The more I think about Captain America Civil War...

…the more I think they put CA on the wrong side. I get that it becomes more about his loyalty to Bucky but his argument against oversight early in the movie at the conference table was basically Robert Redford’s argument in the second one. He would have had faith in the system and that by working within it he could keep it honest. His “I know better” attitude just doesn’t fit him.

Well, I think you could say that the events of CA2 were what put him in that frame of mind. He wanted to work from within the system, but after finding out that HYDRA basically was the system, he figured the only person he could trust was himself and a few close friends. Working under the control of faceless bureaucrats runs the risk of HYDRA or something similar taking over again.

Heck, before that he was the guy who got told not to rescue those POWs – and then he shrugged and did it anyway, because, hey, POWs. And then he was the guy on an aircraft carrier who (a) decided Stark was taking too long to hack the computers, and (b) snuck off to discover that, yup, they’re up to some hinky stuff.

(How did he even get into the military in the first place? “Where are you from, Rogers? Is it New Haven, or Paramus? Five exams in five different…”)

I think the entire purpose of having Cap and Tony being on their respective sides was precisely that it was turning things on their head. The original comic book author probably thought that it would have been a bit too predictable to have Cap be on the law and order side like he usually is and Tony be on the “we answer to ourselves” side like he usually is. Flipping those sides would show that there was some issue or dilemma that was so powerful that it caused each to go against their respective natures.

Agreed. The Captain America/Steve Rogers* as portrayed* in the MCU would never accept Government oversight, as he has many many reasons not to.

Plus in the post-Snowden era, the audience is going to see the “Government” as the bad guys anyway.

I am more surprised at Tony’s change; remember in IronMan2, he spent most of it telling the military and the Senate committee to get stuffed.

Presumably Tony felt guilty about the Ultron project and that he should have to clear such dangerous ideas with someone in future.

I don’t think it’s entirely inconsistent with their character.
Rogers values freedom and has a strong sense of “right and wrong”. He’s fine being a soldier when it’s in an unambiguous 1945 “punch a Nazi in the face” sort of way. But he obviously finds the moral grey areas of modern military and intelligence organizations troubling. He also grew up as a skinny kid from Brooklyn getting has asked kicked all the time. So also has a strong sense of protecting those who can’t protect themselves. So for Rogers, he finds oversight by what he has come to view as a morally questionable government to be oppressive. Rogers believes he is the best judge of right and wrong, not a bunch of potentially corrupt bureaucrats.
Stark is a more of a morally ambiguous engineer/tinkerer. He feels morally justified in designing weapons to be used for ‘peace’ or self defense, even though it sometimes means associating with shady characters or those weapons being misused. Stark is very much a ‘sometimes you need to break a few eggs’ guy but because of his wealth and privilege and family connections to the military-industrial complex, he is often insulated from the real world effects of his creations. As Scarlet Witch pointed out in A:AoU, Stark often doesn’t know the difference between saving the world and destroying it. He has come to realize this and that’s why he strongly is in favor of someone else serving as a check.

Snowden? He didnt find out anything alarming.

What I didnt get is the guilt trip. Yes, Scarlet Witch moved a bomb- from a market where it was gonna kill hundreds to up high where it killed a few.

Yes, NYC got hit pretty hard during the Alien invasion- but it would have been even worse without the Avengers.

Now sure, Tony is 100% at fault for Ultron.

But that’s it, no other guilt is fair.

Also, for a really cynical read of it: it’s possible that Tony doesn’t want a check on his activities so much as he wants some authority figure he can point to and say “no, it’s cool; he said it’s cool; I answer to him, he answers to you. It’s his job to approve or reject my plans – so what I did is totally not my fault, because I cleared it with him first. If you have a problem with what I did, then you should hold him responsible; what a dick THAT guy is for giving ME a blank check, amirite?”

He also fought the Nazis and isn’t fond of fascism. And the last person who was his boss was Alexander Pierce who turned out to be Hydra.

Well Cap is Hydra. Likely Fury is Hydra too. Everyone is Hydra.:rolleyes:

I think the OP raises an interesting point. Steven Attewell has written about Captain America as New Deal Democrat quite a bit. Wouldn’t a person with those political views tend to support regulation of the Avengers?

This is a super-complicated (and totally political) topic, but one way of resolving this a bit is to remember that he’s the man out of time - the FDR Democrat living today. Steve Rogers might trust a WWII-era international body to regulate the Avengers, but he (in some sense) views contemporary Americans as having dropped the ball since he went into the ice. He’s an idealist, but the ideals he steers by are history at this point.

I was going to leave a link to the “American Captain” webcomic, but it looks like the cartoonist took it down. Shit. There’s a great strip where Rogers basically calls us all out for fucking things up while he was frozen. I’ll try to find it.

Here’s the panel where Steve calls us out.

But for Cap fans/Liberals/art students, I’d recommend reading the whole mini comic:

This is the real link to the comic I was referring to, although “Little Dog” is really great too:

That’s why they should have been called the Tony Accords.

My wife and I watched Civil War Tuesday and had a really fun discussion about it.

snoe, thanks for the link to the Attewell piece!

Basically, my wife and I agreed that the films have shown us the switch. Steve grew up at a time when nationalism was important and war meant that the country could rally around something as a whole. Sure, there are other parts to this, but fighting the war let the US have a focus on something. Steve tries to do that when he first arrives, in the Avengers movies and his own Winter Soldier. The world has changed, though, and we don’t have an obvious thing to rally around. As others said, he thinks he knows best. (“What happens when they don’t send us where we should be? Or when they send us where we shouldn’t be?”) I think Steve also knows that the chain of command and trust in leaders are important but doesn’t have that trust in his leaders anymore. Just his own judgement and his friends.

The contrast, of course, is that Stark started out that way. IM2 is all about him denying the government the Iron Man suit and him saying he can handle the suit. He’s not responsible with it but that’s Stark. However, Ultron showed him he isn’t the best judge of what to do. And it was catastrophic to the extreme. He is therefore happy to share the responsibility of making choices rather than make another Ultron.

One thing my wife and I both agreed on, though, is that it’s only a matter of time before Tony gets sick/bored/tired of following someone else’s rules and does his own thing again. For now, though, I understand why he thinks that oversight is a good thing.

Good discussion! Thanks!

It’s interesting that even with the Accords, the US and other governments have given up on getting Tony to build Iron Man suits for them. I understand that from an overarching story point of view, the MCU has already done that plot, but you have to wonder if Tony would have been so quick to sign the Accords if they required him to turn over all the design & manufacturing specs for the suits.

Another difference between the two: Stark signs the accords, but if a situation comes up where he feels it’s necessary to violate them, he’s still going to do so. For him, breaking his word means that if he gets caught, he’ll have to face (or talk himself out of) whatever penalties were written into the agreement, and then move on. For Rogers, though, his word means something. He’s not going to sign something unless he’s certain that he agrees with it.

It wasn’t just turning things on their heads, it was the natural progression for both their character arcs. Tony started of being the one telling the government to fuck off, Cap was the one working directly for a secret government organization. Now Tony is dealing with the guilt over Ultron and Cap with the betrayal of the organization the love of his life created. The sides they chose make perfect sense for both of them.

I never thought of it like that. That’s brilliant! It makes the whole storyline fit in a way it never quite did for me until I read this.