Author: Mark Millar
Illustration: Steve McNiven
Print Release: 2007
Digital Release: 2011
Purchased on comiXology
The Marvel Universe is looming on the edge of chaos. It ultimately boils over as a small group of reality TV Superheroes, the New Warriors, surprise a group of supervillains with an all-out attack, simply to get good TV ratings. The results are catastrophic leaving a portion of Stamford, Connecticut in ruins. Following the disaster, many Superheroes enter the site to help with cleanup and locating survivors. Each hero present knows that things will never be the same. Civilians and leaders of the nation have had enough with the collateral damage inflicted upon the country. After one week, the U.S. Government passes the Superhero Registration Act demanding each super-powered individual to follow the mandate under official regulations. Those who refuse will be considered a criminal. This new law is praised by some and despised by others. It pits friend against friend, brother against brother, and Avenger against Avenger, which ushers in tragic deaths and betrayals. Basically, it is Team Iron Man vs Team Captain America, as Iron Man/Tony Stark is highly in favor of the law, while Captain America/Steve Rogers believes that it is not just. Whose side are you on? Beware of spoilers if you have not read this marvelous Marvel comic.
The Sides: With S.H.I.E.L.D, the U.S. President, and many different Superheroes behind him, Iron man hunts down the “criminals” and arrests them, taking them to a highly secure prison. Also, Tony Stark and Reed Richards are working on something that could turn the tides of the war in their favor. Besides Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic, other notable characters found on this side are: Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and The Thing.
Captain America on the other hand, goes underground with his trustworthy pal, Falcon, and organizes an anti-registration faction of heroes to fight back and attempt to rescue those taken captive. He is looked at as a traitor to some, while looking like a patriot to others. His team also attempts to ally itself with those who live in the ocean at Atlantis. Other heroes who join Captain’s army are: The Human Torch, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, along with many others.
The difference between the two teams, besides disobeying or following the new law, is Iron Man’s team begins enlisting supervillians to help bring down the opposing side. Some heroes will stay completely out of the fight, such as the X-Men and Doctor Strange. Others will begin to question the side they are on and end up switching squads e.g. The Invisible Woman and Spider-Man.
The Pros: Seeing Captain America kicking the crap out of the numbskull, The Punisher, while the rest of the team watches was awesome and hilarious! Don’t disrespect human lives while Cap is present, or you will feel what his shield and kneecap (pun intended) are made of! Overall, this seven-part series was very fun to read, even though these classic characters are at each other’s throats. The plot twists were very entertaining, and the illustrations were bright and colorful, which is what you would expect from Marvel. The ending was a surprise for me. I did not see it coming, and feel as if Captain America got the short end of the stick. Mark Millar wrote Captain America true to his character: the better person. Iron Man’s Fifty State Initiative is a really cool idea though.
The Cons: Not that it is a bad thing, but there was more dialogue than epic battles.
Warning: This masterpiece of a story was as good as Spider-Man’s one-liners!
Jer gives it 5/5.