Saturday, May 03, 2003

Civil War #1 Review

First off, before I mention anything else, Marvel better give Dexter Vines an exclusive contract, because Steve McNiven's art looks as good here as it has EVER looked, and since the only difference that I can see is that he's being inked by Vines, I have decided to give him credit for that extra little bit of improvement to McNiven's work, which already was quite good.

The art for Civil War #1 was excellent.

Not since John Byrne on Legends has the art for a big crossover mini-series been this good, and I think McNiven on this comic did a better job than Byrne did on Legends. Remarkable work.

As to the story. Well, it's funny, if comic books were children being cared for by the comic companies, then Marvel Comics should be receiving a visit from Child Welfare soon, because they really did a number on this comic. Through no fault of the comic itself, practically the ENTIRE story has already been reported, which robs the reading experience a good deal. Kinda hard to get pumped about a story when you've heard it a million times before you ever actually READ it.

However, if I had to divorce myself from the outside influences, and pretended that Civil War #1 was the first I heard any of this stuff before, I would have to say that the story worked well. Mark Millar did a good job, I think.

I have only three concerns about the writing. The first two are minor, but I think the last one is significant.

1. Yellowjacket comes off a total jerk. Sorta affects your rooting interest when one side is represented by Yellowdouchebag (and douchebag was used this week in another comic, so it is okay to say here! One cool point to the person who tells me which comic used the word "douchebag" this week!).

2. A number of the characters were off, voice-wise. But not as many as you would think, really, especially with Mark Millar involved. The best, though, was Goliath saying "honey" to Ms. Marvel, in the context of "This is the start of the witch hunts, honey." The only thing better would be if he called Ms. Marvel "girlfriend."

3. The biggest, and most important, scene in the comic (not counting the opening)...and it was dumb.

Not only was it dumb, but it was unnecessarily dumb.

I have no problem with Captain America becoming a renegade. None whatsoever. I thought the scene where he escapes from the Hellicarrier to be excellent, with amazing visuals from McNiven (come on! Cap lands on a jet and rides on top of it until it lands!!). But the story leading UP to that?

So dumb.

Either SHIELD Director Maria Hill called Cap up to talk to her, or Cap went to her to talk. Either way, Cap was COOPERATING. All Cap did in the scene was refuse to lead the Avengers and SHIELD in a mission to round up non-compliant heroes. And for that, action, Hill orders a squad of soldiers to ATTACK CAP!!!

For such a major, major scene, it was far too dumb.

"What's going on?"
"We want you to lead these guys to round up heroes."

Those are not the actions of a SHIELD director, even one shown to be a total b-word. That is how, like, Yellow Claw acts. Or the Mandarin. Heck, Dr. Doom wouldn't even act like that.

And, like I said before, it was unnecessary, because the scene would work fine with only minute changes, like maybe Cap being more belligerent (which would be understandable, given the situation). Saying something like, "I will fight you on this." THEN her reaction would be believable. And not, you know, so dumb.

However, the art was amazing, and the story worked well, except for that problem (and it was only magnified because it was such a significant scene), so I will say that I WOULD actually recommend this issue, just with heavy reservations, and those are A. The Cap scene is dumb and B. If you've read anything about Civil War, you have basically read the entire story of #1.

Read the Review


Anonymous Superfrick said...

Yea, I had to re-read the Cap scene a second time to make sure I didn't somehow miss a bit of dialogue that gave reason for the "Get him!" plan

5/04/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Not even a "by the way, if you say no, I have orders to arrest you?" Cold.

5/04/2006 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger John Donald Carlucci said...


5/04/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Nimbus said...

Those are not the actions of a SHIELD director, even one shown to be a total b-word.

Hey, maybe everyone in SHIELD is being mind controlled?

Yeah, I bet that's the end of Civil War #7. They were all being mind controlled by, ooh I dunno, the Red Skull maybe?

5/05/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Heavy money is currently on the Hate Monger.

5/05/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Heavy money is currently on the Hate Monger.

Yes, but "heavy money" in this case means "Rich Johnson," who also told us Batman would be in Arkham and replaced by Dick Grayson by now. He was also, if I'm not mistaken, the source of the "Wonder Woman's going to die" rumors.

Quesada has sworn up and down that there is no villain orchestrating it all from behind the scenes, and if they're smart they'll deliver on that promise, since it'll make for a better story. An evil mastermind pretty much deflates the entire premise of this series.

5/05/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In her defense, Maria Hill was pretty tightly wound up from day one. As she saw it, she'd been walked on by the Avengers in one way or another since they regrouped. I don't remember the exact dialogue, but an exchange between Agent Hill and Tony Stark went something like this:
Hill: You don't have to respect me, but i'm asking you to respect my title.
Stark: I don't think much about you one way or the other, Agent Hill.
Yeah, it was a bit much to have the SHIELD guys fire on Cap, but, really, it seemed like the Avengers had been pissing on Agent Hill's shoes for some time, whereas if Nick Fury had been involved, the Avengers would be saluting him left and right. And vice versa.

5/05/2006 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

The only problem is, as much as Hill might be pissed off at Cap, *the freaking stupid law hasn't been passed yet*. Therefore, she has no basis on which to arrest or detain Cap, especially considering that they must have agreed to talk before this. Kick him off the helicarrier, maybe, but not try to capture him.

I mean, it's seriously dumb, arresting a public figurehead because he states he's not interested in running down his friends that don't register under a law that's still only hypothetical. For one thing, one assumes Congress will be calling him to testify before them in some hearings before actually passing anything...

5/08/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger John Seavey said...

I'd have to say, though, the stuff about Cap and Hill does seem a bit like "fridge logic"[1] to me. It's true, but I have to say, at the time it seemed perfectly clear to me that she was there to sound out Cap and drop the hammer on him if he didn't comply, and legality/appropriateness of the hammer-dropping wasn't going to be an issue.

I think my only real problem with 'Civil War' to date is that it's going to be really hard to make Tony a sympathetic character after all this is done: The stuff we've seen so far (in the "Road To 'Civil War'" preludes) is practically a neon sign saying, "Tony Stark Is Secretly Orchestrating All This." The 'Illuminati' special alone has Tony saying pretty much outright, "I'm going to kill the New Warriors and make it look like it was their own fault to facilitate the passage of this act. Boo-yah!"

And after that's done with, how do you make him a good guy?

[1] "Fridge logic": A TV term. According to John Rogers, the minor plot holes that facilitate the movement of the story that are allowed because you don't think about them until you're going to the fridge half-way through the next show.

5/17/2006 09:32:00 AM  

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