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The directors of Captain America: Civil War, the Russo Brothers have finally opened up about where the MCU story is going post-Civil War. Joe and Anthony Russo haven't commented on how the world has changed after Captain America: Civil War, and that's the question on every Marvel fan's mind: What state is the MCU in after Captain America: Civil War? To answer that question, a recent Q&A with Joe Russo might just have teased what the Russo Brothers have in store for the MCU post-Captain America: Civil War.
In the online Q&A with Quora, a fan asked the question "which side does he (Joe Russo) think won the Civil War?" And Joe Russo responded with:
we always thought of this movie as the start of the war. It's not over yet.
The underlying connotation to what Joe Russo is saying in his statement means that the Civil War event which began in Captain America: Civil War is going to continue to progress when the MCU revisits the events that took place in the film. Along with that, a highly overlooked Easter Egg in Captain America: Civil War could have already identified what Joe Russo was hinting at in his answer to the Q&A.
A Subtle Easter Egg In Captain America: Civil War Could Have Been Hinting At What's To Come Next
During the final scenes of Captain America: Civil War, where Iron Man and Captain America are done fighting and Tony Stark is lying defeated in his drained suit, Tony calls to Cap as he's walking away. He tells Cap of how he is undeserving of the shield, and doesn't have the right to carry it. In that moment, Rogers realizes his actions have proven Stark's words to be true, so Rogers leaves the shield with Stark.
That scene may have seemed insignificant at the time, but it means so much more when added to the events depicted in Marvel comics — the same events that saw Captain America's shield returned to Tony Stark after the Civil War conflict came to a close.
Despite there being slight differences between the telling of the Civil War event in Captain America: Civil War and the comic book iteration of Civil War, the result of the conflict is leading in one inevitable direction.
Does The Civil War Event In Marvel Comics Share Similarities To The MCU Depiction?
Reviewing the events of Civil War in the comics, the aftermath sees Captain America assassinated by Crossbones. However, the entire incident was staged to fake Cap's death. In faking his death, Cap also had to give up his identity as Captain America and his shield.
After Captain America was supposedly buried, Tony Stark followed the instructions in the letter given to him by Steve Rogers before his apparent death. In his letter, Cap indicated his support of someone new taking on the mantle of Captain America.
Soon after the staged assassination of Captain America, Stark went on a search for someone worthy enough to take up the mantle and shield of Captain America in Steve Rogers's place. Since it's always been a symbol of justice and righteousness, the person holding it needs to embody those beliefs.
Throughout Stark's search for a worthy heir to Cap's namesake, no one seemed adequate. That is, until a mysterious burglar broke into Stark's lab and stole the shield. When Stark chased after the culprit, he learned that it was Bucky Barnes who stole the shield. Barnes and Stark inevitably talk through their differing philosophies and the result sees Bucky Barnes keeping the shield, along with taking up the mantle of Captain America in the process.
How The Comics Have Been Reflected In The MCU Telling Of Civil War
In comparison to how the events of Civil War played out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are quite a few similarities that are leading to a similar conclusion being reached. The MCU depiction of the Civil War event shared two very key similarities to the comics, both of which are enough evidence to back up the claim of the next MCU film following the progression of the Civil War event in Marvel comics.
And we can't forget Joe Russo's recent indication of the "Civil War in the MCU not being over," adding more evidence to back up the claim of the post-Civil War events from the comics happening to a similar degree (in the MCU). Those key similarities that the MCU version and the comic book version of the Civil War event share are the only clues we need to discover where the MCU story is going next.
As previously mentioned, one of the key similarities shared between the Marvel comics portrayal of Civil War and the MCU version, is that of Steve Rogers leaving his shield and the title of Captain America to Tony Stark after the end of Civil War.
In both tellings of the Civil War event, Captain America leaves his shield to Tony Stark after Cap is labeled as a fugitive. The other similarity shared between the two versions of the Civil War event (which isn't as memorable, but important nonetheless) was how Steve Rogers gave his farewell to Tony Stark. In both versions of the story, Steve Rogers writes a letter to Stark, and said letter goes on to see Tony Stark push Bucky Barnes into the role of Captain America.
Steve Rogers Departing At The End Of Civil War Opens The Door For More Marvel Comics Events To Be Mirror On-Screen
In both iterations of the Civil War event, Steve Rogers leaving the shield to Tony Stark is done so that Tony will find someone worthy of carrying the shield in Rogers's absence. At the same time, whoever Tony Stark deems worthy of carrying the shield will also have to take up the mantle of Captain America.
Another shared moment from the Marvel comics version and the MCU version of Civil War was the departure of Steve Rogers from the public's eye, after the war came to a close. In the comics, Steve Rogers went underground after faking his death (post-Civil War). Captain America: Civil War also depicted a similar event taking place when Steve Rogers was branded a fugitive by the United Nations. These two versions are quite similar, don't you think?
The similarities shared between the comic book version and the MCU depiction of the Civil War event are leading the story to one inevitable conclusion, and that in itself tells us two major plot points in the next segment of the MCU story.
Do We Know Where The MCU Is Headed, Based On Canonical Evidence From The Comics?
For one, Bucky Barnes is going to take up the mantle of Captain America when he finds out the fate of Captain America's shield. Although, it's possible Tony Stark might melt down the shield to make another weapon (maybe even a bionic arm for Bucky Barnes?). He did incinerate Bucky's arm in Captain America: Civil War, but in Stark's defense, Bucky did kill his parents (so let's call it even between the two of them).
The second biggest reveal we can deduce from the news of "Civil War in the MCU not being over" is that of Tony Stark / Iron Man having a more pivotal role in the Sokovia Accords than once thought. Involving himself in the legislation of the Sokovia Accords could also see Stark potentially reunited with his old pal from S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Phil Coulson.
In the comics, Tony Stark is made director of S.H.I.E.L.D., post-Civil War.
Stark may not be director of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet, but the arrival of a new director on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. could see Stark take over when this untested director is found to be incapable or unfit to be director of S.H.I.E.L.D. A powerful organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. requires someone exceptional to run it efficiently, and who better for the job than Tony Stark.
Seeing as how we can expect the MCU to depict those events in the near future, the next MCU film that directly touches upon the events of post-Civil War will likely see Bucky Barnes crowned the new Captain America — and Tony Stark possibly becoming the new, new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. The film most likely to revisit the events of Captain America: Civil War will be that of Avengers: Infinity War.
Along with the potential for Tony Stark to become the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., we can expect a long-awaited reunion between Agent Phil Coulson and the Avengers taking place. (Potentially, as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stark would have total access to Coulson's group of Agents as well as knowledge of Coulson being alive; meaning a reunion would be inevitable).
Regardless of what has transpired so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if the past events are leading to a mirroring of comic events taking place, then we can reasonably expect Bucky Barnes to become Captain America, Tony Stark to become director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and (very possibly) Steve Rogers returning to superhero duties as the Nomad. All are possible conclusions, and we'll likely find out an answer to the prevailing question of where Steve Rogers is headed, in Avengers: Infinity War.
Here are three other Marvel comics events which could also take place in the MCU, post-Captain America: Civil War.
1. The Fifty-State Initiative
The Fifty-State Initiative of Marvel Comics took place after the events of Civil War, where each state of the United States was allowed one S.H.I.E.L.D.-approved team of enhanced individuals to go to "superhero boot camp" for training in how to adapt to different hostile situations. The MCU could see something similar happen with the many different groups of enhanced emerging (e.g. Inhumans, Asgardians, Kree) and S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the ideal base for the enhanced to learn how to operate in the field.
2. Iron Man And Ms. Marvel Assemble The Mighty Avengers
In The Mighty Avengers, the aftermath of the Fifty-State Initiative called for Tony Stark to assemble a new team of Avengers with Ms. Marvel helping him. With that in mind, the same could occur in the MCU.
Since Ms. Marvel has been confirmed to have a place in the upcoming phase of the MCU, it would make sense for her character to be putting together a new team of Avengers now that Captain America is gone.
3. Secret Invasion
In the Secret Invasion event, the Skrull race lands on Earth and begins assimilating into everyday society by impersonating people and heroes from all walks of life. Eventually, some of the more keen-eyed heroes catch on and expose the Skrulls' plot to overtake Earth, but the Secret Invasion event didn't end without some casualties. Along with the fall of the Skrulls, Tony Stark took sole blame for the Skrull race coming to Earth and the full disintegration of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a result of everything Tony Stark had done in the time since his rise to director of S.H.I.E.L.D.