Why Civil War (#4) is a bad comic…Posted: September 20, 2006
(To be fair this is really “Why Civil War (#1-4) are bad comics)
To really enjoy a Mark Millar comic you have to assume that every character is (at least) a bit of a dick. From the most sympathetic character to the star villain to Mother Theresa, if your in a Millar book you are a dick. Often an over the top dick at that. Sometimes this stylistic tic works. The Ultimates is a great book. One of my all-time favourite works.
Yet often this techique doesn’t work.
Civil War is one of where it just completely doesn’t work and issue four just seals the case.
Every character is a dick in this comic. On both sides of the “divide” that is Civil Wars’ whole point. From Captain America to Nighthawk, virtually every character seems to: A.) forget that others may disagree with them B.) they may need to explain their actions in some clear way other than just vague platitudes and a pat on the back C.) condescend to others OR D.) some combination of A, B, & C. Millar penchant to write dickish characters has completely overwhelmed the characters themselves. No one is acting a way that seems remotely logical with their past.
By far the worst offender is Millar characterization of the “pro-registration” side (especially the Fantastic Four, who I will get to in a moment).
Where the hell in the history of Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, or Hank Pym (ok… maybe with Pym) is there a precedent for them to create a killer clone of one if their oldest allies. I am seriously supposed to believe that Tony Stark saved Thor’s hair just so one day, maybe, he might, clone him? That’s bullshit. It’s not just dickery, but evil. Quite evil.
It make matters worse they’re also cloning an army of “heroes” to replace all other super-heroes and defend the United States. At what point does this shit just cross the line taking the characters in a “new” direction and just become over the top hackery and utter stupidity?
Oh, I don’t know, maybe, once the Avengers start teaming up with villians like Bullseye and the Taskmaster. Lame, just lame. Or maybe when they built a prison in the negative zone for super-heroes?
Honestly, must every five to ten years Marvel take a dump on the character of Tony Stark?
Easily the worst example of this “new direction” is with the Fantastic Four. Poor Susan Richards and her husband are just getting shit on. Let’s start of Sue’s letter to Reed explaining why she left him.
I’m sure Millar thought he was writing one hell of a strong female character when he wrote that scene. Sue was showing true strength of character by leaving Reed and joining Cap.
But… I came from that scene with a different reaction from what, I assume, Millar wanted me to. To me the scene read something like this:
I think you are a horrible, fascistic, murderer. But I love you, so, I am going to join an organization entirely dedicated to the downfall of your horrible fascistic, murdering ways. But before I go, even though you’re a horrible, fascist murderer I am going to cook you dinner (with your favourite wine) then fuck you. Plus, even though you’re an evil fascist murder am going to leave our children in your hands, even though you’ll probaly just ignore them.
Despite the fact that you’re an evil, horrible, fascist murderer, I have faith that you’ll fix your evil, fascist murdering ways. Only an fascist, horrible murderer genius like you can!
Those three (or so) pages left me just feeling icky.
And hell, when did Reed Richards stop being the absented minded (but caring) professor type and just become an unfeeling dick? Probably during JMS’ run on FF.
It was just horribly out of character for Reed, in Civil War #3, to completely ignore the fact that his brother-in-law, teammate, and friend is in the hospital to go off to Wakanda and not even care to check up on him? That not just getting caught up in your work that’s being a prick.
Enough. I think I’ve made my point. I don’t like Civil War or the direction it is taking the Marvel universe.
RATING: FUCKING AWFUL