Maybe a little overused, but this is the only way I know how to represent my reaction after the announcement that was made by Marvel this weekend. Marvel promised the biggest announcement of 2014 at the New York Comic Con this weekend. The convention came and went much like the San Diego Comic Con with promises of a big announcement, and nothing that particularly wowed the crowd. Marvel revealed that they would be rebooting the Secret Wars series in the comic universe. While this is cool, and Secret Wars is pretty awesome, this does not seem like the biggest news of 2014 with Guardians 2 being confirmed, among other bombshells that have been dropped.
However, the biggest news was yet to come. On Sunday, this picture was released by Marvel.
Relaunching each of these in the same year is a crazy move. These are two of the biggest events that Marvel has ever done, and Marvel has become known for relaunching stories that are being used for source material. Speculation began to fly. Is Avengers 3 going to introduce Secret Wars? Civil War? What happened to the Infinity Gauntlet!?!?
Nipping at its heels came the announcement that blew all of this out of the water. Robert Downey Jr. signed to join the cast of Captain America 3 for a measly 40 million dollars. To give reference for what that means, he was paid 50 million for Avengers. Translation: our boy RDJ is gonna have a big ole’ roll in this movie. Iron-Man will be making much more than small cameo. In fact, Marvel announced that Cap 3 will be the beginning of Civil War.
At this point, I have never freaked out more about a Marvel announcement. I talked about this possibility earlier this summer, but there was no firm confirmation until now. I had no idea how Civil War would be set up due to the severe lack of pivotal characters, but in case you missed it: if Sinister Six bombs, Marvel and Sony are going to enter serious talks about moving the rights of Spider-man and affiliated characters to Disney. Spider-man, being a pivotal character in the Civil War story, would perfect the timing of this announcement giving me the idea that talks between the two studios are much farther along in talks than anyone is letting on.
So, how is all of this possible? That is a ton of progress to be made from now until 2016. We only have Age of Ultron and Ant-Man coming out between now and Cap 3. I don’t expect Ant-Man to take any time to try to set up this conflict, so its up to AoU. Based off of what we know of the plot, the Marvel Universe may very well be in shambles by the end of the movie. Maybe some SPOILERS here, but its a bunch of speculation, so don’t freak out too much. Tony Stark is going to be pretty bummed out by what Ultron and the rest of his Stark Tech is capable of after the events of AoU. The events will cause every Avenger to fall on opposite sides of guilt. Some will believe that the only way to repay their debt to a nearly destroyed society is to continue to fight in ambiguity, and other will feel a call to subject themselves to regulation. We will see a complete shred in the Marvel Universe that will ripple throughout all of the movies in Phase 3. Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and Thor 3 will all outline the effects of the beginning of the Civil War on every scale in the universe.
While details of how all of this craziness will ensue is still unknown, some things have been revealed. The biggest piece of info is certain team affiliations. Cap will begin to assemble his own team to fight the registration. The people who are being talked about for this team thus far are Falcon, War Machine, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and possibly the Vision. Yes, a bunch of sidekicks for now, but I think some of the main cast will be able to join in later. Marvel may just want to keep those affiliations a secret until AoU hits.
Clearly, tons is happening in the Marvel universe right now, and this announcement has only made the waters more unclear. However, this is the logical next step for a hero-heavy universe with very few standout recurring villains (excluding Thanos who has had very little presence thus far). Comic fans who have read the series are no doubt excited to see one of the greatest cross-over events play out on the screen. I am sure this will not be the last time I write on this topic, and I promise to keep you up to date on all the latest news.