Readers of the Marvel Comics' Civil War event have been waiting for this moment since the end of issue 1. The cover spells it out perfectly and this issue delivers what all readers have anticipated. The registration act is in full swing and the underground team Captain America has forged are dealing with their new life on the run, complete with new civilian aliases.
While Cap, Falcon and the anti-registration "Underground Avengers" perform the balancing act of playing dress-up and making the streets safe from supervillains, the pro registrants are looking to recruit a few good men – and women. In a magnificent couple of panels, Reed Richards has paid a visit to T'challa, the Black Panther. This is personally my favorite scene out of the whole book, including the action at end. Reed Richards has gone totally into mad scientist mode and he is so ecstatic that, as T'challa points out, Reed has made no time for his family whatsoever. Reed has a tough time getting Black Panther in on registration, but Tony Stark faces much more than a simple "no."
What would your response be after a telepath faithfully recreates a mutant massacre that the avengers did nothing to stop? Some mutants might be opposed to joining the pro registrants, but one panel points to some backdoor dealings. Very, very interesting. I just hope I don't have to split my attention for yet another crossover, Civil War: X-Men.
After the talk is done, the time for action is at hand, and this is the Marvel bout of the decade. It's hot, sweaty hero-on-hero action and most of the heroes are at the top of their game. Spider-Man is the standout here, with his usual agility and the additional abilities provided by his Stark-powered outfit. I would argue that this version of Spider-Man could take out Captain America all on his own, but I think that Iron Man is an even more obvious choice to defeat Cap. I don't have to tell you who has the upper hand at the end of this fight, because it doesn't really matter. A new "weapon" is introduced (or you could say re-introduced) and what was once a balanced brawl may now be unevenly matched.
I can't believe that there are four issues to go. I cannot tell what will shock me next, but after shocker number three, it can only get better. That is, I hope it gets better. There is a stupendous team at work on Civil War and I want to believe that they succeed in not only completing a good story, but also making both sides appear as if they have a point in fighting with one another.
You can learn more about Civil War and the characters involved at Marvel.com.