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On the final issue of “Civil War” from 1RightOpinion-Comics:

Then it was over. It was over and nothing happened! All the build up! All the controversy! The months of delayed gratification! For this!? It not only didn’t end with a bang, it didn’t end with a whimper. It barely ended with a fizzle.

Okay, I haven’t been reading the Civil War series. I’ve been hearing about it for months, read up on it on-line, and I’ll probably pick up the trade paperback when it comes out in a few months. I’m not particularly excited about it though, especially with all the stuff I’ve been reading about on-line. It really sounds to me like just another company-wide crossover that’s supposed to “change everything” (See: Onslaught, Heroes Reborn/Return, Operation: Zero Tolerance, House of M, Avengers: Disassembled). Basically, the stuff I really hate unless it’s done really well. There were a large number of these sorts of crossovers in the late-90s, when I was a pretty heavy comics reader. They are the reason I dropped reading comics on a monthly basis. Sometimes, the big crossovers are fun, or interesting anyway. In particular I really enjoy Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis, and I’m really keen to read 52, when it comes out in trade paperback.

The difference, I think, between what DC (who came out with Infinite Crisis and Identity Crisis) has done lately and what Marvel (Civil War, Avengers: Disassembled, House of M, etc.) has done, is that the DC writers and editors have looked at the DC stable of characters and the events and changes that have occurred over the past 15 or so years and said “Y’know these characters were once great, and they’ve been mucked about with too much, they need to be returned to what made them the icons they are,” and the Marvel writers/editors have looked at the Marvel stable of characters and said “we need to fuck with the status quo because our characters aren’t good enough the way they are.” I like the attitude that seems to be behind the DC stories, and their books aren’t Mickey Mouse either. Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and all the Countdown to Infinite Crisis books, did a lot of house cleaning and had a lot of pretty mature themes in them. Some villains were modified making them significantly more vile, but what the stories were about, ultimately, was the heroes learning what it meant to be heroes again (instead of just thugs with superpowers beating on other thugs with superpowers).

I think that’s where these huge stories really have to come from, if you intend on making changes to the status quo. It should be about large scale correction of bad judgment in character direction not large scale character re-direction, because when it comes down to it, you’ll just end up returning to what worked before.

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