Friday, September 04, 2009

Marvels Civil War

[Spoiler warning. But the conclusion is 'don't read it'; so you probably can read the post anyway, unless, ofcourse, you're a fangirl.]

There are two major 'superhero-universes'; DC (Detective Comics)'s universe with Batman, Wonderwoman, Superman, Joker (and many many more) and fictionalized cities like Gotham and Metropolis. The other big player is Marvel Comics who's Marvel Universe is paralell to our own and contain characters like Daredevil, Elektra, Spiderman, Captain America, Project X, Hulk, Iron Man, The Punisher and hordes more.

While I ofcourse have always dug DC, I used to love Marvel when I was a kid. But over the years that love has soured a bit. Marvel has won a reputation of treating its creative staff like any other (often freelance) officeworker, and even fucking some of its greatest creative geniouses in the ass. When I heard the news the other day that Disney have bougth Marvel, I was not at all surprised. They seem to have the same company culture.

It will be interesting to see what the power of corporate america can make of this union - there just might be some amazing shit coming from their end the next few years. But most likely whats left of Marvel will be tamed by their new master, and we will have a neverending supersoap with no amazing shit inbetwixt like Elektra, some of the Wolwerine stuff et cetera.

I havent really been following Marvel for the last 10 years or so (just picking up a book once every to years or so on an airport or whatnot); but with the Disney-thing I decided to take a deep dive into their current universe.

The best and worst part of Marvel has always been the way they do all kinds of crossovers, guest apearances and even whole storylines going not just in "Project X" or "The Spectacular Spiderman", but crossing all over the place forcing fans to buy (and try) all kinds of publications featuring (but not starring) their hero. A Marvel-fan will often have a favourite hero she follows almost like a favourite soccerteam; normal fans go to all the home matches - a dedicated fan attends away-matces aswell (and some people read everything and are like soccerguys who will even follow north american soccer if there is nothing else on). This system ofcourse makes for more money for Marvels shareholders; but not neccesarily to better art and storytelling.

A friend (who chose to be anonymous due to the humongous shame of beeing a fangirl) was friendly enough to loan me her almost complete "Civil War" storyline. 106 comics later I have seen much good work, a storyline that simply isnt good enough, some stuff that simply was bad (like the whole bit bout the "Moon Knight") and a few exeptionally good pieces. It was so comic I even LOL'd a few times.

The whole epic ran from february 2006 to febrary 2007. It is interesting to see how liberal and close to their times the story is. The war splitting heroes and villians in two camps according to their view on the "Superhero registration act", a panic-bill pushed through the US senate 5 days after a disaster where a badguy kills 608 people (60 of them where children) with his super-exploding power during an arrest-attempt by some inexperienced superheroes filming a superhero-realityshow.

Captain America defects and starts the resistance, soon old friends face eachother and the battlefield with old enemies fighting at their sides. Unregistered (but not neccesarily anonymous/masked) superbeeings are called"unregistered combatants", tauntlingly close to RL "unlawfull combattants". They are jailed ("detained") in "the negative zone", an interdimentional space where US law doesnt have much of a say, not unlike Guantanamo, Cuba.

The pathetic end; where Captain America after giving freedom a face and a name with a hardcore Rorchach-attitude ("I will never compromise. Not even in the face of armageddon.") suddenly gives up because of some collateral civilian damage; forces me to simply advise against reading this... mess, unless you are a true fangirl.

I must admit, though, that I am a little curious as to the faith of now outlaw and self-outed Peter Parker/Spiderman. And with Disney now; there is great potential. For ultimate crap and possibly even timeless epic art.

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