Civil War: Can it be saved?

After reading Civil War #6, the answer is definitely no. In my opinion, this is the worst event comic DC or Marvel has put out in the three years since I jumped back into comics. Civil War makes Identity & Infinite Crisis look like f#&k!ng Shakespeare. House of M, is the next great American novel compared to Civil War.

No matter how this ends, it cannot overcome the crap in the previous 6 issues.

If it wasn’t for the amazing artwork by Steve McNiven and the star power of Mark Millar, this series wouldn’t be a hit; people would have dropped it halfway through if it was done by some B-listers. Marvel really dropped the ball by breaking the story up into the various tie-ins. If some of those stories would have been incorporated into Civil War proper, it would’ve been a much better mini-series.

Just take a look at the following comparisons and ponder what could have been:

I took a look at the page count for Civil War issues 1-6. It started off with a bang at 33 pages for issue 1. Since then, issues 2-6 have each come in at an astounding 22 pages. That is a total of 143 pages over six issues. I read earlier today that #7, the final issue, is on track for 28 pages. That would bring the grand total to 171 pages for a :blockbuster” seven-issue mini-series.

I then had a great idea and thought about how this stacks up to some all-time, truly great mini-series, so I pulled out my trades for Kingdom Come and Watchmen. Kingdom Come was originally published as a four-issue Prestige Format mini-series and came in at 212 pages. Watchmen was a 12-issue maxi-series, so I only counted the first six issues, which came in at 166 pages.

In comparison to Watchmen, Civil War is down 23 pages when looking at the first six issues of each. Just to clarify, I’m not counting the excerpts of “Under The Hood” at the end of every Watchmen issue. When Civil War goes against Kingdom Come it gets even worse. To keep the fight fair, I factored in the entire run of Kingdom Come (four issues) and the projected total page count for Civil War and in that case, Civil War is down 41 pages.

Using the comparisons above, Civil War is obviously lacking in the story department. Let’s not even consider the effects of all the single and two-panel splash pages that are a staple in every issue of Civil War.

I don’t think there is much more to say. My opinion of the series is pretty obvious, and the numbers don’t lie. In all likelihood Civil War will go down as the series that could have been, but never was.

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4 thoughts on “Civil War: Can it be saved?

  1. Civil War desperately needed a deft touch, and Millar is anything but. I love McNiven’s art, but it’s not enough. The important plot bits have been in other series, not CW, and Millar’s dialogue has never been worse.

    The best parts of Civil War have been in Black Panther, Punisher War Journal, and the other tie-ins. Civil War Frontline was a better overall read, save for a couple of the stories/features (Wonder Man, the poetry) up until the appearance of Penance.

    Thanks, but no thanks. CW is all sound and fury.

  2. Well I hope it was all worth it, between this, IC and OYL, both companies lost a 50-60 dollar a week lifelong junkie in the matter of what, 18 months?

    And my wallet has never been happier.

    PS about 3/4th of the way done with Stagger. Pretty art, but it’s been hard to stay interested for some reason.

  3. Maybe it’s because Ultimates Vol 2 #1 was the first Millar I remember reading, but my expectations were pretty low for Civil War, and after liking the first issue, it went downhill fast. Millar may have done some good work early on his career, but everything I’ve read by him over the past couple of years has been pretty lame and unimaginative.

    Like Erech, the Big Two have lost a chunk of my personal market share thanks to these ill-advised, badly managed crossover stunts.

    PS: Erech, sorry Stagger Lee isn’t working for you. FWIW, I liked it a lot more the second time around.

  4. I find Millar’s writing to be hit or miss in a very predictable pattern – anything he writes in continuity of huge, shared universes isn’t very good or, in some cases (cough-Civil War-cough) even readable. When he’s free of continuity, he’s pretty good.

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