I think we can all agree that the ‘Civil War’ storyline wasn’t well received by the comic community on the whole, but big sales pushed it into guiding both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a novel by Stuart Moore. The idea of taking the entire ‘Civil War’ story arc with all of the characters involved and streamlining it into a single novel is a daunting task to contemplate and even under Moore’s guiding hand, it felt like it wasn’t going to work.
However, it did.
In fact, I believe I enjoyed the prose version of this tale more than the comics which it is working to adapt. Now, there wasn’t anything new to the characters or their motivations, and while a few changes were made due to space, none of them felt out of place or took away from the story.
Just like the comics, we follow the government introducing the Superhero Registration Act which pits Captain America against Iron Man as to the moral vs. legal aspects of how it plays out. The tensions between the two sides escalate until superheroes are fighting one another over the right to privacy instead of working together to take down the supervillains who want to take over the world.
Some of those who were involved in the comics aren’t nearly as included in this novelized outing but the main players are all there. If anything, some of Steve’s inner turmoil about how this entire event plays out felt a bit rushed and in some cases even cut. This takes away from the moral high ground which you can feel come through in the comics and took away from the novel.
Fans of Spider-Man will enjoy that his role was much more significant in this edition than in the comics.
Overall, if you enjoyed ‘Civil War’ and wanted another look at it, this is a great work to do that with. If you thought ‘Civil War’ was too long but had promise, you could easily enjoy this as well. However, if you’re in the camp where you hated the very concept of the ‘Civil War’ story arc then you’ll probably not enjoy this either. Outside of some of the insight to Cap’s choices, it did feel more natural to stomach some of the reasons for the arguments that Captain America and Iron Man had with one another in prose form, but the ideas behind them were still the same.
Casual fans only need to take a look at this if they want an overall idea of the ‘Civil War’ story from the comics and want more details than a Wiki and aren’t up for picking up all of the graphic novels which tell the tale. If you’re going for comic continuity, I’d at least also brush up on the Wiki!
By: Stuart Moore
May 1st, 2018