Captain America Civil War: What is the Raft?

The Raft

A nice addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the comics that made its debut in Captain America: Civil War is the “Raft”. A prison located in the waters of New York City, the Raft is something like a Ryker’s for super villains. While in the film, the floating prison has no super powered antagonists, that we know of, in its hold, it does have a few visitors that we are familiar with. As a head’s up, this write-up will feature spoilers for Civil War so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s probably best to steer clear.

Originally debuting in Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias series (which was the name of the comics that saw the debut of Netflix’s Jessica Jones), the Raft was created as a place to keep Marvel’s super villains in check. Some of its residents included Carnage, Mr. Hyde, Graviton, and even the Mandrill! Ok, well the Mandrill isn’t too impressive but the fact that this prison had such powerful villains was. Obviously, things didn’t go as well as planned and a jail break took place when the Spider-Man villain, Electro, busted the prison wide open and let its denizens loose on the world. This series of events led to a new team of Avengers coming together, including the impetus for Spider-Man and Wolverine becoming permanent members of the team.

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(Photo: Marvel Studios / IMAX)

Currently, the Raft has been changed from a super villain prison into “Spider-Island 2”. During a time when Spider-Man’s body had been overtaken by Doctor Octopus, Otto took control of the island and made it his own personal lab. Needless to say, the bowels were still quite nefarious though when Peter got his body back, the Raft remained. There are a number of different super villain prisons in the MCU, but the Raft is the most popular of them currently, which is why it was placed into Civil War.

The Raft was also a big part of the defunct animated series, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which saw the traditional team assemble when the prisoners of the Raft, along with many other super powered clinks, were freed. Obviously, this took a page from the New Avengers series but with the more traditional roster of Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Janet Van Dyne, Thor, and the Hulk.

In the latest MCU installment, following the epic airport battle between Iron Man’s and Captain America’s teams, Tony Stark manages to place the remnants of the Anti-Registration side into the Raft. Hawkeye, Falcon, Ant-Man, and Scarlet Witch reside in the Raft, cursing Tony Stark and his devotion to registering with the government. Eventually, the team is rescued by Captain America, though we’re not entirely sure if they joined Cap and Bucky in Wakanda with Black Panther. The Raft still exists, even with the prison break, and it’s sure to remain as a fixture in the MCU moving forward. We have plenty more super villains making their entrances with upcoming Black Panther and Spider-Man solo movies on the way.