Sorry about the new thread but the original Civil War thread is closed and if Infinite Crisis #7 has a thread, Civil War #1 needs one too for equal representation.
Bottom line thoughts: I liked it a lot! Civil War #1 was the first comic book I've bought in almost a year and I'm glad I did.
Below is a review I cobbled together for my website Back of the Head, but I figured I'd post it here too.
May 4, 2006
What we've got here is... failure to communicate Some men you just can't reach So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... Well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men
I've been monitoring Marvelís plans for Civil War, their big crossover event of 2006, which pits superhero against superhero (please donít sue me for using the term) in a battle of ideology and survival, just as Iíve been surveying DCís just-ended Infinite Crisis crossover. Overall, Civil War interested me more and I decided, what the hell, Iíll pick up issue one. Itís only four bucks.
Four bucks?! This is why I donít buy comics anymore. Theyíre fucking expensive, man. I could get two bottles of Coke BlaK for that and be juiced for hours.
I donít really think Civil War #1 was worth four bucks but you know what? Itís pretty damn good. I havenít read much of Mark Millarís work. I mainly know him as a guy who, in the middle of the Grant Morrison run of JLA I hated, did a one-shot that was a highlight of that series for me. I think Amazo was in it. Some superheroes where having dinner. Shit, I canít recall what the fuck happened in that story, but I still remember thinking it was good.
Civil War #1 kicks off with The New Warriors shooting a stupid reality show and creating an incident that, as much through negligence as foolhardy overconfidence, ends up killing themselves, the super villains they were fighting, and six hundred innocent people. This tragedy triggers a Superhuman Registration Act, which really doesn't sound as bad as the Anti-Mutant Laws, where if you grow a mutant tail, turn blue, or you suddenly start wearing your skeleton on the outside of your skin, a giant purple robot will step on you and burn your mom's house down for good measure. The government wants superheroes registered, properly trained, and accountable. They'll even be paid. It seems like a pretty fair deal, but there are grey areas: What happens to superheroes if they donít register? What protection is allotted to their loved ones, if any? As federal employees, will the government dictate who their enemies are and arenít?
A lot of issues regarding the role of what a superhero is in the Marvel Universe are brought front and center: How accountable is a superhero for the property damage he causes? What makes a teenager fit to do the job and responsible enough to be a superhero just because they happen to have powers? What about the time-honored tradition of being a superhero in the Marvel Universe? The ďtraditionĒ argument against registration is pretty weak considering, even if the masked adventurer has been a staple in Marvel history. But it stands to reason that many men and women who don masks are disenfranchised, rebellious personality types who donít want to be dictated to by the government. There are multitudes of fascinating factors at play here.
Half the heroes, lead by Iron Man, think registration and living publicly is fine. The Fantastic Four, for instance, have never worn masks Ė but their position is immediately rocked when The Human Torch is publicly beaten and hospitalized by normal people incensed at the tragedy caused by the New Warriors. Then there is the point of view of someone like Spider-Man, whose mask and secret identity is the only thing that keeps his psychotic, monstrous enemies from raping and killing his hot supermodel wife and hot super-old Aunt May.
(I bet Elongated Man wishes he kept a fucking secret identity.)
Regardless of this debate, registration becomes a reality and SHIELD is going to enforce it no matter what, which brings us to the governmentís point man: Captain America. Do you have a favorite Captain America moment? I've never really been a fan of Cap but Iíve always held dear the moment in The Infinity Gauntlet when Thanos killed all of the superheroes and Captain America was the only one left. Despite the hopeless situation of standing alone on a rock on the other side of the universe against an omnipotent being, Cap confronted Thanos anyway. Cap stood his ground, looked him right in the eye, and fought to his death, earning Thanosí and my admiration. To me, that was an iconic moment, right up there with Optimus Prime killing all the Decepticons and fighting Megatron to his death in Transformers: The Movie. While not at that level, in Civil War #1, Captain America is ordered to lead the SHIELD campaign to bring in the heroes resisting registration. He chooses not to comply with this order. SHIELD chooses to shoot him with a few hundred bullets. What Cap does, his reactions, and his incredible escape from the SHIELD heli-carrier is fucking bad ass. Captain America, of all people, the flag-clad symbol of this country, is defying his governmentís wishes and leading the heroes resisting registration.
Issue one ends with Iron Man promising the administration that heíll deal with Captain America himself. Right after he polishes off his last six beers.
The Civil War series itself seems pretty self-contained. I don't get the impression I need every single tie-in to understand the story, not that I would or could buy every tie-in. Itís only been one issue, but I already like Civil War a lot. Strong writing, the art by Steven McNiven is beautiful, and there are genuine issues at play here that will test the characters and will seem to profoundly impact the Marvel Universe. I havenít read much over the last decade, but this is probably the best Marvel Universe story Iíve read since The Infinity Gauntlet (and I suppose Marvels, though thatís a different kind of story.) I like this series enough that Iím seriously considering buying it every month to see how it plays out. Waiting a year for the collection might be a smarter move, but what the fuck, I want to read what happens next.
She wore a black armband when they shot the man who said ďPeace could last foreverĒ And in my first memories they shot Kennedy I went numb when I learned to see So I never fell for Vietnam They got the wall in DC to remind us all That you canít trust freedom when itís not your hand When everybodyís fightiní for the promised land Ė andÖ
I picked up the 1st issue and liked it. I have to admit, this is a cool, realistic premise. I'm not sure why Iron Man turned so quickly on Cap, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt for now. There is a lot of Marvel hate out there, but to write the entire company off due to not liking how they handled a particular character or book is being a little narrow minded, because they are putting out some solid books right now, such as Cap, Daredevil, & Runaways to name a few.
A good first issue. It was a perfectly good set-up issue that re-certifies Captain America as a badass (for the benefit of newer readers). I'm excited to see where this all goes, especially in regards to the Fantastic Four, considering that this arc could permanently split them apart.
I thought most of the issue was so-so, but the stuff with Cap was pretty awesome. I really like how between this and Brubaker's run on Captain America, they're really returning some of the awe-inspiring qualities of Captain America. He's not just some asshole in a flag costume, he's one of the greatest heroes on the planet, with abilities to match. He IS worth any twenty of this country's finest soldiers.
Originally posted by It's FalseA good first issue. It was a perfectly good set-up issue that re-certifies Captain America as a badass (for the benefit of newer readers). I'm excited to see where this all goes, especially in regards to the Fantastic Four, considering that this arc could permanently split them apart.
I've heard from Travis, a friend of mine who manages the local comic shop, that supposedly two memebers of the F4 drop and get replaced by two new members, rumored to be Storm and Black Panther, as the married couple.
The X-men books are dropping all their bigger names helps this theory (Take everybody from Astonishing X-Men, and wipe them from the X-books.)
I happen to think that based on artwork, and the buildup taking place mostly in his book, Spider-Man will be the biggest component in most of this. He's the one who's always had the best reasons to maintain his identity, if not the most storylines and character development based around it. Now he's split between his friends and his family.
However, whatever shake-ups happen as a result, Marvel will undo them by 2008 due to sinking sales.
(edited by Lexus on 16.5.06 1619) Hold nothing sacred and you'll never be dissapointed. Especially not this statement.
Caliban makes a good point about how the comics industry works, but I think the amount of time that's passed already is what makes this a hard pill to swallow. Watchmen has been left alone for 20+ years.