Choose Your Side!
Tomorrow is Fourth of July and Spider-Man: Homecoming is being released this weekend, so I thought that "Civil War" would be a good story to recommend for today. If you've already seen Captain America: Civil War then you have a close idea of the plot, only this story has a lot more characters and, in opinion, has more drama and higher stakes.
Jumping right into "Civil War", the story opens with the young team of superheroes known as the New Warriors. By young, I mean that they are not as experienced as characters like Captain America or the Avengers. They are also the not as noble, filming a reality show while they fight against super villains.
In an attempt to apprehend a group of super villains in a residential area, one of the villains, Nitro, blows himself up to avoid capture, killing over 600 civilians in Stamford, Connecticut. After the tragedy, there is are massive protests against superheroes and debates about the role of masked vigilantes in the US, resulting in the superhuman registration act.
Under the Superhuman Registration Act, masked superheroes must disclose their secret identities with the government and become deputized agents of the government and act under their supervision.
Tony Stark, Iron Man, leads the campaign for registration and encourages other heroes to obey the law. Meanwhile, Captain America opposes the law and leads a team of heroes to openly protest and resist the law.
The registered heroes are tasked with enforcing the law and apprehend superheroes who refuse to register. Teams like the Fantastic Four and the Avengers are split into two, friends are forced to fight each other, and the lives of these characters are changed forever. Spider-Man, working with Iron Man to endorse the Registration Act publicly unmasks himself to the world.
"Civil War" opens up debates that are strangely applicable to the real world, which is surprising since the story revolves around a law concerning superheroes and the story is about ten years old. How much control should the government have in our lives in the name of security? Do we have a right to privacy? At what point do we stop fighting for our beliefs?
I will also give writer Mark Millar credit for showing the flaws and reasoning behind Cap's and Iron Man's positions. Even though Iron Man wants to protect people and support the law, he also abandons meaningful relationships and commits acts that he never would have prior to "Civil War".
Captain America fights for individual freedom and protests the law, but also loses the adoration of people who used to fight by his side, and Cap attracts the support of cold blooded killers like the Punisher.
I also think that Steve McNiven's art is very appropriate for such a serious and real story like "Civil War" because the character designs look and feel like real people. Their emotions and thoughts are perfectly delivered alongside Millar's dialogue. To be honest, a lot of the emotion and story is still carried through with McNiven's art alone.
For any fans who want a dramatic story or for any fan of Captain America: Civil War, this is a must read. It's not required, but I also suggest reading some of the spin-offs of this storyline, especially "Spider-Man: Civil War" and "Fantastic Four: Civil War".
ISSUES: Civil War #1-7 (2006-2007)
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