22nd Sep2006

My Take On Marvel’s Civil War

by Will

“OOooooh! The Chase!”

So, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. The reason for that is inability. Say it with me kids: “inability”. You see, I’d been stealing wifi from my tech-savvy neighbors, but they’re either dead or moved away under the cover of night because that nice, fast, sexy, free signal has gone the way of the dodo. And I had dial-up, but it made me want to stick things in my eyes. So, I canceled the service (NetZero SUCKS), and was ready to sign up for the Comcast Triple Play, only to learn that it’s not available in my area. So, I’m either going to get DSL or crawl back to NetZero. In the meantime, I’ve decided to be ballsy, and for the first time (well, second actually), I’m blogging from work. I know I’ve promised posts on this and that, but I’ve either forgotten the juicy stuff, or my heads just not there at the moment. What I DO wish to speak about, however, is Marvel Civil War.

For the noncomic readers, “Marvel Civil War” is a big crossover event happening in the world of Marvel Comics. That’s the company with Spider-Man & X-Men, but not Superman. On the same page? Good. So, the point of the storyline is to kind of mirror real-world events in the world of comics. Art imitating life, if you will.

It kicked off with a bunch of irresponsible teen heroes attacking an unsuspecting gang of villains. In the melee which ensued, a local elementary school was blown to bits, and 800 people of Stamford, CT, were killed. As a result, the government decides that superpowered people have acted irresponsibly for far too long and they should be regulated. They quickly pass the SuperHuman Registration Act, which must be signed by all heroes, villains, or vigilantes. If you’ve got powers and/or wear a costume, you’ve got to sign this bill. But the catch is that you have to reveal your identity to the government. If you’re an orphan with no dependents, this doesn’t mean much. But if you’re Spider-Man, with an elderly aunt and a hotti-hot supermodel wife, both of whom would make great targets, you’ve got a LOT to worry about. The sentiments split down the middle, as half of the Marvel Universe agreed with the regulation, while half opposed it.

The Pro side is led by billionaire playboy Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. He’s what’s known as a “futurist”, and feels that the only way to avoided chaos is to go along with the law. Powers SHOULD be regulated, just as police and other enforcers are regulated. Under the law, he feels that heroes will gain the proper training and also be held accountable for their actions.

The Anti side is led by Captain America. I mean, his name says it all. He’s opposed to the law because he sees is as a violation of civil liberties. It’s the familiar “privacy vs. security” debate. With the passing of the law, he has gone underground with his own cadre who believe in his ideals.

Now, here’s the problem. When Marvel set out to write this story, they claimed that both sides would be represented fairly. There would be no clear “right or wrong”, as both sides would have their faults and points. But since the very beginning, the Pro side has been written like a bunch of assholes. Just as in reality, the message is being clouded by the followers. Now, most of the time i’m kind of middle-of-the-road, but when a school full of kids gets blown the fuck up, I say it’s time to reveal some identities. I think the Pro side have a good argument, but they resort to dirty tactics. ****SPOILER ALERT****I mean, anytime a man clones one of his closest allies, from a strand of hair which he scraped off of his furniture YEARS ago, that sum’bitch ain’t playin’ fair. ****END SPOILER****

And Captain America is violating the law. Sure, he may not agree with it, but it is what it is. The other problem is that he could have worked with them and figured out another alternative, but the minute he got a whiff of what was going on, he kirked out. In fact, the Pro team just wanted to talk, to hear his side of things. And what did he do? He punched them in the face. Sure, I realize Cap is from the ’40s, and he doesn’t understand concepts such as “red tape” and “bureaucracy”, but I’m sure they had civilized conversations back then. How could he not understand such a simple concept? Yet, it’s still hard to get mad at him because he’s Captain Friggin’ America. And it seems to be human nature to root for the underdog.

So, after this week’s issue, where the Pro side revealed they’d cloned a NORSE GOD(!), who killed a D-list Anti-side hero for “shock value” (Hell, even I had to wiki him just find out who he was), I’m left wondering: what are they even fighting for?

Each side is clearly past the talking stage. But it seems like the ideals have gone out the window. Now, it’s just a pissing match. As much as I can agree with the Pro side, they’re assholes and going about it all wrong. And as much as I understand the Anti argument, I don’t get the feeling that their own members know what’s going on. So, what could have had the epic effect of a “brother against brother” event has been reduced to a fanboy wet dream of “Wonder who’d win between Iron Man and Cap”. Well, seeing as how 1940s science never taught you how to clone gods, I’m putting my money on Iron Man.

In any case, I guess I’m just kind of surprised at how quickly you can lose sight of the goal, and the fighting just becomes…well, fighting. Baseless, continuous, monthly, four-color fighting. And I’m not even sure I’m still talking about comics…