What If? Civil War #1: Review

Feb 2008
Ed Brubaker, Marko Djurdjevic

Story Name:

The Stranger

Review & Comments

3 stars

What If? Civil War #1 Review by (March 16, 2012)
“What If Iron Man Lost The Civil War?” Comments: Point of divergence: CIVIL WAR #4. Featured heroes include Captain America, Iron Man, Goliath, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, She-Hulk, Yellowjacket, Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Spider-Man, Hercules, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Tigra, Patriot, Wonder Man, Radioactive Man, Vision, Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Cloak and Dagger, Dr. Strange, Ronin, Black Widow, Wolverine, Iron Fist, Wasp, Ares, Sentry, Spider-Woman, Hulkling, Stature, Wiccan, Jarvis. Another happy result: one panel shows the Avengers defeating Aleksander Lukin, Crossbones, and Dr Faustus. Review: What’s this? A What If with a happy ending? Don’t know what to make of it. Looks like the Heroic Age is coming early!

"What If Captain America Led All The Heroes Against Registration?” Comments: Point of divergence: IRON MAN Vol. 4:1-6. Featured heroes include Captain America, Yellowjacket, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Black Panther, Wonder Man, Hercules, Luke Cage, Cable, Wolverine, Warbird, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Patriot, Human Torch, Thing, Falcon, Namor the Sub-Mariner, She-Hulk, Wasp. Major irony: Cap assumes that if Tony Stark were alive they would be fighting on the same side, which is the saddest moment of the story. Review : Standard “What if?” scenario (any change would only make matters worse) is played out very well, with only the goofy long faces on some of the characters distracting.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

What If? Civil War #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Tony Stark stands brooding by Captain America’s tomb when he is confronted by a shadowy figure. As Stark questions his decisions in the Civil War and their bitter consequences, the stranger offers him the option of seeing how things could have turned out otherwise….

Note: This is the framing device for the issue. It continues between the two main stories and concludes the issue.

Story #2

What If Captain America Led All The Heroes Against Registration?

Writer: Kevin Grevioux. Penciler: Gustavo. Inker: Sandu Florea. Inker: Scott Koblish. Inker: Victor Olazaba. Colorist: Guru-eFX.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

What if Iron Man had been killed by the Extremis injection? Steve (Captain America) Rogers would have led the campaign against the Superhero Registration Act. When the Act passes, Maria Hill becomes Presidential Liaison and Henry Peter Gyrich is the new Director of SHIELD. As the heroes gather to debate their response to the Act, their meeting place is attacked by Gyrich’s Sentinels, and in the first assault, Spider-Man, Invisible Woman, and Daredevil are killed. After a public outcry against the carnage, Gyrich announces a new plan: the Sentinel O.N.E. Strikeforce, a team of armored agents led by Jim Rhodes. Meanwhile, the outlawed heroes must decide on the next step; a brooding Cap, wishing Iron Man was with him, dons the armor Tony made for him years ago, ready to lead the fight to the enemy. But after an encounter with the Strikeforce, Cap realizes that there can be no good end: what if they win, do they take over the government? Then they would be villains. So the decision is made to go underground, emerging from hiding when needed to save the world from the emboldened supervillains, which the Strikeforce cannot handle. Gyrich moves on to a third plan: creating an army of ruthless Thor clones to destroy villain and hero alike. A shocked Jim Rhodes meets secretly with Captain America to arrange a peaceful resolution but Gyrich discovers the rendezvous and Maria Hill murders Rhodey, framing Captain America. This leads to the success of the government’s campaign against the heroes, propelling Henry Peter Gyrich to the Presidency.

Story #3

What If Iron Man Lost The Civil War?

Writer: Christos N. Gage. Penciler: Harvey Tolibao. Inker: Harvey Tolibao. Colorist: Edgar Tadeo. Colorist: Jay David Ramos.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Back at the cemetery, Tony wonders why Steve couldn’t see the advantages of cooperation with the government; the stranger points out that Cap was never one to abide by the lesser of two evils, though in another reality he would have…

During the confrontation at the petrochemical plant, when Iron Man appeals to Captain America to listen to him, Cap chooses not to use the electron-scrambler to disable Iron Man’s armor. The Thor clone arrives on the scene…but Iron Man is able to leap in front of Goliath, saving his life by taking the brunt of the clone’s attack, and together he and Cap defeat the clone. Later, Steve and Tony talk over their differences: since it’s clear that Cap’s primary objection to the Superhero Registration Act is the government’s planned administration, Tony suggests Steve be the one to oversee the project. With the Avengers, led by Captain America, training and supervising new heroes, the world becomes a much safer place, and Steve and Tony are able to sit back, relax, and be glad that they could work things out.

Back in the cemetery, Tony Stark is devastated by this vision of a better outcome and demands to know why the stranger is showing him all this. The stranger is here to pay tribute to Captain America and he envies humanity’s ability to cause ripples in the timestream. Tony says, "But you can’t control a ripple." "No, and that is what life is, Tony Stark. Cherish it. Because some of us only wait…and watch."

Marko Djurdjevic
Marko Djurdjevic
Marko Djurdjevic
Marc Silvestri (Cover Penciler)
Marc Silvestri (Cover Inker)
Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic (Cover Colorist)


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