Alternate Takes: Captain America: Civil War
Welcome to Week 340 of Alternate Takes. My name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.
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For those of you who are new here, this column had been on hiatus since last July while I finished writing my book, Dollar Deal: The Story of the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers. Ashish was nice enough to let me put it on hold while I wrote my book and got it published, but then my hiatus from the column lasted longer than expected.
By the way, buy my book here…
You also may have noticed that I have only been around to host the weekly 411 Movies Top 5 and I have been absent from writing reviews for the site. That is because I moved from Oklahoma to the armpit of Texas and there are no press screenings here in West Texas, so I am not seeing movies in time to make my reviews timely enough. That sucks, but still, that is what I have only had the one presence on 411mania since last July.
Well, I am ready to start up Alternate Takes again, and I am going to morph the original idea for Alternate Takes with the comic book centered column it turned into. For those real old-timers who were here when I started this column in April 2008 (geez, I have been at 411 for eight years now), it was originally intended to take a new movie release and give 5 alternate movies that a person could watch based on the themes, actors, directors, and other important things about that movie.
Alternate Takes then turned into a comic book column, but it looks like Aaron Hubbard’s 411 Comics Showcase and the new Rob Stewart column Comic From Yesteryear is handling the comic book stuff fine, not to mention Steve Gustafson’s weekly look at comics
So, with that said, the new look Alternate Takes will take one comic book movie each week and look at the movie before offering up 5 alternate movies or books that a person can watch or read to enhance the enjoyment of that movie. So, without further ado, the first week back with Alternate Takes will look at is this weekend’s brand new release:
Captain America: Civil War
I have made it pretty clear here at 411mania.com how much I hate the Civil War storyline from the comics. If you haven’t heard my explanations, here is the column where I talked about it. So, with that said, I am very leery about this movie. On one hand, I trust Marvel to do right by their movies, but on the other hand, they seem to think Civil War was good enough to revisit again for Civil War II in the comics.
So, yeah. Anyway, here are my five Alternate Takes to get deeper into this weekend’s big Marvel release, Captain America: Civil War
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Early reviews make it sound like Captain America: Civil War is more of a sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier than it is to the last big Marvel movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. That is a good thing too, because Winter Soldier is one of the best movies Marvel has released. Now, this movie is still a reaction to Age of Ultron, thanks to the destruction of many cities around the world, but Winter Soldier shows why Captain America wouldn’t trust the government to control the Avengers because that showed how easy it is for the bad guys to infiltrate the government. Anyway, there is always a good reason to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
2. Amazing Spider-Man #536
Anyone who thought Iron Man was right got a real wake-up call with this issue of Spider-Man. The previous issue before this saw Spider-Man learn that all the heroes that Iron Man and the Pro-Registration Act captured were taken to the Negative Zone and Iron Man told him they would be there forever. Heroes, that spent their lives saving lives, were imprisoned forever without trial for refusing to register. In this issue, Spider-Man went on television and told the world what was going on and why he was standing up against Iron Man and the Registration Act, changing sides in the Civil War. With Spider-Man a part of the new Civil War movie, this is also an important issue to check out.
3. Civil War: Confession
The end of the Marvel Civil War came when Captain America surrendered when he realized that the fighting was not solving the real problem in the conflict. Cap gave up to Iron Man and was taken into custody. It looked like this would finally end the Civil War, which would also lead Tony Stark to basically imprison all the other heroes and pray that they could save the world without them in the future. However, this issue was an amazing one. See, Captain America was murdered while he was in custody and this issue was simply Tony Stark talking to the dead body of Steve Rogers and explaining that none of it was worth it. It was a great comic, despite me not liking the series in general.
4. Black Panther #1-5 (1998)
There are two heroes entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War. The first is Spider-Man, who everyone already knows about thanks to the five movies he appeared in over the last 15 years. However, the second has never been seen in a Marvel movie and that is Black Panther. The King of Wakanda, one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, is after Bucky in this movie, which puts him on Iron Man’s side of the war. If anyone wants a good start to learn more about Black Panther, just look at Christopher Priest’s run, which started in 1998. The first five issues have Panther arriving in America and being assigned a government agent to escort him and soon turns into an adventure as Panther starts to fight crime in America.
5. Ultimate Avengers vs. New Ultimates (2011)
Most people think of Civil War when they think of the heroes battling each other. With the new Civil War II getting started in June, it looks like a repeat of the original story with a better writer (Brian Michael Bendis) and a new reason for the fighting. This new series has a Minority Report slant to it, where Captain Marvel wants to stop people from committing crimes before they do it through profiling while Iron Man believes that punishment for the crime cannot come before the crime. It seems strange to see Iron Man taking the more humane side this time, after being such as fascist the last time around.
It is important to remember that the Marvel Cinematic world is actually based more on the Ultimates world, and there was a battle between heroes there too, with the Ultimates (the Thor, Iron Man, Captain America-led team) battling the Ultimate Avengers (a Nick Fury-led team that included Black Widow, Hawkeye, Punisher, and Blade). This is the giant battle that led to the death of Spider-Man, and much like Civil War, it ended with tragedy, although in the Ultimate world, there was no coming back for Peter Parker.
And there are my five Alternate Takes for the new Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War. If you have any other required reading or viewing, let me know in the comment section below. Next week, we will look back at X-Men: First Class in anticipation of the sure to be awesome X-Men: Apocalypse.