There’s nothing else, and there never has been, anything quite like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Iron Man’s release in 2008, audiences have spent 8 years watching a wide cast of heroes and villains duke it out for the fate of the world, and a bunch of other worlds too. Captain America: Civil War is a culmination of that universe Marvel has meticulously built. After 8 years, Civil War delivers a turning point for the interconnected universe we didn’t know we spent almost a decade waiting for.
There’s a lot going on in this movie. It’s simultaneously a sequel to Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron, and, arguably, Iron Man 3. It’s also an origin story for two new (well, ‘new’) heroes. It introduces a story arc that will most likely impact Marvel movies for at least the next few years. Each of its 10(!) returning heroes get much-needed character development and time to shine in combat. Yes, there’s a ton of stuff going on, and for the first 30 minutes or so, it seems the movie’s extensive scope might throw it off the rails. But when everything pulls together not too long into the movie, audiences will enjoy what is probably one of the best comic book superhero movies ever created. Beyond that, returning fans will also see 8 years’ worth of universe-building finally come into fruition.