Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Four nights later and I’m back.

No apologies (Chris) and no explanations (Mom). Tonight we jump right back in with Civil War # 4. And we’re off…


This issue picks up with the Pro-Regs setting lose a bio-mechanical version of Thor on Cap and his Underground Avengers (isn’t that better than “Secret Avengers?).

I’m tempted to go on a long tirade about how stupid the whole Thor-clone/cyborg thing is, but there’s really nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said, y’know?

Honestly, I’ve tried to imagine exactly what Millar and Co. might’ve been thinking with this one, and I can’t really come up with a thing… I mean, if it were, like, the early 90s and we were still in the age of cybernetic right arms and clone superheroes, I might even give ‘em this one, but post-00s, they really oughta be able to give us something better.

So I’m going to just skip over the illogical nature of the Thor clone, I mean, the Thor Cyborg, I mean, the Thor Bionicle… or whatever, and get to the good stuff.

Page 4 – Cap and Iron Man are still talking/fighting, when Cap throws out this piece of dialogue gold…

“You really think I’m going down –
--to some pampered punk like you?

Seems that Cap has lot of animosity for the upper class that he's been holding in all these years – how Judd Nelson of you, buddy.

But you tell 'em, man… fuckin’ preps.

FACT: Mark Millar totally gets Captain America.


Page 8 - Anybody remember when Joe Quesada and Tom Brevoort were doing press for CW # 4 and they kept hinting that we'd see the death of a “big” character? Huh, guess they got us with that one, didn’t they?

Honestly, I’m a Bill Foster fan – yeah, I’m THE one. But his death didn’t really bother me so much as what happens afterwards.

Pages 9 - Bigass Bill takes a hit from fake Mjolnir and dies, Dagger goes into shock or whatever, Thorborg attempts some badass dialogue (“You are all going down.”) and calls down some clone-lightening(?) to fry Cap and crew.

Page 10 - But don’t worry, the Invisible Woman steps in and puts up a forcefield to protect them.

Page 11 - Cable apparently taps into Cloak’s power and transports the “rebels” out.

Here’s what I’ve got a problem with.

Reed steps in after the smokes cleared with this…

“Shutdown code Richard Wagner
eighteen-thirteen to eighteen eighty-three”

What the hell? Why didn’t he do this before?

Thorborg is going nuts and is out of control from the get-go – clearly not “…just like the old Thor!” as Yellowjacket later says he should’ve been.

At one point (page 5, I think) Reed gives him a stand down order, but that doesn’t do the trick.

I know, for a lot of people, CW # 4 was the one where it broke. Up to this point, we’d all been kind of hoping Millar and McNiven could pull it out, and turn this thing into something spectacular, but alas… it was not to be. And most of the breaking happens in the course of this battle.

Page 12 – In the aftermath of the fight, I was happy to see Hank Pym at least acknowledge that Bill Foster was “…one of [his] oldest friends.” Still, while I don’t think they were ever best friends, it might’ve been nice to see Hank dealing with this a little differently. Maybe I’m just looking for too much, I don’t know…

Page 13 – Hank tells us that Tony Stark’s had a strand of Thor’s hair since the first Avengers meeting, and I’m okay with that, I suppose.

But Thor’s gone missing several times before, so why’d the Marvel U braintrust wait so long to clone ol’ goldilocks?

Page 14 – Stature, Nighthawk, and Cable (?) walkout on the Underground Avengers, and as they leave, we notice they’re being watched by a mysterious masked figure on a fire escape. This is important for later.

Page 15 – This is the worst thing I’ve seen in comics in a long time, and terribly hard for anybody to defend, if we're all being honest.


Jesus - they wrap the poor bastard in some tarps and through his big ol’, dead ass in the ground.

Happy Hogan says…

“Just a shame they couldn’t shrink him down.”

Yeah, it sure is, but Pym particles work both ways, you dumbass!

Why couldn't they have used ‘em to increase the size of nice suit, or heaven forbid, a coffin for the guy. What in the world were they thinking?

Page 16 – Leaving Foster Canyon, Stark and Happy are stopped by Mrs. Sharpe – dead Stamford kid’s mom from CW # 1. She’s come to give Tony something… something that will remind him why he’s doing this.

It’s an Iron Man action figure, her son Damien’s favorite toy since he was three years old.

It’s almost a nice moment, except for the fact that the toy is modern Iron Man, and, assuming that her soon was in elementary school (probably about 7 or 8 years old) when Stamford happened, an Iron Man toy from when he was 3 would probably not look like this.

Of course, Stark could have been so inspired by a toy prototype from a couple of years in the past, that he modeled his current armor off of it, but I kind of doubt it.

Page 17 – Sue’s letter to Reed isn’t bad. It’s got some good parts.

But it’s the ending of # 4 that really gets to me.

Maybe I’m alone here, but there’s no way I can believe, that just a few days after the senseless death of “their friend” Bill Foster, the Pro-Regs think it’s a good idea to call in reinforcements in the form of this bunch:


Civil War # 5 review tomorrow… hopefully.


Anonymous said...

"FACT: Mark Millar totally gets Captain America."

Is this serious, or sarcasm? I think Mark Millar gets Cap. I've really only ever enjoyed reading anything Cap related under Millar's pen.

Chad Bowers said...

This was meant as sarcasm, however, I do kind of like Millar's take on Captain America, it's just not terribly well done or in character in this scene.

"I've really only ever enjoyed reading anything Cap related under Millar's pen."

You should try the Stern/Byrne stuff, Waid's and Garney's first run, and the first quarter of their comeback... and Brubaker's isn't bad so far.

Anonymous said...

Stern and Byrne, for sure! Although my favourite's still Englehart and Buscema. Second to anything Kirby/Simon/Lee, of course. But it's a pretty close second.

I'm really enjoying these Civil War takes of yours, which is kind of strange because it isn't like I haven't read a thousand of them already. But these are great. Hmm, one day someone's going to have to collect all the funniest CW blogstuff on a single page of links...

Chris Sims said...

Does Cap really think of Iron Man as a pampered punk? I mean, essentially, those guys have fought four or five wars together.

Carla said...

Personally, I think Brubaker's Cap books have een gold recently.

And I have no idea how Millar can honestly think wrapping a dead hero up in tarps and chains and lowering him into his grave was a good idea. He said on Newsarama once that he got the idea of watching an elephant being buried and yes, in that contaxt it's neat visual but B-Lister or no, there was no reason to treat a character like that, black or no. Black Panther had some outrage, but only so much before T'Challa went on to other things.

It's just got no class.

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