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Civil War #1: Review

Jul 2006
Mark Millar, Steve McNiven

Story Name:

Civil War: Part One of Seven

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Civil War #1 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Heroes include Iron Man, Captain America, Goliath, Falcon, Iceman, Spider Woman, Thing, Luke Cage, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Doctor Strange, Yellowjacket, Wasp, Nighthawk, Patriot, Hulkling, Hawkeye, Invisible Woman, Spider-Man, Daredevil. Cameos by President George W. Bush, Larry King, other news media figures.


Civil War #1 Review by (July 18, 2014)
There are some tie-ins connected to this issue:- Wolverine v3 #42 shows us Logan's version of the post-disaster clean-up and the meeting at the Baxter Building. Then he decides to go after Nitro. In Civil War: Front Line #1/1 a Daily Bugle reporter is killed at Stamford. Days later Iron Man holds a press conference supporting the SRA and reveals his identity (again) as Tony Stark. (He pretended to hand the Iron Man role over to an employee after Avengers Disassembled.) (This is part 1 of Embedded following reporters Ben Urich and Sally Field, which will continue throughout the 11 issues.) CWFL #1/2 reveals that Speedball didn't die. He absorbed some of Nitro's energy, but is now powerless. And he gives himself up to SHIELD. (This is part 1 of 'The accused' following Speedball, which will continue until #10 - 'Embedded' takes over the whole of #11.) New Avengers #21 follows on from Captain America's escape from SHIELD here. SHIELD come after Cap. Falcon helps him. They try to recruit Yellowjacket to their side but he calls in SHIELD. In She-Hulk v4 #8 some ex-New Warriors hire Jennifer Walters to get a website taken down. Embittered ex-NWer Hindsight has been exposing their secret identities and inciting violence against them. Also John Jameson tests an Extreme Vertical Assault military plane for use against SRA refuseniks. CWFL #1/3 has Spider-Man considering whether to reveal his identity when the time comes.

I'll be summarising tie-in issues as they become relevant, not in the order they were published:- There were some earlier issues officially labelled Road to Civil War:- The New Avengers: Illuminati 1-shot ended with the secret group disagreeing about the upcoming Superhero Registration Act, pending long before the Stamford incident.. In Amazing Spider-Man #529-531 Tony Stark took Peter Parker under his wing, gave him an armoured Spidey suit, and took him to Washington to help oppose the Bill. Fantastic Four #536-537 isn't *really* very relevant - it was about the return of Thor's hammer. But the FF saw Tony Stark and Peter Parker in Washington, and Reed Richards lied about his Illuminati meeting to his wife (the Illuminati weren't allowed to tell *anyone* about their existence). There were also references to the Stark/Parker trip to Washington sneaked into Marvel Team-Up (2004) #25 and Union Jack (2006) #3.

Goliath (Bill Foster) mentions 3 recent incidents that have already turned people against superheroes:- Winter Soldier set of a firebomb in Philadelphia in Captain America (2005) #6, blaming it on Nomad. Hulk trashed Las Vegas in Fantastic Four #534-535, just before the Illuminati sent him off into space. Wolverine appeared to threaten the President in Wolverine: Origins #1. I thought Miriam Sharpe was an old character being reused, but she's not - I was thinking of Rosalind Sharpe from Daredevil. Yellowjacket sides with Iron Man here. But note that 'Henry Pym' was actually a Skrull replacement in this period.

The villains escaped from Ryker's island 3 months ago - presumably the breakout from the Raft in New Avengers #1. All but Nitro are very minor villains. Coldheart only featured in Spider-Man (1990) #49, though she'll have a backdated appearance in a story in Marvel Holiday Special 2011. Speedfreek was in 3 issues of Incredible Hulk. Nitro's most famous action was in his debut in Captain Marvel #34 where he exposed Mar-Vell to the gas which eventually killed him. But since then he's made multiple appearances per decade. Cobalt Man started earlier in Uncanny X-Men #31 but his apps have been sporadic. His most recent app wasn't even him, as Iron Man impersonated him in the Avengers/Thunderbolts limited series. Nitro is the only 1 to survive his blast, as he usually does. Cobalt Man will have various forms of afterlife:- His spirit will be in the Greek (for some reason) underworld in Incredible Hercules #129. He'll be impersonated by a Skrull in the Captain Marvel mini-series during Secret Invasion. And a group of 'Cobalt Men' will try to get revenge for Stamford in Avengers Academy #10.

New Warriors had a long history and several series of their own. Night Thrasher started the team and Namorita and Speedball were in it from the beginning. The current line-up including newbie Microbe started their TV career in the NW v3 6-issue mini-series, along with Nova (who's since gone back to space to take part in Annihilation) and a later addition Debrii. As we will soon see, Speedball is the only 1 to survive. The team are seen later in NW v4 #15 when a new NW team goes back in time to stop the Stamford disaster, winding up in an alternate future where Night Thrasher is Iron Man. Namorita will really return via another time paradox in Nova v4 #35.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Civil War #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
The New WarriorsSpeedball, Namorita, Night Thrasher, and Microbe—are planning a raid on a villains’ hideout in Stamford, Connecticut for an episode of their reality TV show. Though the bad guys—Cobalt Man, Coldheart, Speedfreek, and Nitro—are out of their league, they go for the ratings (“best episode of the entire second season”). The C-list heroes easily overcome three of their foes but Nitro sets off an explosion that destroys the entire neighborhood, including a school, killing hundreds, mostly children. Later, as various heroes are cleaning up the disaster site and searching for survivors, some predict a backlash against heroes. At a memorial service for the dead, Miriam Sharpe, mother of one of the victims, confronts Tony Stark and accuses him of complicity in the incident by his funding of the Avengers, another unregulated team of vigilante heroes. Sometime later, outside a New York nightclub, Johnny Storm is attacked and beaten by a hostile mob. Several heroes gather at the Baxter Building to discuss the government’s proposal that they be regulated, debating issues such as secret identities, accountability, and federal controls. Meanwhile, on the SHIELD helicarrier, Captain America is meeting with Maria Hill, acting commander of SHIELD. Cap tells her that the government’s proposal will set the heroes at war with one another; her concern is that Cap lead the Avengers against any heroes who refuse to comply with registration. Cap refuses, and on Hill’s orders, SHIELD agents fire tranquilizer shells at the recalcitrant hero. Cap easily takes out an entire room full of agents and crashes through the window, hitching a ride to safety atop a passing jet (!). At the Baxter Building, the Watcher suddenly appears, signaling a moment of enormous upheaval. As the Superhuman Registration Act is in Congress, the President and his advisors worry about Captain America becoming a figurehead for other rebellious heroes. Iron Man assures the President that the registered heroes will deal with Captain America.

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Steve McNiven
Dexter Vines
Morry Hollowell
Steve McNiven (Cover Penciler)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)