Friday, September 22, 2006

Civil War Contemplations

Civil War 4
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to get issue 4. That is indeed correct. Well, after a big round table discussion of the issue, and a general "group" reading done by hubby and his friends, I have decided that there are points that need to expressed.

1. IRON MAN: Could we hate this character any more? While Tony Stark has always been an egotistical, driven man riddled with countless flaws, there have always been redeeming qualities. Here, there are none. Tony is merciless, crushing those who don't bend to his grand design. There isn't any middle ground with the character. He is cruel and devious, qualities more associated with a super villain then a hero. After reading Iron Man #12, and seeing the plot developments here, I truly wonder if that may not be the set up.
CONCLUSION: Has crossed the point of no return

2. CAPTAIN AMERICA: Steve Rogers has always stood for the "little guy" and the American Dream. Seeing his actions here make me wonder if he has forgotten his core values. I appreciate his intentions, but am surprised that he seems to teeter on the edge of delusions of grandeur. Standing tall in the face of opposition is one thing; wantonly throwing he and his allies into the mouth of utter destruction is quite another. I miss Cap like I miss my Grandma's apple pie.
CONCLUSION: Battered but not beaten

3. REED RICHARDS: What the hell is this about? Reed has always been measured not only by his brilliance, but by his commitment to his family. While sometimes obtuse, Reed has never forgotten the love and stability his wife and family bring. To see him so cold and distant is extremely jarring. One can only hope he comes to his senses before it is too late.
CONCLUSION: Booted from the Fantastic Four, but still allowed access to his family.

4. SUE RICHARDS: I think that Sue acted in character by her actions. She is a level headed, strong woman. She knows that what Reed is doing is wrong, and calls him on it by doing the most drastic thing she can, and doing what she thinks is right. The letter was in character with Sue. It was like "Reed, get your head pulled out of your butt and back to what matters. Fix things and we'll all be a family again". The only thing that really feels wrong to me is Sue's abandonment of Franklin and Valeria. Never in a million years did I think that would happen, and I think it is really out of character.
CONCLUSION: Sue comes home to her family but keeps Reed at arm's length.

THOR: Cloning the God of Thunder???!! What a load of hooey this is! I absolutely hate this with a passion. I always wanted Thor (THE REAL THOR) to come back and make things right. In my vision, he is looking in a scrying pool at Valhalla and sees a great injustice. Hence Thor comes back. But back to the subject at hand, even a clone of Thor wouldn't wantonly commit murder if it was indeed a true match. Thor was always honorable above all else. The actions of this Thor are anything but.
CONCLUSION: Clone Thor must expire and Genuine Thor must step in to clean up the mess.

SPIDER-MAN: In issue 4, Peter starts to feel remorse for his previous decisions. Worse, Iron Man can tell. This doesn't bode well for Peter down the road, especially concerning his family. Imagine all his major villains with chip implants, being sent to kill Peter and all his loved ones. Whether he suffers a tragedy at the hands of Iron Man or not, being publicly exposed have changed things irrevocably in a way that bodes ill for the future of the character. I am sure this is Marvel's plan all along- they want him single and fresh, though many fans would disagree with that.
CONCLUSION: Expect personal tragedies and a return to outcast status greater then before.

Marvel has used Civil War to grab a lot of media attention and generate major buzz, which has hopefully been in an effort to gain new readers and bring old ones back to the fold of the classic Marvel Universe. HOWEVER, looking at the landscape that is being created from this event, I can't help but wonder if Joe Quesada and company truly believe that this is the Marvel Universe the masses actually want.

BOTTOM LINE: Civil War is a bit too ambitious for the believers in the status quo. I believe it will ultimately alienate much more then it will enhance.


John Holland said...

One thing I did like in the new issue was that the death of a C-level hero had some effect. Normally in this big cross overs the companies throw a few c-level or lower heroes in the mixt to get killed. Their death is always treated almost as a throwaway. This one had some effect, you saw some of the aftereffects of his death.

I still haven't made my mind up on what I think about the whole thing yet. Some reason for me reading the core title, Civil War, always seems like it's a fill in or something, like it's not complete. I've enjoyed the civil war ties in the New Avengers much more.

But you're right, they're making a lot of the characters act completely out of character. I can almost take Iron Man acting like a jerk, he always walked that line. But Reed is just not Reed. I don't believe his actions for a minute.

And the ending? I can't believe that real heroes would send these villians out to battle their former comrades and friends. No matter how bad things get.

Heidi Meeley said...

John, I do agree that it was nice to have a death have some consequence rather then being used as a throw-away as happens so often. That was one of the stronger points of issue 4. Otherwise, I was cringing so hard at the clone thing that it really threw me off.

I wasn't going to get issue 4, and I am mad at myself for breaking down and doing so. On the other hand, it was great to have such great discussion at the shop and with my hubby, and online.

The most notable thing, like we have both noted, is the portrayal of characters that are so iconic and so well known. To have these heroes act so out of the norm is disconcerting to say the least.

I really hate what they have done with Reed. I have always thought of Sue and Reed as the one marriage that comics book writers and editorial hold sacred. Not just because of the longevity, but because there are children involved. I know that sounds cliche, but Sue and Reed have always put family first, and to see Reed be so callous is flat offensive to me.

Seeing the villains at the end tell me this- the gloves are off, and Marvel is going to take us to this new place, whether we want to go there or not.

Carl said...

Welp, I sure as hell didn't buy it, but I read it in the shop, since your review had that something important happened. This series is basically like watching a train wreck with the engineers, railsmen and everyone else that makes the RR go helping out to cause it and make it as big and awful as possible. Not thinking of tomorrow or years from now, it's wreck the 40 almost 50 years of Marvel history for maximum attention and profit and the rest be damned. This series has moved me so much that you could kill Iron Man and his government sell-outs and I wouldn't care a whit. Someone should scan Reed and make sure he hasn't been replaced or taken over by a Doombot or some other FF goon. And cloning a god? I don't believe in that for one minute. The whole deal about gods is that they get their powers from beyond our kin, it's not something you can create in a lab or I guess all those test tube 'virgin births' are really new versions of Jesus? That was a major load of bs I can't and won't swallow.
And well, thank God, one of the more known super heroes was finally murdered so that some of these idiots might wake up and see what they are doing and supporting.
The whole thing is shameful, just shameful. And the best part was the capper, using villains to go after the super heroes, what was the matter? The Taliban/Al Quadia folks too busy?
You know, if I didn't know any better, I would swear that DC agents had infiltrated Marvel and set this up on purpose, the mini-series that destroys the Marvel U. or at least deals it a blow it might never recover from or take years to do so. I can only hope that The Punisher finishes this series up and the survivors can reboot the MU and have something worth reading again...

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, it's funny that you mention the Punisher. He is the wild card I have actually been wanting to see enter the fray. As a big fan of the character, especially as written by Garth Ennis, I would like to see Frank Castle give some of these heroes a smack down.

The cloning thing is what did me in, especially after being so upset for so long about Sue and Reed.

Civil War is like a car crash. You want to look away, but you can't help but look.

Anonymous said...

The MU has been as stale as ten day old bread since about the mid 80s and really needed a boot to the bum. Now I'm not too attached to status quo because I think it equals boring comics, so this may be where my appreciation of the series comes from.

Personally I think it's a brilliant idea to turn some good guys into villians who think they're doing good... Thats why Magneto rocked. It just needed a slow burn rather than the sudden slam bam that we've gotten. If only to lure typically change-phobic fans away from the "b-But, that's not how they were when I started reading!" mindset. I think they moved too fast and scared everyone.

but yeah, Clone Thor: weird.

Heidi Meeley said...

William G- there are many schools of thought when it comes to the Marvel Universe and the way that the powers that be have conducted that journey.

Quite frankly, until I met my husband ten years ago, I was never a big Marvel fan. I had always waved the DC banner, as it was there that I had discovered and embraced titles like Justice League of America, The Brave and the Bold, and Wonder Woman.

When my husband did introduce me to Marvel, he did it by way of Frank Miller's Daredevil and Peter David's Incredible Hulk. From there, we went to the old school Uncanny X-Men and John Byrne's Fantastic Four. I was hooked.

The only problem was that I wasn't nearly as inspired by the product coming out in the late 1990's. Heroes Reborn was that period, and as a new consumer, I found Jim Lee's books interesting. My hubby cringed but let me find my own way.

At any rate, in my eyes, the freshest thing about Marvel today is the Ultimate line. I have grown quite attached to it, especially Ultimate Spider-Man.

Civil War is too jolting, and too contrived for me at this point. I just can't buy into it. That doesn't mean I won't look at it and have conversations about it at the comic shop- I admit it!

Buy yeah, clone Thor does indeed make me shudder. Bad Marvel!