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Comic reviews Nov 2006 – Civil War #1 (Marvel)

Posted by Adrian on November 26, 2006


I wasn’t going to pick this comic up. There was a lot of hype around this series, and admitly I have lost interest in some of Marvels more popular characters and titles. But I was bored, so I checked it out.

The event that sparked the Civil War is a group of c-list ‘good’ super-heros, that have created a reality television show that hunts down c-list ‘bad’ super-heros. It’s a good concept, using the popularity of reality television. Which walks the fine line of acceptable or responsible media representation. Suffice to say, the c-list super-heros track down a group of c-list super felons at their house. The good guys attack, with film crew and all. Things go south very quickly, when one bad guy super person tries to escape and get’s attacked by the good superhero, which spills out into the street. Turns out the felon is Nitro. He has the ability to blow himself up, because under attack he denotes himself obliterating the whole neighborhood. Which ends up killing hundreds of innocents, including the c-list good guys and their film crew. A Possible suicide bombing connotation there, although Nitro apparently survived.

This is the catalyst that sets a whole string of events in motion. The American government wants to now register and track mutant/super power humans. Give badges and uniforms to the ‘good guys’, and train them as an extension of the police. Thus removing their anonymity and being autonomous as super-heros. The writer Mark Millar has fused a lot of contemporary issues to the basic story line. The decision by the government to make accountable and register ALL super beings has polarized the super hero community. One side agrees with registration/ re-training and accountability. The other doesn’t. Hence the split, hence the Civil War.

At this point Iron Man the billionaire industrialist superhero appears to be the governments guy in bringing in the dissident super-heros. Which leaves the ‘leader’ of the dissident super-heros as Captain America. Which is a flip in the character dynamics. Possibly a thought out one. But in reality, the rogue billionaire Iron Man would be the dissident, and Captain America would be the governments enforcer of American policy. Then again Iron Man may have alterial motives. It will be interesting to see what the outcome will be. Whether or not it’s a deliberate play on contradictions.

Millar has a rapid style of writing. It’s consistent and too the point. Which is good with this kind of story. We know most of the characters, we know the styles and personalities. It’s how they will cope with good guy fighting good guy scenario. The art is very good, drawn up by Steve Mcniven. Nice detailed, clear and well constructive panels. With Millar’s writing and Mcniven art the action is well represented.

So, this is a good comic. It’s not a sophisticated comic, but I don’t think Millar’s writes in a sophisticated style. It’s straight to the point.

It’s worth checking out.


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