Okay, here is the deal. I’ve tried writing this at least two times before now and each time I’ve written way too much and have gone way too deep into detail. So this time, I’m just going to throw out some bullet-point style segments and let you choose.
Who’s side are you on?
Civil War is about the Registration Act, a bill combining the efforts of SHIELD, representatives of those with superpowers, and the US Government, representatives of casual civilians. It came into effect after a couple of series of devastating fights between heroes and villains in the Marvel world. The Registration Act essentially wants heroes and villains to register their secret identities with the government so that the government can decide when these superpowered people can act and at what certain level. This essentially strips the superheroes of their right to decide right from wrong and to use their powers freely.
Ironman is a staunch believer in this, as he has seen the destruction caused by himself and other superpowered people first hand. And while he has good intentions that are fleshed out throughout the comic, I think that his means do not justify his ends but I’ll let you decide.
- Has been upfront about his secret identity since the beginning so he has hardly anything to lose by the Registration Act (RA)
- Teaming up with Ironman are Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) and Hank Pym (Ant-Man) combing to make three of the best minds in the Marvel Universe but also 3 men with a history of making bad decisions. These three will now be referred to as “Team Ironman”
- Team Ironman has been working on cyborg replacements for current superheroes as well as a way to generate new heroes.
- This process of creating cyborg superpowered beings is part of Team Ironman’s 50 State Initiative. A plan to make an Avengers like team for every state in the US.
- The first cyborg that was activated was a recreation of the Asgardian Thor. To understand this on a deeper level, Thor has been dead for quite some time which has left many heroes in grief.
- The Thor Cyborg was first activated in a trap that Team Ironman has set for Team Captain America. The cyborg went haywire and wound up killing Bill Foster who was the current Goliath. In the first showing of Team Ironman’s cyborg technology, a beloved member of the Marvel Universe was killed directly because of the cyborgs malfunctions.
- In an attempt to further squelch the Captain America rebellion, Ironman enlisted the help of the Thunderbolts. A team of captured violent villains that were used as mercenaries to hunt down the rebels.
- Team Ironman, specifically Mr. Fantastic, has been working on Prison 42 which is a prison in an alternate dimension with the intention to hold superpowered people that would not cooperate with the RA, both villains and heroes alike. One of the most notable heroes captured and sent to Prison 42 was Daredevil.
- Ironman had convinced Spider-Man to reveal his secret identity on live television as a show of trust for Team Ironman. Spider-Man has notoriously kept his secret identity hidden to protect those he loves, specifically Aunt May and Mary Jane.
- After Bill Foster had died at the hands of the cyborg Thor, Spider-Man attempted to confront Ironman about his secret plans in the 50 State Initiative. Ironman threatened the safety of Mary Jane and Spider-Man attacked Ironman. Fearing for his life, Spider-Man fled from the Stark Building and attempted to meet up with Team Captain America in the sewers. Ironman took this opportunity to unleash the Thunderbolts for the first time. Two of the Thunderbolts corner the weakened Spider-Man in the sewers and try to kill him. Saved by the Punisher, Spider-Man is transported to Captain America’s secret base of operations.
- The final battle takes place first at Prison 42 then everyone is transported to the Baxter Building in the middle of Manhattan. For the final battle, Team Ironman is comprised of the Thunderbolts (including Venom), a revamped cyborg Thor, and a few more recognizable heroes such as The Wasp, She-Hulk, Ant-Man and Mr. Fantastic.
Team Captain America:
Captain America is a believer in the freedom of choice and fighting for the rights of everyone. This is evident in his origin story that, before the Super Soldier Serum, while he was pathetic in physicality, he was superior in compassion and judgement.
- In the beginning, SHIELD asks Captain America to surrender himself to the RA. Refusing, Captain then defends himself from an elite squad of SHIELD agents and even hijacks a fighter jet to make his escape.
- Captain America takes to the sewers, the only place he considers himself safe.
- While in hiding, the Captain continues to fight crime, building up his team. In 72 hours, he is quoted taking down 15 “Super-Criminals”.
- Captain America is making covert operations with rescue and free his fellow captured heroes with the help of Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, Luke Cage and Falcon.
- Captain America has a group of unlisted SHIELD locations that he can use for secret bases that were supplied to him by Nick Fury who is currently in hiding as he disagrees with the RA.
- As Team Ironman try to recruit new members, such as the X-Men, Blank Panther, and Dr. Strange, Team Captain America still “fights the good fight”. Now aptly named the Secret Avengers, they are seen disrupting the operations of the Sinister Six, a group of Spider-Man’s toughest villains.
- A fake distress call to a remote building leads Team Captain America into a Team Ironman trap which concludes with Bill Foster’s death at the hands of the cyborg Thor as mentioned above.
- However, at the beginning of this fight, it is worth mentioning that Ironman confronts Captain America and asks him and his team to surrender peacefully and listen to reason. Captain America gives Ironman five minutes to make his case and they shake hands, however, hidden in Cap’s hand is a portable EMP device that he sneaks onto Ironman disrupting his armor. Captain America then throws the first punch.
- Ironman attempts to end this fight by using a frequency disrupter that I assume sends out high pitched frequencies that cripple and paralyze Team Captain America. Ironman then beats Captain America to within an inch of his life.
- The death of Bill Foster and the fight that occurred instilled doubt in both sides. Sue Storm, wife of Reed Richards, turned her back on him after she found out that he was responsible for creating the cyborg Thor that killed Bill Foster and almost killed all of Team Captain America.
- The Fantastic Four, one of the most recognizable teams in the whole Marvel Universe has been temporarily disbanded. The Human Torch had fled long ago and now the length at which Reed Richards would go evident, Sue Storm, his wife has deemed herself unsafe in his presence. As she leaves, you can see doubt and sadness in The Thing, contemplating whether or not to keep fighting for Team Ironman.
- After Spider-Man confronted Ironman and fled, he was saved by the Punisher. The Punisher doing what he does best, killed Spider-Man’s attackers. While Captain America was pleased to have Spider-Man join his rebellion. He rebuked the Punisher fighting him, though the Punisher refused to fight back stating that he won’t fight the Captain because he believes in his ideals. Captain America then banishes the Punisher from his team.
- As we get to the final battle, joining Captain America is Luke Cage, Sue Storm, Falcon, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Vision, Cloak and Dagger, and Hercules. In stark comparison, Team Ironman is listed above including mostly of the Thunderbolts.
- In this final fight, Captain America is on the losing end of a battle with the majority of the Thunderbolts only to be saved by Namor the Submariner. Which is telling in itself as Namor can hardly be bothered to join in the surface world’s affairs.
- The final fight is concluded in Manhattan when Vision disrupts Ironman’s armor, making him weak to Captain America. Ironman begs Captain America to end this fighting by killing Ironman there on the spot. Just at the moment, civilians, police officers, and firefighters converge on Captain America restraining him from any further action. Urging him to look around at all the destruction that the fighting has caused, Captain America sees civilians fleeing their homes for safety.
- At the end of the Civil War, despite being on the winning side of the final fight, Captain America surrenders to the NYPD being taken into custody to be put to trial.
Well look at that, this was supposed to be shorter. After Captain America is captured and the Civil War is over, his team goes underground to keep fighting against the RA. Ironman is now the Director of SHIELD stating that he is the only person that he trusts with the secret identities of all of his closest friends. Spoilers ahead: As Captain America is leaving the courthouse where he is being tried, he is assassinated by an unknown sniper. This starts the comic The Death of Captain America which plunges both sides of the Civil War into grief, specifically Ironman who feels his is personally responsible for the death of Captain America.
So I ask the question again, who’s side are you on? Ironman who has good intentions at heart but is willing to go to extreme lengths to make his vision a reality. Or are you siding with Captain America, a man who fights for the freedoms of superheroes and civilians alike?