Civil War Review
The rumours and gossip leading up to the Marvel Civil War seemed to go on for months and then the main event was over prematurely. I'm not saying this as a bad thing (althought I'm not fond of the 'event') but wars are normally long winded. I'm not discounting any of the work that was done over the months on a creative and editorial level to bring this book to the fans, I just think it could've been so much more, because what do we have now already another 'event' in the form of 'World War Hulk'. Having just finished the trade format of the book I can say I was blown away and it stands up as one of the most important and best comics of modern times.
I've already said I'm not fond of the 'event' idea so because of this I have only read the 'Civil War' trade and the storys from 'Wolverine'. I'll start with the Wolverine arc by Marc Guggenheim and Humbuerto Ramos. I really enjoyed Guggenheims plot, however I did find it abit heavy on guest stars. The one I found confusing was Iron Man, these two characters were on opposing sides but there they were helping each other out. The Sentry was nice to see and I think he should get his own series once Civil War dies down abit. Althought their fight was abit short and wimpy. I found it fitting for Wolverine to take his own cause of action against the main antagonist of the war Nitro, because over the years this is what he does best. But again because it was a war I felt thigns would've been dealt with on a more grand scale, rather than just sending in one member. The introduction of Damage Control and MGH didn't bring much to the story and how camp is their logo? The introduction of Namor changed the pace entirely and for the better. After intially refusing to take aside the capture of his sisters killer gave him a cause. This was a good touch because it gave Namor more of a personal reason to interrigate Nitro rather than Wolverine's pure bloodlust revenge. Of course who can forget the Atlantian sleeper agents earlier in the arc, I believe this can be used in future storys down the line and not just in 'events'. This brings me to the end with #47. Did Guggenheim go to far in letting Wolverine kill Walter Declun in cold blood? Or was it just for supplying Nitro with MGH which played apart in starting Civil War. Again I felt #48 'Casualties of War' didn't bring much to the story.It was abit repetative of what we've seen down the years, yes we know Logan is a tortured individual and telling us this with flashbacks to the war didn't improve an already told story. This story arc included great art by Humbuerto Ramos which added greatly to the story telling and pace. His interpretation of Wolverine in the classice blue and yellow costume is one of the best for years. Add to that his rendition of Sentry and Namor, a sultry Atlantian sleeper agent who looked great in both human and Atlantian form and an all adamantium Wolverine made for some great visuals.
So now for the main Civial War 7 issue story arc. I've always liked Millar as a writer he can tie together emotion, humour and action to create a well concieved plot. I liked the introduction alot because I hate reality TV and to see it at its worst in a super hero setting made it enjoyable. Then after that it was all action, intrigue and double plots that left us guessing. #1 produced one of the most chilling scenes in SHIELD history when they turned against theier very own Captain America, but he really raised the roof when he escaped the helicarrier. One problem I had with #1 was when The Watcher turned up it just seemed abit comedic. Swiflty onto #2 which contains possible the biggest reveal last panel in Marvel and comics history. The unmaksing of Spider-man to the world. The best bit about this was how all the other characters watched this moment, Sue Storm hoping nothing goes wrong, Logan acting angry kinda like an older brother and then of course JJJ fainting. Next we had the 1st battle between the two waring sides and McNiven pencils are just beautiful. Just look at the 3rd punch Iron Man throws at Cap. Then things get very cool in only the way Marvel could do it, with the return of Thor. The fight continues in #4 with things gettign even more brutal, the death of Goliath and the hands of a montorous Thor clone added much weight to why pro-registration is wrong. The fact Stark and Reed Richards would go to such farcial lenghts makes them seem creepy and power hungry. This ultimately leads to Sue Storm choosing anti-registraion in a very touching letter to Reed. Once again the issue ended with a classic reveal The Thunderbolts are back. Civil War really became knoen for its final page reveal and they really are a major part in story telling in comics and Millar took full advantage. #5 and the return of The Punsiher equals head shots galore. Saving Spider-man he obviously didn't see him as know good vigilante this time. How undiscrete was Tigra's use of her mobile phone,traitorous wench. Thanks to McNiven thought see did look amazing so maybe we can let her off. Was it just me or did Sue Storm look the sexiest shes looked for years? And Daredevil being the first hero in the Negative Zone prison made it two Daredevils in prison at the same time. Through out the 7 issues I enjoyed the inclusion of the Yoiung Avengers to the story. Great to see further action with Punisher aswell sometimes he can written abit one dimensional but not in Civial War. Although it did slightly creep up when he randomly shot Plunderer and Goldbug and could the moment he refused to fight Cap become more pivotal down the line. The refusal of Namor to get initially get invovled lin a scene packed with sexual chemistry between himself and Sue. (links to Wolverine story arc). Then we come to #7 which is just one big battle, I did find some of the dialogue in some of the fights abit to light hearted. Cap's desicion just to end the fight was shown as a hard one to make but maybe the right one. He believes in what he wants and how to get it. Not like Iron man who seems very narrow minded. Then the final pages are a series of integral revela shots. Spider-man back in black, Hank Pym man of the year with Black Panther choosing his side. That seems abit weak to me Panther choosing the side that has just won, what a glory boy. Sue and Reed reunited and possible most important of all as Cap is taken to the Negative Zone, Punisher picks up his mask in a very touching silent moment. In conclusion Civil War is a masterpiece, well written by Mark Millar and with just excellent pencils by Steve McNiven. Great battle scenes and class renditions of characters having themlooking better than ever. It was also great scripts by writers on the books that ran alongside Civil War and much applause must go to editor Tom Brevoort who held on the pieces together so this could be a succesful event. I would've liked to have seen the effects of Civil War ripple through the Marvel universe for at least a year but with two more events on the way it may not be the case. So now the end is near, we face the final curtain, we've loved, we've laughed, we've cried but Marvel did it thier way.
Civil War = 9/10