Civil War: a conflict of ideals

Thursday, May 5, was the release date of Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. I looked forward to it because I have a deep love for the underlying messages for which these super characters play  the conduits.

That is why I am disturbed that all I heard viewers say they liked about the movie is a few quick one-liners, a couple of nice puns and all the action scenes. There was a lot to learn from this movie. I am worried that some may not have caught the messages being conveyed.

I am not saying viewers did not learn anything. I am sure, whether they were intensely analyzing the movie, like myself, or going mainly for pure entertainment, every moviegoer walked away a little more enlightened.

My argument is that these characters have been created for a purpose. Their storylines were developed to teach us hard life lessons in a more subtle way. The creators believed there were issues important enough to talk about that they constructed super characters to subtly teach why the issue at hand should be looked at more closely.

“Writers and artists build by hand little worlds that they hope might effect change in real minds, in the real world where stories are read,” said Grant Morrison, a Scottish comic book writer who worked for DC Comics.

So my question is what messages were the directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, trying to tell us we need to think and talk about that we may have missed?

In this movie, one of the main messages I saw came to a head in the form of The United Nations wanting to put the Avengers, and all superheroes, in check by having them be registered as agents for the UN. The reason is because the superheroes have, up until this point, operated under their own volition with little punitive repercussions for their actions.

When this is proposed to the Avengers, it quickly creates a divide: Iron Man believing that this documentation will help to achieve the goal the Avengers have been seeking — peace and safety — and Captain America believing that the only reason they have been able to do as much good as they have is because they have been able to choose for themselves.

Tony, coming from his background in weapons development, has seen what happens when individuals think they are above a governmental law system and take things into their own hands.

Steve has seen how corrupt some governments can become with individuals focusing more on personal gain than the interest of the people of their respective nations.

As I watched the movie, I found myself going back and forth, sometimes agreeing with Tony and sometimes with Steve.

Some moments I did not know if I agreed with either.

The movie was set up in such a way as to make the viewer question what they believe.

I think it was beautifully orchestrated to make us as the consumers conflicted no matter what side we eventually decided to be on.

That is why anyone who may have been with me that night may have noticed I did not speak very much after because I was trying to decide if I still fully supported Tony Stark’s argument like I did when I entered the movie theater.

So the inquiry I leave with all readers is what did you learn?

Could you learn more if you were looking for it? And what should we be talking about in association with superheroes?

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