving a damsel in distress; or you see Spiderman swinging from building to building to save a child from getting hit by a car. But what if the safety of these victims was compromised by government interference? Then who gets to decide what a hero needs to sacrifice in order to truly stand for justice?

In the latest Marvel box office hit, Captain America: Civil War, this is exactly the case. From encounters with extraterrestrials to fighting Ultron, the artificial intelligence with a god complex, the Avengers saved the day in both their first and second installments. Despite the best of their efforts to evacuate the cities, lives were lost amidst the destruction, creating the inaccurate perception that the Avengers view civilian casualty as just another part of the job.

The most notable incident of citizen casualty takes place in Sokovia, a country in eastern Europe, in which Ultron decidedly plotted to eradicate the human race and “purify” the Earth by hurling the country like a meteor back into the Earth, producing a large enough tremor to wipe out mankind.

The incident indubitably ended with thousands, if not millions, of lives lost, and with that alongside another similar situation in Lagos, Nigeria, the Sokovia Accords were introduced in Civil War. The Sokovia Accords established a United Nations panel that detailed the terms and conditions of the heroes’ job, i.e. only letting them interfere in global conflict if the government allows it.

However, good ol’ Captain America (Chris Evans) stood by the hero code, abiding by the freedom and liberty of his own terms of justice and refusing to submit to the will of the government. Though some join Cap on his side of undesignated justice, others decided to avoid conflict and sign the accords, namely Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man (Robert Downy Jr.), a surprising contrast to his normally autonomous demeanor depicted in previous films.

All things taken into consideration, I stand, now and forever, with Team Cap. Lives were lost in Washington, D.C., New York, Sokovia and Lagos, but it is presumptuous, to say the least, that having the government dictate the Avengers’ involvement will solve the problem of citizen casualty. If anything, it could increase them, granted the government’s emotional detachment from the situation. The deaths happened, not because the heroes didn’t care, but because they don’t have the capacity to save every person; to say that the Avengers are outnumbered is an understatement.

Let’s keep in mind that these guys have been “good guys” for a while now. If anything, they put their lives first to save civilians. Remember Hawkeye using his body as a shield to save the Sokovian boy in Age of Ultron, and how Quicksilver ran in front of them to take the hit and save them at the expense of his own life? Being a hero is a never-ending train of loss and sacrifice, but that doesn’t mean that they choose the civilians to face that fate.

While the Avengers remain divided going into the Infinity Wars series, all that superhero fans can hold on to is that they’ll put aside their differences and reunite as a team. For all they know, some formidable foe, one even bigger than the Avengers themselves, is coming their way; one that can’t be overcome by a team divided.

Iron Man fights for accountability

I’m going to cut straight to the point, no attention grabbing lead or anything. Point blank: I am team Iron Man. Yup, you heard me right. In the latest installment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Captain America: Civil War, which hit theatres May 6, Iron Man (Tony Stark) and Captain America (Steve Rogers) are faced against each other in a fight of loyalty, friendship and justice.

The initial argument revolves around the Avengers signing the Sokovia Accords, which would prohibit their ability to take action in catastrophic situations. Of course, this is where we see the initial divide between Iron Man, who believes they should sign the document, and Captain America, who feels the opposite.

After destruction and death in New York in Avengers (2012), Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Logas, Nigeria in Captain America: Civil War, the team of heroes have wreaked havoc internationally. Stark has so much pent up guilt over the lives lost, that he hopes signing the contract would help him be one step closer to easing his conscience.

Captain America does have a point though: who are they to take away his free will? At the same time,  this free will is costing lives and causing ruin. The Avengers aren’t ordinary people, and sometimes the rules can’t apply to people who can so easily break them. There needs to be some kind of restriction to keep the peace of mind of people who aren’t as extraordinary.

Though Stark initially seems harsh towards his teammates, as the plot developed, I learned of the rough break-up Stark recently is going through with girlfriend Pepper Potts, which is not a surprise considering their fight at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Stark is also in a state of grief, as he has been having to rehash his feelings after his parents’ death in order to promote the new technology he created.

The problem soon evolves to become more about Captain America’s inability to put his emotions aside and imprison Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier and his best friend from the 1940’s. While captured by the Soviets during World War II, Barnes’s mind was played with to make him a maniac killer when they would repeat a code to him. Thus, making him uncontrollable when under this spell.

Even though Captain America and Bucky’s relationship is the epitome of a bromance, Bucky is unsustainable and puts the well being of everyone around him in danger. Iron Man simply wants to protect the people, and isn’t that the real job of a hero? Captain America is selfish in his actions because he only cares to protect selected people.

Iron Man isn’t some kind of horrible monster either, so I don’t understand Captain America’s lack of trust towards him in this scenario. Given the enormous amount of resources he has, he would probably be the only person that could help cure Bucky. If Rogers and Stark had some kind of civilized conversation to go over their options, this entire fight and splitting of the Avengers wouldn’t have happened. Then again, this is Hollywood, and all reasonable solutions are thrown out the door.

Overall, the fate of the Avengers now lies up in the air; Tony Stark is destroyed emotionally, mentally and physically. The fate of the MCU we have known since Iron Man was introduced in 2008 has been altered, and there is really no telling where it will take us until the release of Avengers: Infinity War I in 2018.