Scripps-Howard's never-ending fluff-coating
For the better part of a year, Marvel characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America have been involved in a company-wide conflict called "Civil War." Back in May, a Superhero Registration Act, which mandated that everyone with superpowers reveal his or her secret ID and work for the government, split Marvel's supercharacters down the middle. The pro-registration heroes (led by Iron Man) have been battling the "resistance" heroes (led by Captain America) ever since - until last week, when Cap surrendered.And neither will their own fluff-writing, I suspect. Let's see, Capt. Comics is saying that Capt. America is spewing rhetoric about freedom and civil rights, when regardless of what side he's on, he's doing anything but. Not only is that confusing and inaccurate, but, it signals a leftist bias as well. And, he calls Shell-Head a "semi-fascist". I assume that's his idea of moral equivalence: "well, his own behavior was horrid, but, he's not entirely fascist." That's what he and they are trying to say, right? Forget it, I am not amused, and as a fan of Tony Stark, I'm quite frankly insulted, that's what. And with the way that he implies that all of Congress is in favor of this superhero registration act, I guess that's meant as moral equivalence too, right? Which, come to think of it, is also what the whole miniseries is full of as well. It's by far one of the worst weapons that can be wielded by any writer nowadays.
Yup, you read that right.
After 10 months of combat, multiple miniseries (plus zillions of pages in various tie-ins) and lots of rhetoric about freedom and civil rights, the Sentinel of Liberty called it quits. He ordered his team to stand down, and allowed himself to be taken into custody in "Civil War" No. 7 (of 7), which went on sale Feb. 21.
It's not that Cap decided that the semi-fascist Iron Man was right after all. But he saw the damage being done to Manhattan in the fight, and that the public was generally more supportive of Iron Man's heavy-handed security approach than they were of their own civil rights. Of course, why he didn't consider this important last May is a puzzler.
And I've always wondered what his strategy was - it's not as if beating up Iron Man was going to induce Congress to change its collective mind. So I assumed he had some plan ... but, no, he apparently didn't, and finally realized that fighting in the streets doesn't change any laws. To call this anti-climactic is an understatement.
But at least it's over, right? Ha! You wish! This story will never end!
The part where he laughs is also insulting, because it's just part of the whole fluff-coating process this foolish little article was written under in the first place.
And it doesn't get any better with the following news:
Tony Stark becomes the director of Marvel's counterespionage organization, SHIELD, in "Iron Man" No. 16 (although whether he remains in the armor is unrevealed).Yawn. Boooooorrrrriiiiiiinnnng.
Something awful happens to the incarcerated Living Legend of World War II in "Captain America" No. 25.Something already did, didn't it? How could it possibly get any worse?
The wall-crawler and his family remain on the run in "Amazing Spider-Man" No. 540, "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" No. 18 and "Sensational Spider-Man" No. 36.Sigh. This is just a plain bad time to be a Spider-Fan.
Ms. Marvel leads a new team of powerhouses in "Mighty Avengers" No. 1 and "Ms. Marvel" No. 13, with the remnants of Cap's underground team continuing in "New Avengers" No. 28 (led by Luke Cage, and including the now-homeless Spider-Man).Thanks to all these forced steps of late, it's hard to get enthused about the Avengers now, or even Ms. Marvel.
The remaining Avengers, a bunch of retreads and some newbies split into 50 teams, one guarding each state, in "Civil War: The Initiative" No. 1 and "Thunderbolts" No. 112.
Newlyweds Black Panther and Storm (of the X-Men) replace Mr. Fantastic (the stretchy guy) and Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba in the movie) in "Fantastic Four" No. 544 and "Black Panther" No. 26.And if it hadn't been for the contrived situations that led to this, maybe it would've been exciting news. Instead, it's just boring.
Other casualty lists and clean-up are described in "Civil War: Battle Damage Report" and "Civil War: The Confession."I say "skip it."
And that's just the beginning! Marvel's PR machine is hyping Civil War tie-ins in 12 more titles in April, 16 in May and 15 in June. At this rate, the Marvel Civil War will last longer than that 19th-century unpleasantness between North and South.And with that, he's pretty much shown that he was on Marvel's side all along, as they insulted everybody's intellect, fleeced the readers of tons of money, and rendered all their beloved characters otherwise unrecognizable.
But whether "Civil War" has worn out its welcome or not, the whole megillah is my Pick of the Month. As the old cliche goes (and may actually be true this time), "nothing will ever be the same again."
And as another old cliche goes, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."