Will Captain America: Civil War Feature the Death of a Beloved Avenger?
Captain America: Civil War is still a year away from theaters, but the film is already generating a lot of buzz, mostly thanks to its inclusion of practically every character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) so far. The third Captain America film is shaping up to be the biggest yet, but it could also be the last if things play out the way the evidence suggests. Many comic book fans are convinced that at least one major Marvel character is set to meet their maker during the events of Civil War, but where exactly have we got this crazy idea from?
Although this is purely speculative, if you want to remain blissfully unaware of Civil War's comic book history, everything from here on in can be considered a spoiler.
First, lets take a brief look back at what happens in the Civil War storyline from the Marvel comics. While we know the movie won't match the comic's plot exactly, we do expect it to hit several of the same notes. In the comics, Tony Stark and Captain America lead opposing groups of heroes against one another in what is essentially an ideological conflict. Stark and his backers support a proposed Superhero Registration Act, which will require superpowered individuals and costumed heroes to reveal their identities and have their actions regulated by the US Government. Rogers and his supporters are fiercely opposed to the bill, but in the end, Cap is forced to admit defeat. As Captain America surrenders himself to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, he falls foul of an underhand plot and is subsequently assassinated.
While we expect most of the film to center on the conflict between Cap and Stark, it's the ending that has us worried. That's because two characters who have been billed as part of the main cast in the film- Crossbones (Frank Grillo) and S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp)- are the same two characters who carry out Cap's assassination in the comic. Why would these two seemingly minor characters get main cast billing in an already star-loaded film? The answer is likely to be bad news for fans of Mr. Rogers.
As dramatic as this ending sounds, the evidence would suggest that the MCU has been building towards this very moment for some time. Crossbones appeared in Captain America: Winter Soldier, as a Hydra double agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. who hated Captain America and everything he stood for. When we last see him in the movie, he is burned badly from head to toe, so we expect him to be out for revenge when he returns as Crossbones. Carter on the other hand was an ally to Cap in Winter Soldier, so how could she possibly end up killing him? Well, the comics have that covered too...In the Civil War book, Carter assassinates Cap because she's brainwashed, something that actually wouldn't feel out of place at all in in the MCU, especially after the introduction of the Mind Gem.
Now before you start reaching for the Kleenex, let's not forget that the movies are not, by any stretch, the same as their comic predecessors. The MCU has taken numerous creative liberties with the source material so far, and will continue to do so. So it's entirely possible that Civil War the movie will share little more than a name with the comic it's inspired by. Plus, there's also the issue of Chris Evans being contracted to appear as Cap in Avengers: Infinity War. If Cap is in that movie, he can't very well die in Civil War... unless of course he pulls an Agent Coulson and makes a visit to Tahiti—which is totally possible.
Our bottom line is this: a movie as big as Civil War is sure to have some casualties, and whether or not Captain America is the guy who takes the fall is something we probably won't know for sure until Captain America: Civil War hits theaters next year.