Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Classics - Civil War #1 - 7

   When I was writing my review of the (quite excellent) Civil War movie, I looked into the archives, certain that I'd reviewed the original 2006 mini-series.

   But I started this humble blog in 2008, so I never touched on this event.

   Which was probably just as well, because I believe the story sets some kind of record for starting out as a great idea - and then plummeting to the depths of dopiness.

   Written by Mark Millar, it starts with a terrible incident, as the New Warriors tackle some major villains - and a terrible explosion kills hundreds of children.

   The public demands action, so the government decides to  require every superhero and supervillain to register and be, essentially, civil service employees working for the government.

    The idea splits the ranks right down the middle, with Captain America (surprisingly) opposing the government's plan, and Iron Man championing it. That sets up a terrific action sequence in the first issue, as Cap fights for his life against a army of SHIELD agents determined to bring him in - and artist Steve McNiven, who does great work in this series, shines here.

   But from there, the series starts falling apart. Tony Stark (teaming with Reed Richards) employs more and more draconian measures - arresting heroes, throwing them in a prison in the Negative Zone, building a clone of one of his oldest friends, which promptly runs wild - and soon, heroes are being killed.

   In other words, everyone on Iron Man's side must become a villain to keep the story going - and they even throw in Spider-Man unmasking publicly, easily the second-worst thing Marvel has ever done to Spidey (Mephisto being the worst).

   The ending is the worst offense - because there isn't one. There's no real resolution to the issue, the series just... ends.

   It's a real shame, because the series features great art and it started out with such promise. The movie shows what might have been - but this series just ended up being a huge disappointment, an opportunity wasted.

Grade: C-





Anonymous said...

I never picked up the original series of Marvel Comics. When I heard that Marvel Movies was going to do Civil Wars as their third Captain America movie, I ran across a Graphic Audio version of the story. Graphic Audio does a lot of super-hero adaptations and novelizations, with a full cast of terrific actors and dynamic music and great sound effects. Driving every day and listening to the CD's, I was pleasantly brought up to speed on the next big Marvel movie.

Sam Kujava

Mr. Brooks said...

The best thing that came out of this series was the "Vin Diesel beatin'" the real Thor gave Iron Man.

Tony Stark, for a time, was Marvel's greatest villain. And Spidey its stupidest character.