For my birthday, my brother presented me, with a rather large grin, Civil War by Mark Millar because he knows how excited I am for the upcoming Captain America film.
Whilst I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the read, completing the comic in a few hours, it has given me low hopes for the film.
The comic is so complex – there’s so many angles, so many of my favorite characters integrated into the story. How can the film even compare?
As a quick run down, the story begins with a group of amateur superheroes recording a reality T.V. program and ‘chasing ratings’. They decide to take on a group of super-villains well out of their league, resulting not only in their deaths, but the destruction of a near by school killing hundreds of innocent children. Of course this results in protests demanding that superheroes be put on a leash and stop them from taking the piss all over New York – sorry I mean the world.
Thus we have Iron Man and Captain America fore-fronting the two arguments, as we see in the film.
However, I think the film will still work. They’ve simplified the idea of Civil War, sure. But the basis is still the same. In Age of Ultron, they literally destroyed an entire town fighting Ultron and the trailers for Civil War demonstrate the backlash to all that destruction.
Personally, I sided with Tony Stark. Whilst Superheroes are amazing, their determination to defeat super villains frequently involves taking down cities. Whilst putting them on a leash will not remove this factor away from their fights, it will make them more conscious if there are punishments for their actions.
Superheroes can easily be seen as gods on Earth, especially when they are also mutants. Their abilities put them far above ordinary humans, which is why I understand why the X-Men face such hatred among the common person. I’m not saying it is necessary, nor even appropriate, but that I understand where that hatred comes from.
Left unchecked, who is to stop these ‘heroes’ from turning? From deciding to take over the world?
Whilst the idea also becomes reminiscent of the mutant registration (which obviously has strong ties to the Nazis regime), I like the idea of superheroes working with the government. Whilst the whole ‘mutant registration’ is a completely different ball park, superheroes being registered is a brilliant idea. not only do they become an organised team, they will also have the chance to train to work on their abilities in a safe space (much like Xavier team).
Again, there is a fine like between having superheroes registered and mutants registered. Whilst I believe in Tony’s fight, the average mutant should not need to announce their status as a mutant. Not every mutant with abilities will become a hero – will go on to protect the world. Like any human, they deserve anonymity.
Of course, if they then go on to protect/terrorize the world, their status should change.
Really, when you start thinking like this, you start walking on a fine line between fiction and the real world. Comics have always had statements on society, and with everything going on in the world as of late, Civil War is just as current today as when it was originally published.
I definitively recommend the comic to anyone who loves Marvel, especially the Avenger films, but be prepared to be thrown in without much introduction to the character -and there are many. I found myself a little lost as to who some of the characters are, and I would have previously said I was quite familiar of the Marvel Universe.