I hadn't read comics in years but given my love for them in time past I wandered into my local comic book shop and had a browse. There on the shelf was Civil War #1. I picked it up as its cover grabbed me instantly. Superheroes in conflict. Friend v friend. it was everything I wanted in a comic book.
When Marvel made the announcement that Civil War was to feature in the MCU I was excited.
In-between times my excitement waned a bit. As the conveyor belt of Marvel films came along I went to see them all and came away underwhelmed most of the time. Was the superhero cinematic experience losing it's sparkle? The frequency of these films took away the 'cinema event element that I loved so heading into Civil War I wasn't as excited as wanted to be.
I shouldn't have worried though.
Following events in Avengers: Age of Ultron the public are wary of the avengers and their intentions. Some declare them heroes, some declare them reckless. In order to gain some control the world's governments agree a set on concords that will make the Avengers their agents and remove their choice of where and when to get involved in the world's problems.
Our heroes divide as to whether or not this is a right decision and whether or not this removes their free will.
The factions led by Captain America (Chris Evans) & Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) pick their sides and the inevitable battles ensue.
Ironically this film has a very similar plot to Batman v Superman. The moral dilemma for heroes as they balance responsibility and accountability. The destruction left in their wake as they attempt to save those in need is a question that should be addressed. However Civil war does this with heart, with feeling, appropriate humour and frankly all the elements which Batman v Superman neglected.
The bringing together of the characters from the MCU works really well and everyone gets their moment to shine. The addition of Spider-Man (Tom Holland) & Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) to the mix is welcome and both are interesting enough in the presentation of their characters to make me feel good about their upcoming cinematic adventures.
I don't want to get into action sequences or quotes from the film in the interest of preventing against spoilers. However it is fair to say that is a return to form for the Marvel franchise. One of the criticisms against Marvel movies is that they never really have a convincing villain. They lack real peril.
Civil War might prove that 'bad guys' may not always be required. Inner conflict and questions of responsibility may be more entertaining than we could ever have hoped.