Captain America: Civil War is finally out here in the states. Here at Robot’s Pajamas we really enjoy finding the references in comic book movies (and TV shows) to the original source material or finding connections to the other movies. So here we go. There are a bunch, but obviously this contains SPOILERS.
The Russian guy who sends Winter Soldier on a mission in 1991 (and who makes 5 MORE Winter Soldiers) is Vasily Karpov. In the movie, he’s also a Hydra officer. In the comics, he was introduced in 2005 by writer Ed Brubaker (Captain America Vol. 5 #5) as the Soviet officer who helped program/brainwash Winter Soldier.
In Captain America #117 (1969), Falcon gets a sidekick: Redwing, a Falcon that shares a telepathic link with him. In the movie, he controls a drone that he calls Redwing.
Crossbones first appeared in full back in Captain America #360 (1989) as a mercenary working for Red Skull. He wore a white skull mask and could go toe-to-toe with Cap. He played a key role in a plot by Red Skull in the aftermath of Civil War, sniping Captain America on courthouse steps while Cap was in custody. In the movie, he shows up as a mercenary and wears a skull helmet. We also see his face is melted from the end of Captain America: Winter Soldier. This actually mirrors his current appearance in the comics. In Thunderbolts #149 (2010), Crossbones is exposed to the Terrigen Mists and develops powers as an Inhuman to create a fire blast in front of his face. But he’s not totally immune to his own powers like, say, Human Torch. He melts half his face in his first use of those powers.
Tony Stark gives a speech at MIT and afterwards is pestered by the Dean about whether faculty is also up for getting a grant because he has an idea for a self-cooking hot dog. The Dean is played by Jim Rash who played Dean Pelton on the sitcom Community for six seasons. The Russo brothers, who directed Civil War, also directed a lot of episodes of Community. It’s the same reason Danny Pudi had a cameo in Winter Soldier.
Tony Stark meets the mother of a son who died in Sokovia in the collateral damage from Age of Ultron. This is Miriam Sharpe, who had a similar tragic story of a child killed during a superhero battle in the Civil War comics (first appearing in Civil War #1, 2006). She influenced Tony in the comics to support registering superheroes with the government. But in a strange casting choice, Miriam is played by Alfre Woodard who is simultaneously filming a role as Harlem politician Mariah Dillard on Marvel’s Netflix show Luke Cage. Chalk this one up to actors playing more than one Marvel character, although this is notable in that both will appear within a year from one another in Marvel Studios produced stuff.
In Civil War, Vision wears slacks and a sweater when hanging around the mansion. In the 70s Avengers comics, this was something Vision would also frequently do.
Vision and Scarlet Witch
Vision and Scarlet Witch seem to care deeply for one another in the movie. Even though one of them is an android, this romance was a big storyline in the Avengers comics between 1970 and 1975 by Roy Thomas. They were actually married in Giant-Size Avengers #4 (1975) and had two limited series together as husband and wife.
Death of a King
T’Chaka is the King of Wakanda and in Civil War he dies when Zemo bombs the United Nations building. In the comics, he died in similar circumstances. In Fantastic Four #53 (1966), T’Chaka is at the Bilderberg Conference where he is negotiating with other nations to allow some of them to get Vibranium, the rare metal found primarily in Wakanda. Assassin Ulysses Klaw hid under the floor for a full week and only emerged when it was obvious T’Chaka wouldn’t finalize a deal and killed him. Klaw appeared in Age of Ultron as a weapons dealer who had stolen Vibranium and had a panther brand on him.
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross appears in this movie as the Secretary of State and explains that 117 nations have signed The Sokovia Accords, requiring the Avengers to register and report to the United Nations. Ross previously appeared as a 4-star General hunting Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk, as he had in the Hulk’s comics from day one. His nickname, Thunderbolt, is also used in Marvel Comics as the name of a superhero team formed by Zemo, the villain in the Civil War movie. In the comics, Zemo gathered supervillains and had them pretend to be superheroes with a long-term goal of gaining public trust and then betraying them. During the Civil War comics, Tony Stark authorizes a new version of the Thunderbolts which have supervillains working for them to track down superheroes that won’t register with the government. Later in the comics, Ross eventually is exposed to gamma rays and becomes the Red Hulk and works for a new iteration of the Thunderbolts.
No, You Move
During the Civil War comics, Captain America delivers a speech in Amazing Spider-Man #537 (2007) which you can see above. In the movie, this quote is delivered nearly verbatim by Sharon Carter at the funeral for her aunt, Peggy Carter. In the movie, the quote comes from Peggy and motivates Cap to stand firm with his belief that the Sokovia Accords aren’t right.
Sharon Carter is revealed to be Peggy Carter’s niece in this movie. This is also her background in the comics. In the comics she is also a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent (as she was in the Winter Soldier movie) known as Agent 13. While she is not called that in Civil War, if you watch the credits, the shadow from actress Emily VanCamp’s name creates a big number 13.
In the movie, Tony Stark knows Peter Parker has been Spider-Man for about 6 months and recruits him, building him the suit that we see in the film, complete with high-tech eye lenses, web fluid cartridge slots and, if you stay past the credits to see, a Spider Signal like he sometimes has on his belt in the comics. In the Civil War comics, Tony Stark recruits Spider-Man to his side initially and builds him a new suit dubbed The Iron Spider. It first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #529 (2006). It basically is a light version of Iron Man armor with three spider arms in a backpack.
During the big fight between Iron Man and Captain America’s teams of Avengers, Hawkeye launches Ant-Man on an arrow. This move was first seen on the iconic cover to Avengers #223 (1982).
Scott Lang goes from Ant-Man to Giant Man during a big battle. While Scott hasn’t done this in the comics, others who use Pym Particles (notably, Hank Pym) have. Hank first became Giant Man in Tales to Astonish #49 (1963). In the Civil War comics, another superhero, Goliath fought for Captain America’s side. Goliath was introduced as Dr. William Foster in Avengers #32 (1966) and worked alongside both Tony Stark and Hank Pym. He was one of Marvel’s first prominent black superheroes.
In the Civil War film, War Machine is accidentally shot in the chest by Vision, his own teammate, and crippled. In the comics, Goliath was blasted in the chest by a clone of Thor that Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic had made. But in the comics, this killed Goliath (Civil War #4, 2006) and polarized the two teams.
In the Civil War comic, many heroes switched sides during the conflict. Notably, Spider-Man went over to Cap’s side. Also, Tigra was a double agent secretly working for Iron Man but Captain America had figured it out and placed his own agent on Iron Man’s team – the shape shifter Hulkling posing as Hank Pym. There are enough twists and turns in the movie that none of that needs to go down with one exception: at the end, Black Widow sides with Captain America.
In the movie, there is a submersible prison for super-powered criminals. In Alias #26 (2003), a similar prison known as The Raft was introduced. The Raft was an island-based prison for superhumans located off the coast of New York City. In the original comics, Iron Man used an even more terrifying prison for locking up superheroes – he built a prison in another dimension, called the Negative Zone. Even if you broke out of prison, you couldn’t get home. The movie offers a relatively more grounded take.
I Could Do this All Day
Towards the end of the film, Iron Man and Captain America fight and Iron Man initially has the upper hand. But a bruised and beaten Steve Rogers gets himself to his feet and declares “I could do this all day.” This very consciously echoes the pre-Captain America Steve Rogers fighting a bully in Brooklyn back in Captain America: The First Avenger.
During Captain America and Iron Man’s fight towards the end of the movie, there is a shot of them fighting that mirrors the cover of the final issue of Civil War (issue #7, 2007). Interestingly, in the comics, Captain America ultimately surrenders when he sees the collateral damage and determines the fight isn’t worth it but in the movie, Iron Man decides Captain America was right about the underlying causes and leaves Thunderbolt Ross’ side to help Captain America and Winter Soldier.