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Monday, September 04, 2006 

Blogcritics.Org: Civil War's jumped the shark

On Blogcritics.Org, we find another opinion on how Marvel's gone too far, or sunk too low:
This entire storyline is obviously a reaction to what is currently going on in the United States with the war on terror. Comments from Marvel editors and writers before the story began was that it would be an even-handed portrayal of both sides of the issue. However, the story has been replete with phrases like "unregistered combatants", comparisons of the registration act to slavery, and portrayals of (so far) everyone in government who is behind this act having some dark agenda.

In particular, this month's issue of Cable & Deadpool (one of the monthly titles crossing over into the storyline) really pushed me over the edge. In an exchange between superhero Cable and the President of the United States, Cable (who is fom the future) says that the consequences of the Registration Act will be that years down the line the U.S. will turn into a totalitarian state and that there will be a world-wide civil war.

The President's response? "Well, you're talking about something that is fifty years away. Those aren't votes that we have to worry about this November."

So much for any even minor semblance of a "balanced" story. That comment was ludicrous and disgusting and in my opinion is the "jumping the shark" moment in this saga.

So far, no one on the pro-registration side been portrayed in a positive way that actually carries some weight. Tony Stark/Iron Man has been reduced to parroting "It's the law. It's the law." and Reed Richards (of the Fantastic Four) has come across as an ivory tower, clueless-in-regard-to-the-real-world, yutz. That's basically it and it's beyond weak.

Also, in this arc, pretty much the only people who have ethics and morals are:

A. On the anti-registration side.
B. Superheroes.

Apparently EVERYONE involved in the government is evil, with no concern for public well-being and only politics to motivate them in passing this act.
Like the author of this, I too wouldn't be surprised if it'll turn out to be a big mess, no matter how it all ends. Even back in the Silver/Bronze Age, it's not like every government official, wall-to-wall, was a one-dimensional crook, as CW depicts them as.

With that, let me just comment on a comment left on the page:
"You make it sound as if Marvel is totally against anti-government. This is nothing new, the entertainment industry (comics, movies, TV, and what have you) has always been taking pot shots at political figures and their related institutions for years.

But in Marvel's defense it has also used the federal government support and sponsor various superhero teams in its works of fiction. This has been true in several series over the 30 years, but most recently in X-Factor Investigations, Captain America and updated version of the Avengers known as The Ultimates.

And its nothing new either to think that Marvel has not gone on to attack the government before. Why do you think the X-Men are constantly at odds with the federal authorities over past 4 decades? You can't simply ignore 40 years of history!"
Oh wow, just because they did it before makes the approach they're taking now fully justified, regardless of how bad it all is? And aside from the fact that the writer of that must've gotten confused, inserting the word "against" unnecissarily into his comment, might I point out that the X-Men did have their government allies, most notably Nick Fury, leading director of S.H.I.E.L.D, and WW2 hero who led the Howling Commandos? But in any case, when conspiracy thrillers were being written years ago, it's not like the writers would make one-sided accusations against the government while excusing all the Commies and fascists who were menacing the free world. These government conspiracy stories were usually just certain groups operating from within, who were trying to come up with their own ways of bringing about world domination, and did not try to attack the presidential/governmental incumbents in real life, literally or overtly. Back then, most writers knew why it's good not to let your personal standings get in the way of enjoyment for everyone. Otherwise, how would even that whole conspiracy story Peter David wrote in The Incredible Hulk back in 1988 have worked?

Simply put, what makes CW different from a lot of these conspiracy stories of yore is that it's militantly forced, and sacrifices a lot of what makes the comic books work for the sake of a limp quarrel between the heroes, one that's not even the cause of some space demons, like it was for the Justice League/Society and the Legion of Super-Heros in JLofA 1977, but rather, imposed upon the heros by the editors lording over them because they're so consumed by their own dislike of a government whose policies they don't agree with that they go so far as to take out their anger upon the very franchises at their disposal as a way of lashing out at the politicians who've ruffled their feathers by forcing upon them politically charged dialect and analogies that even Justice League of America didn't have to contend with back in the late 1970s.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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