Let's start with a clear, direct, and unambiguous proclamation: This article obviously contains major spoilers, so if you haven't seen Captain America: Civil War, and don't want it ruined for you, do not read on any further!
If you do want to read on, scroll past this picture of Captain America!
Captain America: Civil War is awesome. It exceeded all expectations and put Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to shame. THIS is how you do a superhero versus superhero movie.
The great thing about Captain America: Civil War is that nobody in the huge cast of characters is terrible. The cast-management is fantastic. Every character plays his or her part, and there are no annoying Darcy Lewis types and no underdeveloped Malekith types. Everyone who gets screen-time does their job well. But the following are the ten who really stole the show.
Daniel BrÃ¼hl’s Helmut Zemo was nothing like the comic book version of the character, who is, of course, known as Baron Zemo – but this fresh take was one that was actually very good.
This version of the character was a Sokovian colonel from an elite miltary squad, who lost his family during the Avengers’ battle with Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron. He seeks revenge on the heroes by turning them against each other and crippling the organizations that supported them. He’s relatively successful, as they split into factions and fight each other, but the Avengers still end up existing in some form at the movie’s climax.
He tries to commit suicide as a result, but T’Challa prevents him from doing so – citing the fact that the living aren’t finished with him yet. He’s believable and one of the better antagonists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date – even though he’s nothing like the character he’s based on – and we’re looking forward to seeing more of him in future movies.
And now we move on to a new member of the Avengers, who we’re seeing for just the second time.
We got our first look at Paul Bettany’s Vision in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, when he was created to be the perfect body for the titular robotic villain, only to be brought to life as an Avenger using Thor’s lightning and Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S. A.I.
With a body made partly of vibranium, and an actual Infinity Stone embedded in his forehead, it’s hard to see how such a powerful being would fit in with more grounded heroes of the Avengers. But Captain America: Civil War did a great job of humanizing the heroic android, and we get a much better look at him in this movie.
He wears human clothes, displays some very human emotions and even does a little bit of cooking, which adds depth to the character and potentially sets up a future romance with Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch (even though the pair do have something of a super-powered scuffle at one point).
And now we move on to the very powerful superheroine we just mentioned.
Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, is one of the Avengers’ most powerful members, but we only got a glimpse of that in her full movie debut in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. In Captain America: Civil War, not only do we see more character development, but she also displays some new powers.
Granted, Elizabeth Olsen’s character isn’t fully in control of those powers – it’s her inability to fully control an explosion that tips the world’s governments over the edge and prompts the implementation of the Sokovia Accords – but things would be even worse without her intervention in the explosion.
She uses energy blasts, telekinesis, and force fields, but also displays the ability to fly as she uses her powers for the first time. She also develops as a person. We see her displaying affection toward Vision, admiration toward Hawkeye, and she steps up to do what she thinks is right, even though it means fighting against Vision.
And now we move on to Captain America’s most recent good friend.
Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, really comes into his own in Captain America: Civil War. Having first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier – a movie in which he fought the likes of the Winter Soldier and Brock Rumlow – this is the first time we’ve really seen him come into conflict with super-powered foes (aside from that brief and fun cameo in Ant-Man).
He really holds his own and grows as a character, making himself seem worthy of his membership in the Avengers (not that he’s an Avenger currently, after his fugitive exploits as part of Team Cap).
Wilson also has some funny lines; his rivalry with Bucky Barnes is almost as endearing as his friendship with Steve Rogers; and his fight with Spider-Man is brilliant. It will be awesome to see his aerial maneuvering and combat prowess in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
And now we move on to the first new MCU superhero on this list.
Chadwick Boseman makes his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as T’Challa, aka the Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, and he blows everyone away. Boseman plays the role with both a subtle, understated elegance and a ruthless aggressive streak – perfectly portraying both the Wakandan prince and the powerful warrior.
Joining Team Iron Man primarily to go after Bucky Barnes, after Steve Rogers’ pal is framed for the murder of his father T’Chaka, the Black Panther ends up in memorable brawls with the likes of Captain America, Hawkeye, Falcon, and Barnes himself.
He’s a formidable fighter who doesn’t look out of place in a big super-powered battle. He’s fast, strong, and durable, thanks to his vibranium-weave armor. He even manages to leave his mark on Captain America’s shield. We can’t wait for his solo movie in 2018.
And now we move on to a character who’s the focus of the entire plot of this movie.
Bucky Barnes has been on one hell of a journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date – perhaps more than anybody else in the franchise. Starting life as a kid in Brooklyn, and a friend of Steve Rogers, he joins the army. He’s then apparently killed in action, before being revived by HYDRA, brainwashed and kept in cryogenic suspension as their controlled assassin.
He’s fought his childhood friend in Captain America: The Winter Soldier; now, he returns in Captain America: Civil War as the man framed for the attack that triggered the implementation of the Sokovia Accords. Knowing he’s been framed, Captain America helps him escape the authorities, and the two somewhat rekindle their friendship.
Sebastian Stan’s character is great in the movie. His action scenes are superb, his character has developed significantly, and he’s become someone audiences are rooting for. He even has a couple of funny lines, which wasn’t expected. Now, he’s back in suspended animation in Wakanda, where their scientists will try to finally free him completely from HYDRA’s control.
And now we move on to the MCU’s flagship character, who has a key role in this movie.
Come on – when has Robert Downey, Jr. NOT stolen the show whenever he’s been in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date? Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is the flagship character of the franchise – and with good reason. The genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist is as charismatic as they come and, even in a sort of antagonistic role in this movie, he shines.
Wanting to abide by the Sokovia Accords puts him on a collision course with the more cautious Captain America and, as a result, we see a darker side to Tony Stark – he’s prepared to go to war with his former friend and his rebellious allies.
At the same time, he’s still as charming and as funny as ever. And, as always, Iron Man’s action scenes are impeccable. The film ends with Iron Man as the figurehead of a very different Avengers roster – and we can’t wait to see him again, as usual.
And now we move on to the titular hero of this movie, who simply had to be in this list.
Chris Evans has nailed the role of Steve Rogers, aka Captain America since his first appearance as the character back in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger – and Captain America: Civil War is no exception.
In an ensemble cast of superstar actors, Evans brilliantly takes the lead. He plays a slightly darker role than he has done as Cap in the past, but maintains the morality that the character is famous for.
His action scenes are fantastic, his likable personality shines through, and he’s formidable in a war in which, quite frankly, he should be outgunned. He’s funny, charismatic, and imposing – three things that aren’t easy to be all at once – and he leads his rogue faction superbly. He proves that he can be the star of a movie in which he could could quite easily be outshone.
And now we move on to a surprise show-stealer, who is making his second MCU appearance.
You’ll notice that we haven’t referred to Scott Lang as “Ant-Man” here – and with good reason. Captain America: Civil War sees the unorthodox superhero growing to gigantic proportions as well as shrinking to the size of an ant – which only makes him even more awesome than he otherwise would be.
Lang doesn’t actually appear until the movie’s second act, but he’s well worth waiting for. His inimitable sense of humor brings a bit of light to what is, up until that point, quite an unusually dark Marvel Studios movie.
He proves his worth among fellow superhumans with an impressive performance, in both his tiny and giant forms, against Iron Man’s team. He fights the likes of Iron Man himself, Vision, Black Widow, and Spider-Man, before being taken down by the Webslinger. We simply can’t wait for 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp now!
And now we move on to the major star of this movie – you must know who it is by now!
Who else? When the hype around a character is as huge as it is around Tom Holland’s new interpretation of Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, quite often that hype ends in disappointment. Not this time though; Holland is exceptional.
And when a character lives up to that level of hype, there’s no better way to describe him than by calling him a show-stealer – which is exactly what’s happened here. Welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Webslinger!
Holland’s Parker is humble and nerdy, while his Spidey is talkative and formidable, yet inexperienced – all of which the young British actor conveys brilliantly. He has some fantastic action scenes, including battles with the likes of Falcon, Bucky Barnes, Ant-Man/Giant-Man, and Captain America. We simply can’t wait for his solo movie, as well as the Avengers: Infinity War movies.
And that’s all, folks! We hope you enjoyed this article!
What do you think? Are these the ten best characters in Captain America: Civil War? Who else should have made this list? Black Widow? Hawkeye? War Machine? General Ross? Sharon Carter? Crossbones? Anyone else? Have your say below!