Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Resurgence of the Civil War

So, apparently the new superhero megamovies are going to be about the civil war arc. HAHAHAHAHAHA HAH HAHAHAHAH HA-

sorry, lemme 'splain.

I last dived into superhero comics just when that arc came out, because it was sort of a concrete arc with a definite beginning. Before, after, and during that phase, I was pretty much done with superheroes. However, it was entertaining to read what I did, because it was so amazingly bad. Then the video game about it came out, and it was so amazingly bad.

If you are a comic nerd, you probably know all about the civil war arc. For everyone else, here's the basic idea:

A terrorist attack convinces the government that people with superpowers cannot be allowed to run rampant, and they decide it's time to register them. The heroes split down the middle, half of them siding with the government's programs, and half against. Hence the title.

Now, this is a concept with an incredible amount of potential. Especially nowadays, with our hilariously racist and ineffectual "anti-terrorism" activities. Since it's a fictional universe, it could be played either way, with either side being "correct", or with both sides having merits, etc, etc.

But it's important to remember that fictional universes don't exist in a vacuum.

First, this is a non-mutant thing. Captain America and Iron Man and all those people. But Marvel and mutants are the progenitor of the "mutant registration" storylines. In fact, Marvel's universe is stained bloody red with the concept of registration from the start: Magneto is a concentration camp survivor.

Mutants not only have the chops to tell these stories, they did tell these stories. They started off with these stories and kept bringing them up. The entire nature of mutants gives credence to these stories, anchors them in believability.

On the other hand, with non-mutants, the universe is set up to tell stories of individuals proving their personal merit. Each hero chooses on their own to fight evil with whatever power they have personally managed to obtain.

So as you might expect, it quickly went awry. It felt like the "civil war" was between the writers, with half staunchly backing the registration as the right move, and the other half staunchly against it. Each writer obviously believed his side was right and the other side was bullshit, but since writers constantly rotated in and out of view as each new issue was released, the result was a chaotic mishmash.

In the end, the storyline went off the rails with cybernetic villains and corrupt prisons and so on. This could have been very interesting... But it was very rushed and was obviously just a way to get all the heroes to drop the issue and work together for the climax.

So... what do you think this movie will be about?

I bet it will be carefully washed out. We wouldn't want to draw any parallels to modern society, to our treatment of Muslims and anyone that looks vaguely Muslim. We wouldn't want to have any meat in our popcorn movies, or accidentally make anyone think!

Water it down, water it down.

From watching the trailer, it looks like they've watered it down to the extent where all they've kept is the nonsense writing, with all the heroes acting out of character for no reason. Without the social commentary, I wonder how well that will go over?

Edit: An earlier version of this essay forgot that DC basically doesn't exist, and that Marvel's responsible for literally everyone.

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