Premiere of Captain America: Civil War set for May 6

cap-1When Joe Simon and Jack King Kirby first created “Super American,” changed to Captain America before first printed, I’m not sure if they foresaw that he would be leading the Avengers into the hottest film of 2016, 66 years later. Nor did King Kirby, who originally penciled Cap, tied to his first ever strip in Marvel Mystery Comics, The Vision, anticipate they would be on apparently opposing sides. However, if the second teaser trailer aired during Super Bowl Fifty is taken at face value, this appears to be the case.

Cap has come a long way. From his first comic in December 1940 released by Marvel predecessor, Timely Comics to a brief stint under the oppressive Comics Code of America established in September of 1954 which pretty much limited everything except Archie Comics. In 1964 however, Captain America made his return in Avengers Issue Four and has been a staple of Marvel Comics, only behind Spider Man since.

As the years passed, so did technology and how our heroes were delivered. For Cap, in the forties a short television series run, two awful made for television movies in the seventies, a low budget film that never saw release in the eighties.

His subsequent comic death in Issue 25 of “The Death of Captain America” in March of 2007 was so profound, it was even reported the death of Captain America by ABC News, where Bryan Robinson paralleled the event to the Post-September 11 World and Iraq.  Then came the tesseract and the integration of the Marvel Universe on the big screen.

Marvel has done something quite unique in motion picture history over the past decade. It has created a universe, interlocking storylines over several of its superhero features with one adjoining story arc. Beginning each tale is the origin story, then a reimagining showdown with one of the heroes’ bad guys. The interlocking puzzle piece is typically screened post credits and begins the feverish discussion amongst us comic junkies of “what’s next.”

In the background, the arc is the infinity gauntlet and its six power stones. The gauntlet with all stones in place is the ultimate power and control in the universe. We have seen four of them pop up to date in Thor, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and most recently, Age of Ultron. The gauntlet, of course, is in custody of Thanos who we have been teased with a couple of times in the films.

The center of all of this throughout all of the films has been Captain America and Iron Man. Whether this was plotted from day one or happenstance, as Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. have brought uncanny life to the two characters respectively, can only be answered by the filmmakers and writers themselves. Perhaps it’s because the two shared a comic for so many years in the sixties in Tales of Suspense that the producers have decided to open up the Civil War series as the latest in the big screen Marvel universe.

Whatever the reason, here we are on the eve of the big clash. I wait in anxious in anticipation as pitting two of the most popular characters against each other in a film with opposing teams is quite a risk for the Marvel franchise, which has owned DC and Fox on the big screen.

As the promotional materials go, time to pick your team. This writer is with Team Cap all the way, although I am reminded, “Divided we fall.”

Captain America: Civil War opens nationwide on May 6.
Story by Fred Terling for Pennsylvania Bridges