NOTE: The following post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War
Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived with Captain America: Civil War – which picks up after the calamitous events of The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron. As audience expectations for shared universe movies are driven higher and higher – so grows the pressure for Hollywood studios to deliver epic-cross film storytelling (packing in as many characters and storylines as possible).
In the MCU, with thirteen movies and counting, even standalone films are now packed with familiar faces (in both big and small roles) – creating a web of interconnected heroes and villains for Marvel Studios to explore for the next decade. In addition to telling a quality solo Captain America story, Civil War also pits Avengers, new and old, against one another – as allegiances are cemented, enemies are made, and the MCU prepares for the introduction of new heroes (likeDoctor Strange and Captain Marvel) as well as a two-part shared universe event: Infinity War.
For those who have not seen Civil War yet, make sure to read our spoiler-free review, then come back here to discuss the biggest spoilers, surprises, and reveals! NOTE: This is not a countdown. We’ve listed the spoilers in (mostly) chronological order.
While it has long been known that Zemo would be the film’s main villain, the role of Frank Grillo’s S.H.I.E.L.D. agent (revealed to be a HYDRA mole) Brock Rumlow was less clear in pre-release Civil War marketing materials. Trailers featured Rumlow in full alter-ego gear as Crossbones battling Captain America in a Nigerian marketplace. Surprisingly, the character only appears in the opening scene of Civil War – as The (new) Avengers attempt to stop Crossbones and a team of mercenaries from stealing a mysterious vile containing a biological weapon. The Avengers thwart the theft and secure the weapon, taking out Rumlow’s men, and subduing Crossbones himself; however, in a final play for vengeance, the scarred villain attempts to kill Captain America by detonating explosives hidden in his own vest. Scarlet Witch successfully contains the blast and saves Captain America… but not without a cost.