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So–the premise of the new Civil War II series is as follows:
We have a brand new Inhuman who can see the future and it almost always comes true.
Captain Marvel sez “He just gave us the heads up and because of him, we stopped one of those douchey Celestials from exterminating the planet. Without the kid, we wouldn’t have had enough time to prepare and stop him.”
Tony Stark (?!! This is wild-fuckingly-out of character, btw) sez “But…I’m…uncomfortable because THOUGHT CRIMES! Minority Report! Vague, poorly defined objections to being pro-active”
Kid sez “Uh–Captain Marvel? Thanos is going to attack Earth”
Carol’s group goes out, gets asses handed to them (Rhodey dies*, She Hulk may be crippled)…but still saves the world from Thanos.
Tony goes apeshit–“YOU KILLED RHODEY! YOU BASTARD!” and the fight begins over whether using this pre-cog** to prevent loss of life proactively is good or bad.
This will lead to a bunch of dumb fight scenes that build up to a big fight scene as one side is all “Prevention is BAD! THOUGHT CRIMES!” and the other is “Proactive is good. Saving lives…good” - I’m not sure how this will lead to punching but mark my words, it will.
I honestly do not get Tony’s problem (other than bad, out-of-character writing). Rationally, you’re not going to waste this kid’s talent to worry about a liquor store hold-up. (Current ham-fisted Spider-Man Civil War tie-in aside–obviously the series will end with Peter deciding “Proactive=BAD” because the kid’s vision of some science guy turning bad will have be misinterpreted so that proves you shouldn’t use advance notice to stop the Space Phantom invasion or something). You’re going to use him to check for Celestials. For Elders. For Shuma-Gorath. Space Phantoms! And so forth.
And why is this kid such a big deal? It’s not like they haven’t had to deal with precogs before. Mantis and Moondragon (and Carol) all had minor precog abilities. So does Spidey, technically (spider-sense). Madame Web. Destiny. Phoenix (maybe). So…why the hysteria?
The first Civil War was a totally screwed up mess because nobody actually agreed on what the law that was passed and signed was (Per the pro-registration books, you had the choice to get trained/licensed or retire from crime-fighting if you wanted to use your powers. This is sane and constitutional. Per the anti-registration books, if you had powers, you would be conscripted for life or be shipped off to a space-gulag. Which has the disadvantage of being so unconstitutional that it wouldn’t survive a challenge in any court in the USA). Civil War II is just as silly as the anti-reg side of the first Civil War. And again: Tony’s position is wildly out of character and completely over-the-top just-plain-wrong.
Or is there some nuance I’m missing about the inherent goodness of stopping those jackass Celestials from “passing judgement” on Earth?
*Black guy dies first again. Last time it was Bill “Goliath” (or “Giant Man”?) Foster. What does Bendis have against non-Luke Cage black super-heroes?
**As opposed to the 30 or so other pre-cogs running around in Marvel.
ETA: 224-ish per this page. Even if we reduce it by 3/4ths to get rid of the “I can sense danger 2 seconds into the future”-types, there’s still more than 50 others running around.
Alas, just like Civil War I, the characterization has gone straight to hades.
(Can anyone really believe Reed Richards would imprison unregistered super-powered-individuals in the Negative Zone? Nuh uh.)
Remember A vs. X? Can anyone really believe Captain America would try to seize custody of someone without any process of law at all, and, indeed, without even being willing to discuss the matter? (“Hey, Cap, compromise: we’ll take her to Muir Island, where Moira McTaggert can watch her, in one of the best genetics labs in the world, and you can station, say, four Avengers for site security.”)
BAD characterization. The writers keep mucking this up. It’s depressing as all stink.
(In contrast, take the recent “intervention” that Storm tried to do with Beast, where he got all mad and said, “This isn’t an intervention. It’s a trial!” Okay, that was characters making mistakes, but it was in character. I can see Storm misjudging Hank, and Hank getting bent way out of shape, out of all proportion. He is a Beast, after all, and part of that is anger issues. That was GOOD writing!)
Yes, I can absolutely believe that. Because Reed Richards is fucking terrible.
As for Tony Stark, I didn’t mind his initial, “Hey, maybe we should figure out what’s going on with this kid before we trust every thing he says unconditionally,” stance, since that would be a pretty easy way for someone to manipulate the heroes for their own ends. I don’t even mind him flipping his lid and lashing out at people because he just learned his best friend is dead. But that works for, like, one issue, and it doesn’t explain why anyone else is going to follow his lead in fighting with Captain Marvel. I don’t see any remotely realistic way they can spin this into an ongoing conflict that rends the entire superhero community.
I’ve been avoiding this crossover because I got enough of shitty Bendis comics from his recent run on X-Men, sounds like I made the right choice.
What’s funny is that it really shouldn’t be that difficult to properly do a ‘thought police’ story since it’s been done countless other places, but apparently a good incident to make Stark’s position make sense hasn’t happened yet. There’s still time though I suppose.
I agree. Tony Stark is a self-made man, so not trusting an intelligence source that’s a black box he can’t pull apart makes sense. And not giving this precog any legal weight is similarly justified. But that just means you use him as your early warning radar and wait until you’ve verified what he said before you commit yourself to doing something you might regret.
I haven’t followed FF for a long time… To me, RR is the “old” RR – the slightly myopic techno-optimist, with a moral character right up there alongside Benton Quest. A good guy, if somewhat inclined to lose the forest for the trees. Every now and then his wife has to kind of seduce him, before he remembers he’s still very much in love with her.
I don’t know where this “terrible” RR came from, but may the writers and editors who made him so be sent back to college English Composition classes for 5,000 years studying Aristotles poetics. Bassards.
Thank you…THANK YOU(!!), Trinopus! As much as Reed’s haters get on my nerves, I unfortunately can’t 100% fault them given how the character and his characterization have been rather brutally handled during the past decade, ESPECIALLY the first Civil War and Mark Millar’s gawdawful FF run.* As a matter of fact, I would dare say that nobody has gotten Reed 100% right since Scott Lobdell during the very dreadfully and unfairly short-lived Lobdell/Alan Davis FF run in 1998 (those three issues were sheer heaven to a FF nut). And before Lobdell, maybe, MAYBE Walt Simonson got Reed near 100% right after John Byrne…IMO, he wrote one of the last truly great Reed/Doom fights in FF #352. But other than Simonson, Lobdell, and maybe, MAYBE Mark Waid and/or Jonathan Hickman**, nobody has honestly gotten Reed at least almost 100% right post-Byrne.
And I’d still say all of that if I didn’t have a full-sized Randy Bowen statue of Reed (along with a mid-sized Bowen bust of the Thing and a fancy Bowen bust-esque (but made by Applause) mug of Dr. Doom) adjacent to my desk here.
Anyways, this entire thread cements my initial thoughts upon the very announcement of the second Civil War event AND those thoughts’ amplification when Bendis was announced as the event’s writer (again)…utter beyond utter crap, to put it quite mildly. There’s a lot I could say, but I’ll try to keep it somewhat simple…when characters AND stories can be written without any guidelines or basis whatsoever during these dumbass events, which also do their damnedest to steamroll over any and all self-contained books (what very few there are), is it seriously any wonder that the comic book industry is struggling the most it has ever struggled?
How bad was it? It generated THE WORST SALES EVER in FF history until Matt Fraction’s equally abysmal run in 2013.
** - For the life of me, I can’t get into their FF because of there being way too much emphasis on the literal side of the FF being a family right down to the children (ESPECIALLY Valeria…THE WORST character in FF history) getting too damn much screen time…but that’s a whole 'nother discussion.
It’s also… it’s just so easy to come up with a situation that’s genuinely morally ambiguous, and has good arguments for being on either side.
Forget Thanos. Have the newly minted psychic have a vision of a young mutant who, when he comes into his power, is going to accidentally cause cataclysmic damage. One side of the argument wants to run off immediately, and isolate him before he can kill anyone. The other side is like, “Wait, he hasn’t actually done anything yet…” Team Pro-Active runs out and grabs the guy up anyway, and in the course of doing so, his powers activate, and he causes significant damage - but much less than was prophesied. One side says, “See? We prevented a catastrophe!” The other side says, “You CAUSED a catastrophe. If you hadn’t gone after this guy right away, we maybe could have resolved this without anyone dying at all.”
Yeah, Reed’s a good guy when written properly. Some rando’s twitter-fueled retrofitting of his Silver Age appearances notwithstanding. He and the other members of the Fantastic Four are some of the few Marvel characters that I feel truly have the ‘superhero’ mindset. Others include Captain America (before recent… unpleasantness), Spider-Man (before Mephisto unpleasantness) and Hercules. Characters that, if you give them a choice between two evil options, will punch you in the face and find a third way. And then there was Civil War, written by Mark Millar, the comic book equivalent of Michael Bay… “Characterization? Fuck that, we need more explosions.”
Civil War II #2 just came out and it tries to explain what’s going on.
Stark has apparently gone completely nuts. I mean, kidnapping and abusing a helpless hostage type nuts. Ok, fair enough. “Hero goes nuts” stories are fair game. But…
He tries to explain his reasoning for not wanting anyone to use future-viewing kid*'s visions. These are:
a) the kid could be wrong and/or these could be visions of what MIGHT happen, not what WILL happen. (in which case…no harm done if you put a few people as early observers on potential disaster situations. Future-Kid sees a bunch of evil elder-gods break out of the Cancerverse, so a couple of weeks before, you station a half-dozen cosmic types at the portal to keep an eye on things. There is no downside to this.)
b) “What about bias?” shrieks Tony. Could the kid’s upbringing have biased him against certain races? Genders? Religions? (So if the possibility of bias means you can’t consider eyewitness testimony for future viewing, it would also have to disallow present testimony. Um…congrats, Tony. There goes pretty much every legal system ever devised)
I don’t care that crazy-grief-stricken Tony isn’t being rational. It’s that other, presumably sane people are agreeing.
And what is it with Marvel/Bendis/Iron Man. Right now, Iron Man is Marvel’s highest profile character (or in the top two or three). The last time Bendis got his hands on Iron Man (Civil War 1), they had to actually restore his brain from a pre-Civil War backup to get the blood off his hands and make the character non-toxic again. At best, this is just more of the same.
*As opposed to any of the other 50 or so precogs running around
I think the end result will be the death Tony Stark(at least for now). My wild prediction for who will take up the mantle of Iron Man? A mechanical genius with a new lease on life and not a small bit of ego, who has also been seen recently in Iron Man’s own books-Victor Von Doom.