Tag Archives: Spider-Man

Captain America: Civil War – Trailer 2 Breakdown

Well, sorta. This is not a total trailer breakdown, more like half a trailer breakdown.

Anyway, thanks to masterleiaofasgard, I saw the second Civil War trailer not too long ago. (She is sooo good at finding these things! 😉 ) It was… amazing! Spectacular! Superior!

Yeah, I am having fun with Spidey’s old titles of amazing, spectacular, and superior. Ultimate… I do not think the trailer rated that, thankfully.

Anyway, there were some things in this trailer which I thought were noteworthy. Below is a list of those things, which other, sharp-eyed fans have doubtless already noticed and taken the time to opine about them. Since I have not had time to surf the net for the observations of others, I snapped some shots of scenes from the trailer which I wanted to look at more closely. Unfortunately, the photos are grainy and blurry for the most part. I am sorry for that, readers, but it was the best this writer could accomplish with the limited tech knowledge stored up in this brain. I am no McGee of NCIS or Alec Hardison of Leverage, so this is the best you are going to get from this post, I am afraid.

With that disclaimer, we can get down to business. First up is this shot of Wanda bringing Vision to his knees:

Wanda vs. Vision 2

Pretty scary, huh? Wanda Maximoff is not an opponent any sane member of the Marvel Universe wants to enrage. That is a bad, bad idea under normal combat conditions. In this case, the plan is even worse.

After watching the trailer several times, I paused the video on this scene to get a better look at it. That is when I noticed that there is someone lying on the floor directly in front of Wanda’s feet. If you look at the bottom left corner of the photo, you should see him, too. Judging by what appears to be a quiver lying next to his bare left arm, I would say this person is none other than Hawkeye. It appears he has been knocked out, and my first thought was that Wanda might have done it to him. A friend of mine, however, is of the opinion that she is not responsible for his awkward nap, but is instead protecting him.

This would explain why Wanda is attacking Vision. If he popped into the room when Clint was telling Wanda it was time to go and zapped the archer, Wanda probably attacked Vision in retaliation. She considers Hawkeye a friend, in no small part due to the kindness he showed her when she was falling apart in Novi Grad. Watching him get hurt by Vision would not be fun for her. So after the initial, “What are you doing?!” moment, she would step in to protect her friend.

Another thing which adds credence to this theory is in the upper left corner of the photo. Though it is hard to see, you can just make out the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s trademark Avengers insignia. The only place where that A would be in such a visible position by the window is the Avengers’ new HQ; the old Stark facility they retrofitted and which Ant-Man so brazenly invaded.

The presence of that A indicates Wanda and Vision are fighting on their home turf. This fact is only reinforced by Wanda’s apparel; she is wearing a shirt, skirt, and boots, not her combat uniform. She is in a place where she feels relaxed and safe. This isn’t the airport or some other location; this is the Avengers’ base, her home. That means the Avengers do not divide into separate camps in a city somewhere. The break in their team occurs in their very own base!

Lastly, look at the Mind Stone on Vision’s forehead. Usually, that rock is yellow. In this shot, however, it is glowing red, along with the rest of Vision’s body as Wanda uses her powers on him. She is not just attacking him; she is attacking him through the Mind Stone.

In an interview that was released recently, Elizabeth Olsen said that the Vision’s and Wanda’s friendship is based in part on the fact that they both received their powers through the Mind Stone. While Olsen said there was no romance in the relationship, she did say they were friendly with each other. It appears they are friendly because of their shared experience with the Infinity Stone stuck to Vision’s head.

Also noteworthy about Vision’s position is the cracks in the floor beneath his feet. His knees have not hit the floor yet, but there is already a network of cracks in the concrete. I guess he was hovering and Wanda yanked him out of the air to the floor, causing those cracks. Vision is certainly heavy enough to have broken the floor that way, if he landed too hard. Since he is not in the habit of breaking stuff just for the fun of it, he did not create that damage of his own accord.

Next we have this shot of a circular area full of barred rooms:

Prison

A friend took note of these and suspects that the circular, underwater base we see rising out of (presumably) the Atlantic Ocean is the home of these cells. For cells these are. They are somewhat reminiscent of the cell where S.H.I.E.L.D. put Loki in the detention center aboard the Helicarrier – the one initially meant to contain the Hulk.

But these cells are much less roomy and comfortable than his was. This is a jail, no doubt. And considering that we see a shot of Tony – his arm in a sling and sporting a black eye – in the center of this room after this picture, it seems he is getting his first real look at what Ross ultimately wants for the Avengers. Registration leads to imprisonment and, sooner or later, death. Just ask the Jews rounded up in Nazi Germany and sent to the death camps – or the thousands of people the U.S.S.R. sent to the gulags. How did those monsters find all these people to condemn them to death?

Registration. That’s how they found them to round them up, send them to the death camps, and eventually kill them. And this is why Cap is so against registration for the Avengers.

I may be wrong, but there is some kind of placard at the bottom of the stairs that lead to each of these cells. I cannot help but wonder if these plaques are for names, marking which cells are set aside for which Avengers. Creepy, isn’t it?

I hope Tony is feeling the chill, too.

This photo here shows Cap chasing after Black Panther.

Chase

This is obviously an underground tunnel, but it is not a U.S. tunnel. And these vehicles, while they are probably of American manufacture, are not in America. Based on the blurry shot of the vehicle going down the tunnel adjacent Cap and Panther’s, a friend estimates this chase occurs in Europe. Or with cars owned by Europeans. It is hard to be sure because of the motion of this shot. But this chase is definitely going down in an underground tunnel, not a parking garage.

This photo is half a hoot and half terrifying.

Yikes!!

Tony is facing off against the Winter Soldier, and finding out that the man is as deadly as his rap sheet says he is.

This photo is interesting for several reasons, not least being Tony’s frightened expression. He is obviously unhurt at this juncture in the battle. Very obviously. The injured arm and black eye he has in other scenes during the trailer are conspicuously absent here. Wherever Tony is, he has not yet had a tumble on the tarmac with his anti-Registration teammates.

In fact, it seems he is at some diplomatic shindig. Perhaps the U.N. meeting at the building we see get blown up – apparently by Bucky Barnes?

This photo raises more questions than it answers. Since Tony is unhurt, we might assume that this scene is set prior to the civil war between the Avengers. This, in fact, might be what cements Tony’s decision to join Ross in promoting superhero registration.

This opens up a whole new set of possibilities. If Bucky didn’t attack the U.N. building – and his statement in the previous trailer that he “[doesn’t] do that anymore” implies he was framed for the attack – then this attack on Tony could also be a ploy. How HYDRA or Zemo would pull this off, I do not know. But this attack on Tony could very well be nothing more than an attack by a lookalike, a clone, or someone disguised as Bucky Barnes. This fight would certainly serve HYDRA’s purposes. Surviving an assassination attempt will doubtless firm Tony in his dislike of Barnes at the same time Cap is learning his old friend got out of the killing gig not long after Winter Soldier.

It could also mean that Bucky is fighting residual HYDRA control. HYDRA may have a codeword or some other program buried in his subconscious that reactivates his brainwashing, if only for short periods of time. Failing that devious “gotcha” plot twist, the only other explanations are that this is a fake attack, or that this is the battle where Tony earns his broken arm. That last, however, seems somewhat unlikely.

The next picture shows Cap in a rundown apartment kitchen.

Kitchen

There are newspapers plastered to the window on his left (our right), and a hole in one of the tiles over the kitchen counter. This place obviously has not been well-maintained by the owner(s) of the building, though it is clean enough to suggest the occupant of the place does not want to live in a complete rat-hole. But the person living here also does not want to be seen – hence the newspapers on the window.

Considering Cap says in this scene, “This doesn’t have to end in a fight,” I think this is Bucky Barnes’ hidey-hole. Hawkeye, while joining Team Cap and going on the run with them, probably left his farm to head straight for the base. I do not see him living in this kind of dump, and there is definitely no reason for Cap to tell him, “This doesn’t have to end in a fight…”

Wherever this place is, Cap finds Bucky here.

Unfortunately, this next picture is terrible.

Lab

Since it was frozen in mid-motion, this picture is very blurry. But from what we can see of it, Tony has just backhanded Cap across the room. Behind the two of them, you can see Bucky. It looks like he has a gun in his hands and has it raised. Or he is in the process of raising it. It is hard to tell for sure.

What we also see here is that the three are in some sort of underground complex. This is probably a HYDRA base and the location of the climatic final battle between the Registration and Anti-Registration Avengers.

The place looks like a lab – the Dr. Frankenstein type. This is most obvious because of the cylinder with the yellow glow on the right hand side of the shot. It is hard to see because of the watery blur from the camera’s motion, but by zooming in you can make out a person seated inside that cylinder. It is nearly impossible, however, to see whether this person is a man or a woman. Whoever it is, though, seems to have a stump where their right arm should be, as well as some sort of wire/tube coming from the top of the cylinder to attach to their body.

Particular features are impossible for me to gain here. But this scene got my mind whirling with possibilities. Is this a clone of Bucky Barnes? Is it the original Bucky Barnes, which would mean that the Winter Soldier we have seen since Cap 2 is a clone? Most pointedly – WHAT IS TONY DOING FIGHTING CAP WITH THIS HORROR SITTING RIGHT ACROSS FROM HIM?!?!? *Smack forehead and growls with irritation.*

We will only know when we see the film, naturally, but this scene is certainly something to look at closely.

Next picture we have here is this:

Claws!

I snapped this photo mostly to gawk at the length of Panther’s claws. Yikes!!! He could rip a man to shreds with those things! If you watch this scene a little more, you will see that when the chopper starts firing on the two, bullets literally bounce off of Panther’s suit. A vibranium outfit definitely has its perks.

Another thing to consider about this photo and the Bucky/Panther fight scene we glimpse is the location. This is not a U.S. city. The weathering is not consistent with most U.S. climes. This location is warmer than all but certain U.S. cities. My guess is this city is on the Mediterranean, while a friend has suggested it is in the Middle East. However, it could be anywhere. I am no expert on architecture, and these buildings could be in any of the places listed. Heck, I could be wrong and they might be fighting on a rooftop in the U.S.!

Wherever they are, these buildings seem to be along the same lines as Bucky’s apartment. Rundown, not well-maintained, non-descript apartment complexes which middle-class or upper class people would not get within sight of except on the freeway. The perfect place for the Winter Soldier to lie low and stay off the radar.

Until now, that is.

This next photo is of Natasha:

Black Widow

I am not sure, but I think this scene is from the airport tarmac in Germany. A friend suggests that it is a hospital. Either way, if you watch Widow closely during this clip, she seems to have tears welling in her eyes. I tried to photograph that part of the scene and failed, so if any readers can confirm that – not to mention the location of this shot – I would be most grateful.

Next is this photo of Team Cap charging at Team Iron:

Charge!

This shot I saved for the simple reason that I thought it was cool. On a recent study, though, I noticed something else: black smoke rising from somewhere behind Cap and his team. They were in a battle of some sort before facing off with Team Iron on the tarmac. Tony and his team might even have come in response to whatever conflict Cap and the others were involved in prior to this moment.

Also in this scene, we get a semi-clear look at Cap and his team. Wanda has changed into her combat gear here, and Ant-Man has also joined Team Cap by this point. I will be interested to see if he still has those shrink/grow disks in this film, or if he has upgraded to a shrink/grow gun, such as he had in Avengers Assemble’s second season. The gun would probably be more accurate and practical, but we will have to wait and see.

Here we also get to see Falcon spreading his wings and Hawkeye in his new gear. Later scenes show he has upgraded his main weapon again. Clint built all his bows in the comics, and if he does not maintain that practice in the Cinematic Universe, I would like to know where he gets his bows. Like in the scene where he is apparently out cold on the floor at the Avengers’ base, his suit has only one full arm, while the other is partly bare. His quiver is strapped to his back over his right shoulder (so how did it end up on the floor next to him at the base…?), and he has a glove on his left hand. Renner is left-handed, but in the comics Hawkeye was ambidextrous – either naturally or through training. This is an interesting costume upgrade all the same, though.

Sadly, this is not a great shot of Bucky. But it does not appear that he has any heavy artillery on him in this scene – unless it is strapped to his back and hidden by his hair at this moment. I cannot tell for sure. Cap’s gloves do not have fingers here, and this suit seems to be a melding of the one he had in Ultron and Winter Soldier. It appears a little old-school, but has some new touches to it.

These next two photos show the two factions drawing toward their clash at the airport.

Attack 1 Attack 2

Wanda, Falcon, and War Machine are hard to see, but if you look closely you will be able to make out Wanda and Rhodey. Falcon, unfortunately, manages to blend in well with the airport buildings in the second photo.

In these pictures, we see Wanda bending her knees and powering up to fire off some of her power. Rhodey’s trajectory suggests he is aiming straight for Falcon, who looks to be on a collision course with War Machine. Vision is aimed up toward Wanda. He and the Scarlet Witch are definitely going to tango here – and how!

On the ground, Cap is raising his shield to block a blast – or a fist – which Iron Man is preparing to deliver from above. Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and Bucky have all opened some distance between themselves and Cap, so their leader will have room to two-step with Tony. This puts Bucky on a direct path to tangle with T’Challa again, while Black Widow is apparently making a beeline for Hawkeye. Ant-Man is a good pace behind both Hawkeye and Bucky, who are neck and neck as they race toward their separate challengers. Who Scott Lang will be dancing with in the opening of this scene is hard to tell, but he will not be allowed to stand back and watch the others battle for long. That is for sure.

This next picture is taken simply for fun:

Really, dude?

This is the scene where Tony calls in our friendly neighborhood traitor to snatch Cap’s shield. Tony is already sporting his purple-black eye, but the real kicker is War Machine’s mask. As a friend of mine said, it looks like the War Machine armor is underwhelmed by Tony’s call to Spider-Man. What I do not understand about this clip is why Widow is standing behind Cap when Spidey hauls the shield off his arm and webs his hands together. Why did Cap let himself get surrounded?

These last shots show the camera focusing in on the Webslinger.

Spidey 1 Spidey 2 Spidey 3

I was not as enthused by the first sight we have had of the new Peter Parker as others are, but I was surprised to see that the lenses covering his eyes have focusing capabilities. This is new, and probably to help augment the emotion in Spider-Man’s voice. If Spidey has to shout “Whoa!” and show surprise, it will help if the lenses in his mask widen to show his shock, the way they do in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series.

These are not the only scenes in the trailer to catch my attention, readers. But I think this post is more than long enough. These scenes were the ones which gave me the most to think about, and now that these speculations have been passed on to you, we can all sit back and wait for the movie to come out. But let’s try not to bite our nails bloody or grind our teeth to the gums, okay?

See you later, readers!

The Mithril Guardian

Spotlight: Avengers – Captain America/Steve Rogers

Captain America

“Avengers Assemble!”

You know, readers, it was not that long ago that I had no idea who Cap was. My first taste of Marvel stories were TV shows about the X-Men and/or Spider-Man. Cap showed up very rarely in either set of storylines, so his adventures and character were never really explored. After all, in a TV series about the X-Men or Spider-Man, the show is going to revolve around them and their particular friends, enemies, and problems. There is not much room in such a story for guys like Cap (let alone all the other Avengers).

Then the first Iron Man film hit theaters. I did not pay much attention to it at the time beyond learning that Iron Man was not the robot I had thought he was for years. (Like Cap, he never got much screen time in X-Men/Spider-Man TV series. And when he did show up, he always wore his armor. Secret Identities were all the rage back in the 1990s, unlike today.) I heard about Iron Man 2, which the media were crowing about after it hit theaters, but I somehow missed out on all the hype over Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Then I heard about The Avengers. By this point, I had begun researching some old comics I had picked up. Most of them were X-Men comics, with a couple (literally) of Spider-Man stories. These were old news to me, in a way, but the few comics I had with the Avengers in them were hard to understand. I knew who Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were (thank-you, X-Men TV series), but Hawkeye was an unknown and Cap I knew only slightly. He was from World War II, and that was all I could tell you about him.

So I did the only thing a curious person could do. I started looking up these Avengers. One of the first I looked up was Captain America – and it was not long before I discovered that Cap was a character I could support on practically everything.

It is hard to describe Cap. This is not because, as his numerous critics like to say, he has a character as colorless as plain glass. I suppose part of what makes Steve Rogers/Captain America so hard to discuss in terms of personality is the fact that he consistently makes the right choice, all the time, every day. And he does it in such a way that readers/viewers are always aware of how he makes his decisions.

No matter the situation, no matter the danger, no matter the temptation to take the “easy way” out of a crisis, Steve does not swerve from his moral compass. “This is right, this is wrong,” he says.

In this writer’s opinion, no other character in modern literature – with the exception of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy – has been written in this way. At some point, every other hero has weakened, made a compromise with his moral compass, or taken a nosedive over a moral cliff, only to claw his way back up to “hero status.” Superman may come close to Cap’s record, but I stopped paying attention to him a few years ago, so I cannot comment on him very well.

This is why so many people love Captain America. And this is why so many other people hate him. This is shown when they call him a “Boy Scout,” “old-fashioned,” or – my personal favorite – “idealistic.” On top of this Cap is the embodiment of everything that makes the U.S. great. He defends the weak, fights for truth, justice, freedom, and he never gives up.

It may sound clichéd and dry, readers, but it is true. There are people who still will tell you that Cap is “not so great.” That he “hardly has any personality,” or that people only notice him “because [he] wears a flag on [his] chest and thinks [he] fights a battle of nations!” Even Chris Evans, the man who portrays Cap in Marvel’s wildly popular Avengers’ themed films, downplays Steve Rogers as a “dry” personality. What is so interesting about Cap?

Uh, how about everything?

In an age when the United States of America and everything good it was founded on is belittled and hated, from within and without, any character that embodies the U.S. is disparaged for the simple reason that they are American. The talking heads howl endlessly that, “America has made huge mistakes! America has problems! Our country isn’t worth loving!”

Yes, the United States has problems, which I am as aware of as anyone else who lives here. Yes, we have made mistakes, and a number of them have been blatant, horrible lapses in our public consciousness of right and wrong. Looking at this resume of faults, I feel close to tears, and I was not even alive for most of these events. That does not mean that I feel those national mistakes any less keenly than if I had lived through them all, and I can believe that a lot of people hate us for them.

And I know that Cap feels the weight of America’s mistakes, too: “When I went under, the world was at war. I wake up, they say we won. They didn’t say what we lost.” He saw the America he loved united and fighting for the survival of the world, not just for its own survival, when he went into the ice. Then he wakes up seventy or more years later to an America that is self-obsessed, petulant, despairing, fractured, and under attack.

But he does not throw in the towel on his country, like a lot of people today want to do. He puts on his uniform and goes out to do what he did back in the Great War: he fights for the values his country was founded on, he fights for his people, and he fights to make sure the world can survive so that it can go on forging its destiny. That last part is the hardest battle because, after defeating threats from space, Cap still has to deal with the haters, tyrants, and other evil people who live here on good old terra firma.

Although the U.S. has made mistakes and is in trouble, and seemingly going through the “terrible teens,” Cap does not give up on it. He does not give up on the hope that the country he loves will turn itself around. Which brings me to the other thing about Captain America that people love and people hate: he never gives up hope. No matter the grimness of the situation, no matter how hard and hopeless the battle becomes, Cap still hopes that everything will turn out all right – even if he and his teammates may not live to see it.

In this way, Cap also resembles Aragorn. Growing up, Aragorn lived in Rivendell under Elrond and his people’s care. In Imladris – Rivendell – his true heritage, his real name, were completely hidden from him. Elrond, instead of calling him Aragorn, named him Estel in his youth. In Elvish, Estel means “hope.” And throughout his long years battling orcs, men, and Sauron, Aragorn never lost hope that the evil in Mordor could be defeated. The appendix to The Return of the King, which tells his and Arwen’s story, says that hope was “like a spring” inside him, and laughter and mirth would bubble up at the most unexpected times, startling his friends and enemies alike.

The same description could easily be applied to Captain America. Despite every battle wound, every act of evil by people like Thanos, Galactus, or Henry Peter Gyrich, Cap still keeps going. And at the seemingly oddest times, he will suddenly start laughing, and point out a weakness that his enemy thought was well hidden. Cap knows himself and the world very well. But he knows and still has hope. And that is a great tipping point in any battle, for as Napoleon said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”

These are the reasons why I think Cap is the greatest Marvel hero, and these are the reasons why he is one of my favorite Marvel characters. He is all-American, always good, always makes the right decision, all the time. And he never, EVER quits – or gives up hope.

If I had to face all the evil that Cap directly battles before sitting down to breakfast, I would probably quit. When looking out over the U.S. in its current state, I do feel like giving up. What in the world am I going to do to make a difference? I am one small person, with one small voice, that nearly no one can hear. What good can I do?

Not as much as Cap, I have to say. But I think he would smile at that – and probably laugh a little at it, too. He would probably tell me and others like me, “Why do you think you have to do lots of big, important things to change the world? Small things don’t seem like much, especially from the point of view of the person doing them. But do you think we got where we are – with the good and the bad – by doing big things? Some of us have done big things to change the world, that’s true. But most of us just do the small things. And those small things, all added together, make a bigger difference in the world in the long run than the greater accomplishments do. Sometimes, they even help the great accomplishments to occur.”

And he would be right to tell me that.   If Cap was a real man, and if I was someone who could follow him into a fight, I would. He is the kind of leader I wish we had. And I know I am not the only one who wishes he was a real man. If I were, then the Avengers’ and the Captain America movies would not be nearly as popular as they are.

Excelsior!

The Mithril Guardian

All Webbed Up

Spider-Man

Hello, Marvel Writers!

Amazing!  Spectacular!  Scarlet!  Iron!  Superior!  Ultimate!

How many other superlatives are going to fit in front of Spider-Man?  Personally, I was quite satisfied with ‘amazing.’ 

Adjectives aside, Peter Parker’s life has hit the ditch.  He and M.J. are no longer married (why?), Aunt May has gone and married J. Jonah Jamieson (!! 😛 !!!), and recently, Doc Ock took over Spidey’s body and appears to have killed him.

That’s not going to last, I’m sure.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I really liked the thought of ol’ Webhead and Mary Jane getting married.  You say you guys split them up because she was more of a confidante for him.  What better confidante can he have other than a wife?  After all the pain he’s been through (and continues to endure), the unluckiest hero’s personal life was at least looking a little brighter than it had previously while he and M.J. were together.  He deserved it, I believe; especially when everyone else in his life was getting battered to pieces. 

I’m talking about Norman Osborne, who refuses to leave for the great beyond. Harry Osborne – I don’t even know what’s happened to him lately, other than he’s been killed and brought back to life.  Flash has suddenly become a double amputee. Aunt May has married J. Jonah Jamieson (fixing her up with Phil Coulson was less disgusting).  And Madame Web is dead, with former super-heroine Arachne taking her place (and what about Arachne’s daughter?  NCIS isn’t a nursery, after all).

With all this going on, it’s a wonder Pete’s not in hiding.  Not to mention his new responsibilities as an Avenger, and he’s not on the best of terms with several of his teammates right now.

It’s like Spidey’s whole world – not to mention the world of all the other super heroes – has spun out of orbit (oops, pardon the pun).  His life’s begun pinballing in a thousand different, crazy, illogical directions all at once. 

What happened, not just to Spidey, but to all the heroes?  Everything was going just fine, and then some sort of crazy bomb went off and the Marvel Universe was torn to tatters.  Friendships broke, characters were shattered, disasters erupted, and all the good guys suddenly developed nearly psychotic dark sides that they can’t seem to keep in check.

Real life doesn’t work like that.  People don’t just abruptly cut loose into insanity en masse.  If they did, we’d be in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse right now.  Why should the Marvel Universe suddenly develop this unreasonable tilt to its axis?

Yes, I know our Webslinger is traditionally thrown into the meat grinder.  He really ought to be inducted into the “Most Tortured Superhero” Hall of Fame.  That’s not the issue here.  The problem is that this isn’t the meat grinder; this is the shredder.  Spider-Man and many others are being shredded and then taped back together improperly.

They don’t deserve this.  More importantly, the fans and readers-in-passing don’t deserve this.  It has got to stop, and soon, or the Wallcrawler and several of his contemporaries are barely going to be salvageable.  Spidey’s too good to die off completely in the hearts of fans.

That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be remembered well once the shredder has been unplugged and he’s been put back together.

Sincerely,

Mithril (A Troubled and Frustrated True Believer)