I (28f) had my bisalp procedure done yesterday and the relief I feel right now. I was super worried when I first made the appointment for a referral that I was going to be bingoed into oblivion but the whole process has been an absolute dream. (I’m Australian for those curious).
Once I’m discharged I’m off to buy a celebratory bottle of champagne.
An anecdote I hear repeated often is that the Treaty of Versailles preserved or protected in some way the rights of only specific regions in France to use the term Champagne for the drink that bares this name. These legal rights continue to this day and are acknowledged by other jurisdictions now too, I believe. A follow up to this story is that, because the US signed a different agreement to the Treaty of Versailles, they therefore have different legal duties towards the use of the term Champagne to describe a specific fizzy alcoholic drink.
I'm primarily interested in learning about how a treaty focused on ensuring peace after a terrible war managed to enshrine or protect the rights of Champagne producers in France, and in exactly what legal manner the treaty did so.
I've never gotten specialty yeast for meads, I've only ever used some basic champagne yeast (not even sure the variety).
I was recently gifted nearly 30 pounds of local raspberries from a friend for helping them out with some construction and want to make a melomel with some local wildflower honey.
My basement tends to get pretty warm, and I think my first attempt at mead I stressed the yeast. I did everything I could to provide nutrients, but I've never thought to actually buy mead-specific yeast. I'm probably going to be averaging 75-80 in my fermenting room this summer.
Any suggestions appreciated, I'm quite new to yeast variety
Hi all - any help on this would be much appreciated.
I am visiting Paris July 9-12 and have been looking to buy tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower to the summit with my girlfriend.
The Eiffel Tower's official site appears to be sold out of all tickets except for the "by lifts + glass of champagne" option. I have been before, but my girlfriend has not and I would be willing to buy these, but the ticket says it is reserved for people over 25. We are both 23.
Does anyone know if they verify that you are 25 for this ticket? Is there any other way to get tickets besides waiting for hours in line (we're only in Paris 2.5 days). I've seen people mention guides offer options to access the summit, but I don't want to be scammed. If anyone has any recommendations they would be so greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much!
Loving Mallorca. Love getting wasted all day erry’ day
So, we already discussed what DC was doing to match the tenor of the early years of the War on Terror
: A grim, smarter-than-it-thinks miniseries full of gratuitous rape that was meant to take the shine off the Silver Age by showing the darker side of its greatest heroes. Marvel, on the other hand, was trying to find a way to capture the zeitgeist of a post-9/11 era of existential threats, constant government surveillance, and the idea that if you weren’t with America, you were against it. A Captain America
storyline saw Cap wrestle with the very concept of Guantanamo Bay; like any story arc that involves Cap doubting whether America lives up to its ideals, this made certain conservatives pissy, to the point that bad movie cataloguer Michael Medved wrote an entire article asking if Cap was a traitor
. Avengers Disassembled
briefly saw the Avengers face down their demons, as the Scarlet Witch goes crazy (again) and starts killing team members, her reality manipulations causing fault lines to form among Marvel’s greatest superteam. But there hadn’t yet been a storyline that would tie the entire Marvel Universe together with the burning question, “Which side are you on?”
Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with the Sokovia Accords. We’d be a lot better off if it did. Part 1: Mark Millar’s March to the C-Word Content Warning: Sexual assault. None of this is germane to the topic of the drama, so feel free to skip ahead to Part 1.5 if you don’t want to deal with this. Tl;dr: Mark Millar, the writer of the event, has a near pathological need to be a 3edgy5u contrarian.
Every comics crossover is ultimately a chance for one creative in the stable to shine or falter. The editors pick a writer who has turned out dependable work and give them a chance to try to alter the status quo but good. And for Civil War
, Marvel’s EiC Joe Quesada decided the best person to lead the charge was Ultimates
writer Mark Millar.
But who is Millar? Well, we could say “edgelord” and leave it at that, but we’re trying to dig deeper. Millar came up in comics alongside fellow Scot Grant Morrison, long before Morrison said the only time they want to bump into Millar on the streets of Glasgow is while going at 100 miles per hour
. This antipathy is alleged to have stemmed from Millar copping several ideas from Morrison that went into Superman: Red Son
. But after getting a start on Superman Adventures
and as a cowriter on parts of Morrison’s JLA
run, Millar soon branched out to WildStorm, where he took over The Authority
from departing creatowritesex pest Warren Ellis.
The reason I bring up Red Son
(for those non-geeks, an alternative universe comic premised on “What if Superman’s rocket had landed in Soviet Russia?”) is to frame a constant refrain about Mark Millar. He has good high-concept ideas… which often get trammeled up in an almost Pavlovian urge to shock, disturb, and/or titillate the reader. For instance, in The Authority
, Ellis had introduced Apollo and Midnighter, two close companions who just happened to share the rough power sets and demeanors of Superman and Batman, with a few tweaks. Then he revealed they were boyfriends, which was a pretty bold move for a late Nineties comic book full of widescreen action and lovingly-rendered eviscerations.
In Millar’s first arc on the title, centered on a villainous Jack Kirby clone sending out a team of baddies who totally aren’t the Avengers, Apollo is subdued and is strongly implied to have been raped by someone who’s not Captain America. Apollo gets revenge by destroying EvilCap’s spinal column with his laser vision, then leaving him to the tender mercies of Midnighter, who is strongly implied to have sodomized him with a jackhammer.
In case you can’t tell, Millar loved him some rape. And it kept showing up in his creator-owned titles as well, all of which were basically written as Hollywood pitch docs. Wanted
asks the question, “What if the supervillains won and secretly ruled the world from behind the scenes?” Well, an Eminem clone would take the opportunity to step into his dead villainous dad’s shoes and commit a lot of rape (yeah, there’s a reason the movie version replaced this with basically the Euthanatos from Mage: the Ascension
getting orders from a magic loom). Chosen
asks the question, “What if Jesus were born today?” Well, in a blatantly obvious twist, it turns out he’s actually the Antichrist, and part of his journey into realizing his evil nature involves being raped by all the demons of Hell.
It’s not that Millar can’t write innocent or restrained; he got started on the Superman: the Animated Series
comic spin-off, and some of his titles such as Huck
have been praised for being relatively wholesome (keep in mind Huck
is basically “What if Superman was Forrest Gump?” when I say “relatively”). And, as mentioned above, his works are made for high-concept log lines. You might recognize some of his various pitch docs: Kick-Ass
, The Secret Service
(source for the Kingsman
movies), and, as mentioned above, Wanted
. It’s just there’s this unctuous contrarian streak to a lot of his titles, a tendency to focus on venality, grotesquerie, and sodomy, with an air of pop culture edge. This also leaked into his image outside of his writing, with comments like “Games are for pedos”
and ventures like the creator-owned comics periodical CLiNT
(yes, the kerning is intentional). This streak continues to this day, as The Magic Order
, a title that emerged from his deal with Netflix, features a magical escapologist who, she feels it very important to tell the reader in a direct monologue, escaped her own abortion
. Bottom line, Millar has a sense of vision, but it’s betrayed at times by this reflexive desire to prove he’s smarter than the reader, to rub your face in the contradictions and make you a party to the artifice of it all. Usually with a dash of rape.
But at Marvel, Millar was riding the lightning of the Ultimate Universe. His Ultimates
title was drawing on the wide-screen action image of JLA
and The Authority
, creating the cinematic language that would come to define the MCU. The choice to fantasy cast Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is why we have Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. He also painted the Hulk as a cannibalistic monster, cemented Hank Pym’s reputation as a wifebeater, and gave us Captain America yelling “Surrender? Do you think this A on my head stands for France?”, so let’s just keep that in perspective.
But the Ultimate Universe was its own pocket universe. Millar was being tapped to write a story for Earth-616, the main Marvel Universe. And he had a vision
“I opted instead for making the superhero dilemma something a little different. People thought they were dangerous, but they did not want a ban. What they wanted was superheroes paid by the federal government like cops and open to the same kind of scrutiny. It was the perfect solution and nobody, as far as I'm aware, has done this before.”
Yeah. About that. Part 1.5: What Has Come Before
Ultimately, the crux of Civil War
is something that has been explored lightly in the past at Marvel: The idea that, instead of being unlicensed vigilantes who decide the best solution of societal issues is to beat up assholes in spandex, superheroes become licensed government officers that register their true identities with Uncle Sam and solve societal issues by beating up assholes in spandex. In Marvel’s history, it hasn’t gone well. The reality of government liaisons to superhero bodies has ranged from Valerie Cooper, who worked with government mutant team X-Factor but still found herself backing the genocidal Sentinel program as a big “Yeah, but what if…?”, to Henry Peter Gyrich, an inflamed obstructionist asshole who had to be held back from flipping a switch that would depower every superhuman individual on Earth. The idea of heroes themselves bristling against a government they disagreed with had a long history, as there was a period where Steve Rogers quit being Captain America, and the government had to find a replacement while he rode around on a motorcycle in a surprisingly slutty costume
. But the idea of registering with the government has usually ended up on the “No” side due to one big cohort at Marvel: Mutants.
Ever since the days of Chris Claremont, a general conceit of the Marvel Universe is that mutants are a stand-in for your minority group of choice. Hated and feared, born different and feeling alienated, painted as an existential menace and threat to the status quo. Of course, it’s long been pointed out that the metaphor breaks down on the general grounds that, say, gays can’t shoot laser beams out of their eyes. I have my thoughts on that which I might share in the comments if someone pokes me hard enough, but it’s been general editorial consensus that people with powers, especially those of persecuted minorities, being compelled to share their true names, addresses, and natures with the federal government is a “That train’s never late!” move. Not only that, it’s a slippery slope. The classic X-Men story “Days of Future Past” is entirely premised on the idea that a government program of genocidal robots built to wipe out mutants will eventually run out of mutants… and then start turning on humans who could give birth to mutants, and then it’s Skynet all over again.
Another running meme in the Marvel Universe is that the X-Men usually exist in a Schrodinger’s cat situation with the rest of the superhero universe, both coexisting and in their own worlds. Yes, mutants have served on the Avengers, and yes, Thor intervened when the Morlocks were nearly wiped out in the sewers under New York. But Captain America, for all his proud statements of living up to America’s ideals, has a habit of missing the plot whenever the US government (or Canada, seat of all the Marvel Universe’s governmental evils - no, really) decides it’s Genocide O’Clock. And when the mutant nation of Genosha was completely wiped out by said murder robots, the Avengers seemed to be all “New phone who dis?” But when the two do intersect, there’s usually support for the mutants. One story in Fantastic Four
had Reed Richards - Mr. Fantastic, stretchy man, greatest genius in the Marvel Universe, guy who’s probably being cucked by a fish-man - get tapped by the US government to make a device that detects mutants and other people with powers. He does… and then uses it to show why the government probably doesn’t want it, as it pings several members of Congress as having just enough genetic variation to qualify as “mutants,” even if they don’t have powers.
All in all, while the argument has some merit, for years, Marvel has come down on the position that asking people with powers to reveal their identities to the federal government is something that could go really bad if somebody with a hate-on for superheroes ends up in power. Something that would never happen oh yeah it totally did. But before it all went to Hell, Civil War
at least gave an opportunity to reexamine the concept and see if it had merit.
It might have. But not with this argument. Part 1.75: What Else Has Happened Before?
And now, some things that will ultimately give context for what happens next:
Part 2: Connecticut Can’t Catch a Break
- In the pages of Thor, all of Asgard eventually runs headlong into Ragnarok. Thor and the rest of the Asgardians give their lives to save the earth, taking Thor off the board… for now.
- As mentioned above, the Avengers experience a critical fault due to Wanda going batshit (a common lament). With Avengers Mansion destroyed and the team at odds, it is eventually reunited under Tony Stark, who put the Avengers up in a tower he built.
- Nick Fury has vanished due to doing some skullduggery in the pages of the miniseries Secret War (no, not Secret Wars, this is different). Acting head of SHIELD, the all-purpose super spy squad of Marvel, is Maria Hill, who can’t seem to draw her pistol without shooting herself in the foot.
- Due to Wanda continuing to go batshit, the House of M crossover event ends with her casting a spell: “No more mutants.” While the damage is staunched, Earth-616’s population of mutants (which was recently established to be somewhere around 16 million) is reduced to 200, the rest being depowered or dying as a result of being depowered. This was because, as Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada said, the idea of mutants being everywhere made them “boring.” The fact that mutants were starting to be written less as a minority stand-in and more as an actual minority group with fashion, culture, music, and neighborhoods might have had something to do with that. From the wake of this event emerges Sally Floyd, a journalist whose own mutant daughter died before the mass depowering due to having a power that was more curse than blessing. The series Generation M follows her as the viewpoint character as she investigates the stories of former mutants.
The big kick-off for Civil War
involves the New Warriors, a team of teen heroes who have, as of a recently canceled series, been trying to make it big as reality TV stars. They get in a fight with a bunch of villains in the small town of Stamford, CT, when exploding villain Nitro goes positively nuclear, resulting in a blast much bigger than any he’s generated.  Not only does this mostly wipe out the New Warriors (save for kinetic energy-absorbing goofball Speedball), but it also happens to hit a nearby school. In the end, 612 people are dead, many of them children, and the nation wants answers.
With public opinion turning against the New Warriors, former member Hindsight starts leaking secret identities to get the heat off his back. This only makes things worse. Secret identities have only recently stopped being a thing for some heroes: Captain America only came out a few years ago, it was only recently that Tony Stark stopped pretending Iron Man was his bodyguard, and Daredevil was almost outed in the pages of his book. But something needs to be done, so Tony helps work with Congress to pass the Super Human Registration Act, which requires that all people with powers or working as vigilantes register their identities with the government to receive training and oversight. If you don’t? Believe it or not, jail, right away.
Fault lines quickly develop in the superhero community. While Tony is leading the “pro” side, alongside Reed Richards (yeah, we’ll get to that), Captain America, usually painted as the embodiment of the dream of America despite its compromised history and many sins, is against it. He’s lived through Richard Nixon being a secret fascist and shooting himself in the head after being fingered as mastermind of a vast criminal conspiracy (yes, that happened
); he knows how badly this could go in the wrong hands. Needless to say, Maria Hill and SHIELD hear his concerns, understand his problems with it, and are willing to iron out the kinks through reasoned debate.
Just kidding. Before the law has even been signed, Maria sics SHIELD’s elite Cape-Killers squad on Cap with the intent of getting him behind bars. Cap swiftly goes underground and starts his own group of anti-registration superheroes.
The fight continues for the next few issues. Spider-Man, caught in the middle, reveals himself to be Peter Parker at a press conference, declaring his support for the SHRA. Doctor Strange is so powerful that he tells the government to fuck off, and somehow, Maria Hill doesn’t decide to go charging up his asshole. Ben Grimm, the ever-loving blue-eyed Thing, is so sick of all the conflict he goes to France. But things are still at a stalemate, and while SHIELD may be acting like a bunch of merry assholes, it seems like there’s a debate to be had that could still be resolved reasonably… except for one key factor. Part 3: I Fought the Law, and the Law… Huh?
No one ever really defined what the Super Human Registration Act, the legislation that tore the Marvel Universe’s superhero community asunder, did. Every book that had an issue that touched on the event seemed to have a different understanding of its principles, as well as just how fascist it might be in the long run. In the pages of She-Hulk
, attorney Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk argues the law is a net good, as it gives heroes the backing and resources they need to not have to go it alone, while also having some measure of government oversight. In the pages of Civil War Frontline
(oh, and we’ll get back
to Civil War Frontline
, don’t you worry), Wonder Man is told by the government that he needs to do a job for them, and if he refuses, well, one thousand years dungeon.
Which then leads into the other
issue behind the SHRA. Namely, that everyone in favor was either starting to swing towards fascism or embracing bootlicking as a lifestyle, not a kink. In the pages of Amazing Spider-Man
, Peter asks Reed Richards, who has always bucked authority and once stopped the US government from doing something just like this with mutants, why he’s pro-registration. Reed then reveals that an uncle who has never been mentioned before was called before HUAC; he refused to name names, his career was ruined, and he killed himself
. From this, Reed - the man who stole a rocketship because the government said “no” to his planned space voyage - has learned that the government is always right, especially when they could step on your neck (this was received so badly that a later comic revealed he’d actually borrowed the concept of psychohistory from Asimov’s Foundation
, he’d made it work somehow, and his calculations showed that this was the only way to avoid a greater disaster). This comic also revealed that people who were in violation of the SHRA were sent to a literal extradimensional Gitmo, a prison in the Negative Zone that later comics would reveal was overseen by… Captain Marvel. No, not that one. No, not that
one. The Kree superhero Captain Mar-Vell, who had famously died of cancer decades before. How did he come back from the dead? Fuck if we know.
This “the law says what you want it to say” approach spread across various books and miniseries meant to cross over into the event. In the pages of a crossover mini between the Runaways and the Young Avengers, this meant SHIELD Cape-Killer squads were using lethal force against teenagers
. The second-to-last issue of the mini ends with several members of both teams in extradimensional Gitmo, about to be dissected by a guy who’s horny for torture. The fact that all the captive heroes were the queer members of both teams? Total coincidence. Honestly.
So, it quickly becomes clear that the editorial control on this event is less than cohesive. There are different ideas all over as to what the SHRA does, and some of those ideas are tacking pretty fashy. But if the law is being painted as that
bad, then clearly, there must be some greater statement of freedom vs. security. Maybe Millar’s really painting a subversive picture of what happens when you trade liberty for control, right? Part 4: Why Do You Hate the Good Thing?
After the publication of Civil War
#3, Millar would say in an interview he was actually pro
-registration. I can’t find that interview, but here’s a similar sentiment shared years later
“Weirdly, some of the other writers would often make Tony the bad guy, which I thought was a strange choice because I was actually on Tony’s side... In the real world, if somebody had superpowers, I’d like them to be registered in the same way that somebody who has a gun has to carry a license. But a gun can kill several people while a superhero can kill several thousands of people, so on a pragmatic level I’m 100% on Tony’s side. Maybe on a romantic level, Cap’s position makes sense but I don’t think anybody in the real world would really want that."”
And again, here’s the thing: He’s not entirely wrong
. As said above, the idea of civil liberties for all and “free to me you and me” falls down a little when one of your neighbors can blow up a city block by thinking real hard. But Millar is fighting against years of ideological inertia in the Marvel Universe, as well as painting Captain America, the guy who has always embodied the ideal of a righteous, just America, as in the wrong. He needs to make one hell of an argument.
So here’s what happens in the pages of Civil War
#3 to sell the audience on the SHRA:
- Thor comes back from the dead… and he’s on Tony’s side! Well, not really. Tony and Reed both realized that having one of the most beloved gods of the Marvel Universe come out on their side would be a big win… if only he wasn’t dead. So, they cloned him. Or rather, they T-800’d him, putting cloned divine flesh on a robot skeleton. But I’m sure he’s perfectly under control, and - oh, he just killed Goliath. In the next issue, one of Marvel’s black male heroes, frozen at the size of a small townhouse in death, will be buried in a gigantic ditch, wrapped in a tarp and chains. You’d think Hank Pym could grow a large enough coffin, at least.
- With Cap and the anti-registration side escaping once again, Tony decides he needs a dedicated team that can track down fugitive superhumans. To do so, he creates a new version of the Thunderbolts, a concept long associated with “villains acting like heroes.” And who does he put on this team? Venom, the Spider-Man villain who eats people’s brains; Bullseye, the Daredevil villain who will kill anyone for the lulz; and Norman Osborn, a.k.a. The Green Goblin, who famously murdered Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy.
Again. Tony’s in the right
. The SHRA is good
. Part 5: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda
The next few issues of Civil War
might best be described as “They fight, and fight, and fight and fight and fight.” The anti-registration side picks up The Punisher, Marvel’s most avowed murderer of criminals - and Cap is somewhat shocked but not entirely surprised when two minor villains join the anti-registration side and Frank promptly kills them on sight. Spider-Man starts realizing things are weird on the pro-reg side and defects, after he has set his entire life on fire. The X-Men have continued to stay out of this whole mess. In the lead-up, Emma Frost called Tony out on the Avengers’ complete absence when Genosha got nuked. Later, Carol Danvers (then Ms. Marvel, now Captain Marvel) will show up at the Xavier School to pitch the SHRA just after a massive terrorist attack kills dozens of students. Emma responds by telepathically dogwalking her
By the final issue of the miniseries, the SHRA has expanded out into the Fifty States Initiative, wherein each state gets its own superteam. There’s a big final battle, Hercules kills Robo-Thor, and Cap nearly takes out Tony, only to be stopped by… the heroes of 9/11. No shit, Captain America is subdued by cops, firefighters, and paramedics
. And when that happens, Cap finally takes a look around, realizes their big ideological street brawl has resulted in collateral damage, and surrenders. The SHRA wins, though Tony feels a little bad about it. Cap is ready to stand trial and to argue that, while he may have done something wrong, he did it for the right reasons.
Once again: Yeah. About that. Part 6: MySpace Tom Didn’t Die For This
Running alongside Civil War
is Civil War Frontline
, a street-level book written by Paul Jenkins that managed to capture this world-breaking conflict through the eyes of people on the street. Though it has side stories, its main leads are Ben Urich, Peter Parker’s journalist buddy at The Daily Bugle, and the aforementioned Sally Floyd. Throughout the series, they start to realize there’s a story underneath the SHRA, as if somebody is playing the angles.
Before we talk about that conclusion, let’s talk about a side story. Remember how we said part of the comics community saw Identity Crisis
as a driven effort to make things less “wacky” and intentionally darken the DCU? Well, that same tonal approach led to one of the more laughable moments of a pretty laughable arc. See, despite the fact that, as established, it was Nitro who blew up Stamford, it’s Speedball, the only survivor of the New Warriors, that views himself as responsible and is held up as a scapegoat by the general public. In addition, the blast screwed up his powers. Now, he doesn’t absorb and reflect kinetic energy; rather, he generates energy based on pain. So, he builds himself a new, extreme
outfit lined with 612 spikes, one for each person who died in Stamford. This will drive his crusade to make things right - not as Speedball… but as Penance
It was so laughably DeviantArt “OC do not steal” that no one could take it seriously. Look what you did, you took a perfectly good goofball and gave him an emo streak. The turn is swiftly mocked in other Marvel books
, and it’s eventually revealed that Speedball still had his original powerset and always intended to put Nitro in the Goofy Suit of Dark Inner Torment as punishment for his crimes. But this turn gives you a sense of the tone and heft Jenkins was bringing to the proceedings.
Anyway, back to the main plot. Ben and Sally follow the thread as Namor, as he is wont to do, declares war on the surface world after an Atlantean diplomat is shot. But it turns out the assassination was arranged by Norman Osborn, who decided it was better to beg forgiveness than ask permission and manipulated Atlantis into war so that Tony could have another piece of evidence for getting superhumans on a leash. And the two journalists deduce that, on some level, Tony had
to know this would be an inevitable outcome of giving state backing to an unhinged mogul who dresses like a Power Rangers villain. Weighing what to do with this information, Ben and Sally, who are kind of sick of the collateral damage by this point, sit on it while they go in for an interview with Captain America, now in custody and willing to tell his side of the story.
And then. And then
. The monologue
. If you want a lesson in how to assassinate a character in 30 seconds or less, this monologue is a great example. Sally Floyd calls Captain America out as completely divorced from American values. Now, again, Captain America has long served as the beating liberal heart of the Marvel Universe. He has always represented an America that reckons with its legacy of things like internment camps, Manifest Destiny, and Jim Crow, in order to transcend these scars and embody the promise offered by Emma Lazarus’s New Colossus
, carved on the side of the Statue of Liberty. Why is he out of touch with Americans at the dawn of the 21st century? Well, he’s never heard of MySpace
.  He doesn’t watch NASCAR. He doesn’t follow American Idol
. There are pop culture moments that have aged like milk; this one had all the permanence of an ice cream cone in a blast furnace. But despite the inanity of Floyd’s argument - and trust me, there are fan edits dedicated to Cap pointing out how full of shit this argument is
- it’s clear it represents something else. This is a post-9/11 world. Fuck civil liberties, we have a no-fly list and Gitmo, and if the American people really
cared, they’d do something other than watch Simon Cowell read aspiring singers to filth. What does Captain America stand for in this moment of crisis?
Nothing. Because he just looks away from Sally Floyd. No doubt thinking, “Oh my God this bitch.” But to underline the argument in question, Sally storms out of the interview, Ben in tow. She still has that information on Norman Osborn’s false flag operation… and while she and Ben confront Tony on everything that went down, they decide the story should never see the light of day
. Because they wouldn’t dare jeopardize the SHRA, because security is more important than the truth.
Oh. And then Cap gets shot
. And dies. He totally dies (except he doesn’t but we’ll get to that). If ever there was an unintentional thesis statement for this event, running in the late stages of the Bush era, it would be this: “It’s better to trust that the powers that be who oversee the new America will keep you safe, even when they stage false flag operations, stick you in a gulag, and put their trust in monsters. All that civil liberty stuff was the old America. And the old America was hopeless. It wasn’t even on MySpace.” Epilogue: Consequences Keep Consequencing
As you can tell from that last paragraph, a lot of the fan reception to Civil War
likely had a lot to do with the period. This was the Bush era, a time where you were for America or against it. We were in the shadow of the Patriot Act, Gitmo, and widespread wiretaps, paranoid about what civil liberty we’d be asked to put on the pyre next in the name of Freedom. A story all about the warm, clenching fist of government control that tells you to ignore the collateral damage… well, it wasn’t great for the cultural moment.
The ideas of Civil War
aren’t necessarily bad ones. I frame Cap as the liberal dream of what America could be, but there are good arguments to be made that America has never
been that and Cap is just copium for liberals. His most recent title, Sentinel of Liberty
, opens with Steve saying he is
out of touch with the average American - not because he doesn’t watch NASCAR, but because he’s a WWII veteran who looks maybe 30 years old at most and whose best friends are all superheroes or spies. A narrative that has him on the wrong side of the issue and detonates his beliefs isn’t impossible
, but it probably shouldn’t be one where people who got powers due to a fluke of birth or a radiation accident are told by the government, “Join with us or we’ll send supervillains after you.” Hell, as the Civil War
movie proves, there is a way to tell a story about a superhero community torn in half by the idea of mandatory registration as government-controlled actors, and just why people would think that could be a bad idea (“Hey, remember when a good chunk of our intelligence apparatus turned out to be Nazi stay behinds?”).
But in the context of the era, and coupled with the execution, Civil War
felt like a hard sell, and you could feel the thumb pressing on the scale every second while reading it. The moral center of the Marvel Universe is wrong, the winning side employs sadistic murderers and has an extradimensional Gitmo, and the writer is telling you that any sane individual would be on Team Green Goblin Employer.
So how did that all work out? Well…
- With Cap seemingly dead, shot by his brainwashed love interest Sharon Carter as part of a plot by the Red Skull, Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier becomes the new Cap. Only it turns out Steve wasn’t killed, but shot with a time bullet that Billy Pilgrims his ass. He eventually comes back.
- Thor comes back, finds out what Tony did, and beats his ass all the way across post-Katrina New Orleans (thank you to Powman_7 for the link).
- The Secret Invasion event happens next, which leads to Skrull infiltrators hitting everything (this is also the explanation for Captain Mar-Vell’s miraculous resurrection: He was a Skrull all along). With Tony caught with his pants down and Norman Osborn seeming to save the day, Norman - who has been losing his shit for some time - takes over the Initiative and forms his own fascist cabal, HAMMER. To try and stop Norman from learning everything on every hero ever, Tony goes on the run and actually starts deleting his own brain, which he then reassembles with a backup from before anyone even thought of the SHRA. The fact that getting rid of Tony’s “Oops I did a fascism” period came out alongside Iron Man hitting theaters is a coincidence, I’m sure.
As for Spider-Man? It might not shock you, but having a hero without the resources of Tony Stark out himself to the world carries liabilities. An assassin who tries to kill Peter instead hits Aunt May, and it appears she’ll die of her injuries. All this leads to One More Day
… and if you thought the fans hated Civil War
? Oh, BABY.
 This is eventually explored in the pages of Wolverine
, of all books, as Wolverine decides maybe somebody should track down the person who actually killed hundreds of children. It’s revealed that Nitro was given power-boosting drugs by the CEO of Damage Control, Marvel’s designated “clean up after the super-battle” corporation, as a way of generating business. In a sign of how little this matters, Wolverine tells Maria Hill to her face that the person responsible for a mass casualty event is the pawn of a powerful conspiracy, and she basically says, “Not my problem.”
Cobie Smulders must thank the gods that her Maria Hill is written as somebody with basic human decency.
 Hilariously, when Sally Floyd was brought back during Nick Spencer’s Captain America
run because no one had piled enough dung on her corpse, this line was retconned to her asking him about Twitter
. Given everything Elon’s been doing lately, we’ll see if that ages just as poorly.