Captain America has stood for American values since 1941, when two cartoonists of Timely Comics, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, introduced the character of Steve Rogers, who becomes the patriotic superhero after he volunteers to be dosed with the super-soldier serum.
— Devansh Patel (@PatelDevansh) May 7, 2016
The legend of the fictional superhero was brought alive on the big screen by two movies released in 2011 and 2014. In the 2011 Captain America: First Avenger, the Captain confronts Hydra, the terrorist organization led by Red Skull, and in 2014, the superhero continued his fight against the evil terrorist organization whose members had infiltrated the U.S. government.
Fighting against evil to uphold justice and American values has never posed a moral dilemma for Captain America. However, in the latest movie in the franchise, Captain America: Civil War, directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo have explored the ideological core of what the superhero stands for. In the sequel that premiered on May 6, the directors haven’t clearly defined an evil opponent that poses a challenge to Captain America, who will be standing the test in the battle of ideals. Instead, the superhero must now choose between government regulation and individual rights when the U.S. Secretary of State draws up the so-called “Sokovia Accords” that essentially would put the Avengers under the control of the United Nations.
— Gary Collinson (@HolyFranchise) April 12, 2016
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the Russo brothers have grabbed an opportunity to explore the moral code of the star-spangled superhero by showing him fighting against his own weaknesses and flaws.
Joe Russo spoke about how the film portrays a different Captain America than its prequels.
“This is the most flawed Captain America has been.”
The movie is based on a plotline from the comic book series of the same name. The movie will not only enable the audience to understand what the 21st-century American values mean to the superhero, but it will also enable them to gauge how the changing USA resonates with the modern Captain America. American society has always been considered one of the most successful societies in the world, and the importance of individual expression has always been sought to be upheld by society and policy makers. The movie depicts how the individual opinions and beliefs of the Marvel superheroes clash with each other, thereby giving rise to a civil war amongst them.
As the title suggests, a civil war breaks out, with a slew of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters choosing sides and trading blows. Although the directors have previously said that their story isn’t based on any ongoing events in global or US politics, the movie inevitably does draw inspiration from the current global situation, with the creators being influenced by the current political climate and the global anxieties produced by it.
The storyline takes into consideration how the United States is connected with the rest of the world, how unconventional warfare has emerged, and how global superpowers are moving in and out of national borders in the name of peace and justice.
And while the storyline of the new Marvel film has Captain America as the main protagonist, the star cast is nothing short of impressive. According to Collider, the movie is also a follow-up to Avengers: Age of Ultron, featuring Chris Evans portraying Steve Rogers and leading a new lineup of Avengers as he subsequently confronts Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark over governmental oversight of the Avengers.
People reports that Black Panther, the first major African superhero, will also feature in the movie and the character will have to decide whether to stay neutral in the conflict.
— Soft Power (@Captain_Somalia) February 5, 2016
And that neutral stance could bring him into head-on conflict with both characters at different times in the film. However, the storyline will evolve in such a way that it will be difficult for Black Panther to maintain a neutral position. Ultimately, even though the movie shows superheroes clashing against one another, the reality is that everybody is actually on their own side with respect to their morals, ideals, and sense of justice.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]