Only a couple of months after DC’s top heroes did battle in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Marvel’s Avengers are at odds with one another in Captain America: Civil War. Loosely based on the comic book series of the same name, Civil War finds the superhero team continuing to save the world from villains like Crossbones (Frank Grillo) while receiving growing scrutiny for the toll these battles take on the surrounding areas. Even the Avengers themselves can’t deny that chaos and destruction seem to follow them wherever they go, and the subsequent damage and death of innocents overshadows the good they are trying to do. In order to better keep these superhumans in check, the United Nations proposes the Sokovia Accords, an international institution to govern the activities of the Avengers and other superpowered beings.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) urges the rest of the Avengers to sign the Accords in order to stay in the public’s good graces and avoid further conflict with the world’s governments. Captain America (Chris Evans) feels that the Avengers should be able to act freely rather than get bogged down in bureaucratic processes, refusing to compromise. Never known for seeing eye to eye, Iron Man and Captain America’s friendly rivalry becomes more and more heated, especially after a bomb goes off at the Vienna conference where the Accords are to be enacted. When the Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) becomes the main suspect, tension reaches an all-time high within the Avengers.
As the battle lines are drawn, the rest of the team chooses its sides, joined by new Avengers Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland). When these forces collide in an epic airport battle scene, it’s what every comic book fan has imagined it would look like if the pages of their favorite books were to spring into live action. After the battle ends and both sides realize they have to work together to stop Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl), who has been playing the Avengers against one another while he tracks down the other five Winter Soldiers. But when Zemo reveals a dark secret that connects Cap and Bucky to a tragic event from Stark’s youth, an enraged Iron Man lets loose on both of them, resulting in yet another brutal fight that leaves all three of them in bad shape.
Considering the punishment the Avengers take at each other’s hands in Civil War, it will be interesting to see how things play out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But for those who stick around for the post-credit scene, there’s a pretty strong clue as to how this web will continue to be spun.