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4.4 out of 5 stars128
4.4 out of 5 stars
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 7 March 2009
Now I've been looking at getting into graphic novels for a long time and I have always been very interested in the Marvel Universe and the prospect of a civil war as depicted in this book. Although I've never read a single comic book in my life, I've always been aware of the great superheroes and their particular backgrounds. Apart from the odd one or two however, seriously, who the hell are Goliath and Wasp? This being my first graphic novel and with me generally being a comic book snob and turning my nose up at any comic book or graphic novel, I was genuinely surprised by how much I was taken in by the story and enjoyed the artwork.

The story starts off with young aspiring superheroes doing a bit of crime fighting for a reality TV show, but something goes wrong and one of the villains attacked is a living bomb and explodes killing a lot of civilians and destroying a hell of a lot of land and homes. This is the fuse that sets off the bomb (metaphorically speaking) which is the mass appeal for a Superhero Registration Act. This ensures that all those who are born with or gain super powers are to register to and work for the government as a superhero police force, or risk being locked away for vigilantism or being a danger to the public if they refuse to register.

Reed Richards and Iron Man are in favour of the act and lead their army in finding and capturing the opposition which is led by Captain America, who simply wants to retain his freedom. The side of Iron man argues that working for the government as part of a policing force would place superhero teams distributed across all states, creating a balanced super protection force. It would also allow superheroes to be paid for their services and give them accountability for the damage caused by the means of which they use to stop the super villains and if there are any civilian casualties.

Of course, with two of the Marvel Universe's most politically minded characters, Captain America and Tony Stark disagreeing there were bound to be massive fireworks. The fireworks are not just sparklers that you wave in your friends face and accidentally stab them in the eye with it, landing them in hospital and blind in one eye; these are nuclear bombs of a superhero breed. Featuring some of the biggest superheroes in the Marvel Universe as a part of the front line army, you really get to feel the epic nature of the situation being depicted in the story.

Mark Millar of Wanted movie and comic book fame pens the storyline for this one and from what I knew about the main characters before going into the story, his writing style really manages to emphasise the individuals core personality and allows you to truly understand their motivation. Tony Stark being a government weaponry guy, would naturally be in agreement with this act as it would allow for S.H.I.E.L.D. to gain a more prominent role in U.S. civilian protection, and Captain America feels that it would be unconstitutional to force superheroes to register against their will and fights in favour of an Americans basic freedoms.

The illustrations by Steve McNivern and colouring by Morry Hollowell is really well done and again presents the epic nature of the story and the settings brilliantly. Supremely artistic allows it to become all the more appealing to the reader, as it's not only exciting and enjoyable to read, but really beautiful to look at and enjoy visually. After reading this, I really want to get into graphic novels and see some more work by Mark Millar meaning my next read may be "Red Son" the Superman story set in an alternative universe where he lands in Cold War Russia rather than America. Maybe I'll just join the hysteria and buy Watchmen, but overall I loved this book and for anyone else looking at getting into graphic novels I would say this would be a great starting point.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 31 July 2015
Marvel Comics' seven-issue Civil War mini-series from 2006/7 is collected as Civil War. This volume is the central spine of this Marvel-wide crossover event. It begins on location with the reality-TV show featuring the New Warriors being filmed in Stamford, Connecticut, where they discover four supervillains in hiding. They jump straight in and start a fight that ends with an explosion that kills hundreds of civilians. This in due course leads to a popular movement that calls for the registration and licensing of super-powered individuals, which in turn leads to a split among the superheroes that, come the enactment of the law, criminalises a number of the heroes who are not prepared to register (and a large number of villains also). Captain America ends up leading the "Secret Avengers", as the criminal element are labelled, and Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Hank Pym are the unofficial leaders of the "good guys".

The story sees a number of long-established relationships put under a strain, and ends with Captain America being arrested, which in turn leads to another big event over in his own title, while the mainstream of Marvel then went on to the Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and eventually Siege. This volume, however, was the first step on that long road.

It is well-scripted and illustrated, as befits a major event title - though until this book, that was the exception rather than the rule. The story can be followed here without reference to any of the crossover titles, and is very entertaining, with a good mix of action and skulking around in secret hideouts. The chain of events makes sense, and the characters chose sides according to their established characters, and not according to plot requirements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2015
So, as someone who has moved from teen fiction to comic books, this was one of the graphic novels that everyone was telling me to read, and that it was the best story that comics had ever written. I bought this along with another recommended read that a lot of people were telling me to read, DC's Kingdom Come.

Now, everyone who is reading this and hasn't read Kingdom Come, read it, its great, but back to Civil War, as I said in the title, this is a very good book, and I can see why it is the recommended read, but I would say if you're a new comer to comics in general, get some other Marvel reading in first, because you will need it. There are things in here when I was reading it (remember, this was the third graphic novel I ever read) that I didn't really understand, like there is something about Daredevil that I only found out about a couple of days ago and that there is a lot of build up to this prior to where the book starts.

The writing as well is something to look out for, the entire book there is this massive battle on the horizon, the battle that the entire book is building up to, but warning, when it comes, it is very short lived with a fairly ante-climactic end. The writing, although good, feels pretentious, like this is the best story that has ever been told in the history of the world, letting the reader know just how clever the author is whilst doing it all. With some very obvious foreshadowing and a slightly predictable plot at times, you can get bored with some of the scenes.

But, it is very good, and most of the tension in the book works, so please, buy it and read it, although there are some short falls, is is worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2015
(Mild spoilers below)

I don't know what to think about this comic to be honest. Great action, great art, great story for the most part and great pacing...
Interspersed with some ridiculous out of character moments (the Reed Richards and Tony Stark I know would never endorse Guantanamo Bay style prison camps) and an ending that just screams WTF. Without giving it away, 90% of this book is clearly pointing toward one side in the wrong, and that side wins in the most lame a manner possible. And this only gets worse if you read the tie-in books where you see just how many fundamental principals of the USA that side has broken. Maybe that is the point, a ''war on terror'' style parody, but it was executed with the finesse of a brick in the gut.
I am of the opinion that Marvel's left hand was not talking to Marvel's right, and as such half of the writers were under the impression they were writing a very different story to what was intended.
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on 27 February 2013
First off, I feel like this was Marvel's attempt at Kingdom Come, a DC comic that ALL OF YOU need to read, if you have not already.

That isn't a bad thing either, it makes for a very interesting read. However, having just come off the back of reading Mark Millar's The Ultimates, I see the benefits of the Ultimate Marvel universe clear as day. While it seemed a bit of a gimmick to reboot for new readers, and have superheroes make pop-culture references, it also made for a more human and more real story. Then you have Civil War, where something resembling real world issues are being handled through characters created 70 years ago. It often comes off as a bit goofy, and many characters don't get much to say or do, but it adds the appropriate level of scope, while keeping the depth in check via a select few characters. This is comparable to later issues of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, when we see many characters in one place, many of which are not given much to actually do. However, Whedon's writing style allowed him to subtly poke fun at how insane the scene was, and I imagine Millar's usual writing style would usually do the same in a less-subtle way, but here he is rather a lot more serious in tone. He doesn't lean on his usual style, that after reading several of his books in a row, was beginning to become noticeable and grading.

However, once you get past how silly some of it seems, it all begins to make sense within the marvel universe, and it presents quite a thought provoking issue; should super-human vigilantes be bound by law and be licenced? This requires them to give up their secret identities to SHIELD and get a salary. Effectively, this splits the super-human community into two factions; one in favour of this movement, spearheaded by Tony Stark/Iron man, the other against, led by Captain America. Things escalate into a kind of civil war. There are some insanely epic battles, and it is interesting to see heroes fighting heroes. The art is astounding in places, especially the colouring.

The result is the comic book edition of a summer blockbuster, but I felt it ended slightly abruptly. I keep feeling that lately with various comics, so that might just be me. I always feel like everything is a build up, and fail to realise the payoff is happening as I'm reading it. As I said, this may be specific to me.
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on 6 January 2011
Mark Millar has shown with his unmissable Ultimates books that he has a playful and yet thrilling take on the well-loved stable of Marvel characters.

His story here is compelling, with all those little post-modern touches we've come to expect.

The art, too, is great. Steve McNiven may not exactly be a household name but his work here is solidly consistent, with some spectacular splash panels and great narrative flow.

The attention to detail on the production side of the edition I'm holding now though is shaky, at best. The final chapter has a curious 'jump' in it where a number of key events appear to happen 'off camera'. No great surprise, given that this is a compilation of a huge multi-title crossover series.

But then *some* of the action you missed appears right at the end of the book with no explanation or context. Bad binding? Lazy editing? Who knows? It's an irritation that costs this otherwise terrific title its fifth star for me.
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on 14 August 2015
Purchased this and the pre - build up book that is also available on amazon as my first Marvel Graphic Novels.

I was really excited to read them, and when they were delivered and i took them out of the box the first thing i noticed is that they look and feel fantastic. The art and the material of the book is great, the artist has done a great job at all of the pictures, as you would expect from a Marvel comic.

The story is really exciting for any super hero fan, Super heroes fighting super heroes? What isn't exciting about that!? And for the most part it does a great job at pulling the reader in. I read the whole thing in about an hour-two hours, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was however slightly disappointed about the ending, and it definite;ly left me wanting more. However, for the price it is, it was a great read and a really interesting story.
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on 31 May 2015
The story concept is certainly original, and had a little thought and care gone into the writing , this could have been an absolutely fantastic novel, but unfortunately this is far from the case. Civil war tries far too hard to be edgy, by flooding the story with way too many characters and straying away from the agreed Marvel Universe. It has a thin, and very rushed storyline that is only brought down further by the excessive amounts of action, and a sheer lack of intelligent writing. The novel kills off an unnecessary amount of established marvel characters too, seeming to think that it will make the novel even more ground-breaking. In reality it does the very opposite. Whilst Civil War is not altogether terrible; the drawing is pretty good, it is however a poorly constructed, badly thought out, and disappointing read that thoroughly lets down the marvel franchise.
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on 6 July 2015
Where do I start with this graphic novel!?
Well first of all, let me tell you, it's awesome!!!!
In short, the story goes like this....
The government set up a registration act for super heroes to give up their identities. This is after a group of young super heroes cause a major disaster which kills lots of innocent people.
From there on we see the superhero community divided! Som register, some don't. We're left with Iron Mans group and CaptainAmericas group.
I won't tell you which side I took as I don't want to spoil it but let me tell you, I ended up hating a lot of superheroes that I once loved!!!!
Amazing story and superb ending!
Can't recommend this enough to any Marvel comics fan.
Overall, great read, awesome artwork and a brilliant story that we're eventually going to see on the big screen soon! Can't wait!!!!!
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on 6 June 2015
I like to think of myself as DC comics fan... having been hooked on the Marvel films of the last decade or so I decided to give their actual comic books a try. Due to the next Captain America film being based off it (being almost as big as an Avengers film if not in some ways bigger), I decided to buy ‘Civil War’. What I can immediately say is that it is jam-packed with characters from the Marvel Universe without it being that difficult to know who's who if you are new to their comics but not to their films. The plot line is not as heavily focused on getting fight scenes in as some comics unfortunately are and it gives it's fair share of plot development and drama. Over all a good comic for Marvel newcomers like myself, definitely so if you are too hyped up about the soon-to-be film to wait for it.
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