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Civil War #3: Review

Sep 2006
Mark Millar, Steve McNiven

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Civil War #3 Review by (February 15, 2010)
Addtional inking by Mark Morales and Steve McNiven. Heroes include Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther, Mr. Fantastic, Yellowjacket, Wasp, Emma Frost, Bishop, Hercules, Daredevil, Goliath, Cable, Cloak, Wiccan, Human Torch, She-Hulk, Thing, Atlas, Ms. Marvel, Hulkling, Spider-Man, Patriot, Thor (clone).

Civil War #3 Review by (August 4, 2014)
Then CW#3 has 4 of the Resistance bitching about their new secret ID's (plus the scene with Human Torch on crutches) and being called to the big fight which takes up the rest of the issue. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #6/4 During the battle Captain America details Nighthawk to deal with SHIELD helicopters. He does well but is then downed by 1 of the false Thor's lightning bolts. The story compares it to a WWII aerial dogfight. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #6/1 (6-8) Ben Urich watches the battle. (More of 6/1 with CW#4.)

CABLE & DEADPOOL #30 Deadpool, off his own bat, tries to get the Great Lakes Champions (ex-GLAvengers) to Register, but they already have. Then the CSA hire him to do the bounty hunter job officially. He mentions it to Cable, not knowing that Nathan is on Captain America's side. Cable goes to warn Cap and offer the Resistance asylum on his Pacific island Providence. It appears that Cable is only occasionally actively working with the Resistance, and hasn't been told about the new ID's that some of them have. But he shows Cap that he has been able to uncover these ID's, and SHIELD probably will do the same soon. Cap still declines the offer. But Deadpool overhears their chat and now knows the new secret ID's. He goes after Daredevil, but is led into an ambush with Cap, Goliath, Hercules and the Young Avengers. During the fight DP recognises the new DD's fighting style (but doesn't get to say it's Iron Fist, because that revelation is reserved for DD#87 which came out the same month). CABLE & DEADPOOL #31 (1-11) Cable arrives and defeats Deadpool. They leave him tied up to go on a mission. (This is probably supposed to be the big fight in CW#3, but it doesn't jibe with the events leading up to it there.) (The rest of this issue will be covered under CW#4.)

CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #5/2 She-Hulk gives Speedball 1 last chance to register. Then he's taken through a portal with some other prisoners (including Typeface) to Prison Alpha in the Negative Zone (Mr Fantastic's Project 42). CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #5/1 Ben tells J Jonah Jameson about Green Goblin, but Jonah says Norman Osborn is still in jail. His description suggests that Goblin was either being controlled or hearing voices. They argue and Jonah fires Ben. A mystery man meets Sally and tells her to stop looking for Captain America's Resistance - they don't exist. He suggests that she ought to concentrate her reporting on the Registration Act itself - it's authors meant well but it's legally suspect. Later SHIELD want to know about that person, and about the resistors who escaped in 4/1. They arrest her when she refuses to cooperate. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #6/1 (1-5) Robbie Robertson persuades Ben to stay with the Daily Bugle. Sally is interrogated by the NSA. Reed Richards suggests making a deal with her. (More of 6/1 later.) WOLVERINE v3 #47 Wolvie raids Declun's new corporate HQ. But Sentry arrives with Capekillers to arrest him. Sentry KO's Logan and he's taken to the SHIELD helicarrier with a power nullifier. He refuses Maria Hill's order to join the Government's side, and jumps off the helicarrier. Then he finds Walter Declun, who takes MGH to give himself a superpower. They fight and Logan kills him in revenge for causing the Stamford disaster.

CIVIL WAR: X-MEN #1 The remaining mutants after Decimation (the 198) aren't being asked to Register, but they're still confined by O*N*E and their Sentinels to the Westchester mansion. X-Force break half of them out. Iron Man and Val Cooper of O*N*E hire Bishop to lead a team of mutants and Sentinels to find the missing mutants. But Archangel, Beast, Cyclops and Iceman set out to find them 1st. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #3/1 Sally Floyd interviews a bunch of refuseniks (including Typeface) who are hoping to find and join Captain America's Resistance. Then she sees anti-registration Thunderclap accidentally kill pro-registration Bantam. Ben Urich interviews Reed Richards who tries to convince him that Registration is good using projections of the increase in superhuman activity. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #4/1 Sally thinks Bantam's death was a set-up to further inflame public opinion. Ben thinks she's getting paranoid. But later he gets a note saying she's right. Sally rejoins the resistors but they are attacked by Capekillers led by Iron Man, Ms Marvel and Wonder Man. Some (including Typeface) get captured. Others escape with Sally. She thinks the authorities may be tracking her, and contacts Ben to warn him. Ben is attacked by Green Goblin. CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #4/4 We see the events of 4/1 through the eyes of a Capekiller, as he remembers action in Vietnam.

CAPTAIN AMERICA v5 #22 Earlier Sharon Carter met Cap under orders from Maria Hill to bring him in, but she sent SHIELD agents to the wrong place. Now she's seeing a SHIELD psychiatrist about it, and admits to being torn between duty to SHIELD and her love for Steve Rogers. But he's really Dr Faustus working for Red Skull, who's made her fall in love with Steve again. (1 flashback shows something that could be part of the battle in CW#3-4, but in #24 Sharon will say that the result of that battle resolved her conflict in favour of Cap.) BLACK PANTHER v4 #20 (Not really about Civil War.) T'Challa and Ororo visit the Inhumans on the Moon to discuss the upcoming Silent War. (They offend Gorgon and Karnak, and another fight ensues.) BLACK PANTHER v4 #21 Panther and Storm visit Sub-Mariner in Atlantis. Namor is worried about American policies if Iron Man's side wins the Civil War. He wants an alliance with Wakanda. T'Challa and Ororo are also worried about the army the SRA supporters are building (ie the 1 Zemo is assembling). The duo decide to visit the US President. NEW AVENGERS #23 (last page) Spider-Woman joins the resistance. But she won't be seen active with them until CW#6.

THUNDERBOLTS #104-105 The Thunderbolts continue to build their army by catching unregistered villains, and Swordsman trains them. Zemo supplies some technology to Mr Fantastic and Yellowjacket (aided now by Thunderbolt Radioactive Man) to create a portal into their new prison. Zemo meets with Captain America and gives him a key for when Cap and the resistance are put in the new prison. In return he wants the resistance to help in the crisis he foresees. The CSA offer Songbird leadership of the Colorado 50 State Initiative team - she tells Zemo that the CSA will also be on their side in the crisis. Zemo and Grandmaster are vying for control of the Wellspring of Power, and each claims that it would be dangerous to let the other 1 have it. Zemo lets Songbird know that he knows she's secretly against him, but it will all work out. She will betray him, he will die saving the world, but he will also live forever. (We also learn that Nighthawk has joined the Resistance as a spy for Grandmaster to see if Zemo is gaining anything from the War - surely he's do better joining the SRA side?) BLACK PANTHER v4 #19 T'Challa and Storm finish their honeymoon and go see Dr Doom in Latveria where they discuss the Civil War, the Inhumans' looming Silent War, the absent Hulk and Namor's current hostility. Doom offers an alliance which Panther turns down. (A fight ensues.) WOLVERINE v3 #46 Logan has been running a campaign of harassment against Declun's Damage Control. He planted a computer scanning device in their head office to find out everything about them, and has raided premises and disrupted operations. Now Cyclops and Emma Frost tell him off about getting involved in the Civil War. But he keeps on doing it.

CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #4/2 Speedball gets into more trouble in prison. His mother asks Robbie to show public remorse for the Stamford disaster. He refuses and she washes her hands of him. SHE-HULK v4 #10-11 Although not official tie-ins these still involve Civil War in parts. She-Hulk is working with Two-Gun Kid. They stop unregistered Hellcat from taking on Ruby Thursday. Jennifer persuades Patsy to register while Two-Gun deals with Ruby. After they have to take down Jen's husband John Jameson/Man-Wolf and take him to hospital, Jane Foster tells them they'll have to report him as unregistered. (Which is a bit strange as Jane is supposedly helping the resistance.) SHE-HULK v4 #14 She-Hulk gets drafted to SHIELD. But as a lawyer she'll still finish off some cases such Speedball's. We won't see her (in #15) in her SHIELD job, to fight Hulk foes now that Hulk has gone (to Planet Hulk), until the Civil War is basically over.

HEROES FOR HIRE v2 #1 The team arrest various villains who are trying to get fake IDs from villainess Vienna. It turns out it was a sting and Vienna was in on it. FANTASTIC FOUR #538 (1-17) Johnny Storm is still in a coma. Ben and Sue aren't really keen to help Reed round up anti-Registration heroes. Thing goes to Yancy Street where Ms Marvel is trying to arrest Silverclaw (South American ex-Avenger). He declines to help and hears that the Yancy St Gang keep harassing police who try to arrest anyone. He tries to talk them out of it, but is unsure which side he's really on. (Despite their misgivings Thing and Invisible Woman will still accompany Mr Fantastic to the big battle later in CW#3.) (The last part of this issue will be reported with CW#5.) NEW X-MEN v2 #28 (This is not officially a Civil War tie-in.) Iron Man and Ms Marvel come to see the aftermath of the latest New X-Men battle. Carol Danvers takes time out to discuss mutant Registration with Cyclops. Emma Frost reminds her that she's already said "No" to Tony Stark. BLACK PANTHER v4 #18 There's a cease-fire in the Civil War while heroes from both sides attend the wedding of T'Challa and Ororo. Panther tries to arrange peace between Captain America and Iron Man, but Cap leaves and Tony Stark tells T'Challa to keep out of it, and stay in neutral Wakanda. Panther throws Stark out.

MS. MARVEL v2 #6 (2nd half) (This is a flashback and occurs a long time before the 1st half (within CW#5).) Julia Carpenter (ex-Spider-Woman) warns her lover Shroud that SHIELD is after him. They escape a SHIELD attack. Ms Marvel and Wonder Man fail to find them, but do uncover Arana. MOON KNIGHT v5 #7-8 While Moon Knight is going about his business Spider-Man meets him but doesn't arrest him, and Captain America warns him to stay out of the Civil War. (He presumably doesn't want Moonie on his side because he considers him insane.) (These issues are bannered as 'Casualties of War'. This fits the late date they were published, at the end of CW and after, but not the contents.) CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #3/2 She-Hulk sees Speedball with 2 different ideas. She suggests he pleads criminal negligence. She brings him an offer of 3 years community service if he'll register. He turns both down and continues to get beaten by prisoners and guards. MOON KNIGHT v5 #9-10 Strangely #9 has the 'Casualties of War' banner but has no Civil War content, but #10 has no banner and has Spector and Punisher comparing notes about not being invited to the festivities.

HEROES FOR HIRE v2 #1 - FB Iron Man, Mr Fantastic and Spider-Man hire Misty Knight and Colleen Wing as bounty hunters to arrest Registration avoiders. They'll put together a team. X-FACTOR v3 #9 (rest) Madrox declares X-Factor's opposition to the SRA (despite the fact that 2 of them have registered). He asks the X-Men for support, but they tell him they're staying neutral. RUNAWAYS v2 #22-24 This isn't an official tie-in but at the end of this story Iron Man and some Capekillers come to arrest the Runaways. The next issue leaps to the team being in New York, and the later Runaways Saga explains that they just ran away. FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #11-13 Peter Parker resigns as school teacher. But the 3 different Mysterio's attack the school. (And in the next issue Peter is persuaded to stay on to protect the kids.) (This is another story bannered as 'Spider-Man Unmasked' rather than 'Civil War'.)

Then in the main title Mr Fantastic meets Black Panther in Wakanda, Wasp & Yellowjacket are stalled by Wong, and Tony Stark doesn't get anywhere with Emma Frost. After that there's a long gap before the big battle, which the Official Index and the Marvel Continuity Project and its Calendar fill with lots of stuff:- DAREDEVIL v2 #87 (1-17) Daredevil (Matt Murdock) confronts the imposter DD and discovers it is Iron Fist/Danny Rand. (And this is when we readers learn his identity too.) The actual circumstances that led to Danny taking the role are complicated, but he *thought* he was doing what Matt wanted. Fugitive Matt gives Danny his blessing and leaves the country. CIVIL WAR: YOUNG AVENGERS & RUNAWAYS #1-4 The Runaways help some SHIELD guards against a villain, but SHIELD Capekillers come after them. The Young Avengers disobey Captain America's order and go to California to recruit them. As usually happens in these situations the teams fight through misunderstanding. Interesting stuff arises from Vision and Victor Mancha both being 'sons' of Ultron, and Hulkling and Xavin both being Skrulls (and Hulkling declining his hereditary position of Emperor). But they are all attacked by Kree Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr). He's been held in the secret SHIELD prison the Cube since Marvel Boy #6, and brainwashed by the prison warden. Maria Hill has ordered the attack, but the warden intends to keep the alien members of the teams for his own experiments. It ends with Marvel Boy free of his brainwashing and taking over the Cube. The teen teams escape, but the Runaways decline to join the resistance, intending to keep out of the Civil War.

SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN v2 #28 Teenage Jordan has just learned that his science teacher is Spider-Man. He sees the hero battling Dr Octopus, and distracts the villain at a crucial point enabling Spidey to win. (This and later issues are bannered 'Spider-Man Unmasked' rather than 'Civil War'.) NEW AVENGERS #23 (most) Spider-Woman (really Skrull Queen Veranke) is in hiding but is captured by SHIELD and Iron Man, who know about her triple-agent game - pretending to work for both SHIELD and Hydra while secretly really reporting to disgraced Nick Fury. Hydra rescue her and offer her the job as Madame Hydra to replace the psychotic Viper. Jessica blows the Hydra base up and escapes. SHE-HULK v4 #9 #8 was the only official Civil War issue. But #9 has the news of Peter Parker revealing his identity, and adds that his promised amnesty means that the Daily Bugle's civil lawsuit won't stick. But Jennifer tells J Jonah Jameson he can sue Parker for photos of *other* people that he'd claimed were Spider-Man, and Peter could pay by handing over the hi-tech suit Tony Stark gave him. (She just wants to get on her new father-in-law's good side, so she intends to keep the case tied up in legal red tape forever.) (And anyway 'Brand New Day' will wipe all this out.) CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #2/3 In prison Norman Osborn gets angry about Peter Parker admitting to being Spider-Man - *he's* the only one allowed to reveal *that*. Government agents recruit him.

This issue starts with a splash page of Spider-Man revealing his identity at the end of last issue. So there are some tie-ins following that before the rest of this issue:- CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE #2/1 In the other half of this issue J Jonah Jameson fires Peter Parker, except Peter quits. Also Sally Field meets Firestar who says she's quitting the superheroine business rather than register. (No-one ever seems to come after her, although I don't think this stance is allowed for some others.) AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #533 Shows reactions to Peter Parker's unmasking, including the Daily Bugle suing him for selling them photos of Spider-Man while pretending not to be him, and an anti-Registration protester trying to shoot him. Iron Man inducts Spidey into the group of heroes (including some Thunderbolts) who will hunt down those who refuse to register. THUNDERBOLTS #103 Iron Man, Mr Fantastic and Yellowjacket hire Zemo's Thunderbolts to arrest supervillains and persuade them to register and work for the government. (It is *specifically* agreed that they won't hunt *heroes*, but then they help to do just that in CW#3 and ASM#533.) But Zemo intends to use the villains as his own army, which he has been building for a while. RUNAWAYS v2 #19-21 (Not an official tie-in.) The existence of the Civil War is noted in this story, but the Runaways hope to ignore it.

Tie-ins:- Again I base the order of events on Paul Bourcier's Calendar in the Marvel Chronology Project, which should also relate to the Official Index.

When they go to the petrochemical plant, Captain America, Daredevil (Danny Rand), Goliath and Hercules are joined by the rest of the resistance heroes from last issue:- Cable, Cloak, Dagger, Falcon, Luke Cage and Young Avengers:- Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Hulkling, Patriot, Stature, Vision and Wiccan. (Speed's missed out, just like last issue. But he's in the mix in the Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways mini-series.) Iron Man's squad includes the usual suspects Doc Samson, Mr Fantastic, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Thing, Tigra, Wasp and Yellowjacket plus Black Widow, Invisible Woman, Wonder Man and Thunderbolts:- Atlas, Joystick, Mach-IV and Radioactive Man. The Thunderbolts are involved after a deal between Iron Man and Zemo in TB#103. The 1st action of the SRA team is to send Cloak and Wiccan to sleep so the resistance can't teleport away. While Iron Man is rebooting, Spider-Man uses the artificial spider-arms in his hi-tech Spidey-suit to take Cap's shield. Maria Hill and SHIELD are monitoring the situation from on high, and it is they who send in the Thor clone later called Ragnarok.

This issue contains the 1st mentions of the 50 State Initiative. It is Wasp and Yellowjacket who go seeking Dr Strange's support, but they only get to see Wong. The mutant 'reservation' is the area surrounding Prof X's Westchester mansion where (most of) the mutants who remain (after Scarlet Witch decimated them at the end of House of M) have gathered, with government-run Sentinels guarding the perimeter 'for their safety'. Happy Hogan's here again as Tony Stark's chauffeur. All this exposure is a build up to his death later in the Civil War. Johnny Storm is seen awake and walking on crutches in the hospital. A newspaper refers to Cap's team as "Secret Avengers", maybe for the 1st time. It appears that not only are the resistance using 1 of Nick Fury's old secret bases, but Fury is helping them directly. He's been undercover since he was kicked out of SHIELD after his Secret War with Latveria.

Note the 2nd half of MS. MARVEL v2 #6 isn't a flashback and doesn't happen within CW#3. This was a mistake.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Civil War #3 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro
Mr. Fantastic visits the Black Panther in Wakanda to request his help back in America but the African hero refuses, not wanting to be involved in another country’s internal affairs. Likewise, Dr. Strange declines to support Tony Stark’s plans, preferring to fast for a peaceful resolution to the differences. Stark himself goes to Westchester to enlist the aid of the X-Men but Emma Frost politely asks to be left alone on the reservation. As Tony leaves, however, he is approached by Bishop who clearly does not agree with Emma’s decision. At a diner, Captain America, Hercules, Daredevil, and Goliath are meeting, in their new secret identities, to get caught up on recent business when a call comes in about a fire at a petrochemical plant. Cap’s Secret Avengers assemble to rescue trapped workers—when they discover that the company belongs to Tony Stark and the whole affair is a trap. Cap’s team finds itself surrounded by Iron Man’s group, with SHIELD troops for backup. Iron Man tries to appeal to Cap’s reason, asking the hero to just hear him out. They shake on it—and Tony discovers that Cap has planted an electron-scrambler on his palm which activates, disabling his armor. A superpowered melee breaks out, with the two sides evenly matched, until Iron Man’s armor reboots. Tony battles Steve, beating him savagely. When Hercules runs to Cap’s rescue, a bolt of lightning flashes down, scattering the rebel heroes with its strike. Thor is on the scene.

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Matt Murdock)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic

(Reed Richards)


Plus: Thor Clone.

> Civil War: Book info and issue index

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