Friday, September 25, 2009

War…What Is It Good For?

As anyone who follows Marvel titles knows, the consequences of the Civil War over the Superhero Registration Act continues to impact the entire Marvel Universe. From the death (and coming resurrection ) of Captain America, to the disillusion of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ascendency of Norman Osborn, the continued issues with Tony Stark, The Illuminati, and the crisis of conscious of Reed Richards, we are seeing a world where nothing is certain. A world where the superhero is less effective then when he or she was free. While the Civil War did coerce US based heroes who want to operate within the law, to register you can make the argument that it actually compromised the very security that it was designed to protect.

So what was the Superhero Registration Act about anyway?

Simply put the SRA was a knee jerk reaction to a tragic accident. It was a fascistic and unconstitutional attempt to mollify a panicky public in the wake of World War Hulk and the tragedy at Stamford. Driven by Tony Stark, the SRA was seen as a panacea that would prevent such things from happening in the future by insuring that all “heroes” were properly trained. Ultimately this was completely naïve at best, and fatally flawed logic at worst.

If we look at the performance of the Superhero community as a whole over the life of the Marvel universe, they certainly have done far more good than bad. How many times have The X-Men, Avengers and FF saved the world? How often has Spiderman brought down murders, thieves and super villains? Was it not Daredevil who brought down The Kingpin? What happened here is that Stark and those who followed him gave a disproportionate weight of one or two tragic failures against hundreds, even thousands of successes. I submit that the success rate of the Superhero community is probably akin to that of the police force or fire department. That is to say very high. While Policemen and Firemen are highly trained, they do from time to time have tragic failures as well. It comes with the hero territory…sometimes you fail.

By splintering the Superhero community and pulling the teeth from Shield in the power vacuum that ensued, start opened the door wide for a Norman Osborn to dance right through. Think about it. THE GREEN GOBLIN is running the candy store!

Captain America was correct in his judgment. You simply cannot protect freedom by limiting it. Free societies pay a price for that freedom and it is often paid for in blood. It is easy to defend individual rights when things are all hunky dory. It is when we as a society are under the MOST duress that protecting those rights becomes vital because it defines our character as a people. Nations are very much like individuals when their survival is perceived as threatened. Then our ideals go out the door and it becomes about doing the expedient thing. Survive.

Which raises the question: “Survive as what?” Who are we, what worth do we have if we abandon our beliefs as a people for the sake of expedience?

In this arena Tony Stark had a good heart but not the stomach, the character, to defend freedom when it became most difficult. Tony Stark was weak and his failure was far more catastrophic than Stamford.

And make no mistake, the defense of freedom was the crux of the Civil War, it was not about the superhero registration act per se. It was about setting a precedent whereby ANY minority group can be forced to register simply because they belong to that group. If you can force Superheroes to register, you can force Superheroes with a certain power set to be segregated from the rest of society, if you can do that you can force Black Superheroes to register, or Jewish Superheroes to register, or gay Superheroes to register. If you can do on you can do it all. And Cap knew THAT was more dangerous than The Skrulls, Galactus and Dr. Doom combined.

With the release of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 fans are going to be able to take sides in The Civil War. As for me I intend to be Cap.

Comments? Are you Pro Registration? Anti? Let’s hear from you troops!

Next – Gentleman George The People’s Friend

That’s 30!



Anonymous said...

I tried to make this long comment pertaining to this topic, but you can only post up to 4,096 characters, and I don't want to post it in bits and pieces. I'll catch you at the store to continue our debate, or maybe I'll ask Socko to post it on the Blog.

See you at the store!


Holmes said...

Good deal!