Ant-Man was another thoroughly enjoyable entry in the Marvel cinematic universe. Scott Lang is a likable, engaging lead and in general Marvel’s ability to weave “second string” characters into the larger narrative and make it all compelling is quite impressive. With Captain America: Civil War coming up we’re left with several interesting questions and possibilities open.
**Warning: the remainder of this entry will contain SPOILERS for the after credits scene from Ant-Man, previous Marvel movies (including Age of Ultron) and the Civil War comic.**
The Civil War comic book story centered around a philosophical divide among heroes regarding a government mandate to register the identities of all super-powered individuals. The central figures in the conflict are Iron Man on the pro side Captain America against. All signs have pointed to a variation of this basic set up carrying over into CA: Civil War, and Cap’s mention of “the accords” in the Ant-Man post credits scene continues to support this conclusion. The scene is also very interesting as it indicates a major lingering thread from CA: Winter Soldier, Cap and Falcon tracking down Bucky, has occurred off-screen. This is likely to become more common going forward as the number of characters and story lines grow and there isn’t enough room to delve into everything in detail. It worked well here and left the bulk of the “important parts” of the plot on the table for the future.
The idea of a character who’s always trying to do the right thing deciding that doesn’t always mean playing by the rules coming to a head with another who’s know for doing his own thing who has realized the need to strive for a greater good is fantastic. With all the potential here and an established comic story to build off of, two big questions jump out at me going into CA: Civil War:
1) How will the battle lines be drawn?
This is the obvious one. With so many characters confirmed for the movie that it’s being colloquially referred to as “Avengers 2.5,” the question of which side each will take looms. Falcon, Ant-Man and Bucky seem a lock for Cap, with no real indication of Iron Man’s allies yet. I’d guess Vision and War Machine, which would create a conflict since they’re on the Cap-lead Avengers team. I see Black Widow being caught in the middle. Spider-Man sides with Stark in the comic, but he’s only in for a cameo so we might just see him in general action rather than “lining up” during the conflict. Not sure on the rest.
A side question here is how much physical conflict there will be among the heroes. I’m sure there’ll be skirmishes, but I think a pitched, focused battle directly between Cap and Iron Man could be more dramatic than a full blown battle trying to fit everyone in.
2) How close to the comic will they stick?
**SPOILER REMINDER** Ok, what I really mean here is “are they going to kill Cap and have Bucky take over?” I can see it happening, and seeds have definitely been planted both within the movies and with production hints like contract lengths. It also would be a major shake up to lead us into the next phase of Marvel movies. The biggest drawback I can see is the resulting lack of Steve Rogers Cap in Infinity War, which looks based on a story that took place long before Civil War. Still, they have a pretty good track record with tweaking details in their adaptations and ending up with excellent, logical stories that retain the fell of the original while working in the universe they’re creating. We’ll see.
So the Marvel movie machine is sill chugging along with a lot of momentum. Very excited to see what’s next and how they answer the above questions when CA: Civil War arrives next spring.