Forget about Twat-Man V Stupor-Man, because the biggest brouhaha of this year involves an ideological gap being settled with punching when a legendary steroid-powered war hero goes up against Charlie Chaplin in power armour. There’s a lot of heroes present in Captain America: Civil War, possibly too many to even keep track. Lost? Have no fear, because we’ve been rolling out primers this entire week on the upcoming throwdown.
This week, we’re going with another World War Two legend and a Sokovian who may not be fast but is plenty freaky in the power department. Let’s get the ball rolling with:
A freaky-powered Sokovian, Wanda Maximoff was originally opposed to the idea of the Avengers and Tony Stark in particular, allowing HYDRA to augment her with exotic powers that gave her control over the fundamental forces of the universe. Eventually realising that she was a pawn in Ultron’s grand scheme to exterminate humanity, the Scarlet Witch sided with the Avengers and helped save the planet during the battle of Sokovia.
Although the full extent of her powers have yet to be fully explored, the Scarlet Witch is generally considered to be an extremely powerful Psionic with a variety of mental powers and cosmic energy manipulation that came from exposure to the Mind Stone that was housed in Loki’s sceptre. Wanda has already shown signs of control and distortion over molecules and forms of physical forces, such as friction, kinetic energy, pressure, state of matter and even gravity.
These powers usually manifest in the form of red energy currents, allowing her to project destructive energy blasts, levitate, form psionic shields and manipulate the building blocks of reality itself. Wanda has also shown telepathic abilities, able to read minds and mentally communicate with others. During the battle of South Africa, Wanda used these powers to create hypnotic illusions that used the individual fears of the Avengers to trap them in a mental prison temporarily.
Now a fully-fledged member of the Avengers, Wanda is only just beginning to understand how to control her powers, abilities that might make her one of the mightiest mortals to ever live.
During the second World War, James Buchannan Barnes was a talented and deadly soldier who possessed keen battlefield senses when he fought with Captain America and the Howling Commandos. After his presumed death during a a failed assault on a HYDRA train, Barnes was recovered by HYDRA forces and brainwashed into becoming the ultimate assassin, replacing his lost arm with a new bionic prosthesis and enhancements that made him a worthy match for even Captain America.
A series of HYDRA experiments also augmented his biological strength, speed, durability, stamina, agility and reflexes to similar peak human levels as that of Captain America, allowing him to fight the World War 2 legend on even ground, but left his mind blank and his history with his Steve Rogers forgotten. The Winter Soldier also possesses an enhanced healing factor, able to quickly regenerate from bruises, scratches and other non-mortal wounds in mere hours.
Much like Steve Rogers, the Winter Soldier is also a skilled martial artist, having used HYDRA training in forms such as Kali knife fighting, boxing, Taekwondo and Krav Maga with his US army skills to become a master assassin. Barnes is also a master marksman, with his HYDRA brainwashing having made him the perfect killer who carried out over two dozen high profile murders over a 50 year career, while his skills with a knife made him a close quarters combat nightmare for anyone who got too close to him.
Now on the run, the Winter Soldier has recovered his memories and has sided with Captain America as the world seeks to blame him for a cataclysmic event that has left the Avengers divided.