Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dragonfly Ripple | Captain America: Civil War (2016)

David and I discuss the Avengers' break-up, focusing on the Accords and how each character responds to them. And getting introspective, we also talk about what we might do if asked to sign.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

If nothing else its fascinating how this movie reverses the character arcs of its leads in a way that feels completely natural. Iron Man starts out as a rebel, who fights Obadiah as "The establishment" and sticks to "The Man" in the next movie. But after increasing guilt, failure and personal struggles, is ready to surrender his freedom for the greater good. Contrast with Steve who wanted to enlist to be part of a greater whole but after loss and betrayal has become the most Libertarian hero this side of Ron Swanson. (While this iteration of Cap has never been a nationalist, its hard to escape that namesake)

If I were a citizen of the MCU I would most certainly want there to be checks and balances with superheroes and would support the accords. As a viewer though we've been shown that government supervision has been bad from the start. SHIELD infiltration aside, the Security Council's Plan A on seeing an alien invasion was to nuke New York. (I've got $10 that says that in either Captain Marvel or Endgame we learn the council is made up of Skrulls) However, I do think Cap is a touch naive to think the Avengers can operate full time independently. I think with more time they could have developed some kind of mediation had the explosive events not gummed up the works.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Its interesting to see Vision be developed in the midst of this crisis. He presents himself as operating on full computer logic during the initial meeting, even going so far as to to propose that the existence of superhumans is what leads to bigger threats. However he's also shown as still growing into his own humanity. Sure he's learned to be a snappy dresser, but struggles with appreciated privacy by walking through walls and exhibits uncertainty in his budding relationship with Wanda. Given his origin has been rewritten to be this "perfect human synthesis" I suspect the writers were looking to distance him from Doctor Manhattan's cold "I am a god unto man" characterization.

I'll echo David's sentiments on Sharon Carter. She's fine, but isn't that interesting as a love interest. Peggy's a high standard to live up to, and I don't know that Cap's looking to settle down any time soon. Though curiously Sharon did get her own Pop Funko toy for this movie were she had a tactical suit and nightsticks. Perhaps she was supposed to be a counterpart for Black Widow, so we'd have a bonus cat fight before being superseded by Spider-Man's inclusion.

I also sympathize with you in general David. I was a late bloomer and wasn't into girls during my teens either. So just as a warning, college girls, particularly exchange students find the "shy guy" irresistible. Just thought you should know.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

You could read into the two teams politically. Cap, representing the ideals of America, leads the outcasts and losers because he stills knows what its like to be a little guy while Billionaire Tony teams up with the elites like the prince of a sovereign nation and a perfect android. However, while Steve has a magnetic personality that draws people to him, Tony has a charisma that makes him the perfect face man for a company but makes it so that he only shows his true self to select people. Hence why I think he chooses to recruit Peter Parker. Even though he's accepting responsibility for the death of a teenager in Skovokia, he's ready to usher this kid into danger as well because he detects a kindred spirit. While Cap may be the first person to be able to tell the Hulk to do something, its Tony that got through to Bruce Banner. They probably have their own "Science Bros" secret handshake.

Speaking of Tony's charisma, I suspect his flirtation with May is more about "charm to disarm" in an effort to learn as much about Peter as he can.

I'll save my thoughts on Spider-Man, Black Panther and Everett Ross for their return appearances later, but I do think May was de-aged for a few different reasons. Spider-Man's origin story has him complaisant in Uncle Ben's death, albeit indirectly. Had it been his actual father rather than an aged (read distant) relative, I don't think the public would have connected with Spider-Man. That advanced age also keeps Aunt May out of the adventure most of the time. Since 62, the idea of single parenting has become more common and she's been generally accepted as a mother figure in Peter's life, which they likely wanted cement visually rather that have viewers ask "What's grandma doing here?"

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

The airport fight. Wow. The final fight in the missile. More wow. Zemo seems a bit underwhelming as a villain, but I suspect that's by design for his unsuspecting presence to contrast the big Avengers and their foibles. Theres been tension between Steve and Tony for sure. They have their ideal differences in the classic mold like Cyclops and Wolverine or Luke and Han Solo, but Tony has a touch of resentment to Steve as Howard's surrogate "first son" to fuel his own competitive nature. Learning Steve kept this secret from him about his distant dad, is the straw that broke the camels back. So its more about the two of them than a villain master plan.

The trouble was under the surface it just took Zemo to grease the wheels. A reminder that Marvel is known for the "Lets you and him fight" trope because their heroes have feet of clay.

Michael May said...

All awesome thoughts.

I like the way you thought about the Accords differently than how David and I approached them. Instead of questioning whether you would sign, you thought about whether or not you'd support them as a citizen. And I think I would hypocritically agree with you. I wouldn't want to sign them myself as someone with powers, but as a normal citizen, I wouldn't like the idea of vigilantes running around without oversight.

Do you think you'd sign them if you had powers and it was asked of you?

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Thanks Michael. Once I started typing I just couldn't stop!

If I had superpowers I'd likely see the Accords the same way as I would a job union or medical certification. It wouldn't take much to convince me of the benefits of being given assignments about were my abilities could be best put to use rather than sitting on the street corner waiting for someone to rob a bank. Plus I have to imagine there would be insurance or hazard pay for both myself and property that received collateral damage.


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