Summer is approaching, which means the trees are budding, flowers are in bloom, swim suits are coming out of storage and Marvel is preparing to blow all of us away with yet another SERIES THAT YOU MUST READ!!! As the summer of ’05 with “House of M” and summer of ’04 with “Avengers: Disassembled,” the summer of ’06 will be memorialized in song and interpretive dance as the summer of Civil War.
What, you say? That was the summer of ’63, as in 1863? Well, forget that Mr. Stodgypants, this is the Civil War that matters.
Except it doesn’t. If there’s anything I’ve learned while contributing a good chunk of personal income to Marvel’s coffers over the past few years, it’s that nothing really matters. What is the lasting impact of the past two HUGE events? Uh, the Scarlet Witch is off the map (for now), there are less mutants (which Joss Whedon was going to do anyway) and Hawkeye is dead (wink).
And now we have “Civil War,” which starts from a single event of careless heroes accidentally causing many deaths, leading to a mutant registration act (oops, meant superhero registration act) coming down from Capitol Hill. Why won’t I pick up a single issue, even though I have mad love for series writer Mark Millar’s work (and his “The Ultimates” is oh-so-similar to this territory)?
For starters, “Civil War” has no basis. It hasn’t been built up to. It’s just happening. There has been absolutely zilch in a single Marvel series about the government stepping in and middling with heroes (unless there’s some vast conspiracy involving the disappearances of Nick Fury and Charles Xavier that I’m missing). The only build up has been Tony Stark turning Peter Parker into Iron Spider (which had something to do with The Other, right? Anybody? Oh, okay. Nevermind).
And as for “government meddling with hero affairs” stories, I’m sure Marvel heads thought they were being really clever and timely by picking the topic for MBSBB (Marvel’s big summer blockbuster). Heck, the New York Times even thought so. But this ground has been covered, starting with Alan Moore’s standard, “The Watchmen,” as well as DC’s “The New Frontier” and “Kingdom Come.”
I’m also worried that the ever-diminishing group of Marvel books (Young Avengers, Captain America, Wolverine and a couple others) I read will be pulled into the MBSBB muck, cutting apart storylines that I’d been enjoying.