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YMMV: Civil War
  • Anvilicious: Made worse by the argument that the comic can't even seem to decide what its Aesop even is.
  • Bizarro Episode: In one of the crossover comic books, Howard the Duck tries to register. Not because he supports the law: simply because he's too poor and cowardly to be running away from Iron Man, and simply wants to avoid trouble. But he got into the wrong waiting line, and renewed his driving license instead. When he found the actual place for registering, he was rejected: SHIELD is so tired of receiving reports about "the duck man from Cleveland" (the duck man driving a taxi, the duck man insulting hot dog stands, the duck man painting graffiti in bus stops, etc), that they made it an official policy that he does not exist, and all the reports are dismissed. He yelled that they can not turn him into an Un-Person just like that.
    Agent: Of course that you are an unperson. You're a duck.
  • Broken Base: The debate over Registration itself can rage quite strongly among fans.
  • Clueless Aesop: Mark Millar says that we're supposed to side with the Pro-reg side... even though the Pro-regs are depicted as a bunch of borderline fascists who mind-control or threaten heroes and villains into working for them and casually toss people into the Negative Zone for refusing to register. Some tie-in writers depicted the anti-regs as borderline terrorists who were putting everyone at risk while others portrayed them as being the heroes standing against a Well-Intentioned Extremist tyranny. The biggest agreed upon complaint with this event was that it couldn't seem to decide which side it was rooting for.
  • Designated Hero and Designated Villain: Captain America and Iron Man. Even now, in any given comic, which was which depends completely on who's writing.
    • In fact, near the end of the story Dr. Strange even mentioned that he couldn't step in because there really WASN'T a clear good and evil team.
    • There was even one Iron Man comic during the civil war that had the two talk with each other, and neither of them could really decide who was right, because they both had valid points.
    • Marvel's official stance is that Tony was the Hero and Cap was the Villain.
  • Dork Age: Some felt Marvel would be better off disavowing the whole "fiasco".
    • Which finally happened now that Dark Reign is over and the Registration Act has been abolished.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Hercules. The popularity he gained from him beating the clone of Thor with his own hammer got him his own series.
  • Fetish Retardant: Maria Hill looked like some sort of nightmare in the first issue.
    • She looked like some sort of nightmare for her whole behavior during this saga. Is it even certain to fans now whether she can be trusted?
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The opening event of the story is a disaster in suburban Stamford, Connecticut that involves the destruction of, among other things, an elementary school. Six years later, an elementary school in another Connecticut town, just one hour away from Stamford, was the site of one of the deadliest killing sprees in history.
    • It gets even worse: just like Stamford was the impetus for the Marvel registration debate, Sandy Hook has become the tipping point for a debate on gun control.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The one big player on the pro-Reg side who turned out to be a Skrull is knocked out and impersonated by the half-Skrull, half-Kree Hulkling during the climax.
    • In Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #2, Spider-Man is told by Tony Stark the benefits of unmasking. When Spidey tries to refute, Cap backs up Tony's assertions. What makes this even funnier is that the issue is written by Mark Millar!
      • On the flip side of that is The Other storyline, which ran across all of the Spider-Man titles the previous year - After Spider-Man's supposed death, the New Avengers (Led by Captain American & Iron Man, no less) decide that they can't reveal Peter Parker is Spider-Man & have to create a cover-up for his death, because revealing his identity would result in Aunt May & Mary Jane being targeted by every lowlife with a grudge against Spider-Man. And that's exactly what happens after Spider-Man unmasks.
    • There is also this.
  • Idiot Plot: A lot of the plot makes more sense if you assume the brains of everyone in the Marvel Universe have been replaced with fish.
    • One of the What Ifs? averted this by having the situation resolved relatively peacefully. With a compromise between the two sides.
  • Logical Fallacies: One of the tie-ins involved Sally Floyd asking if Captain America followed NASCAR, had a MySpace page, or watched American Idol. He responds by saying no. Floyd then accuses Captain America of being out-of-touch with modern America and he is stunned into silence. First of all, this carries Unfortunate Implications that American culture consists solely of race cars (mostly popular in just the Southern states), an online community (mostly popular amongst teens), and a TV show (based on a British show). Secondly, no one would be asinine enough to tell a politician that he or she was out of touch with America for not having a MySpace page so why would it matter to Captain America? Finally, considering Cap is a Super Hero, one would assume that he is too busy saving the world to bother watching American Idol every night.
    • There's another fallacy: appeal to popularity, where you declare that something is right or true because "most people believe it". It's also known as the "bandwagon fallacy". Basically, Sally Floyd decided that Captain America's cause was unjust because "most people would rather watch TV." Apparently, Floyd's reasoning was that as long as most people don't care what happens to innocent others, neither should Captain America. Ethics and truth, apparently, are to be decided exclusively by "majority vote."
    • It also turns the series into something of an Unintentional Period Piece, given that Myspace was soon supplanted by Facebook and American Idol has since seen a decline in its popularity.
  • Memetic Mutation: During the initial promotion for the crossover, Marvel released a pair of message board signature images reading either "I'm with Captain America" or "I'm with Iron Man". Within days, fans were creating their own versions by the dozens, and similar images are still being created for both Marvel and DC's Crisis Crossovers as well as things that have nothing to do with comics.
  • Moral Event Horizon
    • For the pro-registration side, it was the disaster of Stamford. Even if not personally involved, they do all this registration to prevent such a thing from happening again. Or at least minimize the chances for that.
    • For Captain America, it was the moment when he saw that the whole fight was destroying the city.
    • Spider-Man began having doubts about his side when Stark proudly showed him his Negative Zone prison, before outright switching sides after Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Hank Pym CLONE A GOD.
    • To Captain America, the Punisher crosses it when he just straight up murders Goldbug and Plunderer after their attempted Heel-Face Turn just because they were once criminals.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Just think about the fact that Hulkling was vivisected and his organs were rearranging themselves. It might just be this Troper, but I had trouble sleeping after that.
  • Obvious Judas: Did anyone really believe The Punisher would follow Cap's Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy for long?
    • In "What If Civil War 1", Iron Man died during the Extremis arc, and Captain America led all the heroes against the Registration act. The law was enforced by Gyrich, Hill, Jim Rhodes and their armies of Sentinels and mechanical Thors. Jim Rhodes negotiated an agreement with Captain America, but a traitor standing in the shadows told it to Gyrich, and they were both killed. Who was the traitor? Come on... as if you didn't saw it coming.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The crossover generated a big upswing in interest in Hercules (kicking off what would turn out to be a few very good years for him), in a series of moments that amount to about six pages.
  • The Scrappy: Miriam Sharpe, Sally Floyd. The latter became the most hated character in the Marvel Universe.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The whole arc had this problem.
    • It was supposed to be a nuanced exploration of whether or not compulsory registration for superheroes was necessary to curb catastrophic mistakes and potential abuses of power. Both sides were supposed to have valid points (but supposedly supporting the Pro-Registration overall). Unfortunately, due to insufficient coordination between the writing teams of different books (as well as a serious difference in the skills of the writing teams — the anti-reg side got J. Michael Straczynski), Mark Millar failed at making readers sympathize with the pro-registration side and both sides ended up looking like straw men, with the pro-registration side looking particularly monstrous. For starters, the SHRA criminalized the act of apprehending a criminal when you yourself are an average citizen, as well as SHIELD trying to arrest Captain America for refusing to join the pro-reg side and enforce the law, before it was actually signed into law. To make matters worse, the actual specifics of registration varied from book to book:
    • In pro-reg books, registration was treated as a prerequisite to a superhero being a crimefighter. Supers were given the option of not using their powers, getting trained in using them properly and to establish that they were not a threat to themselves or others, and going to prison. If they did not want to fight crime after they were finished being trained, then they didn't have to, and there was no indication that they would be forced. It was just shown that a lot of people chose to fight crime because they had made friends with their fellow trainees and they felt like they should use their powers for good. However, the pro-registration side was still not sympathetic because Tony Stark and Mr. Fantastic were portrayed as being jerks, who felt like they knew what was best, as well as committing some blatant crimes. But they were making excellent points throughout and if Mr. Fantastic's soothsaying math can be believed, it was the lesser of a few evils.
    • In anti-reg books, SHIELD forcibly conscripted anyone who happened to have any kind of superpowers whether they wanted to fight crime or not, and the pro-reg heroes were Well Intentioned Extremists. When Luke Cage said he just was going to not use his powers and stay out of it, armed gunmen showed up at his door on midnight of the day the act went into effect. In Avengers: The Initiative, kids recruited were told that they either join the initiative, get their powers taken, or go to jail. Cloud 9, whose power was a little cloud that could make her fly, was recruited, turned into a sniper and sent to killing missions, even though she never wanted to use her power for crime fighting. In addition, Stark orchestrated an attack on Black Panther, foreign chief of state, because his wife (who had diplomatic immunity) refused to sign up. It was quite clearly a case of "work for us or else".
    • There is also Sally Floyd, the straw news reporter who argued to Captain America that the ideals he represents had already died a long, long time before he did. Though it doesn't bode well for Cap, it may very well be a case of sad but true.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: The side of Maria Hill won... but she did not: she was demoted to be the Number Two of SHIELD's new head honcho, Tony Stark. At least that's how it looks in the main title. In the Iron Man tie-in, she hands over the reigns to him of her own volition having realized that she was given power for the wrong reason. Many didn't think that was punishment enough for her.
    • Many people must have thought this when the Cape Killers gave the Miranda Rights to Sally Floyd and took her prisoner. Fortunately, they did not have any strong evidence to keep her there, so she's free to continue annoying all super-heroes. On the other hand, this somehow causes her to switch to supporting the Pro-reg side.
  • They Just Didn't Care: The massive Idiot Plot reeks of this.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Plenty, but perhaps most notably, the inference that Nitro's powers had only been as destructive as they were because of Mutant Growth Hormones given to him by Stark Industries Damage Control boss Walter Declun, who gets summarily executed by Wolverine. Notably, Logan was the only one who followed this particular thread instead of helping the others waste time finding culprits. Declun actually survived and resurfaced in Spiderman.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Y'know what was going on at the same time as this event? Annihilation. Aka the event where Annihilus killed Quasar and the all of Nova Corps (except Nova himself), stole the Quantum Bands thus making himself invincible, then lead a Negative Zone army on a warpath, trying to slaughter all life in the galaxy. This was a threat so big that almost every space superhero, villain, and alien race up to and including Galactus teamed up to stop it. Compared to that the events here seem incredibly pointless. Not to mention the Hulk was on his way back to rain holy hell on the superheroes. Lampshaded by a What If? Issue where Nova calls out Iron Man and Cap on wasting everyone's time like this when a galaxy destroying army of bugs is on the way.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Didn't help that writers of the tie-ins directly brought politics into their writings.

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