Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1

    Default How Civil War may be like DK2

    Remember the excitement about Frank Miller’s sequel to the Dark Knight Returns and how everyone thought it would kick ass, only to find out it was nothing like Dark Knight Returns (some even called it the worst comic book series ever)? Seems Frank Miller was attempting a postmodern satire of superheroes and nobody seemed to get it. Well, why would Mark Millar, who a vocal critic of the Bush Administration, especially with regards to foreign policy, pen a series that ends with what could be a vindication of those policies? Has he changed his mind? I doubt it. Then it hit me:

    Civil War is, just like DK2, one big ironic joke. This time, however, it’s a satire on the post-911 mindset.

    Maybe I’m overreading things or giving Millar too much credit, but the thing is that Millar got his start, not just as a comic book writer, but wrote political satire. And one way to be satirical and demonstrate absurdity by being absurd is to employ contradictions. Just look at the following:

    Captain America, the living legend of World War II, the ultimate patriot, champion of liberty, freedom, and justice for all, is mobbed by his fellow countrymen--firefighter, police officers, and doctors no less--because they see HIM as a bigger threat, as though his stance against what he sees as an infringement on civil liberties is not patriotic but rather treasonous and criminal. Sound familiar? (Millar, on his own website, even said Cap and his side were wrong, but doesn’t that totally contradict the entire notion that there was “no right or wrong side?”)

    Or how about the fact that registration was all about holding heroes accountable for their actions and that it would serve as a means of keeping superheroes under control, virtually NO ONE is holding Iron Man, Reed, or SHIELD accountable for the actions they used to achieve “peace” and that, with Iron Man now director of SHIELD, heroes have far more control over regular people’s lives than they ever did before Registration was even passed?

    How about the Negative Zone prison? The public has no problem with it because it an effective prison for supervillains, yet the prison was designed to imprison those who didn’t comply with registration--including superheroes. Hmm, does that mean superheroes who refuse to register are considered “super-villians” now?

    Speaking of villains, what about the Thunderbolts? They, as pointed out by Miriam Sharpe herself, are composed of psychotic killers and yet they’re considered media darlings? Tony says to Miriam that they deserve redemption, and yet in actuality, because of the nanocites implanted in them, it’s actual forced subjugation without any illusion that they are “redeemable.” Some of them are even incarcerated and thrown into the Negative Zone afterwards as a “reward” for their service.

    Also, even though it was a villain who actually caused the explosion at Stamford, almost everyone exclusively blamed the superheroes ONLY because of the actions of a reckless few.

    And how about these:

    Spider-Man unmasks in order to earn the people’s trust and is instead more ostracized than ever before;

    Sue leaves Reed because she disapproves of what he’s doing and hopes he fixes things and yet comes back to him even though all the reasons why she left have not been fixed by Reed at all;

    The Thing, whose very motto is “It’s Clobberin’ Time” and is a born scrapper refuses to actually fight;

    The X-Men, who are traditionally the one’s most effected by any kind of Registration Act, choose to remain neutral.

    And the very act that was created because of collateral damage caused by superbeings and designed to prevent it in the future leads to another incident where a battle between superbeings resulted in collateral damage. What’s more, with regards to the upcoming “World War Hulk,” there will be even more collateral damage that was an indirect result of heroes interfering--this time Iron Man himself.

    Finally, the ending showing Tony and Miriam on the ShieldCarrier drifting off into the sunset as though the war is over (I mean, come on? The “hero” riding, or in this case flying, off into the sunset with the “girl?” that’s so cliché it HAS to be a joke) when in fact there are still folks from Cap’s side who haven’t given up, that even though Cap surrendered, the “war” is still going on. Furthermore, even though it’s the end of the series, Tony says to Miriam that “it’s only the beginning” and that he has 58 more things left to do!

    What I’m getting at is this: if Civil War is analogous to what’s going on in a post 9/11 world, then the main series of Civil War, with all it’s pretty pictures and action is showing what’s going on a superficial level; but what’s actually going on is all the behind-the-scenes stuff, the far more “sinister” stories like Speedball put-on-trial and becoming disillusioned, the Green Goblin working with a “traitor” to stir up trouble with Namor and the Atlanteans, and two reporters investigating what Iron’s Man “real reason” for supporting registration as shown in Civil War: Frontline. Just as critics of the Bush Administration constantly scream about how people’s fears were exploited to support certain actions, so too have the fears of the MU populace in supporting Tony Stark creating what amounts to a police state. And Cap, who is on the verge of defeating the pro-reggers, who realizes he’s going about things the wrong way, decides to turn himself in for the good of the country in what can only be seen as a heroic gesture; and yet, it’s Iron Man and his bunch who are celebrated as the heroes. Interesting, no?

    Then again, maybe I’m actually putting too much stock into what’s basically a shoddily put-together enterprise of superheroes beating the crap out of each other, with heavy-handed political commentary added to make it seem more relevant and significant.
    Blog: Yes, I Am STILL a Nerd!

    Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.--G.K. Chesterton

  2. #2

    Default

    Hmm, does that mean superheroes who refuse to register are considered “super-villians” now?
    I dunno, does it? :p


    Spider-Man unmasks in order to earn the people’s trust and is instead more ostracized than ever before;

    Sue leaves Reed because she disapproves of what he’s doing and hopes he fixes things and yet comes back to him even though all the reasons why she left have not been fixed by Reed at all;

    The Thing, whose very motto is “It’s Clobberin’ Time” and is a born scrapper refuses to actually fight;

    The X-Men, who are traditionally the one’s most effected by any kind of Registration Act, choose to remain neutral.

    And the very act that was created because of collateral damage caused by superbeings and designed to prevent it in the future leads to another incident where a battle between superbeings resulted in collateral damage. What’s more, with regards to the upcoming “World War Hulk,” there will be even more collateral damage that was an indirect result of heroes interfering--this time Iron Man himself.

    Finally, the ending showing Tony and Miriam on the ShieldCarrier drifting off into the sunset as though the war is over (I mean, come on? The “hero” riding, or in this case flying, off into the sunset with the “girl?” that’s so cliché it HAS to be a joke) when in fact there are still folks from Cap’s side who haven’t given up, that even though Cap surrendered, the “war” is still going on. Furthermore, even though it’s the end of the series, Tony says to Miriam that “it’s only the beginning” and that he has 58 more things left to do!
    Of course. Money trumps justice any day of the week.

    Also, even though it was a villain who actually caused the explosion at Stamford, almost everyone exclusively blamed the superheroes ONLY because of the actions of a reckless few.
    Not to mention that as I've mentioned on another thread and no one had an answer, Tony knows Damage Control provoked the Stamford disaster by amping up Nitro (those poor New Warriors schmucks may have been intentionally put on the villains trail so they can cause the disaster), but he hasn't said anything about it in the Media: "Yes, dear citizens, I am against registration, the heroes are not responsible, it was Damage Control who increased Nitro's power. A company who gets very lucrative contracts in times of war from the government in times of war".
    Fifty years from now, when you're looking back at your life, don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?

  3. #3
    Child of Light Harold of the Rocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    738

    Default

    Sure, there are parallels to the real world 'post 9/11'. But I don't think the underlying purpose of the story is to make a direct commentary on (as one example) the Patriot Act. I think some real world events may have planted some seeds for the story and some themes. At the end of the day, I don't believe the story is so much about which side wins the intellectual battle as much as why certain characters choose a given side and how they respond when their convictions are challenged (in many cases by friends and loved ones who vehemently disagree). 'Who was right' seems to be left to the reader to decide. So, yeah... You're reading too much into some of it. Not to say that real world events didn't influence the story... I just don't think Millar is making direct commentary on Bush administration polices or other political fallout from 9/11. I can't speak to the comparison to 'DK2'.

  4. #4
    Senior Member agrich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    3,313

    Default

    I agree with some of your Civil War observations and don't think you're giving Millar too much credit. I do believe the victory of the Pro side is meant to be ironic commentary. This "utopia" is a soulless sham.

    I'm reluctant, however, to give Miller the credit you do for DK2. I saw that as just a big paycheck and an excuse to have Superman and Wonder Woman have sex.

    EDIT: I have to add that even if you don't want to give Millar that much credit, I don't know why so many people are assuming that just because the Pro side won the commentary or "slant" is that they were right all along. Winning just means that you won.
    Last edited by agrich; 02-23-2007 at 05:33 AM.

  5. #5
    The One Who Was Valen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    152

    Default

    Sometimes, you bring your outside beliefs into a story or a movie you watch. I recently watched Jesus Camp. I came out of it completely horrified at the behavior of some of the people in it. When talking to people who have different views on religion, I received widely varying views of the point the movie was trying to communicate. I then rewatched it. The movie actually keeps personal reflection and the feelings of the filmmakers out of the story. They simply present the story, and let the viewer add his or her own reflections into it.

    I think there is a bit of that goingg on with Civil War. I have seen Hardcore Pro people, Hardcore Anti people, Indifferent people, those who believe it is a direct knock on the current policies of this country, those who think it defends this country, etc. Whatever out political beliefs, we are bringing those with us when we read the story. It is one of the benefits and negatives with presenting a story based on real life logic. The reader will almost always bring with them some kind of pre-existing bias. I think it is very interesting to see the wide variety of reactions so far to the story.

  6. #6
    That guy from Puerto Rico Sijo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Posts
    1,453

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by agrich View Post
    Winning just means that you won.
    Exactly. But you see, that's the problem. One the basic tenets about heroes is that they WIN. Not all the time, heck they can fail and tragedies can result. But in the end, they MUST win. Not fights, but their goals, which are to protect the people, secure their rights, etc. Otherwise they're not heroes. Martyrs, at best.

    I'm not saying ALL superhero stories have to perfect or even idealistic... I'm saying that when I'm in a mood to escape the rampant cynicism of the real World, I want to read about the Good Guys winning, and superhero comics are supposed to provide that. If a particular title doesn't feel like providing that, fine, but let me know ahead so I can avoid it.

    And Civil War *is* Millar's fault; both his previous track as a writer and his own comments online prove that he has neither faith on the American Dream nor on Superheroes. He's great for writing "Authority" type comics. But Marvel Super Heroes aren't supposed to be about that. Unless, like DC, they've decided to give up on anyone but those who demand cynicism and mayhem in their comics, leaving the rest out in the cold. That's their right- but just as I quit DC, if I feel that Marvel's new credo is "Life sucks and then you die, deal with it" I'll quit their comics too.

  7. #7
    [hi-5] smoothjokes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    277

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stillanerd View Post
    Remember the excitement about Frank Miller’s sequel to the Dark Knight Returns and how everyone thought it would kick ass, only to find out it was nothing like Dark Knight Returns (some even called it the worst comic book series ever)? Seems Frank Miller was attempting a postmodern satire of superheroes and nobody seemed to get it. Well, why would Mark Millar, who a vocal critic of the Bush Administration, especially with regards to foreign policy, pen a series that ends with what could be a vindication of those policies? Has he changed his mind? I doubt it. Then it hit me:

    Civil War is, just like DK2, one big ironic joke. This time, however, it’s a satire on the post-911 mindset.

    Maybe I’m overreading things or giving Millar too much credit, but the thing is that Millar got his start, not just as a comic book writer, but wrote political satire. And one way to be satirical and demonstrate absurdity by being absurd is to employ contradictions. Just look at the following:

    Captain America, the living legend of World War II, the ultimate patriot, champion of liberty, freedom, and justice for all, is mobbed by his fellow countrymen--firefighter, police officers, and doctors no less--because they see HIM as a bigger threat, as though his stance against what he sees as an infringement on civil liberties is not patriotic but rather treasonous and criminal. Sound familiar? (Millar, on his own website, even said Cap and his side were wrong, but doesn’t that totally contradict the entire notion that there was “no right or wrong side?”)

    Or how about the fact that registration was all about holding heroes accountable for their actions and that it would serve as a means of keeping superheroes under control, virtually NO ONE is holding Iron Man, Reed, or SHIELD accountable for the actions they used to achieve “peace” and that, with Iron Man now director of SHIELD, heroes have far more control over regular people’s lives than they ever did before Registration was even passed?

    How about the Negative Zone prison? The public has no problem with it because it an effective prison for supervillains, yet the prison was designed to imprison those who didn’t comply with registration--including superheroes. Hmm, does that mean superheroes who refuse to register are considered “super-villians” now?

    Speaking of villains, what about the Thunderbolts? They, as pointed out by Miriam Sharpe herself, are composed of psychotic killers and yet they’re considered media darlings? Tony says to Miriam that they deserve redemption, and yet in actuality, because of the nanocites implanted in them, it’s actual forced subjugation without any illusion that they are “redeemable.” Some of them are even incarcerated and thrown into the Negative Zone afterwards as a “reward” for their service.

    Also, even though it was a villain who actually caused the explosion at Stamford, almost everyone exclusively blamed the superheroes ONLY because of the actions of a reckless few.

    And how about these:

    Spider-Man unmasks in order to earn the people’s trust and is instead more ostracized than ever before;

    Sue leaves Reed because she disapproves of what he’s doing and hopes he fixes things and yet comes back to him even though all the reasons why she left have not been fixed by Reed at all;

    The Thing, whose very motto is “It’s Clobberin’ Time” and is a born scrapper refuses to actually fight;

    The X-Men, who are traditionally the one’s most effected by any kind of Registration Act, choose to remain neutral.

    And the very act that was created because of collateral damage caused by superbeings and designed to prevent it in the future leads to another incident where a battle between superbeings resulted in collateral damage. What’s more, with regards to the upcoming “World War Hulk,” there will be even more collateral damage that was an indirect result of heroes interfering--this time Iron Man himself.

    Finally, the ending showing Tony and Miriam on the ShieldCarrier drifting off into the sunset as though the war is over (I mean, come on? The “hero” riding, or in this case flying, off into the sunset with the “girl?” that’s so cliché it HAS to be a joke) when in fact there are still folks from Cap’s side who haven’t given up, that even though Cap surrendered, the “war” is still going on. Furthermore, even though it’s the end of the series, Tony says to Miriam that “it’s only the beginning” and that he has 58 more things left to do!

    What I’m getting at is this: if Civil War is analogous to what’s going on in a post 9/11 world, then the main series of Civil War, with all it’s pretty pictures and action is showing what’s going on a superficial level; but what’s actually going on is all the behind-the-scenes stuff, the far more “sinister” stories like Speedball put-on-trial and becoming disillusioned, the Green Goblin working with a “traitor” to stir up trouble with Namor and the Atlanteans, and two reporters investigating what Iron’s Man “real reason” for supporting registration as shown in Civil War: Frontline. Just as critics of the Bush Administration constantly scream about how people’s fears were exploited to support certain actions, so too have the fears of the MU populace in supporting Tony Stark creating what amounts to a police state. And Cap, who is on the verge of defeating the pro-reggers, who realizes he’s going about things the wrong way, decides to turn himself in for the good of the country in what can only be seen as a heroic gesture; and yet, it’s Iron Man and his bunch who are celebrated as the heroes. Interesting, no?

    Then again, maybe I’m actually putting too much stock into what’s basically a shoddily put-together enterprise of superheroes beating the crap out of each other, with heavy-handed political commentary added to make it seem more relevant and significant.
    Isn't that the whole point of this Civil War series? To make you ask all these questions? In the end, Tony Stark wins the War, but it's totally complicated in conspiracy and lies. Remember, Nick Fury isn't around for a reason. World War Hulk is around for a reason. Joe Q. talked in a panel at the NYCC about stories they have planned in "2 years". They have a big story they're trying to tell and it's selling books extremely well. That's what there in this business to do.

  8. #8
    Born under a wandrin Star Tobias March's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Bulli
    Posts
    10,730

    Default

    Good comparison. I was going to do a thread asking if registration would be possible in DC and argue that it wouldn't be. Because Marvel's heroes are generally more 'street level'. The Sentry is of course an exception, so he has major psychological issues and is seemingly under Stark's thumb. Captain Marvel has returned from the grave, but has been made a jailer for the Negative Zone prison. The Hulk is the big threat, which Marvel will have to mobilize to combat.

    In DC this couldn't happen because so many of its characters are of superhuman power levels. So in DK2 for example, Miller had to go out of his way to explain 'where all the heroes went'. He had to neuter the DCU for the first Dark Knight future story, so that a street level hero, even an 'optimum hero', like Batman, could take on Superman and win.

    Post-Civil War superheroes are essentially civil servants, which would be unthinkable in DC for the most part, chockfull of alien gods and demons as it is.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smoothjokes View Post
    Isn't that the whole point of this Civil War series? To make you ask all these questions?
    On some level, yes. However, at the same time, you can also say it told people what to believe. That's even more evident in the numerous tie-ins.

    In the end, Tony Stark wins the War, but it's totally complicated in conspiracy and lies. Remember, Nick Fury isn't around for a reason. World War Hulk is around for a reason. Joe Q. talked in a panel at the NYCC about stories they have planned in "2 years". They have a big story they're trying to tell and it's selling books extremely well. That's what there in this business to do.
    Exactly. And yet Marvel execs are going around saying that Iron Man was right and Cap was wrong, dropping any and all pretense that there was "no right or wrong side" which they used to promote this series. Also, by saying Iron Man was right when a lot of people believe Iron Man was the real "villain" in the series, it makes people want to read World War Hulk all the more because now those readers who think Iron Man's a "villain" REALLY want to see the Hulk get his revenge.
    Blog: Yes, I Am STILL a Nerd!

    Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.--G.K. Chesterton

  10. #10
    New Member Kummi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    51

    Default dead on

    dead on analysis by justanerd.

  11. #11
    Sub-Directing bulbasteve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,956

    Default

    The problem with claiming this is some sort of political satire is the fact that Miriam Sharpe = Cindy Sheehan. She is the sympathetic greaving mother, she is the moral authority in the story. She is against Bush...but if Stark is Bush...than how the heck does that work?

    Ahh but in the end is this then more complex than that? Are you sure this is not a story where Millar doesn't just give his reaction to events but how he WANTS the world to be. This is the world where Bush listens to Cindy Sheehan. This is were Bush desides to "go beyond" simple law enforcment and works to fix the enviornment and poverty (do you think it is a concidence Reed brought up two of the biggest liberal issues?).
    Last edited by bulbasteve; 02-28-2007 at 11:12 PM.

  12. #12
    Junior Member elias_A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    301

    Default

    I thought that's what everyone assumed from the start, that the metaphor of Civil War is about giving up personal freedoms for security?

    Personally, I think that's a very weak metaphor, because in the real world not only accidents like Stamford would happen all the time, but you also could not be sure if a supposed hero is not a villain dressed up in the hero's costume.
    So some sort of control would be inevitable.

    It's like complaining that traffic rules destroy your personal freedom to drive your car as fast as you like.

    That's maybe why Marvel decided to have the pro-regs do all this unnecessary villainous things, so that the metaphor worked a bit better.

    It remains to be seen if they want to portray Iron Man now as noble or a villain, or possibly with best intentions that go terribly wrong.

    Anyway, I think it doesn't work in the Marvel universe if you have to mistrust a major hero like Iron Man. In Watchmen or Authority you can do political stories with tragic endings, but not in continuity where you know the characters will be heroic in the long run again anyway.
    I think it's a good idea to have some "realism" in the Marvel universe, but like this it just isn't working. In contrast JLU managed just fine to show "realistic" ideas like the government mistrusting superheroes without destroying the heroes.

  13. #13
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    15,974

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stillanerd View Post
    On some level, yes. However, at the same time, you can also say it told people what to believe. That's even more evident in the numerous tie-ins.



    Exactly. And yet Marvel execs are going around saying that Iron Man was right and Cap was wrong, dropping any and all pretense that there was "no right or wrong side" which they used to promote this series. Also, by saying Iron Man was right when a lot of people believe Iron Man was the real "villain" in the series, it makes people want to read World War Hulk all the more because now those readers who think Iron Man's a "villain" REALLY want to see the Hulk get his revenge.
    I almost forgot that there wasn't supposed to be a right side....thanks!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •