By the numbers, with five on Team Red and six on Team Blue, one might be tempted to predict Captain America’s side [Blue] will win. That said, evaluating each individual character and collectively by the sides chosen shows more actual superpowers in Iron Man’s faction [Red].
Marvel sometimes rates its characters in six categories of a Power Grid:
- Energy Projection
- Fighting Skills
These are measured on scales from 1 to 7, with 2 considered the score for the normal person – regardless of category. Red is more powerful in all but the last rating. Tony Stark’s stance in Civil War and those who support it are – in total – almost a third again better than the First Avenger and his troops. Advantage: Red Team!
Given the leadership and tactical advantages Steve Rogers can be presumed to possess, his side will almost certainly have the better strategy (without actually determining a way to avoid a physical conflict). Advantage: Blue Team!
The most powerful single heroes in the fight are Vision for Red and Scarlet Witch for Blue. The synthezoid delivered the coup de grâce against Ultron via the Mind Gem and therefore, if used against any member of the opposing side, would be more than sufficient. As the mutant’s powers have been portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the only member of Stark’s faction that might be immune is Vision.
The respective powers of these two both count as Energy Projection and they are equivalent according to the Power Grid in that aspect. Logically, the fight should boil down to just them and, with regard to every other rating, Vision is superior. Victory: Red Team!
Joss Whedon is well-known as a geek. This includes playing Dungeons & Dragons – so we can guess that he’s experienced in overcoming the numbers on any character sheet to triumph. He’s also not stranger to chance influencing the outcome; he’s probably rolled his fair share of Natural 20s. Maybe losing side before the third act will get unexpected help from Spider-man in some way (making him the Random Encounter).
In addition, although I’ve never played D&D with Mr. Whedon, he will twist the rules as much as serves the story – and maybe a little more. Even taking that into consideration, there are a few things I doubt he’ll avoid.
Expect to see most of the following…
- The MCU’s two newest, Ant-Man and Black Panther, will make trouble for each other – demonstrating what they’re capable of in a “fresh” way.
- The two women will engage is some manner of one-on-one conflict and it will probably be more or less a draw. The audience probably expects this but it’s been done to death.
- Some moment of brotherhood between two of the three characters of African descent is likely and, if handled well, could enhance the story.
- Hawkeye will last longer than he should given the odds and any form of sense.
- There will be a nod to Scarlet Witch and Vision potentially having a relationship at some future point, if the film parallels the comics that is.
Mr. Whedon has written many actual comic books, including the first 24 issues of Astonishing X-Men. (It’s ironic he can’t use those characters in the film.) We know from his body of work that he features and favors the underdog. Buffy, its extended franchise, and Firefly/Serenity (i.e., almost his entire oeuvre) all demonstrate that he’ll kill a beloved character.
These factors in conjunction mean the underdog pack will almost certainly win but it will cost them at least one of their (our) favorites. Prediction 1: In Captain America: Civil War, Blue will win the day but the titular character will “die” just as he did in the comic book arc on which the film is based.
“Tahiti is a magical place.”
Since Agent Coulson’s death and return, that is a new euphemism for the comic book death trope. Prediction 2: The post-credits stinger(s) will show all of this is playing into the hands of Thanos and then remind us of Valhalla while hinting at Cap’s return from it.
Only uncle Ben is staying dead but that’s another franchise.