Thursday, June 15, 2006

COMICS: Why a Civil War is better than an Infinite Crisis

After reading only the first full issues of Marvel's Civil War and Civil War: Front Lines I have already come to the conclusion that the guys over at the House of Ideas have won round two against their rival DC comics in the battle of the blockbuster cross-book showdown.
(Round one was won outright by a revamped DC, written by novelist Brad Meltzer, for Identity Crisis over the horrible House of M by Brian Michael Bendis.)

Civil War, written by Mark Millar and penciled by Steve McNiven is the straw that broke the camel's back from Avengers: Disassembled to the aforementioned House of M. I think this story works well off the bat not just because it pits Tony Stark aka. Iron Man versus his close friend Steve Rogers aka. Captain America, but because the story itself revolves around so many of the character's ideals and how they are put to the test against one another. Civil War examines a United States in crisis over its Super Hero and Super Villain population, after an explosion in Connecticut killing a large number of men, women and yes children. The congress has decided to pass a Super-Human registration act, forcing heroes and villains to come forward and reveal their identities to the world or face prosecution and imprisonment. Iron Man is supporting this legislation and he's asking Spidey, Peter Parker, after years of trying to keep his identity a secret, to come clean to the world. While Captain America has a severe problem with the conduct of the U.S. government on this issue and finds himself on the outs with S.H.I.E.L.D. (Government Spy Agency.) So the question is who is going to join Cap? Is Spider-Man really going to reveal he's Peter Parker? Who's next? If these things interest you in any way, and I'm sure they do then you need to pick up Civil War as soon as possible.

So why does this story line kick Infinite Crisis' ass. This is a big story that focuses on big events but it also finds time to focus on individual characters, and their core beliefs. Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns, while interesting at first, becomes this giant explosion of multiple, multiple characters and their former multiple multiple universes and how a former good guy Alexander Luthor goes nuts because, in his mind he wants to make the universe a better place. He's a bit disillusioned with the heroes of late after Identity Crisis and other revelations, he believes the heroes have lost their way so he thinks if he brings back all of the multiple earths, everything will be ok, the only problem he can't power his machine without the help of a few living batteries so he abducts heroes and villains to supercharge his superconductor of craziness. So this guy is a Luthor, so really is it that much of a shock that this guy would lose his marbles and go to the dark side? Anyway, after seven issues of this thing I was more confused then ever and I would like to think I have a pretty good handle on Marvel and DC characters but my brain was totally overloaded on the cavalcade of heroes and villains pouring into this series. I thought the purpose of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985 was a way of condensing the DC universe not expanding it. I won't give up the ending to you but there are quite a few deaths and

---SPOILER ALERT----I'm still confused about Nightwing, Dick Grayson, is he dead or what, cause he looked dead with the blood gushing out of his mouth and the very pissed off Batman, but obviously Superboy is no more and I was also a little confused with the Flash, Wally West, what the hell happened there? I've been reading the new, One Year Later issues and I got the impression that Wally and his family didn't really disappear but they are living comfortably somewhere and that Wally might not have his powers anymore.

So I'm still confused by the past events of Infinite Crisis but I've been reading 52, which is the aftermath, and it's not bad, everyone is dealing with the fallout and we get to learn about some little used characters like Renee Montoya, Elongated Man, aka. Ralph Dibney, Black Adam, The Question and Steel aka. John Henry Irons. Apparently the big 3 Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have quit and these few people have decided to fill in the gap. Could be interesting, but we'll see where this goes. So to sum up if you read the DC big event stories make sure you read it twice cause you might not get it the first time. However if you are interested in a healthy political debate between heroes with what we hope will leave more mental scars than physical, I mean come on people they are supers and one of them heals really damn fast so I say bring on the mental scarring.

1 comment:

Speck said...

So, since Spiderman just came out to the public, when are you?


;-)