Filed it away until earlier today, I read a comment on a blog post by someone who said she preferred Spike to Angel because he took responsibility for his actions. I thought wait wait wait, that's why I prefer Angel to Spike. Don't try to find the post; it was a few years old and not on LJ, but now I'm interested in probing that idea to find connections.
When Team Cheekbones says that Spike takes responsibility, they mean that he accepts that he's the same person with or without a soul, right? There's no, "That wasn't me, it was him." But Angel, who refers to Angelus as a different entity, is still working on cleaning up the mess regardless of who made it. What's it really mean to hold yourself accountable? Accept the blame and carry on, or shun authority and shoulder the load? Is there even a right way to look at it?
No secret of course that I'm Team Forehead all the way, but as for Steve and Tony, I still haven't really chosen a side. That's perplexing, and it's why I haven't said much about the movie yet, and it's also what I liked best about it. After Tony relayed the grieving mother's story to the Avengers, it seemed cut and dry; his argument wins because it's the one that's holding a photo of an innocent dead teenager. He says he wants supervision so that the team's vast collective power will be under control, and that makes sense.
Except that whoever controls the power gets the blame for the mistakes. There really isn't any reason to believe that there will be fewer casualties once the UN is in charge of deploying the Avengers; those casualties will just be someone else's fault. Tony's got good reason to look for guidance from an outside source, but Steve's going to feel worse about the conflict he didn't try to stop than the one he couldn't stop.
In place of a conclusion, here's the best thing I've read so far on Civil War. I take no responsibility for any of the sentiments expressed.