Sunday, February 14, 2016

Random Thoughts On... Civil War

I'm betting this is how most folk regard Civil War.

You know, I thought I was done talking about this event. For some reason, I couldn’t let go just yet. I’ve now read a majority of the tie-ins and looked at the main series itself. I have to say that it brought up some things that I really never considered about the event. So, hold on to your butts because I have some things to say not only about the main issues but the event as a whole. Hopefully, it all comes out as coherent.

I barely remember the buzz for Civil War back in the day. I know it was one of those things to talk about on message boards and people had all sorts of questions. I tried to keep up with it but I only got issues 4, 5, and 7. I was on a college budget and a man has to eat, ya know? Besides, it was a long walk to Outer Limits. By the end, I was just ready for it all to end. The fact that some issues got delayed during its release definitely didn’t help that. I didn’t care what side won. Since then, I started to lean toward the negative side with this event. With all of the weird moments that happened, it makes sense I’d do that. It seemed like I had everything planned when I decided to look at the main issues.
Not even the arrival of Michael Jackson singing "Beat It" would stop this fight.

Then, I actually read the tie-ins or at least the major tie-ins. There were some tie-ins I didn’t bother with. Reading the ones that centered on characters like Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and Captain America helped it all make more sense to me. They were pretty good and more or less dwarfed the main series in their quality of writing. We got to see why folk made the decisions they made whether they were good or bad. A lot of these things was missing from the main series for me. When reading only the main issues, it felt like stuff is missing. It just sucks that this is how most big crossovers work these days. My wallet especially feels the pain which is why I try not to deal with these big events.

For example, Iron Man/Captain America: Casualties of War #1 (long title) was definitely one of the better tie-ins to the event. It’s basically an issue of Steve and Tony meeting after Black Goliath’s death and baring all of their grievances and reasons for this war. It actually helped me understand Tony’s side which is something that most of the event didn’t try to do. It even got an emotional reaction out of me which is something the main series failed to do with these two characters. These guys have been friends for years and you barely get any of that in the main series.

Yeah, I’m saying it! Iron Man/Captain America: Casualties of War #1 almost got a tear out of me!

While I disagree with the idea of Peter Parker publicly revealing his identity, his tie-ins were pretty good. I actually got to see why he did what he did. Let’s just say it obviously didn’t turn out well for him in the end. Yeah, I’m also talking about "One More Day" which is something I’m still not a fan of. Civil War: Frontline was an okay tie-in that dealt with some side characters like Ben Urich and Speedball, the only survivor of the Stamford incident. There were some tie-ins that didn’t really tie into the series but I still enjoyed them. Cable and Deadpool’s tie-in was okay but hilarious at times. Wolverine’s tie-in was enjoyable but I did not like that art one bit. I’m wondering why Humberto Ramos is still getting work these days.

Tony: Logan, are you alright? You look uglier than usual! You're not going to eat me, are you?

Even after reading the major tie-ins to the event, I still have qualms about the event as a whole. The Pro-side definitely comes off as more villainous in the story especially toward the latter half of the event. I do understand that the event was supposed to be balanced but they make some stupid decisions. Locking up folk in America without due process is messed up. Even if Stark, Richards, and Pym were doing their best with a screwy situation, you think they would have thought some of these dumb decisions out. They’re supposed to be the smartest minds in the world, so what the heck? It's also weird that Nitro gets swept under the rug by the government since he did cause the explosion. No, let's blame the heroes for the whole incident...
Even Ben Grimm says something on the damage early on in the event... and Cap does nothing... Huh.

I even have to throw some shade at Captain America here. He comes off as a little dumb as well. If there’s one character who should find an alternative way to fighting, it’s Cap. I get he had to fight against the act, but why didn’t he try to reach out to Tony or the government and try to compromise? Heck, Tony even tries to reason with him in the third issue but Steve had none of it. Also, the revelation Steve comes to at the end was something he should have considered before things got so out of hand. Ultimately, their decisions were probably made because Marvel wanted to make this event big, talkative, grand, and all that stuff. I think I’m beginning to see why I don’t like this event all that much.

There’s also a part of me that wonders if Mark Millar was the best choice for writing the story. From what I’ve been able to read with interviews, it was more or less his idea. He and Brian Michael Bendis came up with ideas and this one stuck. I wonder what J. Michael Straczynski could have done with it since I thought his writing from his tie-ins was pretty good. I also wonder what Bendis would have done with it. Maybe they ultimately went with Millar since he has that “star appeal” or something like that.
I need to read this series one day... 

Its status in my mind is why I’m a little worried about Captain America: Civil War. From what’s been shown, it’s going its own way. It’s using the story as a basis but it has Bucky in a major role. Plus, the identity thing isn’t much of a thing since a lot of the heroes in the movies don’t have secret identities. I also don’t know how they’ll work a 15 year-old Spidey into it. We’ve seen little of that and that’s good. Since the same team from Captain America: The Winter Soldier is working on it, I think it’ll be good. I just wish May would get here.

In the end, I don’t hate the event. I do think the tie-ins help make Civil War a little better in my eyes now. Plus, the story is interesting and tries to go for something different. Even though a bunch of dumb stuff happens in it, what Marvel had coming after it didn’t look that bad. Some of it was even good. Well, I hope y’all enjoyed some of that. I think it’s time for me to return to the really defunct Ultimate Universe.

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