It’s safe to say one of the biggest events ever in Marvel history has been Civil War. Mark Millar and Steve McNiven brought to life an enthralling story of the Superhuman Registration Act that fractured heroes and villains alike, changing the status quo forever. So much so that disasters like Secret Invasion, Secret Empire and other sinister events were easier to integrate, as the Marvel Universe was broken beyond belief.
Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty has unveiled a similar sort of argument, and while it’s on a much smaller scale, it’s just as poignant. That’s because, while it isn’t as bloody and doesn’t feature heroes fighting each other, it deals with the dire issue of principle and if this isn’t addressed soon, the trickle-down effect could damage the camaraderie among heroes beyond repair.
The Avengers’ Hawkeye Confirmed a Rift Between the Heroes
In Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #6 (by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Carmen Carnero and Joe Caramagna), Captain America (Steve Rogers) is discussing the shocking change that Bucky Barnes made. He’s joined the Outer Circle, plotting to destroy them from the inside. But in the interim, he has to partake in their manipulation of the world, crime included. He lets his new crew — which includes the likes of Peggy Carter, as well as Sharon and Nick Fury — know how this will entail them going against groups like A.I.M.
The Outer Circle has, after all, manipulated all these groups, including Hydra, to make Bucky a weapon and influence world politics and economics for a century. Hawkeye then admits they need to look into Arnim Zola’s secret facility as well, which he found out due to his tenure with Thunderbolts — a years-long affiliation he’s had. This time, he’s licensed with them, but Captain America isn’t pleased he’s only now hearing about this news.
Captain America and Hawkeye Have a Verbal Sparring Match
Steve is angry Clint held back this information because the facility is linked to Arnim Zola. The villain had tons of history with Captain America, and A.I.M., so he feels he should have been notified. But as Hawkeye says, he’s playing within the law and honoring his contract with the Thunderbolts. He’s paid by them, so he can’t breach orders by letting his friends know their business. Admittedly, it’s problematic because it means the Avengers are being kept out of the loop.
Seeing as Captain America is still part of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, maybe they could have investigated and nipped this in the bud, but to Hawkeye, it’s administration and playing by the book — something not usually associated with the rogue archer. Nonetheless, disconnects like this led to various groups coming under fire in Civil War and made it easier for the Skrulls to infiltrate. In addition, Norman Osborn exploited all this during Dark Reign to take over and spread his iron grip, so Steve just doesn’t like hearing how things aren’t centralized.
Flaws like this make the heroes vulnerable, whether it be the Avengers, groups like the Thunderbolts, or even other splinter X-Men cells. It speaks to how poor communication is between these societies who should be on the same page, as they have a common goal — protecting the world. Thankfully, Steve and Clint gloss over this and move forward, but clearly, there’s resentment lingering. It’s definitely a civil war in terms of beliefs of how justice should be doled out, and ultimately, they’ll need to address this moving forward because as it stands, groups such as the Outer Circle are capitalizing on it, hinting other villains could do the same, too and cause these heroes to then lash out at each other.