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Title says it all, really. I'll admit, I had fun reading this highly controversial comic. Admittedly though, I read it to see why the comic was so hated. And now I know why. From the inconsistent stories to the huge amounts of OOC moments (Spider-Man revealing his secret identity for starters), it's clear why this comic is so controversial.
Let's start with the plot itself. After a fight with the villain Nitro destroys most of Stamford, Connecticut, the government, led by Iron Man, decides to regulate and register all superhumans. Now there's a problem just in that sentence. The one question I wanted answered was this: Why didn't anyone come out and say, "It's all Nitro's fault"? Yes, the New Warriors acted like a bunch of reckless glory hounds, but Nitro's the one who blew up Stamford. Wolverine and Namor were the only characters to follow this part of the story. The rest of the heroes were too busy beating the hell out of each other.
Now let's look at the characters. There are a lot of OOC moments as I said. But we're going to focus on our two main characters: Captain America and Iron Man.
Let's start with Captain America. I didn't like the way Cap was portrayed in this story sometimes. Most of the time, he came off as a bit of an asshole. One example was when he refused to help the Runaways even though their whole Resistance movement was about helping unregistered heroes. Had the Young Avengers not helped them, they would have been captured and tortured by the Warden. But while I didn't like the way he was presented in the story, he doesn't hold a candle to.. Ahem...
Fuhrer Stark and Deputy Fuhrer Maria Hill. And let's not forget their chief Nazi scientist, Reed "Useless" Richards. Cap's worst crime was hiring the Punisher. These three did much, much worse. From their blatant disregard of the law and the Constitution, to their willingness to work with utter scum like Zemo and Osborn, to them making a clone of Thor, to their general Jerkassery, it's hard to see why we're supposed to root for these guys. The fact that they got away with everything made it more disgusting. Stark is head of SHIELD, Reed gets Sue to come back to him like a wounded puppy, And Captain America? He got shot by the Red Skull. What a way to end a story, huh?
Overall, it had potential, but ultimately wasted it.
Unmasking on a live press conference may have been silly, but not out of character. Making huge mistakes and then whangst over them is precisely what spiderman as a character is all about.
Why go after the heroes? Read again: the new warriors were not there to stop nitro. They were there to film a reality show, and ignored the possible dangers. And Nitro was not attacking anyone or being a danger that had to be stopped "here and now": he was playing with his xbox.
Not really what Spider-Man is about if you read many Spider-Man comics. There's 'making a mistake' and then there's 'With no explanation, doing something you vowed never to do ever ever ever because it would inevitably put your family in danger'. And it did.
If Doctor Doom was just 'playing with his Xbox' and the Avengers walked past, I think I would still be on their side if they went 'Holy crap, it's a wanted supervillain. We should probably subdue him.'
You know Nitro was a mass murderer BEFORE this right?
And besides, as mentioned, the New Warriors were never that stupid. The author didn't really know shit about them, and chose them because they didn't really have a super large fanbase. Same reason that c listers always die in crossovers but A listers doesn't.
When Spider-man did it, May and Mary Jane were safe, living in the Avengers tower and with all Shield looking after them. The actual danger was when he went rogue.
As for Nitro, the fact that he was at home with the xbox means that he could have been captured with several other subtle ways while he was distracted. Anything but storm in that way and blow that advantage. And yes, they are "that stupid". Before civil war, there was a mini detailing their reality show, that wasn't invented on the fly for the crossover
Nitro had a massive power boost during the story, something nobody could have known about in advance. And tellingly it's a plot point that's discarded almost immediately after it's brought up.
What bugs me about Civil War is that Civil War: Iron Man is actually really good. A look into two moments with Tony Stark during the whole thing - the first, an emergency meeting in the original Avengers Mansion between Cap and Tony as they each desperately try to work things out because they don't want to fight any more and Goliath already died because of the conflict, and then Tony chatting to Cap post-defeat, and tearfully admitting 'It wasn't worth it', after Cap gets assassinated. They were both really well-written and the characters both came across as flawed but trying to do the right thing.
... Then you get other tie-ins, even the main Civil War book, in which Iron Man is now Fuhrer Stark. Chucking people into prison with no trials, organizing attacks against diplomats, forcing people with powers to work with him or die in jail. Mark Millar came in and Mark Millar-ed the whole story so as many people as possible became unlikable asshats.
On the whole. Civil War - decent premise, terribly executed, and it's telling that every single notable change in the story; the Superhero Registration Act, Cap's Death, Spider-Man's unmasking, has now been undone.
Conflict Ball at its finest.
@Grigorll: "And yes, they are "that stupid". Before civil war, there was a mini detailing their reality show, that wasn't invented on the fly for the crossover."
Uh, no, they really aren't. Before the mini, there were two different on-goings that added up to well over 70 issues, and I'm pretty sure that during all of that, they were never that stupid. And I think 70+ issues has more authority than a single mini.
Great use of Godwin\'s Law my friend. I love how anyone questioning Cap\'s ideals of freedom is automatically a Nazi. No debate required. Ignoring all the legitimate points the Pro-Reg side had and how the Anti-Reg was ultimately delaying the inevitable and doing more harm than good.
But no, it\'s Absolute Freedom or You\'re a Nazi. Got it.
Tony got the nickname \'Fuhrer Stark\' because the pro-Registration side went about rounding up people with superpowers and throwing them into intergalactic space prisons for life with no chance of escape or parole. Also he set up some diplomats to be attacked as part of a false-flag operation to boost support for the pro-Reg side.
The normal kind of generic but unbearable \'Oh, so you think everyone who disagrees with you is a Nazi?\' internet argument doesn\'t work well in this particular comic book because the actions characters take are so ridiculously evil that it kind of stops being sarcastic.
Yeah it might not be Fascist in the strictest sense but Stark and Co. went fully totalitarian so the nickname seems apt enough
Which, I think, feeds into this review\'s argument, and the general argument given by most negative reviews of the Civil War event, that the characters are generally poorly-written and as a result the narrative does a poor job of examining the \"relevant\" issues it was supposedly built around.
...Seriously, I swear I read somewhere that Mark Millar confirmed in an interview that he just wanted to do a story where all the superheroes fight each other, and he didn\'t really give a shit about making sense in the process. I\'ve never managed to find it since, but to this day, nothing has helped me make better sense of Civil War as a comic event than that; that moment when I realized the reason the characters are poorly-written and the story doesn\'t make sense and the themes are incoherent is that the guy in charge quite sincerely could\'ve cared less about those things and was just in it to make Iron Man and Captain America punch each other.
But I never have, so take that with a grain of salt I guess.
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