Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Civil War #4 - SUCKS!

There goes all my big words, but this book just sucks and I only read it so I can be able to criticize it on Cosmix Conversations, which I will miss this week due to watching the Ravens game (priorities).

This book screams to me about what is wrong with many comics and Marvel comics in particular. It is style over substance, it pretends to be about the national debate of security versus civil liberties and most of the characters are way out of whack.

This issue revolves around the fact the Reed and Tony Stark have cloned Thor. The cloned Thor is so brutal that he kills Goliath (the former Black Goliath). We find out Tony Stark had a hair of Thor's that he saved from years ago. Why, because he planned to clone Thor in the future? That part is not clearly explained. Also the fact the Marvel is supposed to be closer to the real world and we can assume that cloning regular people is a piece of cake and cloning gods is --- what just as easy.

Who the hell is Tony Stark and Reed Richards, they aren't the characters I grew up with. People are flipping sides with no strong rationale faster then you can turn the pages. Captain America calling Iron Man a pampered punk. More so he would say something like "I can't fall old friend, no matter what because you taken the wrong path." or something other then pampered punk.

How is the fan fiction story of all the heroes fighting each other framing the national debate on security versus civil liberties. How can Sue and Johnny just find the rebels? How can Tony all of a sudden decide that psychopaths and cold blooded killers are okay to fight against his friends (at the end of this issue he has Venom, Bullseye, Electra (who is running a Ninja group in Daredevil but is a prisoner??) and others as recruits to go against Captain America's group).

As for my point on style over substance, it took me all of five minutes to slowly read this book. The art is big and glossy and well done, but it is razor thin in really focusing on any true issue.

Plus Tony would have some gimmick that would hold Cap as prisoner and not pound the crap out of him. In the forty years of Iron Man (and I haven't read all of them) I don't remember him beating up a bad guy that badly.

What little I loved about the Marvel Universe is being hurt even worse by this series. I enjoy change, but not all change is good or well conceived. Marvel made a mistake with this series. Yes it will sell, but ultimately I think it will keep shrinking the fan base.

It goes to a big gripe I have with many story tellers in comics. They have a story they want to tell and then they cast characters in the roles. Regardless of whether they fit or not. This should have been an Elseworlds styled 12 part maxi-series.


  1. My complaint wasn't that it was bad, but rather, that I could see it all coming. The only thing I didn't know where was THOR from and which small character would be pushing daisies.

    The characterization is a little off, but it serves the story and I can buy a little of that.

    I knew Sue would switch sides and go against Reed. (Her and Johnny haven't found anyone yet. They just left.) I knew someone would die and I knew, based on previous issues, that SHIELD would grant immunity to the villains at some point.

    I bet the real THOR will return to smack down this clone sooner or later. (And it was REED that had the strain wasn't it? He's a science geek.)

    REED and TONY's characterization has been off since issue #1. Nothing new in that regard.

    At least it serves the story.

    Anytime you bring real world headlines into a comic and use the superheroes as metaphors, it will fall short.

    Its the best Marvel crossover in a long time, maybe ever. That's not saying much, but there it is.

    You should have read it after FLASH. ;)

  2. I have a hard time bringing myself to read Flash, but I assume you mean that Civil War is better then the Flash. Still faint praise.

    And altering long established characters to service a story is unacceptable in my mind without a rationale for why they are acting out of character.

    Also calling it their best cross-over after stating most of their cross-overs have been poor is not giving this book any real kudos.

    You are being too kind.

  3. Nah, its just too predictable.

    Keep in mind Stark has been acting screwy since the Extremis (sp?) stuff got pumped into him. He has become more and more detached from people and started acting more and more like a machine.

    So I can buy that he lost his mind.

    REED's another story.

    I don't know what you expect. Crossover are never very good. IC had more than its share of problems.

    It wasn't bad. I can name at least a half a dozen titles that were better and more than 20 that were worse.

    It does what it needs to do.

    Now let's read some CASANOVA! ;P

    PS - DESOLATION JONES is coming back next month. YEAH!

  4. Shawn - we agree to disagree. Regarding Tony - the Extremis can explain some of it, but what about saving hair samples from many years ago?

  5. Hot damn! We've got a Civil War brewing right here!!! Can't wait to read issue 4 and see which side I fall down on--Jim and his militia or Shawn and his renegades.

  6. Trust me, I am not a big proponent of CW, just don't think its horrible. Characterization aside.

    I actually think it looks alot nicer than IC did, and I am a HUGE DC fan.

    You want an awesome mini-series with powers? Read WANTED. Probably Millar's best book ever.

    HELLBLAZER was good this week.

    The important thing is that SPIDER-MAN is switching sides next month.

    That's right, PETER grows a pair.


  7. I won't defend IC because I thought it was convoluted, but Civil War is bad because it is destroying parts of Marvel that I loved. When you turn a hero into what they are making Stark and Reed like, it makes it hard to ever love the character as much as you used to.

  8. Read Civil War 4 and I didn't think it sucked, just that it was silly. We are now hip-deep in a war run by 3 men who are blind to what they are doing. Reed and Tony are trying to protect us civvies from superheroes. To did this they wage war in our streets with other heroes, causing billions in property damage and putting civilian lives at risk. Guess they'll save us all from unregistered heroes even if the have to kill us all in colateral damage to do it. Then there's Cap who is willing to kill all who follow him in order to prove that his side is the right one. Silly stuff and not true to any of the 3's nature.
    This whole thing just reads as Joe Q's and Mark Millar's condemnation of the Bush administration and the course of action they have taken post 9-11. Joe Q has made no bones about his politics and Mark Millar used to be a speech writer for the most liberal faction of the English gov't. Both men despise Bush and it's coming through in spades in Civil War.
    My problems with the series are twofold. First--there has not been a single original idea in the entire series. Even the idea of deputizing villains to help catch heroes has been done many times before. Secondly--Marvel believes this is their Watchmen. They feel that, decades from now, people will still be buying the Civil War trade just as people continue to buy Watchmen some 20 years later. This is why they refuse to use a fill-in artist. They say that the work will flow and present better in trade if it's all by one creative team. There is nothing classic about Civil War. It will go atop the pile of recent Marvel miniseries that were hot while coming out, but quickly forgotten just a few months after finishing.
    Civil War is just a compilation of ideas we've all seen before slapped together and mixed for the Marvel U at the cost of accurate characterization. No one's gonna remember this puppy 5 years from now. Heck, I barely remember the story behind Marvels, just that it was our first real exposure to the lush Alex Ross art. Civil War......silly, flavor of the day series that will soon be forgotten.

  9. I don't like Bush either but that's because I despise Stupid Men and Evil Men and he only can be one or the other.

    But yeah, you can smell the implications a mile away.

    I don't think anyone will question the government though after reading CW.

    Its like McDonalds. Fun to eat sometimes but reaaaally bad for you.

  10. Shawn,

    See, I don't dislike Bush, I just think that he's a mediocre President at best. As for his intelligence, I don't think he's stupid at all. He's just fried his brain cells on coke and alcohol. What he has is an unwavering vision of where he wants to go. Now, while I supported the Iraq War given the intelligence at the time and the fact that I feel we need to be proactive and not reactive when fighting terrorists. But you can't just have blind faith that what you're doing will work. We've had some successed in Iraq, but how long does it take to train soldiers? If we can do it here in 6 months max, why can't they train the Iraqi army in over 3 years? They say they have no money to pay the soldiers. How can this be? Saddam was a dictator who abused the UN and took billions in the Oil For Food scandal. Where the heck is that money and why not use it pay the Iraqi army? There is no point to our being in Iraq anymore. I say we put a bullet in Saddam's head to make sure he never gets back in power and then get the heck out of Dodge.
    As for Civil War, it's made Cap more of a badass, turned Tony and Reed into heartless bastards and tried to move these 3 way up the ranks of the Marvel catalog. But who are you cheering for? Personally, I hope all 3 get an invisible spanking from Sue. That'd show 'em.

  11. I was a register Republican before joining the Army. When we first went into Iraq I told all my tree-hugging friends we'd find those damn weapons.

    Then I saw the reasons we went into it being twisted and sound-bited away. I watched as this administration took away freedoms in the name of security. I spent a year in Afghanistan fighting the real enemy of 9/11.

    But the important thing is all his buddies make alot of money while soldiers bleed to make their war possible.

    Bush says the outcome of the War on Terror will be in what happens with Iraq while ADMITTING Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11.

    He also said the war was bigger than finding Bin Laden and then makes speeches about HOW IMPORTANT HIS REMARKS ARE TO THE TERRORISTS.

    They lie and cheat and do it before our eyes and as a nation we have not done anything to stop him.

    We'll be lucky if he doesn't lead us into War with Iran.

    He's stupid or Evil. I no longer believe that he can possibly be well intentioned but misguided.

    Oh, and CW #4 is the first time that I got the feeling that even CAP doesn't know what he's doing anymore. And is just a blind as Tony and Reed are.

    *end rant

  12. Agree with you, Shawn, about Civil War 4 and Cap. As for the rest, it really angers me that we pay our soldiers and teachers so little in this country when they are the most important resources we have. Meanwhile, athletes, supermodels, actresses and other people who are famous for no real reason(Hi Paris Hilton!) get paid fortunes for nothing of importance. It also pisses me off that we send our military off to do jobs they were never meant to do. Our military performed magnificently in the overthrowing of Saddam's army and in the removing of the Taliban from Afghanistan. But to make them policemen in a foreign country or have them rebuild the infrastructure....that's not their primary purpose. Why can't the Iraqis take over their own security? Why make our soldiers targets??

    Let me take this moment to personally THANK YOU SHAWN!!!!!!!!!
    for defending our country. My admiration for those, like yourself, who serve knows no bounds. Thank you Sir.

    Last point--I know that Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. That doesn't matter to me. It's not like if we get Bin Laden that will end the threat of terrorism. We can't wait to be attacked, and only then go after those who attacked us. We must stop them before they strike at us and kill our citizens. According to Russian, English and American intelligence, Saddam had WMDs. We now know that this intel was flawed due to not having actual people on the ground incountry. But he was acting like he had WMD's and was playing games with the weapons inspectors. Something had to be done. Now we know that he had France and Russia in his hip pocket with the Oil For Food scandal. If nothing else, at least we have shown the corruption of the UN. But I do agree that Bush will never see Mt. Rushmore or the heads side of a coin. My favorite Prez? Reagan all the way!

  13. As all of my fellow soldiers would no doubt do, I honestly thank you for your kind comments on my service. It's something we're all proud of.

    One of my buddies who I served with are in Iraq right now, and have been for two months. He's not some wet behind the ears kind of guy. Him and I saw enough, um, stuff while we were deployed.

    He told me he's been there for two months and no one has told him what their mission is. He pulls guard duty once a month for a week and does meandering tasks when asked for them.

    He's MI. Like I was. And none of the people over there seem to know what they are doing except waiting for stuff that hasn't happened. (I.E. training Iraqis.)

    Bush jumped at a chance to do what his father couldn't because like every damn Texan I have ever met, he has DADDY issues. The War in Iraq has greatly cost this nation good progress in the War On Terror, and made our country alot less safe.

    Five years after 9-11, and where is the border security? Why does the majority of the world hate us? Its not our democracy, as the President would like to say. Its BAD FOREIGN POLICY.

    We need to get back to the War on Terror and stop playing Let's-make-Haliburton-rich games. The contractor that cooked me my eggs every morning made 80K tax-free while I was ducking bullets for less than half that.

    If Iraq determined the outcome of the War than maybe we should have sent the amount of Troops Gen. Shinseki said we needed before Bush and Rumsfeld decided they knew better.

    You are stupid if you surround yourself with YES men and don't get smart people in there to challenge you.

    Iraq could have waited. They picked and choosed their intel to lie and get us into War.

    You know why Afghanistan is going to shit right now? Because we sent everyone to Iraq. Rumsfeld's brilliant strategy that hasn't worked at all.

    I'm not saying you are wrong, I gave that Alfred E. Neuman lookalike alot of slack for a long time though, and I just don't buy what he's selling anymore.

    This issue was CAP's weakest one yet. Nothing happened anyone couldn't see coming.

    At least Spidey's getting his black costume back. ;)

    Peace, bro. *goes to find a tree to hug

  14. Shawn/Jeff - Nice conversation guys. I wish we could let things go a little wider on the Cosmic Conversations because this is more interesting to let conversations take a natural course. I enjoyed the lines about the war in Irag intermingled with comic book stuff.

  15. Shawn, you're right. In hindsight, Iraq could have waited and I would much rather have put our full force into Afghanistan so that we would have Bin Laden's head on a pike right now instead of Saddam sitting in a cell getting fat off Doritoes and Frosted Flakes. As for not buying what Bush is selling, he's not really selling much these days, is he? Neither party wants to touch immigration. No one is doing anything to fix the broken education system or legal system. No one is attempting to fix Social Security or find a way to pay the astronomical costs the Baby Boomers will leave us with. Makes you wonder what our gov't would be doing if the Marvel heroes were tearing us the streets of America in a real life Civil War. Would we fall behind Reed and Tony as the commit murder on a gigantic scale, not to mention crossing the taboo of human cloning which many think should never be done? Would we cheer for Cap as he fights and fights causing lots of damage while losing complete sight of his goal? Or would we all just cheer for Spidey as he throws that ass ugly new costume off the George Washington Bridge and puts either the black and white or red and blues back on?? At least we'll get a new Dan Slott book out of all this mess. Can't wait!

  16. The new Slott book will be dark. Don't expect another funny book.

    As for CAP, I actually like the Ultimate version better, and that's the version that would be standing behind the President now. He's actually right-wing CAP whereas the 616 version is left-wing CAP.

    Not selling anything? He's been giving a series of speeches whose only goal is to make people feel better about the war in Iraq, trying to tie to separate wars together while telling us they were wrong on their intel, whether it be WMDs or whether Saddam and Osama were working together. He should try to change things for the better instead of trying to make it ok to torture our enemies. If one more person, be it Bush or Bin Laden, tell me that they are doing these horrible things because God is one his side, obviously isn't backed by any God I want to worship.

    God doesn't want war. Not in my book. So stop saying how your God's instraument.

    George is constantly selling this war. Its his main function. So he goes to the VFW or stands in front of troops because no one else will cheer for him.

    Then you get DARTH CHENEY on Fox News saying how if the democrats gets elected the terrorists win. Give me a motherf#@*ing break.

    Do you know whose behind the Superhero Registration Act? Karl Rove.

    He's the Lex Luthor/ Norman Osborn of the real world.

  17. Jim, I'll miss you tomorrow.

    I think the Marvel crossover would have been better if the government recruited heroes to fight in a superhero war overseas and it divided the heroes back home on the issue.

    I don't believe these heroes would be willing to kill each other over this. Of course, they dress up in underwear so what do I know?

  18. Gotta love that Karl Rove. He's been made out to be a real life supervillain. See, I don't want to see either a Republican or a Democrat in power again. Neither is interested in doing a thing to help the citizens of the US. The Dems will raise taxes AGAIN! when I feel we are already overtaxed. The middle class will continue to be pushed out no matter which party gets in. We'll continue with this idiotic No Child Left Behind that puts autistic and other handicapped kids in the same classes as regular kids while at the same time forcing teachers to teach for the test so they don't lose federal funding. Can you imagine trying to learn while some kid in the back row was banging his head on the desk the whole damn day? My sister, a kindergarten teacher, has to deal with things like this all the time. Last week some kid came up to her and handed her a shit that he had just pulled out of his butt. You can hate your job all you want, but at least you don't have to deal with things like that.
    So who else would love to see a Ult Cap vs. 616 Cap?? I think Ult Cap would wipe the floor with the Marvel U Cap. Better not let a certain fellow named Rusty hear the 616 references.
    As for Bush, he's just selling the same old same old. Does the war in Iraq have anything to do with the War on Terror? I think it does, but others will see it differently. I just don't see that either party has a way out. We cannot stay there til they can take care of themselves cuz apparantly that ain't never gonna happen. That's why I want to see Saddam assassinated. Can you imagine if a Dem gets put in office, gets the troops out, then there's a coup and Saddam is returned to power? We'd be laughing stocks forever. I think most Americans agree that it's time to get out of Iraq. We've done our part. However, what about fixing social security, doing something on immigration, fixing education, re-tooling the legal system, finding some way to pay the medical costs the Baby Boomers are gonna hit us with, doing something about this trend of companies doing away with pensions and forcing employees to pay part or all of their healthcare costs? Nope. All we get is the same old debates about abortion, affirmative action and playing monday morning quarterback on the War in Iraq. This country is in big trouble and we need leaders, not these children we have running things now.

  19. Jim, I'm gonna miss you too. Thankfully Shawn will be there. He's my second favorite of the panelists. Hooray!!

  20. I am pretty awesome. ;P

    I believe in the conspiracy.

    I do and so does THE QUESTION.

    We don't trust the political jackasses.

    I actually think we need a viable third party option. Till then, if there is a Rep in the White House we need a democratic Congress and vice versa.

    Everytime I think of Bush I think that I want to be Spider Jerusalem and take down a the President via journalism, massive illicit drug use, and a bowel disrupter.

  21. Be careful when you're cleaning those bowel disruptor guns. They've got a hair trigger and you don't want to accidently unload into your pants. The voice of experience.

  22. Wouldn't be the first time!



  23. just as a minor correction: That's not elektra at the end, it's lady deathstrike. you can see her claws behind venom's head. otherwise I agree completely.

  24. danedawg99 - You're right it is Lady Deathstrike.