Civil War (2006-2007)

civilwar

This wasn’t as bad as I expected, even if I wasn’t blown away. Civil War had some solid storytelling and even the characterization did ring true most of the time (apart from Iron Man, going all-out control-freak).

Sure, the pro-registration characters were painted too fast as the bad guys, despite that the whole registration and training of caped crusaders sounded (initially) like a pretty sensible idea. But that was expected, a superhero universe only works as long as readers accept that having vigilantes run around unchecked is a good thing and since this is obviously untrue in any reality, they had to stack deck: somebody had to step in and make the pro-registration side look like utter evil.

Cue Iron Man becoming a fascist dick and requiring every powered human to register, whether they wanted to be a hero or just live a normal live (or just leave the US and Canada, which was totally an option). Instead of an even-sided consideration of the issues at hand it became all about freedom-vs-total control by the Man and I’m very sure exactly 0% of the readers went along with the pro-registration side. And then it got worse.

But apart from Iron Man and maybe Cap, most of the characters were painted with more ambiguous feelings about the situation and some of them showed just honest human confusion at being confronted with a complex situation that couldn’t be solved by just hitting someone. There was good stuff in both the main crossover series as well as lots of good side-line material in the issues of other series.

And then everybody started hitting everybody and lots fun was to be had. Well, it’s a stupid superhero crossover after all, let’s not forget that. And later someone wiped his brain to come out of this squeaky-clean, at least until the Marvel writers needed another go at a superhero turning evil (poor Tony). And an old Spider-Man foe turned this tragedy into a farce of epic proportion.

It wasn’t a good event judged as a whole and even less when looked at from a sane, rational viewpoint (because then registration of vigilantes would be a must), but some of the pieces making this up were quite good and fun.