Hey, I'm sorry, I have another question for you. I was wondering, what's your take on Ross having so much control over the Avengers in cacw? Someone said that it was because they were all American except Wanda, but I don't fully buy that. After all, most of the events were taking place on foreign soil, shouldn't the reps of those countries also have had a say in how they operated, and on the consequences of them breaking the law?
Don’t apologize. I love questions! I hope you don’t mind a long answer because I have a lot of thoughts on Thaddeus Ross.
My answer is going to be two-fold, the first being what we know as seen in the MCU thus far and what the real-life position of Secretary of State entails, and the second part what I predict they’re trying to set up with Ross given his comics history.
Firstly the position of Secretary of State should have never gone to Ross. And any sympathy I had for Marvel President Ellis left over from Iron Man 3 is now gone entirely because the position of SoS is appointed by the president and you have to wonder, given Ross’ history, what exactly Ellis was thinking in appointing Ross to that position of all people.
What we know from Incredible Hulk about Thaddeus Ross:
He was running a human experimentation program trying to replicate Erskine’s super soldier serum.
This project was government funded and military supported.
Moreover we know that the accident that resulted in Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk was not the first mishap under Ross’ purview. How do we know this? From this bit of dialogue from Incredible Hulk, right here:
General Greller: Are you telling me ANOTHER one of you super soldier experiments has gone haywire?! Is there ANYTHING that came out of that program that didn’t turn into a mess?!
We also know that Ross’ idea of capturing Banner (whom had lost all humanity to Ross - Ross saw Banner as an object. More dialogue from Incredible Hulk… “No, that’s not a ‘good thing’ Major. But I don’t want Banner anyway. GODDAMNIT I WANT WHAT’S INSIDE OF HIM.”) was to create another Hulk-like being, Abomination, who was worse and who proceeded to take out half of Harlem.
So what we have established here: Ross is super invested in creating an army of super powered beings, and when I say super invested, I mean invested to the point of mania. His human experimentation program has had many mishaps, but yet the military and the US government is still somehow funding it. In the movie Incredible Hulk it was Ross’ mania to capture Bruce Banner and further his experimentation that resulted in a Brazilian town being leveled, as well as half of Harlem. Moral of the story, Ross’ has no leg to stand on to lecture anyone on collateral damage.
Since Ellis appointed Ross to Secretary of State, then I’m led to believe that Ellis, too, has some nefarious intentions. Especially as, and this is an important note that not many people discuss, the Raft was fully built and functional by the time the Accords were rolled out.
I work in a tall office building in La Jolla, San Diego. It took a construction crew almost a year just to redo the lobby of this building. Can you imagine how long it would take to design, then build, a structure like the Raft? One that is submersible and surrounded entirely by ocean?! A project like that would take YEARS. But there it sat, fully operational, ready to imprison super powered beings. Also, were you aware that anything beyond 12 nautical miles from a country’s coast is considered international waters (…in real life anyway. Naturally in the Marvel world the oceans are under the jurisdiction of Namor, a fact of which he likes to remind everybody. Constantly.). Just things that make you go hmmmm.
Anyway, here are the powers that Ross has (that he should have never been given and the fact that he does have them is eyebrow raising) as Secretary of State:
Negotiates, interprets, and terminates treaties and agreements;
Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries;
Supervises the administration of U.S. immigration laws abroad;
Provides information to American citizens regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian conditions in foreign countries
Serves as the channel of communication between the Federal Government and the States on the extradition of fugitives to or from foreign countries.
Grants and issues passports to American citizens and exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States
I’ve bolded the two we saw, with our own eyes, Ross completely abuse in CA:CW.
Now onto where I feel the MCU might be taking Ross. In comics Ross becomes Red Hulk, he is also a member of an early incarnation of the Thunderbolts, as are two other villains who appeared in CA:CW: Crossbones and Helmut Zemo.
…it is my theory that the Thunderbolts/Masters of Evil are already in the MCU, and have been plotting behind everyone’s back, which would explain a lot of the plot holes that have been thus far unanswered. Things like: Klaw having vibranium in A:AOU (Klaw as a member of the Masters of Evil, the pre-Thuderbolts). Who hired Crossbones to be in Lagos and how he knew the Avengers were going to be sent there (set-up) at the same time that the Wakandan dignitaries were there (I do not believe that Crossbones being there with a bomb at the same time as the Wakandan dignitaries is a coincidence). The real reason the UN was blown up with both T’Chaka and T’Challa present (had T’Challa died, too, both the king and his successor would have been taken out), and why Ross ignored empirical evidence that Bucky had been framed, thus sending Tony to Siberia exactly when Zemo needed him there. All of these things, I feel, can be explained by a Thunderbolt/Masters of Evil underlying plot.
One more thing to support my theory? The main prison in the comic book Civil War was not the Raft, it was Area 42 - the Negative Zone. The Raft, however, has a significant tie to the Thunderbolts. When Steve came back from the ‘dead’ and became Top Cop, he and Luke Cage decided to make the Thunderbolts a legit shot at redemption for former villains (instead of either Zemo’s or Osborn’s incarnations of it, which was anything but), so they went to the Raft to recruit and administer a test, of sorts (to gauge the sincerity of the former villains in their redemption) leaving Luke in charge of the new team.