The effects of “Captain America: Civil War” can be felt throughout the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, the tension that causes Captain America and Iron Man to take opposing sides has already been shown in the TV shows. It’s typical for a Marvel TV show to reference an Avenger or two, but this is different. Almost all of the episodic dramas in the MCU have hinted at tensions brewing between two groups. Have you spotted them all?
The battle that the title of “Captain America: Civil War” refers to is about superheroes. Should they be controlled by the government? Captain America (Chris Evans) doesn’t think so, but Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) does. The Avengers are divided on the question, and they aren’t the only ones. Characters within the TV shows seem to have their own opinions.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has the most obvious references to the new action movie. Inhumans are everywhere on the ABC drama, and it’s difficult for some to accept that people with powers are running around free. The ATCU, a government agency, was trying to hunt them down. In episode 7, Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) sums up the Iron Man side of the “Civil War” argument pretty well. Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is committed to protecting people, but Rosalind points out that it only takes one maniac with superpowers to create a problem.
“Mankind is scary enough as it is. Some psycho gets a gun and watch out, but now people are their own weapons,” Rosalind explains.
Rosalind later discovers that the ATCU wasn’t trying to help. They were run by Hydra, which confirms Cap’s fear about being handled by the government; they’re too easily corrupted.
Elsewhere, “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” felt fairly self-contained overall, but one of the few episodes with references to the MCU tackled the subject head on. In episode 4 of the Netflix drama, Audrey (Jessica Hecht) learned about Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) powers and tried to kill her. The woman says she watched her mother die during the Battle of New York. Despite Jessica having no involvement in the incident, Audrey still lumps her in with the Avengers.
“I saw what really happened. I saw my mother crushed to death under a building that you people destroyed,” she says. “I was trying to pull my mother out from the rubble, watching her bleed to death, while all around me you people were raining down hell.”
It shows that it was not just Sokovia in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or the events at the beginning of “Captain America: Civil War” that start the animosity. The public has been questioning the Avengers since the beginning.
Other shows were much less direct. In “Marvel’s Agent Carter” Season 2, which takes place about 60 years before “Civil War,” Peggy (Hayley Atwell) is taken off her case. She is told that the government will handle it. But she is Cap’s girl through and through, even if she doesn’t realize it. Peggy suspects that there is a conspiracy, so she goes against her higher-ups and does what needs to be done to stop Whitney Frost (Wynn Everett). It works out for her, and audiences will have to hope that Captain America is as lucky.
Not everyone is on Team Cap, though. In “Marvel’s Daredevil,” the hero appears to take the Iron Man side of the argument, at least at the very beginning of Season 2. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) goes above the law, and Matt’s (Charlie Cox) belief that the government can handle the bad guys is put to the test. The public, however, has the same mixed opinions that they have in “Civil War.” Some want the Punisher to do whatever it takes to stop the villains. Others think the law should be the highest form of authority.
Though these dramas have all either vaguely or directly addressed “Captain America: Civil War,” don’t expect the film to reference any of the TV shows. As previously reported, director Anthony Russo said bringing the TV world to the big screen would be “complicated.”
“Captain America: Civil War” hits theaters Friday.