10 Potentially Decisive Factors in the Outcome of Civil War

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Captain America: Civil War is set to be released in a couple of months (how exciting is that?!), and the biggest question on everyone’s lips relates to which team is going to win.

Will it be Captain America’s team? He’s got the Winter Soldier, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, and Sharon Carter fighting alongside him. Or will it be Iron Man’s team? He’s got War Machine, Vision, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Black Widow fighting alongside him.

Who knows? There are a veritable plethora of possible variables that could make the difference in the war. This article will list just ten of them.


Captain America: Civil War. Source: Marvel Studios

Captain America: Civil War. Source: Marvel Studios

Morality is going to be an incredibly important part of Captain America: Civil War, and the simple fact is that it could come down to which team is presented as being “in the right”.

As with any superhero movie, the “good guys” tend to win. If Captain America’s rebellious team is presented as being in the right, because they know the Sokovia Accords are corrupt, they will likely win. If Iron Man’s team of compliant heroes is presented as being in the right because they think it’s best for the world for them to comply with the Sokovia Accords, the war is probably theirs.

It is going to be very interesting to see exactly which team is presented as right and, regardless of that, each team will have its supporters in the form of millions of fans around the world.

On a note somewhat related to this point, the next point…

Public Perception

The Sokovian public. Source: Marvel Studios

The Sokovian public. Source: Marvel Studios

The way the Marvel Cinematic Universe public react to this conflict and the reasons for it could be key to its outcome – after all, it’s the death of innocent civilians that prompted the Sokovia Accords in the first place. That’s not to say that whoever they side with will win, as it depends on exactly what the public have been led to believe in the first place.

If the public have been manipulated by someone like Baron Zemo to believe that one team is in the wrong, they will turn against that team and support the wrong team. If the public know the truth from the start, they will support the correct team.

Regardless, public perception will be key, as that is a great tool to utilize when it comes to presenting one team as being morally right. If the public support the wrong team, their opponents will win. If the public support the right team, that team will win.

Speaking of Baron Zemo, incidentally…

The Villains

Baron Zemo. Source: Marvel Comics

Baron Zemo. Source: Marvel Comics

Aside from the main battle happening in Captain America: Civil War (between the two teams of heroes, led by Captain America and Iron Man respectively), there will be another threat: villains.

Baron Zemo is set to be the main villain, while Crossbones will be a secondary villain. The latter is likely to be responsible for an incident for which the Avengers are blamed, which prompts the introduction and implementation of the Sokovia Accords.

Exactly what Baron Zemo’s role will be is still unclear, but he is certain to play a big part in the battle, and could be pivotal in its outcome. How? It’s impossible to say at this stage, but Daniel Brühl’s character wouldn’t be in the movie if he wasn’t playing some part – and it could help to sway the battle in one team’s favor.

But there could be a more obvious deciding factor…

The Team Power Levels

Captain America: Civil War. Source: Marvel Studios

Captain America: Civil War. Source: Marvel Studios

On the face of it, the two teams in Captain America: Civil War look very lopsided in terms of their power-levels – and it’s not looking good for Captain America on that front.

The majority of Captain America’s team are merely street-level heroes – Scarlet Witch aside, but even she’s something of a glass cannon (Ant-Man could be a wildcard, however) – while Iron Man’s team packs one hell of a punch.

Iron Man himself has a lot of firepower, as does War Machine. And Vision has a damn Infinity Stone in his head. Add Spider-Man into the mix and Captain America’s team looks incredibly outgunned. Could it be as simple as one team being more powerful than the other?

Maybe it’s not actually that simple at all…

Potential Allegiance Switching

Captain America: Civil War. Source: Marvel Studios

Captain America: Civil War. Source: Marvel Studios

The teams we see before us in the build-up to this movie might not be the teams that end up being together at the end of the movie itself, as there is always the possibility that members of each team could decide that they are fighting on the wrong side and switch allegiances mid-conflict.

There are rumors, for example, that Black Widow is actually working undercover on behalf of Captain America to infiltrate Iron Man’s team and find out how to defeat them and/or what their plans are, while Spider-Man is expected to start on Iron Man’s side and could switch allegiances, as he did in the comic book version of Civil War.

Essentially, a switch in allegiance could swing the tide in favor of the team to which any given character moves, which could be decisive in the overall outcome of the battle.

And speaking of a certain Webbed Wonder


Tom Holland will portray Spider-Man. Source: mirror.co.uk

Tom Holland will portray Spider-Man. Source: mirror.co.uk

There’s absolutely no doubt that this movie will be epic, but there’s equally no doubt about the fact that the one character everyone can’t wait to see is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.

Captain America: Civil War will be the first time Spider-Man has been seen on the big screen alongside his fellow heroes and, as the most popular character in Marvel comic books, it’s hard to imagine his introduction resulting in a defeat.

Whichever team Spider-Man ends up on (and it could be either, given the precedent set by the Civil War comic book arc) will probably win, because it would be very anti-climatic to see the new star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe defeated in his debut appearance.

But he’s not the only character we can’t see losing…

The Flagship Franchise Character

Iron Man. Source: Marvel Studios

Iron Man. Source: Marvel Studios

Up until now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s been absolutely no doubt who the franchise’s flagship character is – and that man is Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. He has three solo movies to his name, and has been decisive in the victories attained by the Avengers in both of the team’s ensemble movies.

With that in mind, it’s very difficult to see the character losing. He’s become iconic in cinema in general – his popularity has transcended the comic book genre, and he is now simply one of the most popular movie characters of all time.

Could it be that Marvel Studios are too scared to have a character of his standing lose a battle? It’s very risky, given what is expected of him by his millions of fans. He overcomes every obstacle put before him – putting a stop to that trend could be damaging to the franchise as a whole.

But, wait a second! He’s not even the main star of this movie…

The Titular Character

Captain America. Source: Marvel Studios

Captain America. Source: Marvel Studios

When it comes to superhero movies, there’s a very noticeable trend that has been established over many years – the titular hero never loses. Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America himself – they always win in their solo movies. Always.

In Captain America: Civil War, the titular hero is obviously Captain America. Can we really see Captain America losing in a movie in which he is the headlining star? It seems implausible, so surely his team will defeat Iron Man’s? Right?

You’d certainly think so, but this is no ordinary superhero movie. He’s up against a team of established fellow superheroes who are also undefeated on screen. That complicates things. Still, it’s also difficult to see such an established precedent being ignored.

Something much bigger than Captain America could be decisive in the outcome of this movie…

The Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War. Source: Marvel Studios

Avengers: Infinity War. Source: Marvel Studios

Chris EvansCaptain America himself, no less – has stated that Captain America: Civil War will provide the platform from which the events of the Avengers: Infinity War movies will begin.

Given that the Civil War is fixed on Earth, it was initially difficult to understand what he might mean but, when you think about it, it could be really obvious.

What if the heroes are fighting each other when they are informed of the threat of Thanos – perhaps by Adam Warlock, Doctor Strange, Thor, Odin, or the Guardians of the Galaxy, for example – so the war comes to a peaceful end when they opt to put aside their differences and realign themselves with each other for the good of the Earth in preparation for the coming of the Mad Titan Thanos?

It’s a fairly obvious conclusion to come to. Unlike this next one…

As-Yet-Unknown Variables

Sentry. Source: Marvel Comics

Sentry. Source: Marvel Comics

Of course, there is always the potential for intervention from someone or something that nobody outside of the production team has even thought of yet – us fans included.

What if a powerful hero we’ve yet to see decides to intervene in the battle and brings it to a stop by displaying his/her ability to annihilate both teams unless they do as he/she says (Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange or Sentry, for example)? Or what if a powerful new villain emerges who prompts the teams to put aside their differences?

The world of Marvel is so vast that there are thousands of potential characters and concepts that haven’t emerged in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. Any of them could step in, see the damage that the Civil War is doing to the Avengers, and bring it to an end for the good of the world, or cause the heroes to work together once more.

It’s certainly a very intriguing prospect.

What do you think? What will the deciding factor be in the Captain America: Civil War movie? Will it be any of these? What else could swing the tide or bring it to an end? Have your say below!

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