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First Reactions to ‘Captain America: Civil War’: Black Panther and Spider-Man Join the Fray

First Reactions to 'Captain America: Civil War': Black Panther and Spider-Man Join the Fray

The tinfoil-hat types who think Marvel paid off critics to pan “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” must be gnashing their teeth at the near-uniform raves for “Captain America: Civil War” that surfaced over the weekend. Although the movie, which features enough of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s supporting cast to qualify as an unofficial “Avengers” sequel, doesn’t open until April 28, Disney publicists gave critics leave to start tweeting reactions late Friday night, tap-dancing on “Batman V Superman’s” box-office grave as it fell into second place behind Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss.”

These are only the briefest of takes, albeit from more credible/identifiable sources than the first wave of BVS reactions. But there are a few recurring themes, most notably the praise for the introduction of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man, newly liberated from his ensiloed Sony world and free to join the MCU. (Sadly, that means Paul Giamatti did all that grimacing for nothing.) Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther seems to make less of an impression — less, at least, than the new Ta-Nehisi Coates-scripted comic book arc which also launched on Friday — but the final blow-out gets high marks, as you’d hope for a movie with “war” in its title. It’s worth bearing in mind that the “Civil War” reactions mainly come from established fans of the MCU, which isn’t to say that their opinions are suspect, just that Disney isn’t about to let any die-hard Marvel skeptics in the door this early. But even from them, the intensity of the praise is noteworthy.

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