Monday, December 15, 2014

The Matt Signal Advent Calendar 2014 Day 15: Civil War #1

Civil War #1, July 2006

I took a couple years off from superhero comics in the mid-2000s. I walked away from the X-books when Grant Morrison did, and for a while the only thing I was reading was Brian K. Vaughn’s Ex Machina.

Marvel’s Civil War event got me curious, though. The House of Ideas hadn't really pushed its crossovers in the mainstream, non-comics media prior to this, so I picked up the first few issues.

But I’m not writing about Civil War because I think Marvel’s most hyped event of the past decade is the greatest thing since sliced bread. The reason this book sticks out to me, personally, is the Steve McNiven splash page in which Captain America is shown surfing on a jet.

I hadn’t really read much Cap before then, save for occasional minor appearances in X-Men. So I was surprised to watch this red-white-and-blue badass beat up a couple dozen S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, hijack a jet, lecture the pilot about his language and, as a Cabinet secretary later describes, land the plane on a football field and take the pilot out for a burger and fries. Mark Millar – who crafted an alternate-Earth version of the character in The Ultimates – wrote Cap as the perfect combination of Boy Scout and action star. As team leaders go, Cyclops was never this cool.

Before long, I started reading Ed Brubaker’s run on Cap’s solo title and had collected every trade from the first hardcover omnibus right up until Fear Itself. Having completed that, I expanded outward, reading the new stuff by Rick Remender and Jack Kirby’s stories from the bicentennial.

So thanks, Civil War, for giving me a new favorite character. 

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