For months now, comic book movie fans all over the world have been freaking out over one thing: who wins Captain America: Civil War, Marvel's epic showdown between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Fans have taken sides and engaged in heated debates over whether Team Iron Man or Team Cap is right, all in the name of good fun (and some friendly competition). They've waited long and hard to find out which side comes out on top at the end of Civil War, and what happens to the Avengers as a result. Well, I have some bad news for those fans desperate for a definitive answer — the winner of Civil War is... nobody.
Yes, really. Although Iron Man and Captain America have a major fight during the movie, neither of them actually comes out the winner. And no, it's not a tie — you could honestly say that both heroes actually lose the battle they fight in the movie. Sure, neither of them gets gravely injured, dies, or loses a loved one, but they both do suffer greatly by the end of Civil War, and neither of them could justly be called a winner of the film.
Let me back up, and beware, spoilers ahead! As you may have heard by how, Civil War is about the fight between Team Iron Man (Tony, plus Scarlet Witch, Rhodes, Vision and, at least somewhat, Black Panther) and Team Captain America (Steve, plus Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, Falcon, Ant-Man and Bucky), over a document called the Sokovia Accords that would allow government control over the Avengers. Although the battle starts out relatively calm, with the Avengers remaining friends despite having different views on whether the Accords are needed, it eventually turns heated. The team splits into real sides, and start to seriously battle one another, causing actual injuries. Finally, after some twists and turns, it ends up being a fight solely between Cap and Iron Man, and the duo engage in violent, intense attacks.
And if you stopped the movie there, you might say that the winner of Civil War is Cap, because, when the battle ends, Cap has defeated Iron Man by placing his shield in his foe's chest reactor, causing the suit to lose power. Yet that'd be a mistake, because soon after, it becomes clear that neither hero has truly won. Both of them are disheartened at the Avengers' split, and are saddened by the losses they've experienced along the way. Iron Man is devastated that the Avengers are broken up, and that Cap has no intention of putting them back together; Cap, meanwhile, feels that he's lost his friend for good, due to reasons he still doesn't fully understand. When Civil War ends, the duo have seemingly stopped being angry at each other and are able to be respectful, but it's clear that their bond has been broken, potentially for good.
It's a sad ending to the film, and it proves that when two beloved superheroes fight, no one truly comes out on top. Cap may technically be the victor of the film, but both he and Iron Man are focused far more on what they've lost in the end then the battles they may have won to get there.