Well, it’s finally here.  The re-imagining of one of Marvel’s most divisive events of the past decade.  How does it fare in this new universe of Doom’s Battleworld?  Read on to find out.

In Charles Soule and Leinil Yu’s Civil War #1, they bring to life a domain of Battleworld where the fight between Captain America and Iron Man over the Superhuman Registration Act never ended.  The battle has been raging for six years by the time of the story in issue #1, and it’s gotten to the point where the two sides decide to simply split the domain in half.  Iron Man controls the east, an area of rules and regulations where superhuman abilities are tracked and registered as soon as they are discovered.  This area is referred to as “The Iron.”  Captain America looks over the west, an area known as “The Blue,” where people with and without powers are free to roam and do whatever they like so long as they don’t hurt anyone else.  The narrative in this first issue finds the two factions meeting face to face on a literal bridge between their two lands to make an attempt at peace.

Soule’s storytelling does jump around a little bit here, as he gives an alternate ending to the original Civil War mini-series, then moves forward six years to the peace talks between Rogers and Stark.  The talks move very quickly, as neither side can seemingly see eye-to-eye, and then there’s an event that apparently sets the rest of the story into motion.  I do like the overall concept in general, but I also feel that it could have been executed a little more smoothly.  Regarding the characters and their development, I think he does a great job in the stalwart nature of both Cap and Iron Man with their ideals.  There are also a few interesting moments and interactions between members on each side of the divide.

Yu’s artwork here is pretty sparse, but for the story being told, it works.  Character lines are crisp and defined, like their mentalities, but there’s very little background detail going on.  It helps to focus on the discussions and relationships between the people in each panel.  It also does a particularly good job of keeping things simple, like the debate at hand in the issue, you’re either for one side or the other, there is no middle ground, and when the characters try to meet in the middle through the use of a mediator, something terrible happens.  Like the issue’s tagline asks, “Whose side are you on?”  The one thing that I did find a little distracting in this issue is the exaggerated features of some of the women characters.  I’m pretty sure I don’t have to spell that out for most of you.  I understand that it’s to be expected in comics, but a lot of it seems to be somewhat over the top here.

All in all, the story is not bad.  There is some jumping around, but I feel like the true focus of this story is not the lead up, but the interaction between the characters.  For the most part, we all know what Civil War was about, there’s no need to rehash all of that, so with this, it’s all about what happens now, and I feel like that could generate a pretty interesting story moving forward.

The Verdict for Civil War #1:
4/5 – I can dig it.

Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

Upcoming reviews:
1872 #1 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
Ghost Racers #2 (Secret Wars Tie-In)
March of the Crabs, Volume 1: The Crabby Condition


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