Thursday, May 26, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Follow-up: The Mighty Avengers

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After watching Captain America: Civil War, we now have a very good idea exactly where this thing is going over the next few years as the MCU ramps up for the Infinity War in 2018 and 2019.  Each hero who appeared in Civil War received a satisfying arc, and at the end of the movie each of them had a definite trajectory of where their next appearances will come.  So let’s talk about where these heroes will be going from here!

I’m going to break this down into five articles based on the teams that we see established by the end of the movie, as well as additional articles to discuss special cases.  Last week I talked about the members of the “Secret Avengers.”  This week’s subject is the members of the “Mighty Avengers” (I’ll explain that name in a bit).  Next week I will focus in on a specific element for the “Mighty Avengers.”  The following week I will discuss the characters that don’t fit into either category.  Finally, the last article in this series will talk about Zemo.

Without further ado, let’s get started on the Mighty Avengers!

The Mighty Avengers

Before going any further, why am I calling them the “Mighty Avengers”?  In the comic book “Civil War” arc, two teams of heroes emerge from the conflict:  the pro-Registration “Mighty Avengers” and the anti-Registration “New Avengers.”  The two teams come into conflict repeatedly as the Mighty Avengers attempt to bring the New Avengers in for violating the law.

For the purposes of this article, I will assume that the Mighty Avengers team is the same as the one which concluded Civil War, taking into account the developments of that movie.  Here’s the roster I will work from:  Iron Man, War Machine, Vision, and Spider-Man.  I will talk about Black Widow and Black Panther in two weeks, for reasons that will become clear then.

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Iron Man

At the conclusion of Civil War, Tony Stark is left as the leader of the Mighty Avengers.  As such over the next few years he will be busy trying to recruit new heroes to the Mighty Avengers and upgrading the tech for himself, War Machine, and Spider-Man.  Because of his role leading the Mighty Avengers, I think Tony Stark has a definite chance of appearing in as many Phase 3 movies as he did Phase 1 (four):  Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming (he’s already confirmed for that one), Captain Marvel (nothing more than a cameo), and 1 or both parts of Avengers: Infinity War.

After the events of Civil War, the Mighty Avengers seem painfully under-staffed, as Black Widow ran off and Black Panther is going to be a little busy running a country.  This means that recruitment will have to be high on Tony’s list of priorities during Phase 3.  This may drive his appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it may also lead to other cameos down the road, particularly in Captain Marvel.  I will talk more about one of those recruitment options next week.

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War Machine

At the end of Civil War, Rhodey is mostly paralyzed.  However, the movie ends with hope as Tony is helping Rhodey to regain his mobility by designing and testing out an exo-suit which can help him to walk.  As such, I firmly expect that by the time Avengers: Infinity War comes, Rhodey will be back in the War Machine armor and have regained much of his mobility, even if he still needs the exo-suit to walk.  Considering Tony’s propensity for working armor components into anything (we’ve seen a briefcase, a watch, the floor, and a helicopter so far) it would not surprise me if Rhodey’s exo-suit becomes the basis for the next version of the War Machine armor.

I don’t think Rhodey will appear in any movies between now and Infinity War, though it would not surprise me if they reference him in Spider-Man: Homecoming.  For example, Peter asks Tony how his “friend” is doing, and Tony says something to the effect that he’s “still recovering.”

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Vision is still definitely on the Mighty Avengers, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that he regrets everything that happened in Civil War, particularly where Wanda is concerned.  That was one aspect of this movie which I really appreciated and enjoyed:  the “romance” with Scarlet Witch and Vision.  It definitely was not overdone, but there was enough there for fans (particularly those who know their comic history) to latch onto.  This was not the primary relationship in this movie—that would be the “bromance” between Steve and Sam and Steve and Bucky, as well as Steve’s relationship with Sharon—and it definitely did not overpower those other relationships.  I certainly think that they will explore Vision’s feelings for Scarlet Witch (and vice versa) in a future movie.

When the Mighty Avengers come together to fight Thanos in a couple years, he will have to be right there in the thick of it—his Infinity Stone pretty much guarantees it!  However, like the Scarlet Witch (and the Hulk), Vision is just too powerful to really fit most movies, as he would vastly overpower most other heroes.  Consequently, I expect that we won’t see him again until Infinity War.  But like I said with the Scarlet Witch, I would love to see a Vision and the Scarlet Witch movie in Phase 4… assuming he survives Infinity War!

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Peter Parker fought alongside the Mighty Avengers in Leipzig, but I don’t think he’ll be able to make a habit of running off to fight villains around the globe (he’s got homework).  Consequently, I expect that moving forward he will be more of a reserve member of the Mighty Avengers that Tony calls on rather infrequently.  And as far as whether or not he will actually be on the team (and have signed the Accords), I think that his presence in Leipzig is enough indication that he will sign the Accords.  I doubt that his identity will become public knowledge, but the Avengers and General Ross will know.

Suggesting that he will just be a reserve member who participates infrequently is not to say that Peter won’t be involved with the Mighty Avengers; far from it.  Based on the end credits scene from Civil War, it’s pretty clear that Tony wants to stay involved with Peter and continue helping him to upgrade his tech.  In fact, it would not surprise me in the least if Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Peter Parker working as a paid intern for Stark Industries and helping Tony design tech for the Mighty Avengers (including the Iron Spider armor).  Peter working for Stark Industries would be a pretty obvious solution to all Peter’s secret identity problems:  it gives him a ready-made excuse whenever he’s out fighting crime as Peter Parker, it gives him access to all the resources he needs, and it lets Tony assuage his guilt by providing for Peter and Aunt May by overpaying Peter for his work.

Based on previous comments from Marvel Studios it seems likely that Spider-Man: Homecoming will follow up on a few of the plot threads from Civil War, so I expect that both the Sokovia Accords and the Mighty Avengers will show up to some extent in that movie.


This is where I see the Mighty Avengers going in the upcoming Phase 3 movies.  I think they will have a lot more to do in some of the movies, particularly Spider-Man: Homecoming and Captain Marvel.

At the very least, I hope we won’t have to wait for Infinity War to find out how Rhodey is doing after his injury!

Where do you see these characters going in Phase 3?  What new heroes do you think should join the Mighty Avengers?  Let me know in the comments!

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