Some Civil War discussion… (pure geekery alert!)Posted: October 4, 2006
I find Katherine’s defense of Civil War to be well argued and quite strong. It’s difficult for me to take issue with much of her well-thought out pro-Civil War opinion, since as everyone knows opinions will differ. She does a good job of articulating many of the same arguments I hear from customers who are enjoying the book.
The only piece of her argument that I find refutable is this:
[T]hough I know people are saying that Iron Man is being a dick (and so is Reed Richards, which seems to surprise people rather less), I disagree, though I do believe that he’s made a number of costly and tragic errors of judgement, most notably in digging his heels in and falling for the sunk-cost fallacy (“in for a penny, in for a cloned deity”). I’m not touching on specific points of past characterization because that’s a can of worms I don’t want to open; interpretations differ, and the Iron Man in my head is not the same as the Iron Man in anyone else’s head. I’ll concede that Millar has gone wrong in not showing us enough of what Tony and Reed see as happening if they don’t support the SRA — I’m happy to fill in the blanks myself, based on the hints we’ve been given so far, but obviously not everyone is that generous, and arguably they shouldn’t have to be. (This, too, may relate to my penchant for world-building.)
Likewise, not everyone is willing to sympathize with somebody mistakenly committing unjust acts for the sake of a cause they believe to be just. But I am.
[W]hat I see in the Iron Man of Civil War: a man who is driven by a vision he cannot seem to communicate to those he needs the most, convinced that he is standing between civilisation and apocalypse.
I don’t really see this angle as working with the whole clone-Thor debacle. Millar has taken the characters of Tony Stark and Reed Richards well beyond being “dicks” or men who’ve “made a number of costly and tragic errors of judgement”, their actions are simply evil. To me, they’ve pretty clearly crossed a line. They’ve cloned a friend for the purpose of using him as a mindless weapon. I’m not quite sure how one justifies betraying a friend like that. If Tony and Reed were trying to clone Thor to return their departed friend to life and restoring him to how he once was; I could see that action as somewhat justifiable. But returning a long time ally from the dead as a mindless killing machine is not a action of a superhero, it’s the action of a supervillain.
Your recently cloned near-God killing machine killing someone isn’t just a mistake or an error judgement. Thor’s lightening killing someone was quite foreseeable. One of Iron Man’s repulsor blasts going off target and hurting someone; that’s a mistake. Your clone shooting someone through the chest is a bit more than that. Using known serial killers to supplement your army is along the same lines, that’s a pretty foreseeable problem too.
So my problem with Civil War (especially issue four) isn’t that Tony and Reed are “dicks” or making “a number of costly and tragic errors of judgement” but that their actions are completely evil. I like complicated heroes who make mistakes and errors but not heroes who completely cross the line.