For my second Comic Book Rant I thought I’d talk about one of Marvel’s best crossover events: Civil War. This epic story has had a huge impact on the Marvel Universe over the years, with both the build-up to war and the aftermath changing the landscape of the characters involved. For me it’s also particularly important as though I’ve been a comic book fan for many many years it wasn’t until the release of Civil War that I turned into an uber fan/collector.
Whose Side Where You On?
The main concept behind Civil War was that superheroes were causing too much destruction and mayhem and thus needed to be held accountable. To do this however the government needed these heroes to reveal their identity and as any comic book fan knows this is something that isn’t done lightly.
Civil War didn’t however come out of nowhere as Marvel set this up over a few years with Secret War and House of M being the two main catalysts for the event. Ultimately however it was the early events of the crossover itself that spiralled what was know as the Superhuman Registration Act following immature heroes causing avoidable fatalities. With this act coming out the superhero community were split down the middle with Captain America standing up for freedom and Iron Man siding with the government feeling that heroes should be accountable for their actions thus giving the question “Whose Side Are You On?”
What I felt was genius about this scenario was that no one was wrong as though secret identities are important heroes can’t go about feeling as if they’re above the law.
The Affect of War
Though most events have a massive impact on the Marvel Universe going forward Civil War was one that did so on a character level, with a few characters having big changes due to this. The most notable ones were Captain America, Iron Man and Spider-Man.
Captain America was probably the most affected as he actually died. This drastic development left the role open for his long time sidekick Bucky Barnes to take over with him branching out as a character in the process. Original Cap, Steve Rogers did however eventually return and though he didn’t retake the title of Captain America straight away he’s once again the symbolist character that America needs.
Spider-Man was probably next in the line of most affected characters as having revealed his identity to the world during the event he left the doors open for his family and friends to be harmed. Marvel didn’t run with this ball for long though as with the help of Doctor Strange Spidey quickly made his identity secret again. In recent events however Spidey has undergone more changes as up until literally a month ago he’s been possessed by his arch nemesis Doc Ock better known to fans as SpOck.
The final man on my list of noticeable changes is Iron Man who in the wake of Civil War became Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. In my opinion this was a interesting development which unfortunately didn’t last too long as following the Secret Invasion crossover he’d be replaced by Norman Osborn. In recent years Iron Man hasn’t been involved in drastic storylines as bar the recent revelation as to secrets about his origin he’s not been a major game changer to the Marvel Universe.
Now I couldn’t do an article about Civil War without mentioning the two brilliant creators who worked on the story, writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven. Both have became huge names following this event with the former now having his own chain of creator owned series. I personally feel that they are what made this event as good as it was as though Brian Michael Bendis’ set-up in New Avengers and previous events it’s the style of Millar’s writing along with McNiven’s wonderful art that define what the story’s really about.
Should They Make a Film Adaptation?
A topic that gets thrown around the internet a lot is if and whether Marvel should make a film based on Civil War be it live action or animation. Now if they got it right I’d love this but ultimately I feel it’s too big a task and just destined for disappointment. Besides this as live action versions go there is the big problem of Marvel not owning the film rights to X-Men, Fantastic Four or Spider-Man as though they could make it without them it wouldn’t be the same without at least Spider-Man. Thus once all the facts and probabilities are thought through I feel this is a story that’s best left as a comic.
Getting to the Point
When all is said and done whether you love Civil War, hated Civil War or just felt it was average it’s a story that changed the landscape of Marvel in a big way and though over the years it’s affect has became slightly redundant it remains an enjoyable story that everyone should read at least once.