Finally, “Captain America: Civil War” is available for the masses to see in theaters everywhere. With so many superheroes returning and being introduced, the movie takes a few breaks to establish its upcoming standalone characters in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Diehard fans already know that Marvel has laid out its Phase 3 movie plans through 2020, and among them are some solo movies for characters that were just introduced in “Captain America: Civil War” and others that have previously been seen in the 13-movie franchise. To help make sure fans didn’t miss any of the setups for future MCU movies, below is a rundown of the four films that were teed up in “Civil War.”
[SPOILER ALERT: The remainder of this article will discuss events in “Captain America: Civil War.”]
“Thor Ragnarok” (2017)
There isn’t much to say about this one, but the film took a moment to address the absence of the god of thunder early on. Obviously, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) sat the “Civil War” out because, as established at the end of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” he’s now aware that someone is out there looking for the Infinity Stones. Knowing that anyone who secures all six of these gems will wield untold power, Thor agreed to investigate. Although it looked like he’d keep his friends up to date on the situation, Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) revealed that he hasn’t been in contact since that time. It was previously reported that Thor and the Hulk (Mark Ruffall) would join forces in the hero’s third standalone film. Is it possible there’s a reason the character isn’t able to contact any active Avengers?
“Black Panther” (2018)
One of the more vital introductions to the character was prince, now king, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). After his father died in an attack on the United Nations, T’Challa was forced to become the new king of Wakanda. However, before he could play politics, he had to first avenge his father’s murder. For a good portion of the film, he believed that meant killing The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). However, he later uncovered it was Zemo (Daniel Brühl).
With a standalone movie coming in July 2018 that will likely dive further into the character’s origin, the movie only gave a quick explanation for his powers. According to T’Challa, the Black Panther title is one passed down to the greatest Wakandan warriors of each generation. Armed with a suit made of vibranium — the same substance that Captain America’s (Chris Evans) shield is made of — he’s virtually indestructible as well as incredibly agile with his razor-sharp claws. The last time he was seen on screen, in the post-credits tag of the film, he was housing a sleeping Winter Soldier at some kind of remote outpost dedicated to the Black Panther.
“Ant-Man and The Wasp” (2018)
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) had a small yet simultaneously big role in “Civil War,” pun intended. The hero suited up alongside Team Cap and did some pretty impressive moves with his now famous shrinking suit. However, when the team was floundering and needed something to cover Cap and Bucky’s escape, Lang revealed that he’s been toying with a new ability in his super suit. He presses a button and becomes Giant-Man. He reveals that he had only tried to grow in size once during a lab experiment that made him pass out. However, necessity dictated he learn on the fly, and he did just that. When the time comes for his next standalone movie, he’ll likely have mastered the growing trick and have that tool in his belt to combat whatever evil comes his way.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)
Last but certainly not least is Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Like Black Panther, his back story had to be told from scratch amid the already dense plot of “Captain America: Civil War.” Realizing that he needed more power-players to fight Cap than he already had, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) paid a visit to Queens, New York, where he had figured out that Peter Parker was the one taking on bad guys with web shooters. Offering to upgrade his suit and tech, Parker agrees to travel with Stark to Germany and fight Team Cap.
In their charismatic conversation, it is revealed that the hero has only had his powers for six months, and is therefore a little behind in terms of his costume and notoriety in the enhanced human being community. Thanks to Stark, the last time we see Parker he’s got a brand new, and very functional, suit as well as some web shooters with a tech upgrade that appears to patch him in with Stark. It was previously announced that “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will be a bit of a buddy cop story now that Robert Downey Jr. has joined the cast. Fans can expect more of their mentor mentee (maybe even father and son) dynamic when the film kicks off next year.