Another Pilot Down: The Artwork of George Gonzalez

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Marvel Comics "Civil War"

Low and behold, this little town surprises me yet again. It seems we finally have a comic book store here in Laredo again! Oh man, I can’t begin to tell you the last time I was in a comic store here in this city!

Needless to say, I think I might be getting into comics again. They had a bunch of neat stuff (like any decently awesome comic shop should be). Tons of toys and posters and movie props. The guy who owns it even told me they have a friend coming down next week who helped do some of the props for the Dark Knight! They’re gunna have them on display at the store after the movie’s release. He says their getting Bat-arangs for sure, as well as one secret that his friend couldn’t say. (Ooohh.. I wonder what it is!!)

So, for my first purchase I decided to buy the trade paperback copy of Marvel Comic’s “Civil War” series. During my stay at Ralph’s apartment in San Antonio this past weekend, he showed me his copy of “Civil War”, which is a groundbreaking Marvel Comics event that permanently shaped the storylines of beloved pop-culture super heroes. I had known of this series for a few years now, but never got around to actually owning any of the stories. (I just read a summary of it in Wikipedia, I think. Which was no fun at all.)

Well, I had no excuse not to own it now so I bought it, and I have to say that this book is stunning. It is a massive achievement in terms of comic book storytelling. Not only is it very adventurous and takes chances but it says so much about the times we’re living in and because of it, it really it’s close to home.

“Civil War” involves the introduction of a Superhuman Registration Act to the United States. The act requires any person in the United States with superhuman abilities to register with the federal government as a "human weapon of mass destruction", reveal his/her true identity to the authorities, and undergo proper training. Those who sign also have the option of working for S.H.I.E.L.D., earning a salary and benefits such as those earned by other American civil servants. Characters within the superhuman community in the Marvel Universe split into two groups: one advocating the registration as a responsible obligation and the other opposing the law on the grounds that it violates civil liberties and the protection that secret identities provide.

It’s a powerful read and the symbolism in both Captain America and Iron Man’s decisions is just genius. The relationship between Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic is tested to a breaking point. Spider-Man shows the world whom he really is, and George W. Bush gives Tony Stark a high ranking job.

..there is much to be said, but I will leave it at that. I recommend it if you’re into comic book super heroes. It really is a great book. I think I’m going to go check out “Batman: The Killing Joke” as well as that one Batman novel Frank Miller wrote which inspired a lot of the imagery in Batman Begins.

Speaking of Batman, the day is almost here. I can hardly wait. I hear the showtimes for the midnight showing at the mall are all sold out. It’s going to be an insane night.

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