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Wednesday, November 22, 2006 

More fluff-coated coverage of Civil War litters up the newswire

Scripps-Howard News Service does its darndest to sensationalize their coverage of Civil War, and I do my best to shred their fluff-coated mess. So, let's see what we have here:
Civil War made Maxim magazine's "Most Awesome" list for 2006 in the December issue.
So what else is new? That's just claiming success based on getting into a major magazine alone. Writer Capt. Comics really needs to be more creative than that.
What You Need To Know: Is Civil War that big a deal?
I already know. It's not. So quit asking.

Let's see: Civil War is a storyline wherein Marvel's Congress passed a law requiring everyone with superpowers to reveal their identities and become licensed law-enforcement agents. Most heroes, led by Iron Man, agree that security outweighs civil liberties, and sign up. The rest, led by Captain America, believe the reverse and become an illegal, underground resistance group.

But it's gotten even uglier from there. The government has enlisted the registered heroes, the superspy agency SHIELD and even hundreds of murderous supervillains to hunt down Cap's crew, resulting in at least one death (Goliath, introduced 40 years ago as Bill Foster). The Fantastic Four's Reed Richards has created a gulag to incarcerate unregistered heroes (without habeas corpus), and his wife and teammates have left him. Spider-Man's secret ID is public knowledge, and he and his family are on the run from the government, Iron Man and hundreds of costumed killers. And there's still two issues to go!

Well whoop-dee-doo, and what else is new? Seriously now, it's apparent that Mark Millar has really plumbed the depths by depicting the government willing to go so far as to hire even supervillains to do the dirty work! That may be Millar's way of resorting to the moonbat claim that the US government employs its own enemies to attack its own citizens. Simply distasteful. Unfortunately, the columnist makes no attempt to be discerning here:
So like it or loath it, "Civil War" cannot help but reverberate throughout all of Marvel's titles for years to come. If nothing else, who's ever going to trust Iron Man again?
See, that's the problem. Or, put another way, who's going to be able to appreciate Shell-head again at ease, after what Marvel's been doing with him here? And the audience's opinions do not matter to our sugary columnist here. No, what DOES matter are the dollars that come rolling in over this horrid mess.

He goes so far as to do a weird subtle insult next:
I can hear those of you who don't read Marvel Comics saying, "Is that bloody thing still going on?" Ironically, like the real-world Iraq war that inspired it, Marvel's Civil War refuses to stay on anybody's schedule. It was originally supposed to end this month, but the creative team fell significantly behind.

What You Need To Know: No worries. Marvel has dragged its feet in releasing related titles, so that the stories more or less match up to what was originally intended. All that matters, assuming no further delays, is we'll be singing "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" in January instead of November.
Good grief! It sounds like a cryptic anti-war message! Boooo, booooooooo! (Anyone got some rotten tomatoes and cabbages handy?) And considering how bad CW is, that's one more reason why the lateness is unjustified.
Civil War has "guest-starred" in a lot of titles over the last seven months, and completely taken over books like "Amazing Spider-Man" (you can distinguish Civil War-connected books by the unmistakable, color-coded trade dress).
Spoken as if it were literally a wonderful thing. Boring.
Many fans have been complaining about Iron Man acting more like a villain than a hero. We get a look behind the helmet, and his rationalizations for hunting his friends, in "Iron Man" Nos. 13-14, this month and next.
Sorry, not interested, and this fluff is downplaying the fans' complaints to boot.
Speaking of villains, "Civil War" No. 5 showed the government hiring hundreds of supervillains to track down unregistered heroes. That continues into "Thunderbolts" No. 110 (shipping Jan. 10), with superstar writer Warren Ellis coming on board to weave tales of psychopaths with badges.
Ugh. He's one writer whose current work is better left unread.
Speaking of villains some more, The Punisher joined Cap's anti-registration side in "Civil War" No. 5, since the government is now hiring mass murderers that Frank would very much like to kill. That continues into "Punisher War Journal" No. 1 (shipping Nov. 22), and Marvel says to "expect blood and lots of it" in this new ongoing title.
Yep, just what we need. More bloodletting. And more attacks on the government for the wrong reasons.

Oh, and what's this - Capt. Comics must be trying to "soothe" the audience or something:
...don't get too worked up when a comics publisher crows that a title has "sold out." That really doesn't mean much in comics.
But that's just the problem. The more comics continue with overly-political biases, the less sales will mean in any case. Now, lastly, what's this, he's sliding back on his biases, is he?
...that's a lot of titles connected to Civil War! Marvel swears that you only need to buy the "Civil War" miniseries to follow the story, and all the crossovers, etc., are icing on the cake. If you believe that, I've got a used web-shooter to sell you. Still, you don't need to buy every blinkin' one of them, and hopefully I've just steered you to the ones you'll find entertaining.
Nope, sorry. You haven't steered me to any of this tomfoolery, and I'm not buying your used web-shooter either. But if anyone's got a used edition of Thor's Mjolnir or Hawkman's mace, I'll buy those most heartily, as they can be a great help in smashing up dumbed-down, fluff-coated propaganda like this column here!

Update: I can't believe Stars and Stripes is printing this crummy stuff as well (and in PDF format, argh!). Our honorable army deserves much better than this dreadful article.

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