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The Sokovia Accords is the Marvel Cinematic Universe's equivalent to the Superhero Registration Act. "Powered" people are expected to sign it and obey its edicts.

Why would Black Widow and Hawkeye have to sign it? They're highly-trained former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents for sure, but then why wouldn't other agents like Melinda May or Phil Coulson have to sign?

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    It's specifically about the Avengers, not just super-powered beings. The SHIELD characters are already operating illegally, so the Accords wouldn't really change anything for them.
    – Rogue Jedi
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 5:22
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    I've done an edit to bring out the main question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 11:09
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    @RogueJedi they were re-legalized in the TV series that is part of that universe.
    – Helmar
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 11:32
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    It is not just about the Avengers. All of the Inhumans working for SHIELD were required to sign the accords.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 18:21
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    One could make the same argument about the staunchest proponent of the Accords: Tony Stark. He’s not powered either, he just has brains and nice tech (Bruce Wayne’s counterpart in the MCU). Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 16:18

2 Answers 2

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The Accords don’t just cover superheroes, they also cover the Avengers.

When Thaddeus Ross introduces the Accords in Civil War, he says (emphasis mine):

For the past 4 years, you operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That's an arrangement the governments of the world can no longer tolerate. But I think we have a solution.

The Sokovia accords.

Approved by 117 countries. It states that the Avengers shall no longer be a private organization. Instead, they'll operate under the supervision of a United Nations Panel, only when and if that Panel deems it necessary.

So regardless of whether they have extra-human abilities, their affiliation with the Avengers means they’re still bound by its terms.

Former SHIELD agents like May or Coulson have never (publicly, at least) had the same degree of association with superheroes, so they’re probably not accounted for in the original draft of the Accords. At the time of Civil War, the official story was that SHIELD had been disbanded and Coulson was dead. Showing up to the signing would be a bit of a giveaway.

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  • I agree with most of your answer. However, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Inhumans were already being asked to sign before the agency was legitimized. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 4:04
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The 'Sokovia Accords', as the name suggests, were made to control the people responsible for the destruction of Sokovia (mainly). The govt. doesn't really care about who's superpowered and who's not. It might have been different in the comics.

Black Widow is no longer a SHIELD agent. She slam-dunked the government two years ago (in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and is now officially an Avenger. Clint Barton was fully an Avenger too after the destruction of SHIELD.

Coulson and May work in the shadows. They've never caused much destruction and no-one knows about them (not even the Avengers). Probably, General Ross too is unaware of SHIELD's presence.

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    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would suggest that the UN are very interested in people who're superpowered but weren't at Sokovia.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 9:52

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