Robert Downey Jr. joins "Captain America 3" prompting the biggest Civil War questions

Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.Leave it to Marvel Studios to be the only studio capable of upstaging itself. While its next big blockbuster, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” could potentially be the biggest film of all time when it hits theaters next May, the comic/movie world was rocked with the news that Robert Downey Jr. will be joining “Captain America 3,” to kick off the Marvel cinematic version of the Civil War storyline, which pitted Captain America against Iron Man.

By the way, how smart does Warner Bros./DC look now for getting “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” the heck out of dodge for a showdown against “Cap 3” now?

For those unfamiliar with the comic, longtime allies and friends Captain America and Tony Stark/Iron Man find themselves on opposite sides of a proposed superhero registration bill, which requires heroes to be registered in order to do their historic deeds. Cap is not at all in favor of the plan and he leads a resistance force of heroes against the government’s team led by Iron Man, Reed Richards and Hank Pym. Spider-Man finds himself torn between the two factions. The story looks to be every bit as ambitious as the large-scale Avenger films and promises to dramatically shake up status quo once again in the Marvel cinematic universe, but there’s a slew of questions that need to be answered. Here’s the big ones…

How will the sides be split?

Civil War battle linesAnthony Mackie’s Falcon is a lock for Team Cap and Vision, seems an obvious member of Team Iron Man, but the other Avengers aren’t as easy to pin down. Hulk, Hawkeye and Thor weren’t in the comic story, Black Widow seems more closely aligned with Cap following “The Winter Solider” and new Avengers Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are wildcards. “Ant-Man” features Hank Pym and Scott Lang and maybe those two have different allegiances after War breaks out. Ms. Marvel was a major factor on Team Iron Man and Daredevil and Luke Cage, who will be featured in Netflix’s Marvel TV series, will be ready for Team Cap. Also, the highly-requested Black Panther? Also a Team Cap member. It’s safe to assume we’re gonna see a few more heroes added to pad the teams a bit.

Whichever side has Hulk and Thor wins, right?

Civil War ThorDon’t be so sure. In the comic, Reed, Stark and Pym made a Thor clone that didn’t quite turn the tide of battle in the way they intended. And if the “World War Hulk” rumors are true, Hulk may be off planet while his Avenger buddies are battling one another.

What about Spider-Man, Wolverine and The Fantastic Four?

Spiderman-vs-Iron-ManThis may finally be providing us an explanation as to why Marvel is being so petty with the films under the possession of 20th Century Fox by killing off Wolverine and canceling The Fantastic Four comic. It also explains why Marvel is playing much nicer with Sony Pictures to get Spider-Man in Marvel Studios’ films as he is a major player in the storyline. Best guess here is that Sony agrees to loan out Spidey, but Wolverine and the FF will miss out.

Will The Avengers ever assemble again?

You betcha, but it’s going to take a universe threatening force to bring Stark and Cap on the same page again. First look at ThanosGood thing there just so happens to be such a force plotting his attack on Earth … Sounds like a pretty good way to bring the band back together.

Is there any reason to be as excited about “Age of Ultron” now?

Iron Man Captain America Age of UltronHeck yeah. This will likely be used to sow the seeds of dissension between Cap and Stark as they battle Ultron and it’s The Avengers vs. Ultron. Trust me, once you see the trailer you’ll go back to counting down to Avengers 2.

But 2016 is too long to wait, I want some Civil War excitement now!

civil war video gameYou’re in luck. Marvel has collected the storyline Civil War and you can play a video game adaptation of the storyline in “Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2,” which you can buy here: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 – PS3