Captain America: Civil War officially starts Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe off in dramatic fashion, reshuffling the status quo by pitting Earth’s mightiest heroes against each other. Civil War is a film packed to the brim with characters, storylines, and teases of future movies in the MCU, and as such, it leaves quite a few questions on the table by the time the dust settles in the wake of Captain America and Iron Man’s epic throwdown. We’ve collected 10 of the most pertinent questions that Civil War leaves unanswered and speculate about how the MCU may go about answering them in the future.
*Needless to say, this article discusses the plot of Captain America: Civil War in detail, so if you want to avoid SPOILERS, it’s probably best to see the film first.
10. Will Bucky Be In The Black Panther Movie?
The Civil War mid-credits tease shows Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes hiding out in the Black Panther’s homeland of Wakanda, with Bucky putting himself into cryosleep as a precaution against his propensity to be brainwashed into a nigh-unstoppable killing machine. It’s hardly surprising that this stinger sets up developments for the Black Panther movie after the character figured so heavily into the events of Civil War, but it is interesting that it now looks like at least part of that film will feature Bucky and possibly even Captain America himself. Not being overly familiar with Black Panther’s comic history, we don’t have much idea of what his solo film will be about, but we wouldn’t complain if Bucky and Cap figure into the story in some way!
9. Will Zemo Come Back?
Although Civil War largely eschews having a central villain in favor of having the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe duke it out amongst themselves, it does have one clear bad guy (in addition to Crossbones that is, who only appears in the intro scene) in the form of Helmut Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl. Thanks to an elaborate — and frankly insanely lucky — plan, Zemo is able to dismantle the Avengers and leave them a shadow of their former selves. Now imprisoned thanks to the efforts of Black Panther, Zemo’s arc has seemingly run its course now that he’s successfully made Earth’s heroes suffer for what happened to his family. Still, the fact that he’s kept alive at all suggests that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Zemo; we just have to wonder as to what role he’ll play in the future installments.
8. Where Are Thor and The Hulk?
Although their absence is acknowledged at one point, Civil War never elaborates on the whereabouts of Thor and the Hulk. We know that the two will be appearing together in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok, but beyond that, it’s unclear what either character has been up to since the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. We know the basics of what they are up to — Thor is off on Asgard and Hulk is most likely Planet Hulking it somewhere out in space, but it’s still odd that Civil War didn’t offer a tease for either character, especially considering it’s hard to see either of them figuring heavily into the next few Marvel films (Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming). Plus, it’s just hard not to miss these guys, even when they’re only absent for a couple movies.
7. Will Another Hero Besides Iron Man Be In Spider-Man: Homecoming?
Given how interconnected and filled with characters Marvel’s films are these days (remember, Civil War is technically a Captain America movie), it’s quite possible that other heroes will show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming other than the titular webhead. We know that Robert Downey Jr. will be reprising his role as Tony Stark at some point in the film, but will other Marvel characters do the same? Spider-Man got to meet the majority of the MCU’s heroes during his brief appearance in Civil War, so it stands to reason that a few of them might return the favor and turn up to wish Tom Holland’s young Spider-Man luck in his first solo outing.
It seems like a longshot considering that he’s more or less a fugitive at this point, but a Captain America cameo could be a distinct possibility in light of the banter between the two characters in Civil War. After all, Cap is one of Spider-Man’s biggest idols and the two share a connection as fellow New Yorkers; surely that means they have to link up again in the future?
6. How Did Tony Know Peter Parker Is Spider-Man?
As fantastic as pretty much everything Spider-Man-related is in this film, his introduction into the MCU could have been handled a little more elegantly. The budding friendship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker is charming, sure, but it isn’t explained just how the heck Tony knew Spider-Man’s identity in the first place. We know that Tony is rich and well-connected, but he’s never been shown to have much in the way of detective skills, which makes his ability to figure out the identity of Spider-Man a bit puzzling, not to mention worrying.
If someone like Tony, who means Spider-Man no harm, can so easily discover his secret identity, it stands to reason that it would probably be all too easy for any number of bad guys to figure it out too. Civil War moves through so much material that it’s easy to overlook its more prominent plot holes, but even a line or two about how Tony made the connection between Spider-Man and Peter Parker would have gone a long way in making their 1 on 1 scene feel more sincere.
5. Why Is Hawkeye So Lame?
Pretty much every character in Civil War gets a moment to shine; everyone that is, except Hawkeye. Hawkeye’s arc in this film can be summarized as “he doesn’t like his family and is also kind of a dick,” which could have been used to comic effect as a comment on Clint Barton being so out of his league that his excuse for showing up isn’t even great, but instead just makes him even more unlikable. It’s difficult to say whether the problem is Jeremy Renner’s performance (he’s never really done much with this role to make him stand out) or a case of the writers not knowing how to incorporate Hawkeye properly. All we know is that the problem isn’t Hawkeye as a character, as his “normal guy” shtick can work in the right hands. Heck, he’s pretty much on par with Black Widow in terms of abilities, yet she’s one of the MCU’s best characters. Hawkeye’s lameness isn’t significant enough to bring down the enjoyment of Civil War in any meaningful way, but it’s still disappointing that we have yet another Marvel film that doesn’t seem to know what to do with him.
4. How Did Cap Know That Bucky Killed Tony’s Parents?
Civil War’s third act hinges on the shocking reveal that the Winter Soldier assassinated Tony Stark’s parents, a development that sends Tony over the edge and on the offensive against Captain America and Bucky. While it makes sense for Cap to take Bucky’s side in all of this (he was brainwashed into carrying out the hit, after all) it’s never made clear how he knew about the hit before Tony found out. Cap admits to Tony that he knew about it when prompted, but how did he know? It’s doubtful that Bucky would have divulged this information during their relatively brief journey to Siberia, which means that Cap must have known about it prior to the film’s events. One popular theory is that he discovered this information during Arnim Zola’s appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as it was hinted that HYDRA was responsible for Tony’s parents’ death in that scene. Regardless of how Cap found out, it still felt a bit convenient that he already knew about this mystery prior to Tony finding out.
3. What’s Next For Black Widow?
Standalone movie rumors notwithstanding, what’s next for Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, after the events of Civil War? Pretty much every character’s story is wrapped up in some way by the time the credits roll: Steve and Bucky are in Wakanda with Black Panther, Iron Man is leading a broken group of Avengers, the rest of Cap’s team is getting broken out of prison by Captain America himself … but Black Widow’s fate is left uncertain. When we last see her, she tells Tony that she’s not the one who needs to watch their back, then walks away. It’s the last time we see Natasha and considering that her allegiances switch between Iron Man and Captain America’s sides over the course of the film, it’s anyone’s guess who she’ll be working with the next time we see her (which hopefully will be in her own film this time).
2. Are There Two Avengers Teams Now?
The Avengers are in shambles at the conclusion of Civil War, with most of the team now international fugitives, while those that aren’t are left broken and dejected. Whatever form the Avengers take going forward, the team will definitely look different than it did prior to this film, with the possibility of there now being two separate Avengers teams: one led by Captain America, the other led by Iron Man. While it isn’t made clear whether the characters that Cap broke out of prison at the end of the film decided to go with him or go their separate ways, you know that at least some of them will want to join up with Steve Rogers to save the world free of political oversight. On the other side, Iron Man is now the de facto leader of what’s left of the official Avengers team, and even if he decides not to continue as an Avenger, an officially sanctioned team will likely continue to operate. We probably won’t see these two teams as adversaries again, but it will probably take quite a bit of convincing to get them to fight alongside one another again.
1. Is Steve Rogers Still Captain America?
Civil War ends with Steve Rogers leaving behind his shield and going into hiding, which can be read as him symbolically giving up the title of Captain America. We know that Steve will continue to fight for what he feels is right (because that’s just who he is), but will he continue to do so as Captain America or will he go by a new title in his next outing? In Captain America #180 (December 1974), Steve adopts the identity of Nomad after giving up the stars and stripes, so if Steve chooses to adopt a different title going forward, that would seem like the most obvious choice. If Steve does decide to hang up the Captain America costume and shield for good (or at least for one movie) will another character adopt the role? As Iron Man says, the shield — and by extension the title — of Captain America doesn’t belong to Steve, which means that someone else could step into the role at some point.