Comic Review: Secret Wars Civil War – The Iron and The Blue | FanboysInc

Comic Review: Secret Wars Civil War – The Iron and The Blue

By Jeff Ayers

Writer: Charles Soule

Artists: Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Sunny Gho

$4.99

Marvel Comics

Marvel isn’t rolling out their tie-in titles to their mega event, Secret Wars, just yet. Even though many are on their second and third issues by this point, there are still a few that haven’t debuted, like the hotly anticipated Civil War series. A hugely successful series in 2006, it was originally penned by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven. It laid out a startling storyline that pitted hero against hero because of the impending Superhero Registration Act. Iron Man was for it, because of his future thinking brain, and Steve Rogers/Captain America was staunchly against it. The resolution came with a heavy price – both sides receiving losses and broken friendships, and the “death” of Captain America. (He later returned, because COMICS!)

The success of that initial run made many comic fans excited for the return to those conflicts and characters in the Secret Wars Battleworld setting. Charles Soule definitely has his work cut out for him, filling the shoes of Millar while also continuing the story from a different point. See, in this version, their wasn’t a end to the conflict; instead, it got worse and the United States of America fractured and suffered for it. Because of the in fighting of the heroes, and a well placed bomb that we are sure to figure out its origins as this series continues, over 15 million regular, non powered human beings lost their lives in the super heroes civil war.

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That is a crazy number to fathom, and would most certainly create such a country ending divide that is depicted in this issue. Iron Man took the East of the country, and renamed it The Iron, because Tony Stark can be a little egotistical if you haven’t heard. The Iron is depicted as a very safe police state, run by Tony and the powered beings that backed his side. Captain America on the other hand took the West, deeming it The Blue. His version is a much more “free state” ideal – if you hurt no one, and help where you can, you will be left alone. Yet each side seems to have its own troubles, and both Tony and Steve might not be the ones in charge anymore thanks to roving gangs and underground factions.

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This issue centers around a proposed peace talk between Tony and Steve, and just what they want to achieve, and if they truly want an end to this conflict. Unfortunately, everything doesn’t always work out the way you want, and new mysteries are put in place by the end of the issue.

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The “Best There Is”: I really dug this issue because of a few things. First of all, Leinil Francis Yu brings his best to these pages. His style is so modern comic meets movie storyboard, that it fits right in to the conflict and the characters at hand. It really ramps up the action when needed, and is classy and articulate when they are talking through dialogue. Also, I really enjoyed how this story played out on its own. It took beats from the original line, and slightly changed the outcome of an event from the middle of the series, resulting in a catastrophe rather than an endgame like it did. This was a really cool way to tell this tale, and also not have to worry so much about Battleworld or Secret Wars.

The “Isn’t Very Nice”: As much as I was happy that this story existed outside the realm of the effects of Secret Wars, it did bring up some glaring questions. This is NOT the United States, it is only a fraction of it that exists from this timeline, stitched together on BattleWorld. So what exactly are the borders of The Iron and The Blue? Is the explanation of the “15 Million souls” lost in the Civil War conflict explained away because of BattleWorld? Also, their is never a mention of Doctor Doom, who has supplanted himself as “god” in every realm on BattleWorld. This is evident that in most other tie ins we have seen, any of the “leaders” of those realms are referred to as lords or barons, and all report to the highest authorities, namely Doom and his police force, the Thors. Maybe we will see them crop up in later issues, but it was kinda weird not hearing a single mention of any of that in this first one.

FBI Score: 8.5 out of 10. I really enjoyed reading this, and the art by Yu was just so good as usual. Revisiting these characters, and seeing them dealing with an “unending” civil war, rather than the w=one we read in 2006-207, is very neat. But the omission of the larger picture, and no references to Doom or anything else tied to Secret Wars left more questions than I wanted from this issue.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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