Tag Archives: civil war

Okay, in for a penny… Thoughts on Sharon/Steve

My thoughts probably aren’t worth much. My annoyance with comic book story lines and writing is well-known, I know what I read off of wiki half the time, and I am notorious for being moderately forgiving where the MCU writing is concerned. But considering the stink Atwell has managed to raise and having a strong opinion here, I thought it would be worth posting (also it takes my mind off the fact it is the month of doctor visits around here).

Let it be known, I love Peggy Carter. She is a powerful, authoritative woman in a WWII setting who doesn’t sacrifice her femininity to be taken seriously, and in fact frequently uses it to her advantage. In the MCU timeline, she and Steve never got their chance due to tragic circumstances, and when reunited in the present, she was on her death bed and senile. Between then, she was one of the leading figure heads of what would become SHIELD, and a loving wife to another man who (I assume) she came to love as much as she loved Steve. Civil War finally lets this woman have true peace.

Now, Winter Soldier established that Steve has been part of Peggy’s life. He visits, he holds her hand, he lets her know that he ended up being okay. But she is incapable of remembering it for more than a few hours. I would argue that in the years between the ending of Avengers and Civil War, Steve’s feelings for Peggy have shifted. He still loves her. He always will love her. But let’s be clear, Peggy was in a lot of ways Steve’s first love. While a piece of him is always going to be hers, I think the rest of those feelings shifted towards platonic, and just as dear to him. He was trying to find his place in this new world, for what is likely going to be a long life short of getting put on ice again, and now he’s fighting to keep it.

Enter Sharon Carter. SHIELD agent, code name Agent 13, and able to keep up with Steve as he is now, with some of the morals of his time period.

Let’s be clear, Steve and Sharon are in no way related. This whole situation is not incestuous, no matter what Atwell says. If anything, this is dating a sister and discovering that while the two of you have different goals or situations, you match up better with her younger sister for a better relationship. You can still be friends with the older sister (see my rant above about Steve loving Peggy just as deeply, if now more platonic), but be in a relationship with the younger, in this case Sharon.

Do I think the kiss was awkward? Yes. I think it was written purposefully to be awkward. We established from the very first Captain America that Steve is awkward with women in personal settings, and since he hasn’t had any chance to practice that I’m aware of, despite Natasha’s attempts to the contrary, there’s no reason for that to have changed. In fact, he and Sharon have been flirting with this line between professional and personal relationships since she was undercover and keeping an eye on him since post-Avengers, if not sooner depending on when he moved into that particular apartment.

People love to bring up the funeral that just happened. That Peggy hasn’t even been in the ground for more than a day. Let me point something else out to you. The fact the funeral was that prepared, that everyone (including Steve) was waiting for that text, that message, on that short of notice suggests to me that Peggy has been holding on to the edge for a long time now. Funerals do not happen that quickly otherwise. Arrangements were already made, they were just waiting for her to need them. Steve and Sharon’s grief, respectfully, wasn’t strong enough for me to believe this was sudden news. It was hard, don’t get me wrong. But I think they had been grieving for much longer, letting go of Peggy by inches and this was just the final farewell.

And here’s more context. Steve has just broken international law, and is clearly intending on breaking more. All part of being the man that Peggy loved, being true to that image. Sharon has encouraged him to do this, to be true to himself, and knows just as well as he does what is likely going to happen to him when the dust settles. And finally, finally they cross a line they’ve been awkwardly flirting with for years. Why? Because they know there is a chance they likely won’t have another opportunity. Both are people who can’t live with that sort of regret.

Do I think Sharon and Steve are in a relationship currently? No. She still works for the people who, by virtue of the law, want him captured and thrown in jail. Neither of them are the type to try and make a relationship work in that sort of situation. This was an action. This was them finally going, “I have feelings. I want to act on them when the timing is better, if we both still have them.” It was awkward as hell, the timing was awful, and both have issues to wrangle if it’s going to ever work.

Sounds like a real-life relationship to me.

So for all those who feel like this is a betrayal of Peggy, who think she would be turning in her grave, I’m going to remind you of something. Peggy would want Steve to be himself, and to be happy. Just like she was, in the end, with her husband and her family.


Review: Captain America – Civil War

I had issues with Age of Ultron (a lot of people did), and while some of my issues are very specific to my love of Hawkeye, some just dealt with the lack of characterization, the lack of acknowledgement of the previous films, and some serious suffering of dialogue in very of snarky quips. Civil War was by nature set up to be the next big team-up movie in the MCU, and was the first chance for it to salvage its reputation.

And boy, did it deliver.

Set (sort of) at the same time as Ant-Man, Civil War details the signing of an agreement between over a hundred nations in the world to bring the Avengers in check, turning them from a private organization into something controlled by a UN panel. The problem? Not all of the Avengers agree with the decision. The ink isn’t even dry when the first conflict arises where the Avengers are needed, and a choice is made that draws the line between Captain America, Iron Man, and those who side with them. But nothing is black and white, not when personal motives are involved.

OMG, this movie. Where do I even start? Okay, characters, because they are why you go see this movie. We had a wonderful catch-up with where some of the characters are emotionally after films, such as Tony (and his relationships with his parents and with Pepper, his guilt, etc.) and Wanda (where she’s at with her powers, the loss of her brother and home, her feelings for the Vision), that went unaddressed for a while. The women finally weren’t shafted into the role of love interest and little else. I think my favorite line is one of Wanda’s (let’s be honest, she and another character I’m about to get into stole the show). “I can’t do anything about their fear. I can only control my own.” I’m paraphrasing, but that line, ugh, my heart. The women got to kick ass, take names, make their own decisions, and stayed true to their own characters, even with faint nods to Natasha’s botched attempt at a relationship with Banner.

Also, we have the best Spiderman now, we do not need another. I thought his costume was a little too bright in tone compared to the others, a little too simple in terms of just being cloth but supposedly Tony has had an eye on this kid for a while, but otherwise I was very impressed with him. I especially loved the touch of Tony using Steve’s words to get Peter to his side, that was brilliant. (According to my friend  Brandon, this was a symbol of Tony realizing he needed a Steve on his team, a point I agree with.) We didn’t get some long, drawn out explanation of his powers, which was great since God knows, we’ve had the origin of Spiderman shoved down our throats enough. And Aunt May looked like an actual aunt, not a grandmother. I loved how someone tried to shut him down as far as chattering in a fight. Meanwhile, Hawkeye is going, “Hi. We haven’t met yet. I’m Clint.” As to parallel that this kid is on the right track, ignore the crusty military types. Just…wow.

(Also, THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME REAL CLINT! I HAVE MISSED HIM SO!)

There was so much clever writing in this movie, I can’t even explain. Like, without giving away the big plot twists, let’s just focus on a few little things. That moment when Bucky struggles to get Steve to understand that yes, HYDRA was controlling him but he still did these horrible things, telling Tony that he remembers all the people he killed, I had the epiphany that he is meant to represent what these accords will do the Avengers over time. I mean, we all know that they would be blocked from doing many of the time sensitive things they need to do or would be severely hampered (since most of the MCU movies take place in about three days, give or take). But he represents the jobs where they were sent in and they didn’t need to be there, the political power-plays, and the damage that they would do to them psychologically and emotionally.

Tony also came to represent how personal investment ruined the ability to rationally approach a problem, something commonly explored in this movie where so many people have suffered over the years, both at the hands of HYDRA and other villains…and just by the efforts of the Avengers to stop them. His own festering guilt drives him to make one set of decisions, his desire to protect the people he considers family drives him to make another that contradict the first…and then in the end, when an attack hits him personally, all the rational reasons he had fly out the window. But I think Tony grew in this movie, more than he has in any of his solo movies outside of the first, and that excites me…even if I wish he wasn’t doing a fourth Iron Man film (sorry, those just haven’t jived well with me lately). Vision suffered from a similar problem, since his emotional investment with Wanda bit him in the butt in a way he wasn’t expecting, but I feel like Tony really had the big moments of it.

A throw-away brilliance is the return of Russo. For those who may have forgotten (I did), the Secretary of State in Civil War is the same dude who released Red Hulk on Manhattan back when Edward Norton was Bruce Banner. That should terrify you. In addition, Black  Panther did have a good story arc to help introduce him well leading up to his own film. This is coming from a person who hated this character going into the movie, wasn’t going to go see his film, was hoping he didn’t ruin the movie for me. I have never gotten a good opinion of him. But this movie helped change my mind considerably. I liked him, I’ll go see his movie. They did a good job.

If I had to nitpick something, it would have to be the camera work and one element of the story. The camera got better as the film went on (or I adjusted to it, not sure which), but shaky camera syndrome was bad early on, particularly in fights. It made it hard to track what was happening, though that could be because I know some stage combat myself and track out of habit where a blow is going in case a sword goes flying when it isn’t supposed to. The other is a massive SPOILER, so avert your eyes if you haven’t seen it yet. The death of the Wakonda king at the UN conference didn’t affect me like it was supposed to. I thought the man was a self-righteous ass, so  him dying, even with the obvious grief of his son, didn’t make me go, “Awww, poor babies,” it made me go, “Whelp.” But then, I have daddy issues, so you gotta actually work to get me invested in your character before you kill them.

Overall, this is a fantastic ride. While it’s getting to where its hard to follow the MCU without previously seeing any of the other movies, Civil War does enough recapping that you might be okay if you come in with some general knowledge rather than specific viewings in your memory. And I highly recommend it.