Movie Reviews

What If Civil War Happened NOW? Which Heroes Would Be Team Cap & Iron Man

It’s fascinating to imagine which sides the MCU’s heroes would have picked had Captain America: Civil War happened in Phase 4. In the comics, the passing of the Super Human Registration Act tore the superhero community apart. It all culminated in a spectacular battle in Times Square, as the teleporter Cloak unwittingly transported two small armies of warring heroes into New York. Captain America: Civil War was based on the same idea, but it had a rather smaller scale; there were far fewer heroes in the MCU at that point. The passing of the MCU’s Sokovia Accords certainly led to a spectacular action sequence in the memorable airport battle, but it lacked that sheer sense of scale seen in the comics.

The MCU’s Phase 4 slate has essentially been about expansion. It’s introduced countless new superheroes, some of whom were apparently even active during the events of Captain America: Civil War, while others have only recently gained their powers. The rapid expansion of the MCU naturally raises the question of just what side these Phase 4 superheroes would have chosen had the Sokovia Accords being passed later on in the MCU timeline, in an imagined world where Iron Man and Captain America were still around. Here are the most likely sides they’d have taken.

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Played by Florence Pugh, Yelena Belova’s Black Widow is a tough one to call. Although Yelena is free-spirited and independent, it’s interesting to note she’s fallen in with the Contessa’s Thunderbolts program, presumably in part because this gives her a degree of legitimacy. It’s likely, therefore, that Yelena would have originally been Team Iron Man. Like her “sister” Natasha, though, this Black Widow’s commitment would have been lacking, and she’d potentially have switched sides.

Shang-Chi is another Phase 4 MCU hero who’s difficult to place. He’d be a priority for Iron Man to recruit, given the sheer power of the Ten Rings. Had he found Shang-Chi first, Tony Stark would probably have been able to convince him by presenting arguments about the responsible use of power and personal redemption (Shang-Chi will undoubtedly remain motivated by a desire to redeem his family history after Wenwu’s millennia of terrorism). Shang-Chi would be uncomfortable with rounding up other superheroes, meaning his commitment would be questionable.

The Hulk was of course offworld during the events of Captain America: Civil War, so he really needs to be included as something of a bonus. He’s pretty easy to call, because Bruce Banner’s close friendship with Tony Stark would naturally mean he wound up siding with Iron Man. In truth, Banner would probably have been in favor of the Sokovia Accords anyway; he’d have felt guilty for the Hulk’s rampage in Johannesburg, and he’d have considered supporting the Sokovia Accords to be a way of working to put things right.

The Eternals have been part of the MCU since arriving on Earth around 5,000BC. They’re still not public knowledge by the end of Eternals, so they’d have been able to go under the radar even after Phase 4. The Eternals would have certainly wanted to do so; they take a longer view of history, and the Sokovia Accords would be nothing more than a blip in their lifetimes. Ironically, this probably means they’d have wound up fugitives had they been randomly discovered by enforcers of the Sokovia Accords. This would have allied the Eternals with Team Cap, but it’s possible some of them could have split away from the others and tried to negotiate amnesty with Team Iron Man.

Related: Marvel Phase 4 Could Restart The MCU’s Civil War (Because Of Eternals)

The world only learned about Doctor Strange and the Masters of the Mystic Arts after the events of Avengers: Endgame, when they participated in the final battle against Thanos. In the comics, the U.S. government sought a special agreement with Doctor Strange due to his power-level and the kind of threats he fights; the United Nations would probably have taken the same approach in the MCU. Wong would have been the key decision-maker here as Phase 4’s Sorcerer Supreme, and he’d most likely have signed up to this just for a quiet life. It’s difficult to imagine Doctor Strange and the Masters of the Mystic Arts actively participating in the superhero civil war, though.

Like the Hulk, Thor Odinson was offworld during the events of Captain America: Civil War. That’s probably a good thing for Team Iron Man, because there’s no way he’d have ever signed up to the Sokovia Accords. The God of Thunder would have considered himself above petty mortal laws, and he’d have become one of Captain America’s most powerful allies. It’s thrilling to imagine a version of Captain America: Civil War that featured Thor and the Hulk on opposing sides.

The relationship between Thor and Jane Foster was a troubled one, its fires only rekindled when Jane transformed into the Mighty Thor in Thor: Love & Thunder. Had Jane Foster been a Thor during the superhero civil war, he’d likely have wound up on Team Iron Man. Although Jane has a natural distrust of government agencies (dating back to the first Thor film, when SHIELD stole her files), she’d understand the need to hold superheroes accountable for the potential threat they pose to civilians should a mission go wrong. It would be interesting to see Thor and Jane going head to head.

Played by Teyonah Parris, Monica Rambeau gained super-powers in WandaVision. Naturally aligned to the U.S. government, Monica would have been an instant recruit to Team Iron Man. It’s entirely possible she’d have wound up switching sides over the course of the superhero civil war, however, because she’s fiercely independent and has learned the hard way people in power can be corrupt. She’d have surely wound up questioning the motives of key figures involved in pushing the Sokovia Accords, such as “Thunderbolt” Ross.

Related: Marvel Finally Ended The MCU’s Civil War For Good

Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop would be an easy fit for Team Cap. In the comics, the Young Avengers operated without the support of the main Avengers team and all wound up arrested as illegal vigilantes. There’s no formal Young Avengers team in the MCU (yet), but the MCU’s Kate Bishop would have followed a similar path on her own. Ideologically, Kate is far too much of a loose cannon to be happy signing up to the Sokovia Accords, and she’d view Clint Barton’s Team Cap allegiance as confirmation she’d made the right call.

Moon Knight actually implied Oscar Isaac’s vigilante was active at the time the Sokovia Accords were in force, so he clearly didn’t sign up after the events of Captain America: Civil War. It’s easy to imagine a world where Iron Man and his fellow registered Avengers stumbled on Moon Knight, and he wound up on the run, even joining Team Cap. May Calamawy’s Scarlet Scarab, the new Egyptian superhero introduced at the end of Moon Knight season 1, wouldn’t have been happy registering either.

Quite a few superheroes were offworld during Captain America: Civil War, and Captain Marvel is one of them. In the comics, Carol Danvers (then going by the alias Ms. Marvel) was one of the main supporters of the Super Human Registration Act, and was placed in charge of a pro-registration Avengers team. The MCU’s Captain Marvel would make a similar choice, although she’d go in with her eyes wide open given her past membership of a (Kree) government-sponsored superhero group. Iron Man would have been glad to have this powerhouse on his side.

This would have set up an interesting clash with Iman Vellani’s Ms. Marvel, who’d have gone to Team Cap. Captain Marvel may be Ms. Marvel’s hero, but in the comics the relationship between the two has often been a difficult one. The main cause of conflict lies in their different views on authority, with Carol Danvers trusting decision-makers and Ms. Marvel instinctively challenging them on behalf of the vulnerable. This character trait can clearly be seen in the MCU’s Kamala Khan (note that she doesn’t even consider turning herself in to Damage Control), so she’d undoubtedly have been Team Cap.

Related: Civil War Already Proved Your MCU Phase 4 Fears Wrong

Ms. Marvel introduced viewers to the Red Daggers, an ancient order who have protected the world from the Clandestine. They clearly existed at the time of Captain America: Civil War, so evidently didn’t see the need to register. To be fair, Aramis Knight’s character appears to be the first one who’s masked up as a vigilante, so it’s possible the Sokovia Accords didn’t apply to them until he’d suited up. Had he come to the U.N.’s attention, this youngest Red Dagger would surely have ducked the Sokovia Accords and become Team Cap.

It’s interesting to note how many of the MCU’s Phase 4 superheroes would have swiftly aligned with the Sokovia Accords, only to have second thoughts. Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters would have initially registered, but she’d have then attempted to challenge the Sokovia Accords in law. The creation of the Raft would have shocked her, however, given heroes were imprisoned there with no hint of due process; the Raft is deliberately situated in international waters, allowing the U.N. to circumvent basic human rights laws. This would have led She-Hulk to switch sides, becoming Team Cap.

Charlie Cox’s Daredevil is now officially part of the mainstream MCU, which means it’s also fair to consider whether he would have signed up wiith the Sokovia Accords. The writers of the Netflix Daredevil series clearly assumed he wouldn’t do so, simply because Daredevil’s secret identity protects his loved ones. It’s already clear the MCU’s Daredevil is a lot less concerned with secrecy – he’s unmasked with surprising ease in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and even makes comments suggesting he’s a lawyer to villains while in costume. For all that’s the case, though, Daredevil probably wouldn’t want the entire world to know who he is behind the mask. Daredevil would be another Team Cap recruit in a Phase 4 version of Captain America: Civil War.

Werewolf By Night revealed monsters have always been part of the MCU, notably including Gael García Bernal’s Jack Russell. In interviews, writers have hinted the MCU’s werewolves are immortal, and there have been comments Jack Russell has been alive for centuries. Given this means he was a werewolf when the Sokovia Accords were in place, he must have either not heard about them or chosen not to register (in keeping with other werewolves). The same would be true in Phase 4, and if hunted, Werewolf By Night would have become Team Cap.

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In contrast, it’s surprisingly easy to imagine Elsa Bloodstone choosing to side with Team Iron Man. The new head of all monster hunters, Elsa is sure to try to reinvent the profession, and she could easily see the Sokovia Accords as an opportunity to gain some much-needed legitimacy. The U.N. would have surely sought the same kind of agreement with her they’d have negotiated with the Masters of the Mystic Arts, although some of Elsa’s fellow monster hunters may have opposed this. Others, however, would have been keen to have fun chasing down super-soldiers in a Phase 4 version of Captain America: Civil War.

Next: 1 Civil War MCU Moment Proves Wanda Was A Villain Before Doctor Strange 2

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