Will The Microverse Replace the Negative Zone in Civil War?

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There is high anticipation for next year’s Captain America: Civil War (especially now since it just wrapped filming). Many people are wondering how closely it will—or won’t—stick to the comic book story arc. One of the major aspects of the Civil War story arc was the scheme created by Iron Man’s pro-registration faction to lock the rebellious, anti-registration heroes away in an inescapable jail, housed in the Negative Zone. There was a lot of debate among the characters about the morality of the idea. Spider-Man especially opposed the idea and it initiated his defection to Team Cap. It’s a major part of the storyline.

But it won’t be used in the CA: Civil War film. They obviously can’t include the Negative Zone in the movie, because it was just (mis)used in that sickening celluloid suppository known as the Fantastic Four. In that theatrical pile of pig puke, the foursome’s origin was connected to the Negative Zone—Oh excuse me…Planet Zero! (Ugh!)  That marks it as a Fox property, putting it out of the MCU’s reach. Besides that, the last thing Marvel Studios/Disney wants to do is become associated in any way with the Fantastic Four film. 

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So are they going to cut this subplot out completely from CA: Civil War? Maybe not. Maybe they are going to replace it with something else. It would have to be a place already established in the MCU. A place without civilians to endanger. A place nearly impossible to get back from. A place like the Microverse!

There are several reasons to believe this will be the case. First of all, some people have wondered why the Microverse was introduced in Ant-Man. We didn’t learn much about it and we only saw an inside view of that sub-atomic universe for about a two minutes. Truthfully, it seemed like a waste of a good setting. Why fit this major concept into a film and not play it up better? Possibly, the reason the Microverse was utilized at all in the movie was as a set-up for a future Marvel film. After all, Marvel loves foreshadowing. (The Infinity Stones have been built up since Captain America: The First Avenger.)

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Secondly, they established in Ant-Man that it’s nearly impossible to escape from there. (Scott was the first and only one to get out.) That seems like a great place to lock up someone who has the power to escape from any normal prison. If Iron Man found out about this place from Hank Pym, the lightbulb would go off over his armored head. On the other hand, you might say “Iron Man would never lock other super heroes up in a place there’s no way to get them back from.”  Good point, but now that Hank Pym knows it’s possible to escape from there, perhaps he goes to a certain billionaire super hero because they have a compatible goal—Iron Man needs the perfect prison and Pym needs to find the secret to opening the door of the Microverse, so he can rescue his wife. Pym therefore may get some help from Stark, and together they’ll discover a doorway to and from the Microverse.

The Negative Zone jailbreak was the climactic moment to the Civil War storyline in the comics, leading to the final throw-down between Team Iron and Team America. The filmmakers will need something comparable to replace it on the big screen. A battle in the Microverse could make for a spectacular sequence in Captain America: Civil War.