What to Read After Watching Civil War
Besides the famous arc it’s based on, Captain America: Civil War is packed with plot points from other comics. Whether it’s an underground Avengers team or the concept of multiple Winter Soldiers, these concepts have appeared in some shape or form in past stories. If you’re interested in seeing how these concepts and plot points played out in the past, here are some comics that cover or expand on what you saw on screen. Be wary; there are major spoilers from the film ahead!
Marvel’s Civil War (2006) by Mark Millar
Now that you’ve seen the film’s interpretation of Civil War, you should check out how the comics did it. The crossover event retains the concept of a government legislation overseeing superhero actions, but it tells a different story from the film with completely different plot points. Reading this story is recommended, as it establishes greater context for the stories ahead.
Captain America: Red Menace (2007) by Ed Brubaker
If you’re itching to see how Steve Rogers found Bucky after his brainwashing wore off, read the “Red Menace” arc of Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America. It follows Rogers as he tries to foil a terrorist plot by Crossbones, the villain you saw in the beginning of the Captain America: Civil War. The struggle eventually led Cap to Bucky, who at this point is acting covertly to seek vengeance against the men who recently used him as a tool for murder. While it’s possible to dive into this one directly, we recommend starting from the beginning of Brubaker’s run, beginning with the “Winter Soldier” arc (Issues 1-14).
Black Panther: Who is Black Panther? (2006) by Reginald Hudlin
The film had its own rendition of the Black Panther’s origins, but if you’re curious to see what that story looked like in the comics, check out Reginald Hudlin’s run on the character. It’s a modern re-telling of the Black Panther’s origins that tells similar story beats, with T’Challa taking on the mantle as he seeks vengeance against Ulysses Klaw, the man who killed his father. Alternatively, you can also check out Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s classic rendition of the Black Panther’s origins in issues 52-53 of Fantastic Four Vol. 1 (1966).
Captain America: No Escape (2011) by Ed Brubaker
Captain America: No Escape is the story to read if you were infatuated with Zemo and his desire for revenge. After the events of Civil War in the comics, Bucky assumes the role of Captain America, leading a successful career as a crimefighter and member of the Avengers. However, Baron Zemo–longtime nemesis of Captain America in the comics–catches wind of Bucky’s activity and plots to reveal his history as the Winter Soldier, which could mean a whole lot of trouble for his stint as Captain America. What follows turns into a psychological drama–similar to the one witnessed at the end of Captain America: Civil War–that threatens not only Bucky’s future but everything he has ever believed.
Winter Soldier: The Complete Collection (2014) by Ed Brubaker
The film’s concept of multiple Winter Soldiers was taken from Ed Brubaker’s run on The Winter Soldier solo series. In that story, Bucky has to track down and take out three ex-Russian super soldiers that he helped train during his time as a brainwashed assassin. The espionage drama in this arc is thrilling, capturing the same tone and style seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The New Avengers Vol. 6 (2007) and The Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 (2007) by Brian Michael Bendis
Similar to the film, the end of Civil War split the Avengers into two different teams. Where one operates as a government-sanctioned team, the other fights crime covertly, outside the eyes of the law. If you were fascinated by the concept of a rogue Avengers team, Brian Michael Bendis’ run on The New Avengers shows what it would look like if the superhero team had to operate in a post-Civil War universe. Alternatively, if you’re interested in seeing the Avengers operating as a government-sanctioned team, check out Bendis’ The Mighty Avengers.
Iron Man: Civil War (2007) by Brian Michael Bendis
If you came out of Captain America: Civil War more fascinated by Iron Man’s point of view, read Brian Michael Bendis’ Iron Man: Civil War. The two-issue series expands on Tony Stark’s motivations and beliefs, providing more insight on why he chose to side with the government. It also sheds light on his decaying relationship with Captain America throughout the conflict.
Spider-Man: Civil War (2007) by J. Michael Straczynski
Like the film, Tony Stark also took to mentoring Spider-Man during the events of Civil War in the comics. You can see what this relationship looks like in J. Michael Straczynski’s Spider-Man: Civil War, where Spider-Man becomes Tony’s protege. However, this relationship is deceiving in nature compared to the film, as Tony only mentors Spider-Man to gain the public’s favor.
Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch–A Year in the Life (1985) by Steve Englehart
If you enjoyed the romantic vibes between Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Captain America: Civil War, then you’ll be happy to know that the two are actually a couple in the comics. Both characters appear in a 12-issue series by Steve Englehart where they embark on crime fighting adventures as a married couple.