Previously in Fantastic Four #537
I’m traveling the road to Civil War with Marvel so I can be caught up by the time this storyline hits the big screen. Please do not comment with spoilers if you’re familiar with this particular story arc, but you are welcome to provide non-spoiler answers to any questions I may ask in the review. If you are interested in following along, here’s the reading order I’ll be following.
- Issue: Civil War #1
- Collaborators: Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, and Morry Hollowell
Who’s In It:
Shit. Who ISN’T in it would be easier to list. – Speedball, Microbe, Namorita a.k.a. The One Who Fuck It Up For Everyone a.k.a New Warriors. – Captain America, Iron Man, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Wolverine, Goliath, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, Wasp, Falcon, Spider-Woman, Nighthawk, Maria Hill, and The Watcher.
Shit got real. That’s what happened.
Remember the ruckus in Connecticut alluded to at the end of Spider-Man #531? Well, that was Speedball and his co-stars in a reality show following superheroes who call themselves the New Warriors. Along with Microbe and Namorita, Speedball is monitoring a house filled with super villains who all recently escaped custody. They’re filming the whole thing for their TV show when they’re spotted and a fight ensues. Namorita corners Nitro by an elementary school and he’s not about to go quietly. The end result: The deaths of hundreds of innocent bystanders, including the children having recess outside the school.
My jaw dropped at that last page.
In panels that resemble the aftermath of 9/11, superheroes come together to help the authorities sift through the carnage, retrieving bodies and, sometimes, survivors. Goliath correctly points out that with all the recent damage caused by superheroes trying to help, this tragedy will be the final straw for the government. An already tense situation is made worse when we learn that even while volunteering to help with a federal emergency, the X-Men are being monitored by Sentinels and it’s their presence that makes some people feel safe.
The animosity even bleeds over to the service for one of the little boys killed in the explosion. His mother spits in Tony Stark’s face, blaming him for funding The Avengers and making others believe they can live outside the law as long as they have tights and a mask. His defense that the ones responsible are the New Warriors falls on deaf ears. She’s not tryna hear that shit at her little boy’s funeral.
And the anti-superhero sentiments turn violent when Johnny Storm is attacked outside of a nightclub.
The reactions from the superheroes vary. Most balk at the idea of becoming civil servants should the Superhuman Registration Act pass, and there’s worry that their secret identities will be revealed, putting their families in danger. Iron Man doesn’t think it’s a bad idea, which confuses me. I thought Tony Stark was against the act. The one thing they can all agree on is that nothing good is going to come of the tragedy in Connecticut or the Act being debated.
Meanwhile, Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D orders Captain America to arrest rebel superheroes (like Daredevil and Luke Cage) who are openly opposed to the Act. Of course, he refuses and her attempts to have him tranquillized and arrested are laughable – and reminded me of a similar scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Back at the Baxter Building, the appearance of The Watcher doesn’t bode well. It is said to only appear and record “moments of great change and enormous upheaval.” Ruh roh.
And just when you think things couldn’t get worse: Iron Man is going after Captain America.
- I’m curious to see how the Marvel Cinematic Universe handles this. I’ve noticed despite the massive devastation caused in comic book films, they never explicitly say that innocent people died and they most certainly don’t show death. Here, a very violent mass murder took place. The movies will definitely have the events of the first Avengers movie, both Thor movies, etc., to reference in order to prove a history of negligence, but will they use the same less graphic method of depicting this opening shot?
- Did I miss something? When did Tony Stark change his mind? I thought he was pushing against the Registration Act based on his testimony.
- What, exactly, is Maria’s cause to have superheroes arrested? The Act hasn’t even gone to vote yet.