The Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped like an atomic bomb on Wednesday, exploding on small screens everywhere. I’m not talking about some grainy footage caught on a cell phone from the D23 Expo or a fan-made trailer cobbled together from clips of the previous Marvel movies. Disney unexpectedly released the trailer, along with several posters, for the highly anticipated Marvel Studios sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier (which was itself a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger). It had been rumored that the trailer wouldn’t be released until December 18th to be attached to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Obviously the rumor was false, or Disney decided to change their strategy.
Here’s the trailer:
One strategy has not changed, however, is that neither hide nor spidery hair was seen of our favorite wall-crawling superhero, unless you believe that Marvel sneakily added him in bleary fashion. Some eagle-eyed viewers would have us believe that Spider-Man did in fact appear in the trailer right under our noses in a quick shot at the 1:35 mark where Falcon flies over a surprised-looking pedestrian who happens to be wearing a red t-shirt. Whether or not it was an intentional Easter Egg, this quick clip has led to much speculation on the ever theory-heavy Internet that Spidey did, in fact, appear in the trailer. See the image below:
I don’t know if it is him or not (likely not), and unless someone attached to the movie slips up and says it is, we won’t know until next May when the movie is released the day before Free Comic Book Day 2016. Does it really matter, though? While it may be fun to speculate about it, the bottom line is that the flash of red doesn’t give us any more information on Spider-Man’s role in the movie than seeing Tom Holland’s name on the film’s IMDB page.
Spider-Man wasn’t the only arthropod-based hero that was noticeably missing from the trailer. Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man didn’t appear in the Civil War trailer, but we know that he will be making an appearance as the shrinking dynamo siding with Team Cap. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that he wasn’t shown in the trailer, as a description of the D23 trailer from August had Ant-Man thanking Cap for letting him be part of the team before pulling a Peggy Carter and feeling Cap’s firm pecs… Yeah, maybe they wanted to keep the released trailer a little more on the serious side.
We got a quick glimpse of both Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch, but nothing significant. Our first look at Black Panther in action was amazing! But where was Vision? Again we are missing a figure that we know is going to make an appearance in the movie, but with so many characters in one movie, it has to be hard to create a trailer that displays them all and still puts together any kind of narrative. This trailer in particular didn’t even show us any of the movie’s villains, unless you consider “Thunderbolt” Ross, or even Iron Man for that matter, to be villains.
But I think that not showing Spider-Man in the trailer was more of a calculated plan. Thus far, Marvel has kept the marketing for “Civil War” heavily on Captain America, and it should. This is, after all, the third Steve Rogers outing, not Avengers 3 or 2.5 or whatever you want to call it. While loosely based on the massive “Civil War” arc from the comics, it’s been made clear that Spider-Man isn’t going to have the same role in the movie. In the comic books, Spider-Man was the main focus, as he was one of the most visible superheroes with a secret identity, the MCU heroes don’t really have identities to hide.
*Spoiler Alert* Tony Stark outed himself as Iron Man at the end of the first movie. There’s a museum dedicated to Steve Rogers, A.K.A. Captain America. The only one that really seems to keep their “super” hero life separate from the personal life is Hawkeye in order to protect his family… just like Peter Parker in the comics… Hmmm…
But, I digress. Again, the movie is a Captain America movie, and to put Spidey at the forefront of the marketing of it would most assuredly take away from that. I’m surprised that they are actually pushing Iron Man as hard as they are, but it would be hard not to as he’s the main antagonist for Cap, at least overtly. I’m sure there are strings being pulled behind the scenes (I’m looking at you, Hydra).
So, I’m not mad that they aren’t showing us Spider-Man. While a look at his homemade costume would be nice, I’m satisfied knowing that he will be in the movie at all! It wasn’t long ago that we all assumed that they were making a Civil War movie without Spider-Man. What a travesty that would have been. While one part of me will always be hoping for leaked footage or pictures, another part of me relishes the idea of waiting with anticipation as the lights go down in the theater, not having any idea how Marvel is going to portray Spider-Man, and the excitement of seeing him swing across the screen for the first time in the MCU.