Captain America: Civil War concept artwork draws the battle lines

Do we have a cool Hawkeye/Ant-Man team-up on our hands?

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We already knew the plot of upcoming superhero sequel Captain America: Civil War;  Chris Evans’ Cap and Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man have a falling out over the issue of superhero registration (basically heroes giving up their identities to the government), leading to an all-out battle between groups of heroes who oppose or support the plan. However, so far we haven’t known exactly how the heroes in the movies will divide up – until now.

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In new concept artwork tweeted by Hawkeye actor Jeremy Renner we see the teams laid out, with Iron Man’s pro-registration gang (above) including War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johasson), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and The Vision. 

Meanwhile, Captain America’s anti-registration crew (above) include Hawkeye (Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd, on Hawkeye’s shoulder), The Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and SHIELD agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). Renner also tweeted an image of the heroes in battle, which looks just about as cool as you’d expect it to.

But what can we glean from these new images? Well, it’s certainly interesting to see Captain America’s team include The Winter Soldier, the star-spangled hero’s brainwashed former sidekick who was the antagonist of Cap’s last solo film. Has he managed to turn back to the side of good? It’s also a surprise to see Sharon Carter pop up so prominently – she only had a fairly small role in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier – but this could be partly influenced by her family relationship with World War Two spy Peggy Carter (Sharon’s her granddaughter), who now has her own period TV series starring Hayley Atwell.

Perhaps the most telling thing in these teams is the absences, however – there’s no sign in the artwork of either Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch or Tom Hollander’s new version of Spider-Man, both confirmed to be appearing in the movie. Perhaps the pair of them are involved in the conflict in some kind of neutral capacity, or perhaps Marvel are just waiting to make a big Spider-Man reveal? Only time will tell. 

But if we’re honest we’re the most excited about the fact that Ant-Man and Hawkeye seem to be hanging out quite closely in the artwork, because that gets us one step closer to a scene in the movie where the archer fires Paul Rudd on his arrow to go and punch someone in the face far away.

If they can do it in an animated Avengers TV series, they can do it in the movies. Let’s make this happen.

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Captain America: Civil War will be released in the UK on the 29th April