Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Road To Civil War

Avengers (Dis)Assemble?

The long wait is almost over. The biggest superhero get-together consists of a cast that is only rivalled by Fox’s X-Men. With the exception of Thor and the Hulk, the Avengers find themselves battling their most challenging foe yet; the government.

It’s not about the heroes as much as it is because of the heroes.

The government has always wanted to be at the top of the food chain. It sees itself as the alpha and the omega of human civilization, nay, human existence. It simply can’t bear with the fact that there are beings whose power exceeds their wildest imaginations. They want in on the glory, the power and the action. And what better way to do that than to vilify the very people who save the world.
It is going to be a multi-layered movie. It’s about just one friend (Captain America) doing all he can to protect his friend (Winter Soldier) at the expense of another friend (Iron Man). It’s about the government that wants to ‘control’ these heroes to achieve certain goals for the sake of peace. Call it ‘redistribution of resources’. They call it providing oversight to the heroes’ activities. It’s about a party that intends to destroy the establishment by setting friends against each other. When the dust settles, they will build a new one in the ashes of the old world. 

At the centre of it all is the mysterious absence of Nick Fury. He’s the one who worked tirelessly to keep the Avengers out of the hands of the government. Without him, the sharks are out for blood. They may even orchestrate disasters just to get public sentiment against the heroes.
Why Nick Fury? Because he’s been seeking a means to use their power for the good of the earth from the very beginning, and the council opposed him even then. They didn’t want to have to thank anyone but themselves. They believe that the people should trust their own governments rather than individuals. Hence, they label them ‘vigilantes’. They seemingly operate without any oversight. But that is false from the get-go. Ever since New York, they have operated under Nick Fury’s watchful eye (hehe). With him believed to be dead and SHIELD disbanded, the power vacuum is there for the taking. And Tony Stark wants to fill that void. Now, if there’s anyone that manages to deal with the government, it’s Tony Stark. It’s also an attempt by the government to have someone else to blame for their mistakes. They’re disavowing the people who cleaned up their messes. Remember that they are the ones who wanted to nuke New York while the Avengers were dealing with the Chitauri? Unlike heroes, governments can accept collateral damage. Well, the heroes don’t do it for praises or for ‘ulterior’ motives. They do it because it’s the right thing to do. And they will do whatever it takes to protect their lives and civil rights. No needless sacrifices have to be made. 

Currently, the Avengers are run by Captain America and bankrolled by billionaire Tony Stark. Nick Fury operated in a supervisory capacity, but has gone missing. Obviously, this will be the World Security Council’s chance to override his authority and have superhumans handed over to them directly.
As for our heroes, where are they?

Well, Hulk is AWOL, and Thor is in Asgard investigating the Infinity Stones. But here’s the rest of them:

Iron Man
Reeling from the bittersweet events of Age of Ultron, Tony Stark feels solely responsible for the destruction of Sokovia. In all honesty, it wasn’t entirely his fault. It’s Scarlet Witch’s fault. Let’s not forget that she’s the one who poisoned his mind and assign blame where it’s due. True, he rectified things and got a kick-ass gift in the process (The Vision). He’ll be having nightmares about recklessness for quite a while. In his downtime, he’s been making sick upgrades to all the suits in his keep, including War Machine’s and Falcon’s. If he’s aware of how Ant-Man got into Falcon’s suit the last time, not doubt he’s made his armors ‘ant-proof’.

Captain America
Steve Rogers has spent most of his spare time looking for his long lost buddy, Bucky the Winter Soldier. To this end, he enlisted Sam ‘Falcon’ Wilson. When they found Bucky, he was only recovering from his years of brainwashing. He’s still more or less a shell of what he used to be. Steve is just happy to have his best friend back and catch up on lost time.

Scarlett Witch
Wanda Maximoff has undergone some training under the tutelage of Captain America and Black Widow. She clearly has a better handle on her abilities, but there’s a lot she’s yet to learn about them.

War Machine
James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes is finally part of a team. Now he’ll have better stories to tell his comrades than those pedestrian ones about threatening arms dealers. Also, he’s long overdue for a race against Falcon, who’s arguably the best flier in the team (even if Rhodey is a decorated USAF pilot). Admittedly, I’m stumped as to which suit offers more maneuverability, so it’s down to the pilot. So far, Sam’s better.

Sam Wilson is more than happy to spend his retirement alongside the Sentinel of Liberty (#Cap). Of course the reappearance of Bucky means his closeness with Steve is questionable. But, now that he’s part of a team, the fight’s never far away. Also, considering the outlandish demands of his new job, Tony Stark was kind enough to give him a brand new suit with advanced capabilities and a remote drone code-named ‘Redwing’ to assist him on missions. His wings are bulletproof now.

Ant Man
The last time out, Scott Lang was introduced to Avenger Falcon, who sent word out to find him and recruit him for the New Avengers. And he’s sporting a new Ant-Man suit! Being such a fanboy, he was more than willing to join the elite group. 

Winter Soldier
James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes former cold war assassin is just trying to piece his life back together. Good thing he has his best friend Steve to help him that. But it also means that the umbrella that was HYDRA is no longer there to protect him from his enemies. Since SHIELD files were leaked to the public, even the Winter Soldier’s deeds are out in the open, and people are out for blood. He decides to go on the run. It’s not entirely his fault though; he was brainwashed the entire time. 

Black Widow
Natasha Romanoff has been helping Steve train and guide the new team. Obviously she has a score to settle with the Winter Soldier.

Clint Barton retired to the family life. After Sokovia, he’s more than happy to never see the battlefield again. But, as they always say, you can’t keep a good man down.

The Vision
The ‘android designed by a robot’ is taking time to understand what human life is all about. Being the custodian of the powerful Mind Stone is serious business. And he’s taking his responsibilities seriously.

First hinted about in Ant-Man (reports about a guy in New York who swings around and walks on walls), teenager Peter Parker is doing rounds as a rookie crime fighter. Tony Stark takes the young science protégé under his wing and he’s ready to kick ass.

Black Panther
The enigmatic leader of Wakanda gets involved in matters for personal reasons. T’Challa is grieving his recently deceased dad, T’Chaka, and is hunting for those responsible. At the same time, he has to take over the mantle of the Black Panther from his father and look out for his country’s interests. Along the way, he meets Tony Stark, whom he considers a peer in the science and technology world. At least Tony has someone to talk science to in the absence of Dr. Bruce Banner.

Allegiances will be questioned, loyalties will shift, individual beliefs will be shaken to the very core. But who is the man holding the strings? I won't be surprised if it's a certain 'Dell Rusk'.