Saturday, January 27, 2007


So, now, after nearly a two week hiatus, here’s what I have to say about Civil War, #s 2 and 3, with 4 – 6, and Civil War: The Return coming tomorrow.


>Civil War # 2 starts off kind of rough, with its opening shot of the Vulture and the Grim Reaper chained to some pillar somewhere underground.

Two things bother me about this: 1 – Vulture was wearing a different costume the last time we saw him in the Marvel Knights Spider-man title, right? What happened to it? Of course, I might be getting a little nit-picky on this, but the new costume did appear in a book written by the same guy (Mark Millar) that writes his appearance here, and even though I know HE didn’t draw it, it would have been nice if the costume’s matched.
I’m sure Marvel might make the argument that they “chose” to have the Vulture in his original costume because it was more recognizable, and I’d almost buy it if not for my point number two…

2 – Where’s the Grim Reaper’s scythe? We’re clearly shown his right hand, but I was always under the impression that when Eric Williams upgraded his Reaper equipment, he sacrificed his hand (if that’s not true, please somebody correct me).

>One of the things that we’ve seen throughout Civil War has been what I’ve taken to calling “the repeat” – a shot or scene that shows up in the MAIN Civil War title and is also shown in a tie-in book focusing specifically on one character’s point-of-view.

So far, it’s happened in Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spidey, and most recently She-Hulk.

In CW#2 we see Iron Man’s team after they’ve just taken down a “doombot”.

Same scene is shown in She-Hulk, but this time with a greater focus on ol’ Shulkie’s take on the situation.

Some have worked out well, others… not so much.

The problem I’ve noticed with these repeats, is that sometimes the events don’t match up one-to-one - a bit of dialogue will be off by a few words, but enough to sort of change the way the scene works. We’ll see a pretty good example of this in something shown in CW#6, and then shown that same week in Punisher: War Journal # 2, but I’m jumping the gun a little.

>Page 8 sees the Super Hero Registration Act becoming a law, and those S.H.I.E.L.D. guys waste no time getting to work, as we see on page 9 where they’re seen violently attacking Patriot of the Young Avengers. Also, in New Avengers # ___ , we see S.H.I.E.L.D. take a small army into the heart of Harlem to take down the hardest man in town, Luke “Power Man” Cage. They hit him up at 12:01AM, just minutes after the Registration Act’s taken effect. Jesus Christ guys, give these guys some time… damn.

>Page 13 – Undercover Cap rescues the Young Avengers after they’ve been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.

Don’t mind him helping out the kids, but check out panel 5 – Cap kicks that SHIELD guy right out of the carrier!!! Holy shit, Cap – you’re on the F***ing interstate, man. What were you thinking? Isn’t that a little uncalled for? I mean, sure, everything the guy’s saying in the scene makes him a creep, but still… kicking him out on the freeway?

>Obviously, the biggest thing to happen in CW#2 is Spider-man’s revelation to the world that he’s really Peter Parker under the mask.

I told Chris, Tug, and Phil when I first heard this might happen, that I’d quit reading comics if it was true, but I honestly kind of like how it was done, and wanted to stick around to see how it played out. No lie.

But the more I’ve thought about it, and after reading it a second time, what struck me as kind of funny was the age Peter says he was when he became Spider-man.

“My name is Peter Parker, and I’ve been
Spider-man since I was fifteen years old.”

I rarely like it when a story locks something in a definite age, year, time, place, etc…

Fifteen seems a little young here for 616 Spider-man.

Think about it – Peter graduates from Midtown High in Amazing Spider-man # 28. Assuming he was bitten by the spider at age 15, that mean Amazing Spidey #s 1 – 28 cover 3 years of Peter Parker’s life, and to me, that just seems like too much, especially when you consider that the next 100 issues only cover a few years of college.

Again, probably me being too nit-picky, but it gets back to something I mentioned in my first Civil War post about Marvel and Mark Millar having a tough time separating the core Marvel U from the Ultimates.

# 3

>CW#3 opens in the media aftermath of Pete’s big reveal from #2, and quickly shifts to a pretty interesting scene of Reed Richards talking with T’Challa in Wakanda, and we see just how disconnected Reed seems from the events going on around him.

>Page 4 has Tony Stark meeting with Emma Frost of the X-men to discuss the mutant stand on the Registration Act.

Apparently the X-men don’t have to play, cause Emma pretty much just tells Stark they won’t be registering and they won’t be getting involved – period. She says they’ll just stay on their “reservation” or whatever, and be good little mutants.

Earlier in their meeting Stark says this:

“[Emma] This must be the first time you and
I have been alone since Marrakesh.

Tell me, does Cyclops know about that
little arrangement we used to have when neither
of us were dating?”

So, Tony and Emma were once F-buddies? To quote my friend Scott, “If that’s the case, then Marvel’s been showing us the wrong stuff.”

Again, another great example of something Ultimate Tony Stark might say, but not what I’d expect to hear coming out of the mouth of a character as nuanced 616 Tony.

And is that Tony Stark... or Tony Montana?

>Page 7 - I thought the secret Avengers secret identity thing was kind of funny.

>Page 11 – Cap’s team gets ambushed by the Pro-Regs, resulting in several pages of Stark and his boys trying to talk them down.

>Page 15 – Needless to say, it doesn’t work.

>Page 16 – Yellowjacket with Big Ass Bill in a headlock, says:

“I thought you were
supposed to be smart, Bill.”

Damn, Hank – that's cold!

>Page 19 – Cap and Iron Man fight. Iron Man knows Cap’s moves before he makes him, huh? Boo.

>Page 20 – Iron Man knocks Cap’s teeth out. Too much. They’ll never be friends again.

And while I’m on the subject, I know it’s just an artistic choice, but having a tooth fly out of Cap’s mouth here, and then have him show up several issues later or in another book with a full, beautiful mouth full of teeth means, that in the midst of this whole Civil War fiasco, Cap found some time to go to the dentist and get his teeth fixed.

Like I said, too much.

>Page 22 – CLOR? CY-Thor? We’ll see next issue…or will we?


Nicholas said...

Re: The Grim Reaper's hand.

I can't recall when he lost the hand, but he definitely didn't have it during Busiek's Avengers run.

I completely agree with your comments regarding Millar and the Ultimate/616 universes; if this was Ultimate Civil War, I would be enjoying every moment of it.

Millar isn't the biggest culprit of confusing universes, though, or ignoring continuity. I still don't understand if Leap-Frog was a different character in his run, or if he just ignored continuity and wrote out Eugene, the Fabulous Frog Boy. Git.

Can't wait to see your comments on Civil War: The Return

Caleb said...

woah, nice catch on the tooth!

Zeke said...

Great CW posts. I've noticed Millar's Ultimate confusion too, and you missed the most blatant sign of all: Jan shouting worriedly to Hank that "We can do this without you having to grow." Our Hank's powers haven't been dangerous to him in a long time.

- Z

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