Friday, August 25, 2006

Civil War (Marvel comics)
Civil War #3 When: September, 2006
Why: Mark Millar How: Steve McNiven

The story so far...
As the stars of a new superhero reality television programme, the New Warriors have embarked on a journey already of a controversial nature, but when a fight with some villains escalates the Marvel Universe will be rocked forever.

When amped up villain Nitro uses his explosive powers, there are far more casualities than the heroes, and far younger. A nearby school is wiped out, and thousands mourn the deaths of their children.

For the first time ever, the question of hero registration is answered with swift action. Leading the initiative, along with SHIELD commander Maria Hill, is Tony Stark - aka Iron Man.

Registration is mandatory. Those who do not declare, will be declared by Iron Man and the various registered heroes who are obligated by law to server and protect.

Previous Form:
Captain America Annual #9: Cap bitterly challenges a possessed Iron Man.
Marvel Team-Up #145: Jim Rhodes teams up with Spidey against Blacklash.
Captain America #6: Cap and Cable do battle with the forces of AIM.

Tale of the tape...
Strength: Thing 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Mr. Fantastic 6 (Genius)
Speed: Spider-man 4 (Olympic Athlete)
Stamina: Vision 6 (Generator)
Agility: Mr. Fantastic 6 (Rubber)
Fighting Ability: Hercules 6 (Warrior)
Energy Powers: Radioactive Man 6 (Mass Destruction)

It's been a couple of weeks since the last update. I'm doing this one now on Nov 6, having actually done a November update a couple of days ago.
I'll have to admit, I wasn't looking forward to this entry when I realised exactly what I was dealing with. I suppose it's worth establishing first up, exactly what we're dealing with:

Pro-Registration (Avengers)
Black Widow
Doc Samson
Invisible Woman
Iron Man
Mr. Fantastic
Ms. Marvel
Radioactive Man
Yellow Jacket
Wonder Man
Anti-Registration (Secret Avengers)
Captain America
Iron Fist
Hawkeye Jr
Luke Cage

Okay... That's a lot of characters... Which made doing the stats pretty overwhelming. But, this is the website that's supposed to indulge in these discussions, so I'm going to try not to cheap out on you too much.

I think you can pretty much take one universal fact here, that does seem to be pretty indisputable - The Pro-Registrants have the Anti outnumbered.
This is particularly telling when you take into account the power the pro-team is packing. Characters like Hercules and Captain America are great allies to have, but against a force with the Fantastic Four, Thunderbolts, Iron Man, Doc Samson and other heavy-hitters, it's just tough to bet against them.

By the nature of the argument, I suppose, the anti-registrants are chiefly street level characters, who really have very little business duking it out with the combined forces of the establishment.

The core Secret Avengers team of Goliath, Iron Fist (DD), Cap and Hercules isgreat for punking out Vulture's latest team of Sinister Six, but against an organized group of characters who can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk, they're kinda outmatched.
Just for clarification's sake, we're talking about characters like Thing, Doc-Samson, She-Hulk, Atlas, Iron Man... A mighty shield can only do so mcuh against that, and that's not even acknowledging the fact that half the Secret Avengers' allies are the Young Avengers. Against their seniors, you'd have to think experience counts for something.

It seems ill-conceived for Cap to lead this ragtag mob into a head-on collision with Iron Man's forces, and I guess that's perhaps a highlighting point.
This is not a planned confrontation. This is a trap, and a damned good one.

You can never count out Captain America all-together alone, let alone with an army of troops to be inspired. The numbers make it hard to tip against anyone else, though.

What went down...
I'd have to admit, this is probably a somewhat boring section more often than not. Summaries of what's going on the page are never going to be as interesting as seeing it, especially since sometimes I'm just not that interested anymore.

No WWD has ever been as injust as this one, though.
The team of McNiven, Dexter Vines, Mark Morales and Morry Hollowell make this one of the most amazing looking books I have ever read. This truly is artwork that can not be done justice by dull descriptions such as mine.
Never the less, I attempt to at least relay the events of the fight, for future prosperity.

After hearing a call over the police radio, the Secret Avengers rally their troops to converge as Geffen-Meyer Chemicals, where a tragedic accident has said to have left three to four hundred factory workers in peril.

Scanning his info-net, Cable finds nothing in terms of panic signals or other indicative informations. It's this, coupled with a nasty find, that lead the soldier of the future two twig first. Geffen-Meyer is a subsidiary of Stark Industries, and this scenario is purely for their benefit.

Darts fly dramatically from the sky, burying in the backs of Cloak and Wiccan, an attack to designed to prevent mass retreat. An ambush.
SHIELD helecopters and soldiers descend on the area ans the heroes gather in the presence of pro and anti groups.

Tony Stark attempts to reason with his old friend and ally, and with each faction standing tensely, Iron Man extends his gauntlet in the name of the greater good -- and Cap returns the favour.
"All right! Way to go, Wing-Tips! Didn't I say this was all gonna work out fine?," pipes Spider-man, just as Stark notices something attached to his metallic outer-hand.

As the SHIELD Electron-Scrambler, designed as a contingency against Iron Man, and given to Cap by the renegade Nick Fury, fries the Iron Man armor, Cap springs into action with Black Goliath following suit.

As battle begins, the heroes peel off into various pairings.
Goliath/Yellow Jacket, Atlas/Stature, Ms. Marvel/Cage, Cable/Radioactive Man, Wonder Man/Hercules, Thing/Hulking, Spidey/Patriot...

Iron Spidey intercepts Captain America's shield, and uses it against men he once called friends. Iron Fist (DD) and Vision go down, as Thing gets the better of the Young Avenger, Hulking in the mid-ground.

Cap and Patriot go back-to-back, as Spider-man fades from sight.
Cap explains the stealth function built into the Stark-produced Iron Spider-man outfit, and then has opportunity to feel the full effects of the suit, as Spidey rematerializes right infront of him - using the shield against him!

Meanwhile, Iron Man is rebooting his fried armor, and as Cap fights back against Spider-man in the foreground, IM looms rather ominously with his suit fully functional, and ready to torpedo into the fray.

Hercules, battling Doc Samson, does his best to warn Captain America of the incoming attack, but IM's speed gives him the opportunity to plow the patriot through a partially demolished brick wall.

Cap tries to continue the good fight, but the spiritual leaders of the opposing forces are poorly matched. Stark totes the armor's knowledge of Cap's arsenal of moves as he drives his gauntlets into Captain America.
Blow after blow reigns down, with little regard for the distinct margin between the suit of armor's strength, and the Captain's.

"Out of my way, you filthy traitors! He's killing him in there!"
In one of the less 'widescreen' moments, but also most inspiring, Hercules tosses Samson aside, and barrels through She-Hulk and Spider-man with the objective of saving Captain America.

From the safety of the SHIELD Helicarrier, Maria Hill gives the order to initiate "codename lightning," as a result, Hercules does not have the opportunity to reach his target.

Hawkeye, Cage and Dagger are caught up in the lightning swirl also, as rain begins to fall on the battlefield.
Cable and Iron Fist gaze up to the pouring sky and gaze upon a sight they never expected to see.

They gaze upon a dead God.
They gaze upon Thor.

The hammer...
After Civil War #4, we all now know of course that Thor was in fact a clone manufactured by Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man, and no doubt in the future if I end up getting a hold of the issue, we'll talk some about that.

This is really a difficult situation as far as drawing a usual conclusion. With unfinished fights like this, I think it's best to just consider the end of the issue a cut-off point, thus, it's with no uncertainty that we call the Pro-Registration team he winners.

I probably talked out some of my key feelings on the Civil War during the entirely unrelated review of Thing against the Frightful Four [Fantastic Four #129], and I'm very keen to get this overdue update online, so I'll try to be brief.

I guess what Civil War #3 indicates particularly well is just how mismatched the two sides are at this point in the story. Likewise, it further highlights the lengths at which Captain America is going to fight against a system in which he's already practically involved with.

I mean, I think it's safe to say Cap's stance is one of principle and understanding, rather than one of necessity. He himself could probably be counted among the very first heroes to be techncially registered, purely by his very nature. It's a problem he's run into in the past when he's disagreed with decisions of an establishment, and has been forced to handover the property and trademarks of the government if he wishes to continue superhero-ing.

Even though Cap is probably the majority sentimental favourite, Civil War #3 goes lengths to highlight just how pig headed his stance of principle really is.
The very first scene sees one of the group of children he's leading into battle get taken down. With death right at the heart of this matter, and also all the recent history for the Avengers, there's definitely a negative light to be cast on Captain America and his team's actions.

There's not a lot I can say that hasn't already been said, but I think, when you stop thinking about the pro-registrants who are justly viewed as antagonists, and forget about the victimization of the anti-resgristrants, the other point is there.

Iron Man's team is right because in a Marvel universe where reality is being emphasized, security is what we would want. Likewise, Captain America is turning on his country to the point of blind vendetta, ignoring what is potentially the greater good, and leading this kids into a fight, rather than keeping them safe from the establishment.

The justification comes from the previous discussion [again; FF #129], because these are people reacting to tragedy, but ultimately... Is this the way Cap should go?
Probably not.

The Fight: 5.5 The Issue: 6

NEXT UP: The latest top five, and an all new feature in the long overdue September punch-up!

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