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Civil War: Front Line #1: Review

Aug 2006
?, Ramon Bachs

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Story Name:

Embedded Part One

Review & Comments

4 stars

Civil War: Front Line #1 Review by (August 29, 2014)
Review: Excellent tie-in miniseries to what (in retrospect) was one of Marvel’s finest mega-events. Paul Jenkins is to be commended for adding both depth and poetry to a story that could have been just a series of fight scenes (like A VS X and many of the FEAR ITSELF tie-ins). And the artists are uniformly good, making the whole thing realistic and believable. “Embedded” is the meat of the miniseries, if not the entire event: both the pro (Iron Man) and anti (Captain America) are allowed to defend their positions, with Sally and Ben to point out the serious flaws in both viewpoints. Ending on such a grim note, that everyone’s motives were suspect, was a stroke of genius. Jenkins also showed us the effect of the Act on “The Accused,” using the usually cheerful and fun-loving Speedball as the subject, though transforming him into the bitter and self-punishing Penance may have taken things too far into the grim ‘n’ gritty. Here we see the erosion of civil liberties Cap was so worried about, in close-up. “Sleeper Cell,” while well-done, is a bit of an anomaly as it turns out that this storyline existed just so Norman Osborn could shoot the Atlantean ambassador, making it an overlong bit of background fluff. And the most surprising is those final glimpses of the civil war, showing how it echoes the lives, voices, and concerns of those in similar dark situations in the past. This segment brings poetry to the series, closing off each issue with something to ponder. So whatever happened to Front Line? They returned for World War Hulk and Secret Invasion and that was it. It’s a shame, they could have given us more perspective on some later events in the MU.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Civil War: Front Line #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Ben Urich attends the funeral of John Fernandez, a Daily Bugle staffer who was killed in the Stamford incident. At the reception afterward, Ben meets Sally Floyd of the Alternative and they get to talking about the Superhuman Registration Act; Ben supports it, Sally opposed, but it looks like the Act will be passed into law and divide the nation, civil liberty versus civil comfort. At a meeting with his editor, Ben grows uneasy about the Bugle’s shallow sensationalistic coverage of the issue. Later that night, Sally gets a visit from Spider-Man (in his red and gold "Iron Spider" suit), scaring her. He gives her an interview where he confesses his doubts about the Superhuman Registration Act and how making his identity public could hurt his family. As he leaves, he advises her to attend Iron Man’s press conference the next day…

…so she does. From the podium, the Golden Avenger defends the Superhuman Registration Act and talks about his uncertainty over keeping his identity secret. When challenged by a reporter he explains that he would feel like a hypocrite by keeping his secrets, so he publicly unmasks as Tony Stark….

Story #2

The Accused Part One

Writer: Paul Jenkins. Penciler: Steve Lieber. Inker: Steve Lieber. Colorist: June Chung.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

A farmer and a police officer search a remote field in Upstate New York late at night for what they think is a small plane crash. Instead they find Speedball, blown five hundred miles by the explosion in Stamford Connecticut. A residual power buildup then kills the two witnesses. At a science lab, doctors discover the energy he absorbed burned out his Speedball superpowers while leaving him the sole survivor of the blast. As he comes to, he meets SHIELD Agent Eric Marshall who informs him that: 1) all his New Warriors teammates are dead, 2) so are 612 residents of Stamford, 3) Speedball is now powerless, and 4) he is under arrest….

Story #3

(No title given)

Writer: Paul Jenkins. Penciler: Kaye Kobayashi. Inker: Kaye Kobayashi. Colorist: Christina Strain.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The relocation and internment of Japanese citizens during World War 2 is paralleled with Spider-Man’s crisis of conscience over the Superhero Registration Act.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Ramon Bachs
John Lucas
Laura Martin
John Watson (Cover Penciler)
John Watson (Cover Inker)
John Watson (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson

(Joe Robertson)

(Robbie Baldwin)

(Peter Parker)

Plus: Sally Floyd.

> Civil War: Front Line: Book info and issue index

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