This is becoming a bad habit, this bi-monthly thing. Why is it that my life keeps getting in the way of my life? First it’s a cold, then it’s a family thing, now my car is kaput. I’ve been driving old cars, well past the 10 year-100,000 mile warranty Kia would offer if I bought a new one from them. In fact, my last car hit 175,000 before I gave up on it, and I had a Honda a few years back reach the 220,000 mark. Honda vehicles are really strong, and if you keep oil in them they’ll run forever. So am I getting a Honda? Nope. My readers in Europe and particularly England will be proud to know that your intrepid columnist and basher of Bendis is ordering a shiny new 2007 Mini Cooper (which is a BMW product. England and Germany, working hand in hand, just like old…waitaminute, nevermind). I can hear the ladies now, “Aww, it’s so cute, can I touch it?” And I will reply, “Sure, I don’t mind. Oh, and if you think that’s cute, you should see my car!”
I have finished reading the Civil War and as I expected, it wasn’t worth it. 7 issues of mindless Millar meanderings to do what could have been done in a 48 page one-shot. There was no penultimate battle scene, no Rocky Balboa versus Apollo Creed/Clubber Lang moment that sticks with you long after the issue is over. No shot of Spidey really clocking anyone into the next borough. Reed didn’t stretch out his pimp hand against Sue. The closest thing we got was Hercules thrashing the Thor clone, or was it, because a clone should still be human and that thing was decidedly robotic when the Lion of Olympus ran his fist through that faux Asgardian mug. I know a lot of people get geeked up over Steve McNiven’s art, but I’m not one of them. I didn’t find any images particularly striking. Of all the talents at Marvel’s disposal, McNiven wouldn’t make my top 5 choices for a book that was supposed to be a universe changing event.
And I know that for the short term, it is changing the Marvel landscape. But what’s it really done that is going to last? Tony Stark being an ass? He was never fall from full-fledged douchebaggery before. Spidey’s 3-armed armor? Positively retarded and thankfully gone already, but only giving way to the black costume as a means to promote Spider-Man 3 to people who ALREADY plan on seeing the movie. I’ve spoken to the abysmal planning of Marvel in terms of cross promotion before, but it’s pretty obvious that the black costume will only be around until the movie plays through the summer, and then the red will be back. Sue walks back into Reed’s life, suitcases in hand, so that fantastic family feud is more or less over. Apparently Ed Brubaker is fixated on superheroes behind bars because Captain America is now in jail, just a couple of months since Daredevil got out.
I really wanted to enjoy the Civil War, despite the pedestrian story and above average but nowhere near stellar art. But the ending was so anticlimactic it rendered the whole thing fairly moot.
It’s clear to me that Stark won. It is not clear to me if all the heroes who gave up at Captain America’s behest changed their minds about giving up their identities and registered with the government. I know at least a few are keeping up the Resistance. Good for them. Marvel is becoming a McCarthy-era Communist world. The post war premise features every state having it’s own superteam. Then I propose that Marvel cancel the rest of their line and produce 50 titles based on the states, plus one or two for Canada (Omega Flight) and I suppose one for DC and one for Puerto Rico (can’t forget the Commonwealth). No more half-dozen Spider-titles. No more dozen plus X-Men related titles. No need for two Avengers titles. I want my pull and hold to read, “DC: JLA, JSA, Justice, anything Gail Simone writes, Fables, WildC.A.T.S. if it ever comes out again. Marvel: West Virginia, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, Missouri, Colorado, Washington (State), Arizona, Alaska (Whilce Portacio would be great for that one. The team is Iceman, White Tiger, The Spot and Wendigo. It’s mostly just word balloons on blank pages), Puerto Rico and whichever book the Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman is on, because according to IGN.com’s comic site, and they’re the bestest site in the whole world, ya know, Julia Carpenter is the ORIGINAL Spider-Woman! I know! She debuted in Secret Wars back in the 80s. But even though Jessica Drew debut as Spider-Woman in 1977 Julie must be the original ’cause IGN said so. And IGN would never get it wrong because they’re so great and they don’t even need to use a worn copy of Marvel Handbook or even hit Wikipedia ’cause, you know, their shit smells like roses. So does mine. Maybe I oughta send them a bouquet. I just had some Taco Bell.
I really wanted to enjoy the Civil War, despite the pedestrian story and above average but nowhere near stellar art. I think it helped focus Fabian Nicieza to craft the best Thunderbolts stories of his long run, and so I’m thankful for that. But the ending was so anticlimactic it rendered the whole thing fairly moot. The citizenry of New York finally got tired of being blasted through buildings and ducking flying cars? Gee, big shocker. They grab Cap and Iron man away from each other and the war comes to an abrupt end? In the words of wrestling fans whenever security breaks up a brawl, “LET THEM FIGHT! LET THEM FIGHT!” Cap turns himself over to the feds and that’s it? Luke Cage doesn’t pick up the ball and run with like Franco Harris against Stark’s Commie defense? Spider-man, Wolverine and the Punisher don’t start round two because Cap says so? Cap’s the senior statesmen in the cape and cowl set, and I understand that, but it doesn’t make him right. Do you think if Superman and Batman were taking sides in a DC Civil War and one of them caved in and gave up because the citizens of Gotham or Metropolis told them to knock it off that Flash or Green Lantern or Aquaman or Hawkman would roll over and let the other party win? Screw that. The contents of Civil War #7 would have worked better as the tail end of a single, self-contained if somewhat longer format issue.
The fallout moments in the last few pages after the end of the fight called to mind unwanted memories of the new Star Wars trilogy. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas shoehorned everything he could to fit the new continuity into the established New Hope story. Yoda explained how Obi-wan’s mentor could speak to him from beyond the grave. The droids were given to Captain Antillies, positioning them to end up on Tatooine. The Death Star was shown nearly completed soon after Luke was born but it won’t be fully operational until Skywalker is well into his teens (Galactic Electrician Union went on strike for 16 years, you see). GROAN. Welcome to Imperial America, under the iron glove of Darth Stark and Emperor Bendis. America is fine with the Number 42 Gulag? They sure as hell aren’t doing cartwheels over Guantanamo Bay.
I’m sure Bendis and Quesada are dressed up in black robes right now giggling and mumbling, “All is proceeding as I have foreseen.” Unfortunately, it’s all proceeding as I have foreseen, as well. Uninteresting, underwhelming and by this time next year likely undone.
Get your Fifth Week Events in! I want more! What’s the big event story YOU want to see done? Or even redone, if you think you can do it better (and if you’re doing a sequel to the Civil War, it will almost certainly be better). So don’t delay, submit today. I’ll post mine next week, if life doesn’t bite me in the ass again.
Welcome to my nightmare.