As if you needed any more reasons to be excited for Marvel’s upcoming Captain America: Civil War.

Entertainment Weekly released a preview for this week’s issue (dated Dec. 11), and on the cover are three of the biggest stars of the film. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) are all in costume, each striking a menacing pose.


Everything released for this blockbuster, including this cover, has gotten Marvel fans’ expectations rocketing to impossibly high level.

Civil War is based off the Mark Millar 2006 comic book series of the same name and tells the story of how after one of the latest big superhero battles cause a ton of collateral damage, the government introduces legislation which forces superheroes to register themselves, adhering to governmental rules and regulations. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, and his team aren’t in favor of signing up while Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is pro-registration.

CA: Civil War, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), looks to be following a lot of the same beats covered in the comic, but with character rights all over the place, and the fact this is a Captain America film, it’s not going to follow the exact same storyline.

For example, the film uses Bucky Barnes’ Winter Soldier as the main influence on Captain America, as the government is chasing his lifelong friend for committing a bunch of heinous acts after being experimented on by Hydra and becoming the organization’s operative following World War II. In the comic, Cap is opposed to the Superhero Registration Act, as he deems it unconstitutional, while Iron Man favors it. Stark’s motivation is probably plagued by the destruction he caused by creating Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

There’s no Thanos, there’s no Loki, or any traditional villain, as far as we know. (Though Daniel Bruhl has been cast as Baron Zemo, a longtime nemesis of Captain America from the comics.) The story pits our favorite Marvel movie heroes against each other, and you’re forced to choose a side.

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Evans told EW that Civil War will show you two opposing points of view which will surely cause all kinds of internal conflict.

“In most of the movies, there’s no question who we should be siding with,” Evans says. “We all agree Nazis are bad, aliens from space are bad. But this movie’s the first time where you really have two points of view. It becomes a question of morality and I don’t think [Cap] has ever been so uncertain with what right and wrong is.”

What makes Civil War even more exciting, is the secondary characters included. Black Panther/T’Challa is one of the best Marvel characters (comics’ first black superhero, in fact), and to see him come to life is incredible. Boseman is a great actor and his costume looks perfect. The EW issue will include a feature on that costume, covering its design and physical details. Black Panther is getting his own spin-off film, and it can’t come out soon enough. (Actually, the movie will be in theaters Feb. 16, 2018.)

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A new incarnation of Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) is also set to make an appearance, as are most of the Avengers outside of Hulk and Thor. While Avengers: Age of Ultron had too much going on with it, I’m confident the Russo Brothers can do a great Captain America film again while introducing a ton of new Phase 3 characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

So yes, this is just a magazine cover, but it’s a magazine cover for probably the most hyped film of 2016. With details and reveals slowly emerging, Captain America: Civil War is setting itself up to not only shape the future of the Marvel Universe, but to be the next great superhero installment. I couldn’t be more excited.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.