Captain America: Civil War and Batman vs Superman are now out and both movies are quite similar in some ways. Yes, both of them have elements based on the comic books, but you will notice the similarities. There are also a few things that are quite different about both movies too.
Bear in mind, we will be talking about major spoilers for both Batman vs Superman and Captain America: Civil War. If you haven’t seen them yet, come back later. This is your final warning.
Collateral Damage: Both films delve upon the theme of collateral damage caused by the heroes when they are fighting bad guys. In Batman vs Superman, the beginning of the film shows how dangerous Metropolis was when Superman had to fight Zod. Bruce Wayne was there and felt Superman is a dangerous threat from that day forward.
There was also a subplot where Lois Lane is in Africa and Superman saves her. However, Lex Luthor framed Superman to be a killer as many people died that day in Africa which is why the senate hearing occurs much later in the movie.
In Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers’ collateral damage comes into question at the very beginning of the film while they are chasing Crossbones who is also in Africa. The mission is successful, although it wasn’t without consequences. Crossbones blew himself up and Scarlet Witch inadvertently directed him into a nearby building that killed civilians.
After that incident, the Government wants the Avengers to sign an agreement which would allow a governing body to oversee all of their actions from now on. The incident in Africa wasn’t the only mission where civilian casualties occurred as people died in Sokovia, New York and Washington DC in other movies.
Differing ideologies: In Batman vs Superman, Batman is scared if Superman will ever go evil. Batman wants Superman to die as he’s so nervous that Superman will take over the world one day. Superman on the other hand doesn’t approve of Batman’s vigilante ways.
Sadly though, they only have one confrontation before they actually fight and that’s when Superman flies to Gotham City to tell Bruce Wayne to bury the Batman once and for all. After that, the fight happens but for a different reason as Superman’s mother is kidnapped by Lex Luthor.
In Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers argue a lot about the agreement they have to sign with the Government. Stark is nervous about how powerful the Avengers have become and wants an outside party to control their actions. Rogers on the other hand doesn’t trust the Government’s decisions all the time and wants to tackle missions freely.
The other reason they come to blows is because of Bucky Barnes. Stark and everyone else thinks Barnes is a dangerous assassin and needs to be arrested. Rogers believes Barnes is being framed and knows he’s being brainwashed.
Villain pulling the strings: Even though Batman wanted to fight Superman, Superman was hesitant to hurt Bruce. The film kind of ignored Clark’s investigation on Batman’s vigilante ways and added the subplot of Martha Kent being kidnapped by Lex Luthor. Superman had to kill Batman in one hour’s time or else his mother would die.
In other words, it was Lex Luthor that was pulling the strings all along for the two of them to fight. The film doesn’t explain clearly why Lex Luthor has beef with both heroes so it’s open to interpretation right now. Hopefully the 3 hour cut gives us more on why he hates the heroes.
Baron Zemo is the villain pulling the strings in Captain America: Civil War and he was the one that framed Bucky Barnes and pitted the Avengers to fight one another. When Barnes was still a brain-washed assassin, he was tasked to kill Tony Stark’s parents. Zemo used this in order to get Stark angry so that Rogers will have to fight Iron Man in order to protect Bucky.
Zemo’s motivation is explained because he blames the Avengers for his family’s death in Sokovia. The collateral damage thing was the main reason why he hates them as he feels that they didn’t save enough lives in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Final fight: Batman vs Superman had a very different final fight compared to that of Captain America: Civil War. This is thanks to the arrival of Doomsday which forced Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to destroy him. In the end, Superman “died” while killing Doomsday.
Captain America: Civil War was different in its final fight. It teased that five other “Winter Soldiers” were being revived by Zemo for world domination but that didn’t happen. Zemo pretty much just wanted Iron Man, Captain America and Bucky Barnes to kill one another. It was a more happier ending as nobody died, although several of the characters are now fugitives.
Setting up future films: Lastly, both films are setting up for future movies. At the end of Batman vs Superman, Bruce Wayne wants to assemble the Justice League with Wonder Woman. The email Wayne sent to her revealed other metahumans such as The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. Lex Luthor also saying “ding ding” references that Darkseid is coming soon.
Captain America: Civil War didn’t really do much to set up Avengers: Infinity War, but it did showcase new characters. Black Panther had an excellent introduction and he will star in his own solo movie in 2018. Spider-Man also stole the show and we will see him earlier in 2017.