Comic History 101: Marvel’s Civil War

Comic History 101: Marvel’s Civil War

Next year Captain America: Civil War hits cinemas, but what actually happened in the 2006 event and why is everyone who ever read a comic book so excited for it?

Heroes fighting heroes, decade long friendships broken and hundreds of deaths. In the history of comic books there has been no event like Marvel’s Civil War! There has always been fighting between heroes, but a war of heroes where each and every fighter believes he or she is doing the right thing? It had never really been done before, and I wish I had thought of it before Mark Millar. But what was the 2006 Marvel Civil War all about? If you have never even flicked through a comic and looked at the pictures, this is the article for you.

Context

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In 2006 America was in right in the middle of post-nine-eleven fear, the unstoppable, indestructible nation that had never had a single attack on its mainland had been dealt a heavy blow. This created two huge problems for the country; anti-Muslim sentiment and an outcry for greater security. When Mark Millar sat down to write Civil War he wanted to explore this by examining what would happen if S.H.E.I.L.D turned on super heroes and forced them to join a register where they could be monitored. However, Miller also wanted to explore how both sides of the debate felt they were correct in their views. This created the crux of the event, Captain America vs Iron Man.

Synopsis

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After a group of young inexperienced heroes engage a group of villains in a suburban neighbourhood resulting in the deaths of thousands, the American government calls for the registration of all vigilantes. When Captain America is asked to lead a S.H.E.I.L.D task force against rogue heroes he instead rebels and asks other heroes to join him in defiance of the government. Iron Man, Mr Fantastic and Yellow Jacket agree to lead the task force instead. Iron Man encourages Spider-Man to unmask at a press event in one of the most iconic moments of the entire event. The two sides of the conflict clash multiple times and, at the climax, Captain America surrenders, realising that the American public could never support heroes who were at war with the government and the law system.

Key Graphic Novels

If you want to really read up on Civil War, these are the books for you:

Road To Civil War

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There was a huge built up to Civil War with events spreading across the entire Marvel Universe, Road To Civil War combines all of these moments together into one graphic novel. It’s very well written and more than worth your time.

Civil War

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The main event itself! Civil War is a great graphic novel, possibly one of the greatest from its decade, with several reprints it’s easy to grab and have a read.

Amazing Spider-Man Civil War

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Throughout the entire Civil War storyline Peter Parker serves as the audience-proxy, changing sides in an attempt to get closer to doing what is morally right. If you want to truly understand how Civil War could work on in cinemas this is the one for you.

With everything going on across the entire storyline we can only hope that next year the Russo Brothers will be able to team up and bring it to the big screen in the way it deserves!

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