Well! That final trailer for Captain America: Civil War has us pretty excited, and nerds show their excitement by picking stuff apart. So let’s take a closer look, shall we?
No, that’s not Azkaban. This underwater version of Alcatraz is most likely The Raft, an ultra-high security prison designed to house super powered inmates – like, say, heroes who don’t sign up for the Superhero Registration act. The fancy technology suggests Tony Stark had a hand in it, but don’t expect it to be impervious. A favourite trick in the comics is to stage mass break-outs at The Raft, in order to run the heroes ragged fighting villains en-masse.
Speaking of Stark Tech, Tony has yet another fancy suit. (We guess Iron Man 3 was like when your boss ‘quits’ smoking for the 14th time.) This one seems to emerge from a watch, although there is a suggestion that the armour might actually be emerging from inside Tony himself. This nanomachine powered design would be similar to the Bleeding Edge armour from the comics, and is freaky as.
Vision vs Scarlet Witch
Traditionally, fights between superheroes are used to establish relative power levels in the comics. It’s not only fun to see Hulk and Thor going at it, but it helps settle playground debates about who’s stronger.
After the Vision’s debut in The Avengers: Age of Ultron – when he seemed to have almost godlike abilities – it’s good to see that Scarlett Witch can hold him in check, albeit with great effort.
It’s also a little sad though. In the comics, Vision and Scarlett are actually a married couple. (Or they were, at least.)
Kiss and make up?
Ant Man gets to the point
Comics always walk that fine line between stupid awesome and just plain stupid – it’s kind of their whole aesthetic – but the moment Hawkeye launched Ant-Man on the head of one of his arrows had us squealing in delight.
In fact, it’s a direct rip from the comics.
Iron Man’s gonna get it indeed. Iron Man’s gonna get it good.
Everybody Hates Bucky
Bucky doesn’t make friends easily. Captain America’s emo former sidekick was the villain in The Winter Soldier, before recovering his memory and disappearing. However, that’s not to say he’s been welcomed back with open arms. He’s kept behind these heavy vault doors (possibly in The Raft?) and seems to be going out of his way to annoy other heroes.
First we get this glimpse of an explosion at some kind of peace conference, where Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is in attendance.
Later, Black Panther is seen hunting down Bucky specifically. Does this suggest he is responsible for the bombing?
But that’s not all! Later, Bucky is apparently seen sniping War Machine out of the sky with a well-placed shot to his arc reactor.
Tony is not happy.
Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man!
Spider-man has appeared on screen more than any of the other heroes, so why do we still get excited when he swings into action? Granted, Spidey makes quite the entrance, nicking Captain America’s shield and webbing up his hands.
As suspected, Peter Parker seems to be on Tony Stark’s side in the conflict, but Iron Man and Spider-Man are the two most sardonic heroes in the already-quippy Marvel universe, so don’t expect heartfelt speeches. “Underoos” is not only a jibe about Peter’s (pretty amazing) outfit, but establishes the tone of their relationship.
Marvel have attracted some of the biggest acting talent out there, but it doesn’t matter if you’re the greatest thesp in the world, they all have a major handicap. How do you act when your face is hidden behind a mask?
Spider-man is one of Marvel’s most heartfelt heroes, and comics artists have always been adept at helping him emote. They do this by cheating a little, and having the shape of Spidey’s eyes change depending on whether he’s determined…
…or whatever. This, obviously, is not how real masks work, otherwise there would be a lot of drunk and embarrassed looking Wolf Men every Hallowe’en.
A similar cheat is used for most masked comic book characters, but the movies follow different rules. Most of the heroes don’t even wear masks (Thor, Hulk, Haweye, Black Widow et al) and those who do tend to either leave the eyes exposed, like on Captain America’s helmet…
…or continually show you the person underneath the mask, as with Iron Man.
However, Spider-man is different. Spider-man’s costume completely conceals his eyes behind big opaque lenses, which previous Spidey films have left alone. Until now.
Zooming in and you can see that what was simply a bit of artistic license in the comics now has a ‘realistic’ explanation.
Yes, Spidey’s eyes are actually an intricate sequence of overlapping shutters, kind of like a camera. It’s complicated stuff, and could suggest Tony Stark’s involvement in making the tech. In the Civil War comics storyline, Stark outfits Parker with an upgraded costume. However, this ‘Iron Spider’ featured three mechanical arms (why not four Tony? Afraid to commit to a theme?) and looked a bit naff compared to his classic ensemble.
Then again, Peter Parker is smart enough to make his own web-shooters and other gadgets, so this might be another backyard special.
The real question is: why bother? Do these eyes have special abilities, is it to intimidate his foes, or is it because Spidey’s a big emotive ham?
Of course, there is another possibility…
Meet Peter Parker
A big reason most of the Avengers don’t bother with masks is that everybody knows who they are. Secret identities are one of the few things that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never really bothered with. Tony Stark made a big point of blowing away his own secret identity at the end of the first Iron Man movie.
However, Peter Parker is not a billionaire show-off or a living god or a secret agent: he’s a lower middle class high school student with an elderly aunt to look after. His secret identity is important to him, and that might be the reason he is one of the few Marvel superheroes to fully conceal his face. Hence the opaque eyes.
(Black Panther is another matter – he is Wakandan royalty, and his costume is a tradition handed down through the generations.)
The reason we’re fixating on this is that Spider-Man’s secret identity was a key part of the comic book Civil War storyline. Tony Stark led the charge for public registration of superheroes, and recruited Peter Parker to his cause.
As a public show of good faith in the act, Peter then held a press conference to out himself to the world.
Peter later regretted this decision and changed sides. We don’t know if the movie will follow this arc, but the eyes might have it.