Mar 21, 2018

The MCU Roundtable: Captain America: Civil War/Ant-Man

If you’re anything like us, than you were blown away when the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropped.  The extended Comics Cube family was so excited that we have decided to embark upon a full re-watch of the Marvel Studios film series.  Every week we are going to watch and provide a roundtable discussion about each Marvel movie in release order.  Next, we're doing a two-for-one, because Marvel moved up Infinity War by a week. (Hey, we're not complaining!)

Countdown to Avengers: Infinity War
Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War was released on May 6, 2016 and made $179 million on its opening weekend.  It ended its theatrical run at $408 million in the United States and $1.2 billion total worldwide.

But before we get to that, Ant-Man was released on July 17, 2015 and made $57 million on its opening weekend.  It ended its theatrical run at $180 million in the United States and $519 million total worldwide.

DUY: I saw Ant-Man with Katherine and another high school friend in LA a couple of years ago. It was a fun time, and I remember cool visuals and Scott's friend the most. The purist in me is still annoyed they didn't go with Hank Pym though.

MATT: It's an Edgar Wright movie, just no Pegg and Frost. And you, know, him leaving during production. But first, let me digress...

ANTONIO: I really wanted to see the Edgar Wright version of this movie. What we got was cute and endearing, but I wanted to see Wright’s craziness at work.

DUY: I know Edgar Wright was taken off this movie, but a good portion of it still feels just like him. I just saw Baby Driver and there are a whole lot of stylistic similarities, not to mention that they're both heist movies.

JEFF: I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie when I first saw it. The shrinking effects looked great, and Micheal Pena stole it as  Luis. Using Lang instead of Pym was an interesting choice. The more expected thing would have been to start with Hank and have a Scott Lang cameo, so it's nice to see them not go with the obvious direction and perhaps we'll see a Hank movie set in the Cold War eventually.

DUY: How is it that we've seen exactly just one period piece so far?

JEFF: They're focused on pushing the Infinity stones story and its harder to insert more past heroes that are never mentioned in any of the phase one movies, retcons are easier in comics. Captain Marvel at least is going to be set in the past so success there could prompt then to explore other stories like that.

I think my big complaint about the movie is just that it's generally by the numbers. There's nothing so wrong with that. They can't all be game-changers. -Duy

MATT: Ultimately, this one does suffer from the Phase 2 villain problem. Yellowjacket, meh. Playing with size was good, Scott's motivation was good, Rudd was clearly having fun, Evangeline Lilly is a much better Ant-Man than him, Michael Douglas was also having a blast. But, I need a five-person crew to really pull off this heist.

DUY: Playing with the size led to pretty good effects, though I admit it spoiled me for Dr. Strange. It's also just hard for me to see Paul Rudd as anyone other than Mike from Friends.

TRAVIS: Scott is the least interesting part of his own movie. Too much of the size difference material was too similar to every other size-change movie we've ever seen. And, it was best when it was purely silly, but it seemed to hold back on that so much in order to be a fairly by the numbers heist/sadsack-criminal-does-big-score flick.

MATT: I agree with Travis. It was best when goofy, which means more of Luis. I like that they focused on a new generation (minus Cap, he short circuited that step). Having another person discover another new thing is a bit derivative of Iron Man. Hank is set up as a guy who thumbs his nose at the Starks, so it's a good split there as well.

DUY: I think an argument could be made for Pym being a better inventor than Tony Stark, thus far, and Tony is simply more famous by virtue of him being Tony. A famous-for-being-famous person.

MATT: You can sort of see it in the Yellowjacket suit. It's more Iron Man like and Pym's isn't.

KATHERINE: There was also a contentious relationship between Hank and Tony’s father, so why would he trust Tony and his whole enterprise? (As Scott tells him in Civil War “As Hank Pym always said, you never can trust a Stark.”)

DUY: Also our first indication that the sentiment behind the Avengers is being split. "They're probably too busy dropping cities."

KATHERINE: It is funny that the argument can be made that they don’t call on the Avengers in most of the solo movies 'cause nobody trusts Tony.

DUY: This is the first movie with a blatant crossover cameo from someone who's not supposed to be there, really. So: The Falcon scene. Out of place or a nice nod to the shared universe?

KATHERINE: Love it. Love Peggy and Howard being in the beginning too, which is why it makes sense that Tony would have some of the tech in Avengers storage since they used to collaborate.

ANTONIO: A nice nod and it sets up his inclusion in Civil War.

KATHERINE: I’ve never had a problem with the cameos and connections to other movies, I think it’s super fun. And again this shared universe stuff has never been done before, so I understand the logistical limitations when there’s stuff they can’t do, but it’s super fun when they can do a little something. Plus, playing a little bit of the Avengers theme when they flew over the building gave me such a little thrill.

DUY: Who wins the Val Kilmer Award?

MATT: Pym, Van Dyne, or Luis?

KATHERINE: I vote Luis! I love Luis! He has so much unbridled positive energy, I can’t think of any other characters quite like him in the MCU (oh wait, other than Korg!!) so he was such a refreshing happy presence.

DUY: I think we can all agree that Hope had us wanting more.

JEFF: For recommendations I'd suggest Avengers: The Trial of Yellowjacket,  which has Ant Man and Hawkeye teaming up against the Taskmaster, and Under Siegewhere Ant Man and Wasp defend a comatose Hercules against Absorbing Man and Titania.

TRAVIS: Aguirre-Sacasa & Hans's Avengers Origins: Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Irredeemable Ant-Man.

DUY: So on a scale of 1 to 10, how much is everyone looking forward to Ant-Man and the Wasp?

TRAVIS: More than I thought I would. The trailer looks good and it got my brother's kids excited. It feels like they learned from the "mistakes" of Ant-Man. Or, they just cut the trailer to make it seem they have, but I'll still give it a chance.

JEFF: 7, I enjoyed the first one enough to look forward to this one. The thing I take most from this movie is that for me it solidified that Marvel could take just about any of their heroes and make it a hit.

DUY: I think my big complaint about the movie is just that it's generally by the numbers. There's nothing so wrong with that. They can't all be game-changers.

DUY: Ant-Man was on Captain America's side during Civil War. Whose side were you on?

PETER: As a government man myself, I'm on the government side. But Stark acted like a dick (of course, it's Cap's movie so he has to be portrayed more sympathetically, right) and Stark's team had the Vision (snore) but they also had Widow who I like the best, so...

TRAVIS: Tony was right. He's also a jerk and a dope, so his trajectory being right includes him doing everything wrong and hypocritically.

LAMAR: Cap's side. Making something a law doesn't make it right, or properly executed. Some stuff you have to just say "hell naw" to and let it be what it's going to be.

DUY: I guess the question is if Cap would have gone against the law if it were anyone other than Bucky, or even any circumstances other than Bucky being framed. Like if Bucky were just in trouble, maybe Cap would get Tony to help him out, but he couldn't do it if they were all chasing Bucky.

MATT: Tony is right in that they need oversight so no one becomes Vulture.

ANTONIO: Tony was right in the real world. Unfortunately, he also allied himself with General Ross, so you automatically lose all credibility once you’re taking orders from the same guy who has been trying to kill your Science Bro for the longest time.

KATHERINE: I thought this was so well done because it’s pretty rare to set up a conflict in a movie where they’re both kind of right and both kind of wrong. I totally empathized with both sides. But Cap’s my boy so of course I’ll ultimately side with him.

ANTONIO: Since the government in a Marvel movie is never, ever to be trusted, I’d say Cap was right.

Tony was right. He's also a jerk and a dope, so his trajectory being right includes him doing everything wrong and hypocritically. -Travis

KATHERINE: Similar to what Antonio said, I think in theory Tony is right, but in practice Cap is right. And it makes total sense with the overall trajectory of their characters through these movies. Tony was a cocky bad boy who had to be tamed and humbled and now suffers from PTSD and guilt so he doesn’t really want to be making the decisions anymore (also he was never really a leader to begin with). Cap was a humble guy with a heart of gold who put his life and trust in a government that went on to betray him, and he had to learn to fight for what’s right.

DUY: I think my biggest problem with the movie is its very premise, and I said the same thing with the original comic. I just can't believe these two would fight to that extent, and also, when Tony pulls the "So was I" line, my initial reaction is, "What, no you weren't!" They've spent the Avengers movies at each other's throats measuring their dicks. Of course Steve's not picking you over Bucky. That's where the premise falls apart for me; he's clearly not as close to Tony, so Tony pulling the friend card is just weird and desperate

JEFF: No, it's just Tony's ego thinking something that was never there. Like someone who thinks they're liked and respected but really everyone can't stand to be around the person

DUY: He's definitely the dude from work you have to get along with because he's high up, but no one likes him.

JEFF: Yeah so of course he thinks him and Steve are buds cause to him who wouldn't want to be friends with Tony.

KATHERINE: But I appreciated that they weren’t trying to kill each other for no reason like Batman v Superman (well, until the last fight at the very end, but that was a different thing). Team Iron Man was just trying to contain and arrest them to bring them back to Ross, and Team Cap was just trying to get to the planes. I felt like as much as it’s possible to show it in a big high-stakes action sequence where the danger should feel real, it still seemed like they weren’t really trying to hurt each other. The two sides had a philosophical disagreement, but the reason for the actual physical battle between the two teams was really more logistical and practical.

JD: Civil War walked a lot of thin lines. Everything is set in motion through deaths in many families, yet it's not a dark movie. Its all about the spectacle but it can still feel close and real. I was Team Cap but they made it very easy to empathize with each side.

JEFF: One of the things I love about this film is how Stark and Rogers are characterized as the perfect examples for their respective side of the conflict. In Steve you have the perfect moral compass. he may have the purest heart to know what's right and what's ultimately wrong, he never wavers throughout the film from his convictions and he's seen from SHIELD the danger when people with harmful intentions are in charge. With Tony we have a character who wants accountability and the government to keep powered individuals in check become that out of control weapon when he tries to kill Barnes out of vengeance.

TRAVIS: Steve is a pretty broken moral compass outside of an action movie where he's the hero. Of course, Tony is that times nine. Falcon might actually be a better "moral human being," than Cap, when you consider his day job, his ability to deal with women substantially better, and his willingness to trust the orders of others. Of course, the guy he trusts, in these, is Cap, so it comes back around.

KATHERINE: I think in the last two movies Cap’s gone from being a soldier to being a patriot in a different kind of way — by becoming an activist. We see that debate a lot, especially nowadays in our current political climate: what defines a patriot? Are the people working for the president patriotic because they’re upholding the office and trying to follow the rules, or are the ones resisting him patriots for upholding American ideals and trying to fight for justice?

DUY: That's in Black Panther too.

KATHERINE: It’s a pretty complicated question. But this quote from Thomas Jefferson seems to sum up what Cap is about here: "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so."

LAMAR: I think having a reference for superpowered people is a good idea, in and of itself. But as a general rule I'm not for lining people up and telling them what they can and can't do. Nobody seems to want to do that with non-powered people with access to great power, like politicians for example. More than anything Cap's stance was that the people are the ones with the real power, not the other way around, and laws should be written with that in mind and the way a nation thinks should reflect this.

MATT: It's very oddly a middle movie. Setup for Infinity War, rather than a standalone Cap movie. Even though I think of it as the lesser of the Cap movies, it's still in my top half of Marvel movies. Evans does earnest real well and Cap does get character development through his movie appearances. But this is basically a mini-Avengers movie, with too much going on. It tries to make Tony the villain, when it should really be Zemo (they do keep Hydra in there though).

KATHERINE: I always thought they make it pretty clear that Zemo is manipulating everything (it's even more clear on subsequent viewings, but I really enjoyed the twists and turns on your expectations about what he's manipulating and to what end). Personally, I never thought of Tony as the villain nor did I think they were setting him up to be one. Antagonizing force, definitely, but not a villain. Did anyone else think that way? I felt like they were two beloved characters on opposite sides of an understandable ideological divide, and they want the audience to argue about who's right (like we're doing now!), but it's not supposed to be that clear cut.

I think in the last two movies Cap’s gone from being a soldier to being a patriot in a different kind of way — by becoming an activist. We see that debate a lot, especially nowadays in our current political climate: what defines a patriot? -Katherine

DUY: I'm firmly in the "Widow was right" camp. Sign the accords, get the public's trust back, but you have to be willing to go off the book when lives are at stake.

KATHERINE: Totally agree that Widow was right, but as a former spy, it was in character that she would be okay with switching sides. Cap can’t break a signed promise!!

ANTONIO: How much trust are ya really gonna win back if you sign the accords and a few missions later breaks the laws? That’s even if you make it more than one mission without doing so.

DUY: And that segues nicely into the scene where Widow turns and the most famous scene in the movie: the airport scene. How'd this fight shape up for you guys?

JEFF: The airport fight was a lot of awesomesauce but it also showed that Marvel has no idea what to do with Vision now cause, when you think of it, he should have easily taken out Cap's team with minimal effort given how powerful he is.

DUY: If you look at it, Vision spends a whole lot of time offscreen doing nothing. He really tips the scales too far.

MATT: The fight at the airport is well done, with a cameo by the Arrested Development stairs.

TRAVIS: It's fun, but it's slow for a superhero fight. My mom asked if it was that slow for little kids to follow easier. And... maybe.

KATHERINE: I love it. I never thought of it as being slow, I loved that they all had their moments to shine. But I wonder if some of the feeling you guys got might tie into them not trying to kill each other, as opposed to other superhero battles where they're destroying as many minions as quickly as they can. The only one on that battlefield that has any deadly intent is Black Panther going after Bucky. Everyone else is just trying to either distract, contain, or slow the other side down.

TRAVIS: There's a difference between trying not to kill someone and just dancing around, though. If Iron Man, at this point, has no non-lethal armaments his armor, that's a problem. Bring a net, some rope, not just mini-bombs, maybe. Still feels weird that Rhodey was the one to go down. I know it helps motivate characters and the plot, but he's encased in armor, highly trained, an experienced combat vet. Scott Lang, almost canonically in these movies, can't fight and is out of his element.

DUY: It had to be Rhodey, thematically. He's Tony's equivalent of Bucky, and the guy who evaded the attack is (arguably) as highly trained as he is. Probably even better trained in flight fighting.

TRAVIS: I don't like to call "bad writing," but that's just bad writing to me. If he wasn't the only one to get smashed up, even.

ANTONIO: No one woulda cared if It had been Lang.

DUY: It had to be someone from Tony's side because you needed someone who would say that even after they got hurt, they would have still signed the accords. So that rules out Spider-Man. Can't be Vision (his big destruction is being saved for Thanos), or Widow (she defected), or T'challa (obviously). So that really just left War Machine, the guy who was most adamant about signing them anyway. Should someone from Cap's side have gone down too? Maybe, but for what purpose, plotwise? They all get caught and imprisoned.

TRAVIS: I'm not saying he can't be the one to go down, but there has to be a better way to do it than what they ran with. It seemed lazy. Especially since it happens separate from the big fight, as almost an afterthought.

DUY: MCU Plothole? Spider-Man easily takes on Falcon in this one, but has a really really really hard time with the Vulture a few movies later

JEFF: Well they were in a building which could limit Falcons maneuvering and speed.

Since the government in a Marvel movie is never, ever to be trusted, I’d say Cap was right. -Antonio

DUY: Zemo's plan ran on so much "I hope this is what they do" moments though.

TRAVIS: I'm almost glad he's reinvented for their purposes. The two Zemos you really have to work with, one is a pure cartoon with a purple bag on his head, and the other has that weird "ethical Nazi" angle. "He believes in himself, that's a code of ethics!" Not, necessarily, by the writers, but his fans. That's easy to screw up bad in a movie.

DUY: There is the complaint that Zemo is so far removed from his comic book counterpart. But the fact that he doesn't die gives me hope that he'll be back in full-blown Baron Zemo gear. Which means he's in my Masters of Evil. They can keep movie Zemo's backstory. I just want to see that costume live.

TRAVIS: Zemo's adopted sons and daughters would be creepy as hell onscreen. Now, that I think about it.

KATHERINE: What I liked about Zemo's plan though was that it counted on them being the best versions of themselves and being heroes that could put their ideological differences aside to help each other in a pinch. That Tony would come around and still try to help them once he found out about Zemo’s plan. Whereas Lex’s plan in Batman v. Superman counted on them being the most selfish, dumbest versions of themselves.

DUY: It's not like BvS is a high bar, Kat!

JEFF: Zemo's plan is really convoluted to arrange for them to fight each other. It depends too much on things falling into place for him. What if Cap signed the accords and talked the authorities into letting him be the one to bring in Bucky?

DUY: I sound like I'm hating on Civil War, but it's a movie I really like. I just don't quite love it.

MATT: Yeah, that's where I'm at. I think the movie uses sound and imagery to portray Tony as a sympathetic antagonist. Making Tony look bad is not a hard sell to me — it fits with comics Tony — but I don't think they made the leap to following-authority Tony (especially after him hacking a hellicarrier in Avengers). 

KATHERINE: I actually don’t see it as a Tony that’s suddenly just following authority, I think it’s a Tony that’s feeling traumatized and guilty for the part he played in Sokovia and doesn’t want to be held responsible anymore. He’s driven by fear of his Age of Ultron vision coming true and yet he knows his decisions screwed up his life (he admits to signing partly to try to get Pepper back), so he wants structure to keep himself in check cuz he doesn’t trust himself when left to his own devices. I read an analysis that Civil War is basically Tony’s big cry for help (which has gone repeatedly unanswered), which I thought was fascinating. 

MATT: More a continuation of his Iron Man 3 PTSD?

DUY: Ultimately, what carries over in this movie for me is the emotion. RDJ cements his status as the best actor on this roster, but Evans really plays that "I have my convictions" guy really well. We can see neither of them really wants to fight.

MATT: Seriously, these movies are stacked with talent.  I do think the Cap movies are the best, most consistent three of the singles. It is well written (there are clunky bits, but nobody's perfect), pretty good action movie. It's not better than Winter Soldier, but I do appreciate that the aims of Zemo (who is a good villain and doesn't die) are not world domination. In many ways, it's a smaller movie in the sense that it's a personal movie and the fact that it's a mini-Avengers movie is incidental.

DUY: I agree with the Cap movies being the most consistent; I do think this is the weakest one.

MATT: Yes, but it’s maybe the fifth best of the Captain America/Iron Man/Thor movies. The top two being the other Cap movies. The thing that cracked me up the most was Vision wearing clothes and I'm not sure why. Sam and Bucky going back and forth is definitely a highlight too.

DUY: This movie made me want a Falcon/Bucky buddy movie, without Steve. Just the two of them looking for Steve and getting into trouble. We also see Steve and Sharon starting a romantic connection. Falcon and Bucky in the car nodding in approval. Personally, I found the connection with Sharon weird, which is doubly weird because I like Sharon in the comics.

JEFF: It is weird and forced in the movies. They didn't really set it up right given the kiss happened after "aunt" Peggy Carter died. Peggy was his number one girl. Not enough time to develop the Steve and Sharon romance in the two movies she was in, maybe she should have been his date in Age of Ultron.

DUY: And the "I used to date your aunt" thing might have been a trope in the 60s (maybe), but it's just kinda weird here.

MATT: Yes, that was not well sold. There are definitely some weak points here and I think it's largely Sharon and Tony tolerating Ross at all.

DUY: Sharon Carter does provides the "No, you move" speech, which they then really kinda just hammer home the entire movie.

MATT: I also liked that they sell Ross as an asshole (remind us really) quickly with his intro. It's efficient because he's like fifth stringing in this movie.

I sound like I'm hating on Civil War, but it's a movie I really like. I just don't quite love it. -Duy

JEFF: This movie is one of the Marvel films I won't get sick of seeing, mainly for the action and Evans and there's a lot more to enjoy in this movie, like T'Challa letting his own need for revenge go after realizing he was hunting an innocent man all along.

DUY: Panther talking to Zemo about how it's time to let hate go kind of foreshadows the fact that going after Klaue in his own movie for the sake of vengeance is a mistake. Speaking of, this movie introduced both Spider-Man and the Black Panther. Did their appearances hype you up for their movies?

TRAVIS: Panther proved they could do it, for me. Spidey just reminded me I don't *need* any more Spidey movies. His stuff here was enough.

DUY: I'm a Spider-Man guy, so a part of me is always happy when he shows up. But I'm also a specific kind of Spider-Man guy, and I knew instantly that this wasn't gonna be "my" Spider-Man.

LAMAR: I was already hyped for Black Panther, but curious with what they were going to do with Spider-Man now that they have him back. I still haven't finished Homecoming (saving the rewatch for the Roundtable).

JEFF: With regards to the sides they all took, Hawkeye's seems a bit out of place. Comics Hawkeye would be with Cap no question, 'cause it's Clint thumbing his nose to authority of course but here I can see him on side of the accords.

ANTONIO: They house-arrested Wanda. While he’s all about responsibility and stepping up in the movies, I don’t think he cares much for how this came about and all the blame being put unfairly on them.

JEFF: Hawkeye was a SHIELD guy though, family man, retired even. It just seems a bit forced that he was put on Cap's team without something planted in Age of Ultron that he would be fight against the law like this.

KATHERINE: My take on Hawkeye was that he owed it to Scarlet Witch. He seemed to have adopted her after her brother died saving his life (he even named his baby after him), so he’s not just on Cap’s side, he’s saving her. Clint point blank tells Cap “besides, I owe her a debt.” Wanda’s twin brother literally died jumping in front of a bullet for him, what better reason is there to come out of retirement when she’s in trouble?

MATT: I never found Clint or Nat’s sides convincing, which they kind of admit in the airport fight.

DUY: I think Nat was sincere when she said she just wanted one hand on the wheel.

KATHERINE: For the most part, it feels like Cap’s crew is more about personal relationships and proving that the ideals set forth in the Sokovia Accords should not be absolute and unwavering when dealing with these individual cases. So Cap is there for Bucky, and Sam is there because of Cap. Then Clint is there because of Wanda. So on that level it makes sense to me. Ant-man and Spider-Man are just the recruited team members without real personal connections.

JEFF: As much as I enjoyed the airport battle, it's the end fight that makes this movie one of Marvel's best. Steve looks like he's going to beat the shit out of Tony who counters by analyzing Cap's fighting style, which gives us a battered Steve standing up to say he can do this all day to punctuate for us that Tony is villain here and everything that led to this is moot. Bucky killed his mom and he wants revenge. Damn. I loved how it played out.

DUY: That end fight runs on pure emotion. And Tony's last line, "That shield doesn't belong to you!" We know it's setting it up for Cap to get it back, but... damn. They built so much stock into those two characters that you can't help but root for them to just make up. Which they kinda ended up doing at the end.

JEFF: And he just drops the shield, the thing that matters most to Steve isn't an object. It's his friend.

DUY: His best friend, who's basically his brother

JEFF: Brother in arms at that.

You marry Cap / Bucky. But for a good time, call Thor / Loki. -Katherine

DUY: Sound off, ladies! Who's the sexier pair, Thor/Loki or Steve/Bucky?

ANTONIO: Just the ladies? This is bullshit!

DUY: I know who you're picking.

SAMANTHA: Pssh, Steve/Bucky. But Thor/Loki give them a run for their money though, even more so when you add in their dynamic in Ragnarok (which I guess we’ll save for the later Roundtable)! That said, Bucky’s brooding is just restaurant-quality-unbeatable and, in my mind, Loki’s mischievous stare is no match for it. Extra points for when they mercilessly tag teamed Stark and passed the shield between them for the best bro-op ass whooping ever.

KATHERINE: Argh this is such an unfair question! On most days my list order is 1) Cap, 2) Loki, 3) Thor, 4) Bucky. So if you average their rankings, Cap/Bucky and Loki/Thor both come out to an even 2.5! That’s a tie!! But if I must answer the question... if this was reality I might have to give the edge to Cap/Bucky. Bucky’s got that wounded puppy dog but also bad boy Jordan Catalano/Tim Riggins thing going on, and you know that both him and Cap are good people in their hearts. Whereas Loki can be too angry and unpredictable (and murdery)... and Thor is honestly sometimes just too pretty that it’s hard to look at him directly (it’s like staring into the sun). I guess what I’m concluding is... you marry Cap / Bucky. But for a good time, call Thor / Loki.

DUY: Not showing the other winter soldiers/having them being dead: cool twist or big disappointment?

JEFF: I kind of figured they were either dead or escaped, movie didn't have enough time for them to fight a bunch of winter soldiers and then have Steve vs Tony, which from the previews we knew was still coming

JD: I liked it. It gave Nemo another layer of his character.

DUY: Heeheehee. Nemo.

JD: Not an autocorrect. I actually typed that.

MATT: Movie was basically Finding Zemo...

DUY: Another aspect where the premise falls apart for me: Ross outlines all the times that the Avengers destroyed stuff, but for at least two of those (New York and Washington), they minimized the damage.

TRAVIS: Ross likes picking fall guys, though. He likes bogeymen.

JEFF: Ross starts that conversation saying the world owes them an debt it can never repay, then tells them that world wants force them into being regulated and subordinate to act when it says they can/will act. Well if that don't inspire people to want to save the world or stop an alien invasion, nothing will. Ross is an excellent choice for an antagonist for the team, would have been nice to see Peter Gyrich used in this too.

DUY: All my nitpicks can be easily explained by character flaws (Tony's ego, Ross being a dick), it's just, come on, everyone, get some perspective. And can anyone really blame Tony for being so pissed at Bucky at the end there? And what do you all think of Bucky actually taking responsibility for the stuff he did under mind control?

KATHERINE: I don’t blame him and I don’t think Bucky blamed him either, which kind of made it all sadder. I think Bucky had to take responsibility. I think he’d be less sympathetic if he denied it or didn’t remember. I envisioned the mind control to be like that Black Mirror episode where he’s conscious of what’s happening but he’s not in the driver’s seat, he’s stuck watching it happen but has no control to stop it. That’s actual torture that will haunt him forever, as opposed to the bliss of ignorance.

MATT: It’s all in Stan’s eyes.

JD: I don't blame him. That's one of those times when a fistfight to the death is acceptable.

ANTONIO: I get the lashing out part of Tony confronting Bucky, but it’s still not his fault. Bucky is as much a victim as Tony’s parents were.

KATHERINE: Totally agree. But acknowledging that would take a lot of thinking and rational reasoning that Tony couldn’t be expected to do in the heat of the moment, so I get it. I feel like the two of them seeing each other again will be really awkward and emotional.

JD: It will be interesting when Tony sees Bucky again.

DUY: It would be interesting to see where Clint, Scott, Wanda, and Sam ended up. We know Natasha's on the run, Bucky and probably Steve are in Wakanda. One wonders why they didn't just all go to Wakanda. Also,

DUY: So who wins the Kilmer Award for Civil War?

MATT: Mission Report December 16, 1991.

DUY: There's too many, but I'd probably give it to RDJ, actually.

MATT: For comics recommendations, one could read Civil War, thus concluding my only comic recommendation (as a comic I've actually read!).

JEFF: Captain America: The Captain is a good story of Steve giving up the Captain America name when told he had to be an agent of the government instead of operating on his own.

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