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The Road to Civil War by Brian Michael…
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A good read in advance of the new movie. Lays the framework for the infamous registration legislation, introduces Black Panther, and shows how the Fantastic 4 and Spider-Man get wrapped up with Iron Man.

Note that Captain America doesn't appear in this set of foundational stories. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Aug 8, 2017 |
I haven't read the core Civil War books yet so this really seems like a good "behind the scenes" kind of starter. It was fun, but more informative than anything else. ( )
  ragwaine | Aug 6, 2017 |
The Bendis Avengers read through rolls along, this is the first appearance of the Illuminati and I dig it. ( )
  JonathanCrites | Jan 7, 2015 |
While working my way through the Marvel events, I found that each usually has some kind of prelude, or road to set-up book that collects some issues to help orient the reader to what’s coming. They set the stage. Of the few I've read so far, this is the best set-up collection I've seen, especially for newbies who don't follow the individual series.

I’m familiar with the basic premise of the Civil War event, but am just now starting to read the graphic novel collections. The most important aspect of this book is the Illuminati one shot. The greatest superhero geniuses (with one glaring omission, but he has anger management issues) have gathered and decided that they will meet in secret to try and determine a course of action should future Earth-level disasters emerge – the idea is to use their collective brilliance to help prevent events such as the Kree-Skrull war from devastating Earth. Only Black Panther is wise enough to see that this group has no right to set itself as Earth’s Protectors, and warns of what would happen should they disagree on a course of action. This bears out when Iron Man, after learning about the proposed Superhero Registration Act, envisions with perfect clarity just how “Civil War” would unfold. He literally prophesies what is to come, and so believes the group should embrace the Act. Black Panther’s warning becomes reality when Dr. Strange declares that they would be giving in to fear and ignorance and many of their peers would fight to the death to protect their rights. The group is at odds and the stage set. (An interesting side note is the Professor X has not been seen since the House of M failed).

After the one shot, a brief story wherein Dr. Doom tries to claim Mjolnir in the wake of the Asgardians’ final deaths in Ragnarok follows. I’m sure the hammer will play a role in the coming story arc, despite Thor’s absence. The rest of the collection is devoted to Tony Stark grooming Peter Parker as a protégé, giving him new armor and taking him to Congressional meetings where he tries to “dissuade” them from passing the Act. Only, is that really his agenda?

Overall, this was an excellent collection of issues that does set the stage for Civil War. Highly recommended. ( )
  jshillingford | Jan 23, 2014 |
Oh, dear. Maybe this is why I don’t read Marvel’s mainstream stuff, unless it’s Ellis or Whedon writing it. This is a grab-bag from several series, showing the stormclouds of war gathering, etc. etc. over the Marvelverse.

The essential idea was an ambitious one – take post 9/11 feelings of concern about increased surveillance of Americans by their own government and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and bring some of these contemporary events into the Marvel timeline. What would happen if the government sought to register and regulate superheroes? It was an idea tabled by Watchmen some years earlier, but it’s still a promising ground for drama and political commentary.

Still, this volume is a bit of a mess. The first few issues included in the TBP are about meetings of the leaders of various superhero teams, with an attempt by Tony Stark to get them working together, or at least comparing notes every year or two. The Submariner, relatively unknown to me, stalks around making haughty comments and professing complete indifference to the survival of air-breathers. Yes, apparently Atlanteans are the high elves of the Marvel universe. Stark is uncharacteristically tentative, rummaging through his notes and suggesting that they could have a team, or a club, and maybe have meetings with votes and agendas and minutes and…. Even Professor Xavier, who is in favour, don’t seem convinced that this thing is ever going to get off the ground. The art style is very old-school Silver age, to my uneducated eyes- lots of saturated, flat colours with gritty black particulate details.

Then, weirdly, the next issue included is about the exiling of the Hulk to a satellite, with further internal disagreements revealed. Hum.

There’s an awful Fantastic Four arc, which is chiefly remarkable for the miserably lame banter and the hilarious appearance of Dr. Doom’s doombots. Really? Doombots? What is this, Nextwave? How can we take doombots seriously after the H.A.T.E. Group’s Human Resources broccoli men? Dr. Doom, with whom I’m mostly unfamiliar, shows up and reveals himself to be a campy villain of the most hilarious kind, all monologues and self-aggrandizement and brass cape clasps.

The last half of the volume is in a much slicker and more colourful modern style (a little too flourishy for my tastes, but there you go). The bill for registration of superheroes is being tabled, and Stark is taking a rest from haranguing the metahumans so he can harangue the senate committee. He’s doing his best to get young Peter Parker’s buy-in (which comes with some totally gratuitous eye-candy visits from Mary Jane, presumably to give us someone to look at who doesn’t have shoulders as wide as a piano bench), but Peter is still a boy at heart, and interrupts Stark’s politicking by speaking impulsively and from his gut. There’s some nice shading of Tony’s character in this issue, but even the appearance of a big titanium bruiser can’t keep this story from getting talky.
1 vote Cynara | Mar 7, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0785119744, Paperback)

Ripped from the pages of New Avengers, the Eisner Award-winning team of Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev present an explosive hidden story of Marvel's secret past, the secret history of Marvel's most secret team - how they came together and how they are ripped apart. Plus: Spidey's got a new lease on life, new powers and a new costume, courtesy of his new best friend Tony Stark. So what could possibly go wrong? With clouds quickly building on the horizon, the bonds that Spider-Man now forges may very well determine his capacity to withstand a coming storm. The Marvel Universe is about to split down the middle, and the line is drawn here! You will be asked: whose side are you on? Collects New Avengers: Illuminati; Amazing Spider-Man #529-531; Fantastic Four #536 & 537.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:59 -0400)

A secret organization of superheroes is formed. Spider-Man's got a new suit and new powers, thanks to Tony Stark. And, in the Midwest, a strange object has fallen from the sky and the Fantastic Four are sent to investigate. Meanwhile, the clouds gather for a storm that will divide the Marvel Universe.… (more)

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