Attention: Here there be spoilers. So so many spoilers.
Before we dive right into this, watch the trailer below and bask in the feels.
We could spend all day basking in the pure beauty of the fact that we finally have this trailer (which appears to be at least slightly different than the one lucky fans saw at the D23 Expo in August). But where's the fun in that? Fandom is all about diving in, picking things apart, and trying to put it all together in a way that makes sense. So what are the top things we here at ALNM picked up on?
The multifaceted cause of the conflict
Obviously this is just a teaser, but we're finally getting the first official glimpses of the titular conflict.
As mentioned in the Ant-Man credits scene, the Sokovia Accords are likely the legislation in MCU that are replacing the Superhuman Registration Act of the comics. The SRA required all super-powered individuals to register with the government. The Sokovia Accords (full title: Sokovia Accords: Framework for the Registration and Deployment of Enhanced Individuals) will likely be along these same lines in reaction to the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the events early in CA: CW. If they also decide to tie in characters featured on the Marvel television shows, this would create conflict on a grander scale than we've ever seen in MCU.
However the chances are very slim we'll see anything approaching the scale of Civil War in the comics simply because we haven't been set up for something like that on screen. The strongest films in MCU happen when the grand action sequences and special effects are built around strong relationships and personal conflict. In a recent interview with Empire, Anthony Russo discussed this very issue, citing Steve and Bucky's relationship as their way to get to the personal relationship of each character in terms of their opinion on registration. The trailer was far more centered around this relationship than many had been expecting. Could Bucky be the tipping point that sets Captain America and Iron Man against each other?
We finally see a partial breakdown of the teams in the conflict:
Some new players are introduced to the conflict
It also can be fairly easily inferred from the trailer that Iron Man can count Black Widow on his team. Numbers wise it may seem the advantage skews towards Team Cap (it is his movie after all), but the power and resources of Team Iron Man would very easily make this a fair fight. There are still a few questions however.
This trailer also marks the first appearance of Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther. We've also been told he will play more of a neutral role, although he can be seen chasing after and fighting the Winter Soldier in the trailer. The Black Panther solo film will not be released until February 2018, but expect Civil War to do much of the set up for the character. In an interview with EW, Kevin Feige stated, "We introduce him here, give him an arc, and make him a full character. We don’t just give him a cameo, to wave. He has his own conflict and his own people that he’s looking out for."
Also seen very very briefly are Sharon Carter and Martin Freeman's currently unknown government agent. They can be seen to the far right in the scene where men are hauling off Cap and Falcon's gear. Rumors about Freeman's role have ranged from the very possible (the US liason to Wakanda, Everett K Ross) to the more far-fetched (Red Skull). The art released from Marvel seems to indicate Sharon will be on Cap's side, and she already proved herself loyal to him in The Winter Soldier. Plus there's that family connection yet to be addressed onscreen.
Certain key figures are still missing
Yet to be seen in action of the already introduced characters are The Vision, who is rumored to be Team Iron Man, and Ant-Man, who is on Team Captain America. Some lucky fans at D23 and other events got a see the scene where Ant-Man meets, and subsequently fanboys, over Cap. Who can blame him? The credits scene we got to see at the end of Ant-Man implies that Sam will be reaching out to Scott Lang to help Bucky following the passage of the Sokovia Accords.
The most notable absence however was Tom Holland as Spider-Man. We do know for a fact he will be appearing in Civil War before his first solo outing in MCU in 2017. In an interview with Zap2it, Kevin Feige wouldn't say Peter Parker's exact role in the film. But he did say they would largely be reaching back to Spider-Man's comic book roots in that they would be addressing for the first time on film how Peter is conflicted about and impacted by these other superheroes. Don't be surprised if we don't catch a glimpse of the webslinger until the film is released.
A rough timeline
Judging from the trailer and D23 footage, comments from the Russo brothers, and a recent EW interview with Robert Downey, Jr., I think we can come up with a very rough basic timeline:
Marvel Fandom: Civil War
As always, fandom has a lot of feels.
One of the major points of contention I've seen in my Tumblr explorations involves one of the more heartbreaking moments of the trailer:
Steve: “I’m sorry, Tony. You know I wouldn’t do this if I had other choice. But he’s my friend.”
Tony: “So was I.”
While this is sure to bring at least the thought of a tear to even the most bitter fan's eye, many were quick to point out that we haven't seen much of a friendship between these two characters in MCU. The best analysis I've seen of this issue came from The Daily Dot, and you should read their full article when you have a chance. I think we can be safe in assuming the Russo brothers won't manufacture of closer relationship than can be justified by the material thus far, and Downey's recent comments seem to support that. The connection between these two characters can basically be boiled down to the fact that Tony sees them as friends on a certain level while Steve sees them as both members of the Avengers family. Steve does care for Tony in that sense, but his loyalty to the Avengers just cannot compete with his loyalty to Bucky.
And this leads us to what likely caused one of the bigger fandom meltdowns of 2015. Even after the Russos assured us of Bucky's importance in the film, the online explosion following the "your Bucky" quote at D23, and Chris Evans himself discussing the connection between the two characters, there were doubts the film would actually have much of a focus on the amnesiac assassin when it was beginning to look like just another Avengers movie. While we haven't seen the film yet of course, it's looking more and more like Stucky relationship (whether it's your OTP or brOTP) is one of the central aspects of the movie.
Fans understandably went bananas. Stucky shippers rejoiced as the hearts of Stony shippers broke everywhere (but in the best possible way of course). And even the most casual viewer felt heart palpitations as the trailer ended with Iron Man battling the combined forces of Captain America and the Winter Soldier. One thing all of fandom seems to agree on is they cannot wait until May 6th.
We'll be talking about all things Civil War in our next podcast, so be sure to tune in!