How closely have you looked at the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War? Have you seen anything particularly interesting, anything that sets your mind racing with the possibilities?
Questions swirl around Marvel’s May 6, 2016 follow-up to Captain America: Winter Soldier — especially since it borrows its subtitle from one of the most popular comic book arcs of the past decade. The epic story pits friend against friend as the superhuman community divides around a government-enforced registration.
Civil War the movie seems as though it’ll tread a similar path, with some notable changes due to both the massive scope of the books and the licensing limitations that leave certain portions of the comics universe — primarily, anything involving mutants — off-limits.
This first trailer focuses mostly on action — but we spotted a few noteworthy moments that bear further discussion. A lot of this is pure speculation, so feel free to join in on the conversation with your own interpretations.
1. Where’s Bucky?
Former Captain America sidekick Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) went full jerk in Winter Soldierwhen a Hydra-sponsored brainwashing program turned him into a cyborg assassin with no free will. He appears to have recovered and gotten his memories back in the new film — but that doesn’t change the damage he’s caused or the danger he represents.
We can gather that Bucky is hiding out in Germany based on the uniformed police that pursue him; “polizei” is German for “police.” Cap (Chris Evans) lends his old friend a hand, putting him squarely on the “wrong” side of the law. (Wrongness is all relative at this point.)
Unsaid, but possible: Could Bucky be in Germany because he’s pursuing as-yet-unseen Hydra baddie and former Nazi Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl)?
2. The “IFID” factor
We know from leaked set photos that IFID stands for “Institute for Infectious Diseases,” and the camo on that truck suggests an arid or desert-like setting (as do the palm trees in the leaked photos). This could mean that IFID connects in some way to Wakanda, the fictional African nation led by Civil War newcomer Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).
Scenes from the trailer suggest that Cap and his pal Falcon (Anthony Mackie) have some beef that leads them to this IFID building. We can’t say for sure if it’s in Wakanda, but Cap and Black Panther are definitely at odds elsewhere in the trailer.
What does it mean if IFID is in Wakanda, a traditionally isolationist nation (in the comics, at least)? Could some outbreak prompt Black Panther to enter the arena of global politics?
Also worth mentioning: The only other time “infectious diseases” came up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was in Winter Soldier. Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) advised Cap, whom she was secretly monitoring, not to share a washing machine with her. She wasn’t actually the nurse she claimed to be — but one has to wonder why she wouldn’t share.
3. The Sokovia Accords
In the comics, an inciting event in Hartford, Conn. pushes the U.S. government to enact a Superhuman Registration Act, which is exactly what it sounds like. The Sokovia Accords (first mentioned in an Ant-Man credits scene) is the MCU’s reinterpretation, with the events in Age of Ultron‘s fictional Sokovia serving as the trigger moment.
The cover text for the Accords clearly reads: “Framework for the Registration and Deployment of Enhanced Individuals.” It’s likely what will divide the superhuman community in the same way that the Registration Act does in the comics, but with more of a global focus.
4. General “Thunderbolt” Ross returns
This guy. We haven’t seen William Hurt in the MCU since his one-time appearance in the Edward Norton-led 2008 Incredible Hulk. Ross has serious reservations about the superhero community, and he’s likely to be one of the major voices on the pro-government side of Civil War‘s division.
Looking at the long-term, could Ross step into the role that Norman Osborn played in the comics? In the aftermath of that Civil War story, Osborn — the alter-ego of Spider-Man villain Green Goblin — wormed his way into a position of power, eventually taking control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and assuming the mantle of the Iron Patriot.
While it’s likely that we won’t see that plotline mirrored in the MCU, it’s just as likely that Ross has a key role to play as someone who’s traditionally been wary of superpowered individuals.
5. Scarlet Witch can fly
Scarlet Witch didn’t have a whole lot of exciting stuff to do in Age of Ultron. Important as she was to the film’s story, when she was onscreen, she mostly kind of stood still and waved her arms around.
That changes in Civil War. Here, we see Scarlet Witch taking flight. The setting is a German airport that serves as the battleground for one of the (presumably early) showdowns between the pro- and anti-Sokovia Accords factions.
Clips from the trailer point to Cap, Falcon, Bucky, Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch all fighting on the same side. Iron Man and War Machine (Don Cheadle) both stand in opposition to them, as do Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Black Panther and General Ross.
That’s just who we’ve seen. Ant-Man and Spider-Man both factor into Civil War‘s story as well — and they’re two of the players we know for certain. If the film borrows anything from the comics, expect a big story that comes to encompass the sum total of the superhuman community.
6. Meet Black Panther
This one’s pretty hard to miss, as Black Panther pops up a few times during the trailer. It’s great to finally see the Wakandan leader in action, though.
There’s very little to speculate on from Black Panther’s appearances in the trailer. He’s at odds with Cap, but how long will that really last? The Black Panther of the comics is a conscientious leader, and he opposes the Superhuman Registration Act.
There’s a good chance his hostile encounters with Captain America in the trailer are nothing more than a misdirection: Don’t be surprised to see Black Panther ultimately fall in with the anti-Sokovia Accords set.