Apparently, the late shipping CIVIL WAR #4 shipped this week, with many shocking revelations. (Hint: We’re going to need a bigger grave.) However, reaction in the blogosphere has been, well, contemptuous.

Normally we take such things as momentary ventings, not life-changing moments of clarity: despite all the retailer and internet whining about CIVIL WAR, no one is going to stop buying it with 3 issues to go. Please, these are comics fans you’re talking about.

We did find this very very spoiler heavy analysis from Ye Olde Comick Booke Blogge very interesting though for pointing out what could be one of the marketing weaknesses of the series:

I have one interesting final note that came up while discussing this debacle with Chris from 2 Guys. This “Marvel Event” got major media coverage. It’s supposed to draw in non-comic readers and pique the interest of readers who stick primarily with DC books or may have shyed away from mainstream Marvel in favor of Image or even Marvel’s Ultimate or MAX lines. Yet, all the iconic characters that are known to non-comic fans–meaning even my mother knows who Spider-Man and Hulk are–are completely out of character.

Spider-Man: Wearing completely new costume, revealing secret identity, living in penthouse apartment, operating as part of a team and taking orders from Iron Man
Hulk: Not even there.

[snip]Is this really the Marvel Universe Joe Quesada thinks the masses wants?

New readers coming in off the streets after reading the Daily News really don’t care about shocking plot turns that involve subtle character changes in characters they didn’t really know about to begin with. One also wonders how these events would set up Marvel’s movie franchises, surely wthe most important thing going at Marvel, and an 800-lb gorilla that has forced many changes to comics storylines at both Marvel and DC in the past.

The common wisdom among comics insiders is that one of the greatest benefits of CIVIL WAR to Marvel merchandising will be to put Spider-Man in his bachelor state again. If that is indeed the case, you can see how that goal makes as much sense as the supposed “real world” ramifications in CIVIL WAR.

Us? We’ll read the trade.


  1. I think the primary comparative advantage Civil War has over most of the Big Universe Shattering Events of recent vintage is that even if the general public certainly doesn’t know who Goliath or the Young Avengers are (and may be shaky about what exactly the deal with Captain America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and others are) that the core storytelling beats are pretty instantly accessible.

    The series is about the “real world” ramifications of superheroes wearing masks and getting into big vigilante fights, not about the effects of merging multiple realities, rationalizing away old continuity glitches, etc. Even if people are unfamiliar with Spider-Man’s status quo or the exact nature of the Avengers’ charter, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get an intrigued novice caught up on those things than “so the son of Lex Luthor and Lois Lane from Earth-3…” or “the younger version of Kang from an alternate future, no not that alternate future, a different one” or whatever.

    In the past few years Marvel seems pretty willing to make sweeping changes to the “Original” Marvel Universe without being too concerned about how it would sync up to other media depictions of their characters. They apparently have the Ultimate Universe around as the entry-level books for those fans, and their prime concern seems to be not doing anything to specifically alienate Hollywood (a la the Fury mini-series). So I don’t really know if that’s weighing heavily on their minds right now. Or maybe the next Hulk movie is going to involve him going out to a gladiator planet and Daredevil II will be an Oz-like prison drama. I really don’t know.

  2. Obviously we’ll have to wait for the sale analysis to really judge, but I think Civil War took a decidely ‘internal’ turn with ish 4. Clone Thor? I doubt the masses would care.

    But I still applaud the Marvel U for screwing with the status quo.

    So Spider-Man is no longer a kid living with his Aunt in the ‘burbs. Sorry, but i don’t remember this being referenced in the Civil War mini so far? As for his new suit? I think we underestimate the audience’s ability to roll with the punches. You don’t need to know the years of backstory. It’s a new suit – so what!?!

    I wasn’t confused, and I have NEVER read a Spider-Man comic!

    I think the greatest advantage Civil War will have is a re-energised Marvel U.

    Let’s stop looking to the ‘world’ for some kind of vindication for the fact we love comics!

  3. Chris Eckert: “…(Marvel’s) prime concern seems to be not doing anything to specifically alienate Hollywood…”

    While I agree with this assessment, there is an Iron Man movie in the works, and Tony Stark isn’t exactly coming off very well in this mini-series. For that matter, he’s not exactly an angel in the Ultimates comic, either.

    Or so I’ve heard. I don’t think I have the brain cells to spare to try and read all of the CW stuff, which is also why I skipped out on Infinite Crisis.

  4. Can I borrow your trade when you’re done with it?

    Just my two cents: I’m apparently the only long time Webhead, that actually wants Spidey to remain married to Mary Jane. Perhaps it’s the fact that I sometimes mourn the redhead from my life that wasn’t to be (living not only superhero fantasies through the characters but also adolescent, and post-adolescent, “girl next door” fantasies). Irrespective of the cause, I want PP and MJ to stay together, dammit.

  5. I think Chris Eckert calls it as regards the appeal of Civil War. Outsiders reading the series don’t have to deal w/ the premise overload involved in most other big crossover events.

    To tell the truth, CW#4 is my favorite of the core series to date. Maybe because I wasn’t around for the clone Spider-Man saga, maybe because I don’t see what’s so bad about watching the characters get in over their heads. The poor bastards have got themselves in a real mess. The shot of Goliath in his giant grave was sad, brutal, and funny — a nice piece of black humor. And I’m curious to see what happens next, which is always a good thing w/ storytelling and not at all a common thing w/ superhero comic books.

  6. Although I am thoroughly enjoying CW, the plot holes are starting to annoy. Why beat Cap to a pulp and let a pitched battle rage causing injuries on both sides when Iron Man could have turned on his sound weapon immediately?

    They couldn’t shrink Bill Foster? They’ve got Hank Pym in their ranks for Pete’s sake!

    Why is Wonder Man, a being made of ionic energy sitting in the infirmary bruised and scratched up?

    And all the folks in the pro-registration ranks are really okay with creating a clone/cyborg Thor who is programmed and manipulated?