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LightlyFrosted said on June 18th, 2010 at 7:30 am

Then, let’s not even get into the number of villains, or even common criminals who would want their sentences overturned or at least re-tried because they had previously been denied the constitutional right to face their accuser in a court of law. With a bill in place mandating transparency in superheroic identities, whatever legislation previously allowed costumed crime-fighters to send such crooks to jail would likely also be overturned.

The courts would be flooded with retrials and suchlike, bogging the American legal system down to an impassable mass. Realistically speaking, the right to a fair trial within a reasonable period would probably mean that many cases would start getting thrown out.

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Nice. Of course, this scenario would require us to have a functioning press corp.

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mymatedave10 said on June 18th, 2010 at 7:48 am

It would also require the general populace of the Marvel Universe to not be gullible idiots who act however the plot requires.

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One quible: by this point, Tony was jacked up eyeballs deep on Extremis nanites, and therefore actually superhuman outside of his suit.

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Probably the reporters wouldn’t know that. :)

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I’m with you – I’ve made several posts of my own over the years on how dysfunctional the Initiative and SHRA were – nevermind that given the results, they would have been better off leaving well enough alone.

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As I said in MGK’s post; “There’s just so many ways to express how stupid CIVIL WAR was. This is a particularly good one.”

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Now people lets be fair. Its not like telling a good version of “Civil War” is impossible. Kurt Busiek managed to do it with just a few issues of Astro City AND throw in a “Secret Invasion” that was actually global in feel at the same time…

In conclusion Busiek should write all of Marvel’s Big Events. They’ll make more sense, read better and require fewer tie-in issues…

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LurkerWithout: I agree that “Civil War” would have worked if they’d used a light touch. If Marvel came out and said “A superhero registration law is going to be the excuse for our next big everybody vs. everybody punchout crossover,” I think we could all have suspended disbelief the way we have to for anything involving superheroes to work. But, of course, the second you start claiming it’s “realistic” and an intelligent exploration of security vs. freedom, then they’re just asking to have this stuff pulled apart.

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The Stark said on June 18th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I’m tired of my superheroes being portrayed as real people, worrying about paying rent, babies appearing out of nowhere, or getting raped and murdered.

I want my superheroes fighting super-villains, happy to do so without worry or regret (I can except some angst from my superheroes when they miss their dead parents or home planet or when they discuss how society can’t except them for being ‘dfifferent’).

I’m tired of my superheroes wearing costumes made to look realistic, yet still covered in useless pouches, cartridge belts or other accessories that make them look like they have a discount card at the near Army surplus store. And why does everyone dress like they suddenly are sneaky ninjas?

I want my superheroes dresses in brightly colored spandex outfits, that defy logic or the actuall ability to be made. This is why there are unstable molecules after all. My superheroes are supposed to draw attention and be noticed.

I’m tired of my superheroes not being able to solve their problems with fists or eyebeams or cold zappy powers. Some how all the supervillains became the President of the United States or the Head of SHIELD or the personal assistant of Paris Hilton, making them untouchable and rendering my superheroes impotant to stop them. Of course they can be the ruler of some foreign country embroiled in political or social repression, that’s perfectly fine.

I want my superheros fighting bad guys. I want them to be able to hit them, toss them through walls, or drop mountains on them. Granted I know the heroes win, but the villains still get away, but I’m okay with that. I’m even okay if my superheroes sometimes lose.

I’m tired of everything I know about my superheroes being altered because some hack writer thinks they are better than the people that proceeded them in the industry. I’m just waiting to read Geoff Johns version of ‘Lord of the Rings’. I hear that Gandalf is really Aragorn’s father.

I want my superheroes to grow and change. But I want those changes to be important and to then become part of that superheros legacy. Bruce and Clark are friends, they may not agree on all things but it’s a matter of methodology. Peter and Mary Jane equalled perfection.

And one final thing, stop bringing back my superheroes that have died doing the right thing in life. Barry gave his life to warn the Multiverse of it’s impending destruction. It was a good death. Kara died trying to stop a bad guy bigger than she was (and because someone at DC wanted the title “Last Survivor of Krypton” to actually be true). Bucky died, not sort of died, but died died.

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LurkerWithout: Busiek was retelling the Kree/Skrull War.

You pointing out how it also works as a retelling of Civil War and Secret Invasion just drives home how weaksauce Mark Millar and Brian Bendis were compared to Roy Thomas.

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In order for them to stop bringing heroes back, people have to embrace new characters, and that just does not happen outside internet discourse.

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I can think of two examples of recent memory where a writer tackled the same premise that Millar was attempting to do in “Civil War,” done like a million times better:

CAPTAIN MARVEL, Volume 4 Issue 13 (2003). In one issue, Peter David skewers the high holy crap out of the Iraq War quagmire.

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST #21-27: “Escape from the Eighth City” (2009). In trying to restore K’un L’un to honor following a successful revolution, Lei Kung inherits a mess that threatens to destroy the sacred city. So many parallels to be found to the present mess the United States is in.

I read these two different stories and compare them to what “Civil War” was supposed to be, and all I can think of is how the wrong writers seem to get the plum assignments…

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Thousand Sons said on June 18th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

“Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a Cosmic Control Rod. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

-Annihilus, addressing the UN General Assembly on American occupation of Negative Zone

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LurkerWithout: Busiek DID write an intercompany crossover – MAXIMUM SECURITY. It was worse than any of the stuff Marvel’s put out in the last ten years.

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@VoodooBen: The story itself may have been forgettable, but that was also the best thing about it. At the end of the day, when MAXIMUM SECURITY was over, it did so little to the respective storylines of Marvel’s ongoing titles that you could pretty much pretend it never happened.

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Actually, Cap may’ve been hunted by the government for any number of charges unrelated to the Superhuman Registration Act. He’s military, so when he declined to take Maria Hill’s side, that could be considered dereliction of duty. When he busted out of the Helicarrier, he attacked federal agents/soldiers (depending on how you define SHIELD agents), damaged federal property (jumping out the window of the Helicarrier and stole a frigging fighter jet and basically kidnapped the pilot.

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@zach: While I’d argue that Maria Hill was way out of line, it is nevertheless longstanding tradition in the MU that SHIELD is basically a law unto itself. It wouldn’t have mattered if Maria Hill was making baby and puppy empanadas for her mid-morning snack, SHIELD could find a way to justify the confrontation between her and Cap in a way that makes Cap look bad. Norman Osborne didn’t suddenly turn SHIELD into fascist dicks, the toolkit was always there.

Re: John’s original post, I have to agree. Assuming you applied the realism filter to the MU, Tony wouldn’t have held a press conference AT ALL. Pepper would have sat him down and gone ‘Tony, if you’re serious about unraveling fifteen years of deception, you don’t hold a conference. You put out a STATEMENT. I mean, my god, the stuff you were up to in the 90s alone… see if you can get a pardon for some of this first, okay? In the meantime I’ll get to work with PowerPoint.’

This is kinda why I prefer the Ultimate universe. It’s not quite as bogged down by the stupidity of ages past (getting there tho) and when they go for realism its generally a bit more… well, realistic. (I will refrain from commenting on Ultimatum.)

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Of course, in real world, something like Superhero Registration Act would have been passed as soon as superheroes started appearing in significant numbers rather than decades down the line.

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Thousand Sons said on June 18th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Y’know, Tony Stark really *is* an asshole. Outing himself as Iron Man really wasn’t that brave of a move on his part. At the end of the day, without the armor, he’s *still* Tony Stark. Uber rich, with the resources to protect himself from super villainry. Average Superhero Guy, whos really Joe Snuffy Nobody? The guy who lives in a one bedroom apartment in a crummy part of town and puts on his union suit to fight crime because its the right thing to do? *Thats* the guy likely to get a bullet in the head while buying a hotdog at 7-11.

I never read Civil War (other than MGK’s clever photoshops) so I dont know if that was ever addressed. I’m kind of glad, because what I have read fills me with rage.

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@Greg – Good point. :)

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I’m still baffled by the whole “Captain America needs to register!” thing; the dude was already registered six ways from Sunday, after all. Everyone knew who he was, he was in the Army when he became a superhero, he had Avengers Priority and SHIELD clearance and probably a half-dozen other official ties to LEOs all over the goddamn world. If anything, this is the guy you point to and say “See? Captain America has been a registered superhero for decades! He’s responsible, well-trained, and effective! Registration works!”

Of course, you’d also think that Tony Stark would’ve just steamrolled the SHRA administration into automatically signing off on all current and former Avengers, seeing as he went to so much trouble in the past to make the Avengers ID system robust and secure enough to positively identify heroes without jeopardizing their secret identities. (And wasn’t that why he was so gung ho about having to implement the SHRA sooner, when he could direct it, rather than later, when he wouldn’t be able to?)

In conclusion, Mark Millar is a dope.

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There’s some valid points, but in their defense it was the Bush administration. This is the “we never said there were weapons of mass destruction, we never said Iraq had anything to do with 9/11” guys. They got away with this shit, only a few people like Jon Stewart called them on it. It’s the media giving someone a free pass because they’re the default leadership after a crisis, does that sound familiar?

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TheStark: “I’m tired of my superheroes not being able to solve their problems with fists or eyebeams or cold zappy powers.”

They still do that, which is actually worse than before in the 60s.

In the 60s and 90s and whenever-the-fuck, superheroes typically fought the supervillain and defeated them with a solid punching that solved all the problems. Which was fine because generally said problems were, “The supervillain is about to kill you” or “rob that bank” or “shrink Metropolis” or “kidnap your girlfriend” or something equally simple.

Now, supervillains’ plan something that is entrenched into society in such a way, that a simple pummeling that undoes the dastardly plan becomes a deus ex machina, a cheap ‘get out of the story’ climax.

Just look at any of the big Marvel events; CIVIL WAR, SECRET INVASION, and worst of all, THE SIEGE. Here, in THE SIEGE, we have Norman Osborne, a registration act, the Initiative, and a war on a sovereign nation of Gods, and it’s a vast political and societal web of intrigue and at the end The Sentry goes a bit crazy, Thor kills him and punches out Osborne and suddenly *everything is back to normal*.

Fucking cheap.

If they’re going to end the story with a basic “hero vs villain” punching, then maybe the story shouldn’t be about gray morality and “who is the villain anyway?” Because when they hack-write their way out with a cheap trick like this, it only makes them look like tossers.

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Thousand Suns, MGK pointed out one of the big points concerning Civil War in that those who were against it were the very guys you mentioned, while those for it were usually already publicly known rich white people (i.e. Iron Man, Wasp, Pym). Spider Man logically should have been on the side of the anti-registrants but he was working for Stark, and somehow Stark got him to reveal his identity, which considering the weight of logic for him to keep his identity secret to protect his family never, ever made any sense. Combined with opening himself up to a lawsuit from Jameson and it was as bad a literary move as Reed Richards inventing a fictional science so writers could justify his supporting the SHRA even after fighting against the mutant registration act years ago.

I agree with what Zeno said in that Millar is a dope, but I feel those who are moreso are the guys who keep buying his crap. I don’t like Quesada, but from a business standpoint he is right to keep giving Millar and Bendis carte blanche. Shit sells.

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And there was a superhero registration act in the early 90s, which Reed opposed.

It led to the Fantastic Four punching out the US senate.

Good times, good times.

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Wait, the FF punched out the Senate? Oh man, I hope that hasn’t vanished into retroactive continuity yet, like when Cap kicked Nixon’s ass. Was Lieberman in the Senate back then? Because I would love to see Ben Grimm hand him his ASS.

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The FF didn’t literally punch out the Senate. Reed did literally blackmail a bunch of Senators, though, by pointing out that the Superhuman Registration Act was critically vague on what exactly a superhuman was…and that as a brilliant scientist, Reed had designed a device that could actually test for a deviation from baseline human…and that several Senators in fact tested as superhuman, something they might not want coming out in the middle of an election year if they knew what was good for them…

And the Senate tabled the Act. :)

Of course, he couldn’t do something like that this time, because, um…science! (Actually because being a ham-fisted analogy for the Bush administration trumps plot logic any day, but…)

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Thousand Sons said on June 19th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

“They came first for the Mutants,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Mutant.”

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I don’t know, man… it’s more like
“They came first for the Mutants,
And I spoke up because my son is a mutant.
Then they came for all superheroes
And I joined up and became THEY, because I was kind of bored and wanted to design an inescapable extradimensional prison.”

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@John Seavey: Acts of Vengeance!

When Marvel makes their back issues so readily available, they really shouldn’t get testy when someone points out when one of their “new” ideas was done ten years prior – and smarter, too.

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@Strannik: Completely agreed. Especially for mutants because, as a society, we’d really want to know if we were living next door to the Guthries for our own safety. There’s be a level of ‘safe’ mutant power, of course, but certain powers would see people moved to specialist locations.

This does sound harsh, but a point made by a minor character in Wildstorm’s WildC.A.T.s was a good one: his parents were superpowered, drunks and got into domestic violence activity that would level blocks. No way people like that get to stay in the community or even into a general population prison.

Nice to know how meaningful Civil War was too.

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Just remember, guys… Tony doesn’t have to be sorry, because he thought he was right at the time.

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P.S. – for those who don’t speak sarcasm, that was sarcasm. I can’t believe freaking Thor let him off the hook with that insane rationale.

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Heh.

Quicksilver, of all people, pointed out that mutants could be a big issue, and a Sentinel program wasn’t the worst idea in the world, so long as it wasn’t run by a Hitler wannabe. X-Factor, I think.

Had a point there. Unfortunate that so many Gyrich level tools have been the ones designing the safety measures in the MU. Really polarizes the debate, one would think.

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@Joe

I sort of think Thor is being forgiving on account of the Tony who did all that insane stuff is dead, and Tony 2.0 (now with Riboflavin) is probably reluctant to admit that he could ever go that mad with power. Thor knows pride when he sees it, and its not exactly a sin he himself is without, nor unused to dealing with.

I sort of see Tony’s insane rationale as a sop to all the writers and editors who basically turned him into a supervillain; they already killed that Tony, they’re not gonna kick him when he’s down. That’s pretty meta, tho. I, personally, am willing to forgive and move on since Tony 1.0 got what was coming to him, especially since I thought World’s Most Wanted was an excellent arc of him doing what he could to make things right before eating it.

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I thought Tony 1.0 was the one that murdered female Yellowjacket and Quicksilver’s daughter’s nanny?

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That would make the Teenage Tony fiasco be Tony 1.5? Which would make Civil War Tony be Tony 2.0 and now Current Tony is Tony 3.0? Man, it’s hard to know the Tony without a scorecard these days! :)

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Thousand Sons said on June 21st, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Crisis on Infinite Starks!

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Kid Kyoto said on June 21st, 2010 at 4:14 pm

“It would also require the general populace of the Marvel Universe to not be gullible idiots who act however the plot requires.”

Or it would require the general populace of the US not to be gullible idiots who act however the media tells us.

One or the other.

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“Or it would require the general populace of the US not to be gullible idiots who act however the media tells us.”

You seem to have forgotten that every other major country in the MU jumped on the same bandwagon.

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@ KenB3

Dude, it wasn’t just John Stewart. EVERYONE called the Bush Administration on their bullshit. Many *conservatives* like Lou Dobbs called them on their bullshit.

@ Kid Kyoto

The average citizen of the US is not a gullible idiot in real life. The average US citizen doesn’t vote because they know it’s pointless. The media will only run ads of politicians who have major corporate backing, which means we are only shown candidates who have major corporate backing, and having major corporate backing generally makes you inherently corrupt.

That said, one of the biggest problems I have with this act was the implications of the second amendement. The Second Amendment was originally written so that private citizens could have the power to overthrow the government. Many people who were required to register had no powers except a fancy gun/armor suit/other form of “Armament.”

The whole “required draft” thing essentially made it illegal for civilians to own modern weapons.(Modern by the standard of the MU I mean.)

This in turn pretty thoroughly violated the intent of the second amendment- they were creating a government which the people could not overthrow, which they could only *hope* would wield the power responsibly. If that is your countries’ philosophy then fine, but it is not American philosophy. I am not saying that American philosophy is better…but it is not inferior either. Switzerland made it work.

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When I said *private citizen* I was referring to the general public as opposed to people in military service. Sorry for any confusion.

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*sigh* made the armament of public citizens work, not American philosophy. Sorry for triple post, won’t happen ever again.

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