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- Publié sur Amazon.com
I was intrigued by this when it was first announced, because I thought it would be fun to relive the event, and be able to delve into Tony and Steve's minds while their friendship became yet another sacrifice in the Civil War.
Yeah, that didn't happen.
I will fully admit that I don't read these comics for the sake of seeing superheroes fight. For example, the new Avengers vs. X-men event I don't even care about, because the fighting doesn't interest me. That's what Marvel vs. Capcom is for. I don't want that in my comics. I care about these comics because of the human element. I love these characters. All of them. This event is painful for me because of everything that happens between our heroes-- how one simple opinion splits years of friendship and adoration for everyone involved and causes a lot of senseless fighting and deaths. This is why I thought that a prose version of Civil War was such a great idea, because we could get a better understanding of just what happened.
Instead, what you get is a rushed version of the events, leaving out almost all the character development.
All the pivotal scenes between our two main characters were cut out of this novel. Steve and Tony, in fact, only are together three times in this novel: at the funeral, the first trap and the second trap. We never really see any of Steve's turmoil, and his decision to lead the resistance is kind of just assumed and never explored (I mean, because really, you know that CAPTAIN AMERICA has to have issues with breaking the LAWS OF AMERICA). And for all the lack of grief Steve experiences for having to fight against Tony, they could have been complete strangers in this novel. Gone is the "you gave me a home" heart wrenching sequence. For being one of the two main characters, Steve gets 2 or 3 chapters in this book from his perspective, while Tony gets a large portion of the book (I should also mention that Tony is Extremis-less in this, one of the many many changes). Steve, in the end, comes off as a little off his rocker, and made me question what happened to the character of Steve Rogers. Instead of being torn between both sides of the argument because of the main characters making valid points, I found myself being horrified by how the supporting characters were acting on each side, thus torn between which side would be the lesser of the evils. Not the same predicament I found myself in while reading the comics.
There is also a lot of Spiderman in this. A LOT. Too much, really, for not being a big factor in the argument (although Tony tries to convince the reader otherwise). In fact, Tony's relationship with Peter plays a bigger role than his relationship with Steve, which by the cover of the book, you really wouldn't think was the case. I understand that a lot of people really like Spiderman, but Tony discusses in the book why he thinks Peter is one of the most powerful metahumans out there. It was at that point in the book, I started to be leery of it, because REALLY? There are so many more powerful metahumans than Peter Parker. (I would also like to mention something that could be considered a writer's nit-picking, but during the Spiderman portions of the book, in the narration the word "Spidey" is used instead of "Spiderman." Daredevil is shortened to DD and the Fantastic Four is changed to FF. This would be fine if it was dialogue and would be Peter calling them these things, but it was the narrator, and it was only for Spiderman's parts, so it was really jarring to suddenly have it be so informal.)
The book starts well, with great intentions, but by the halfway point, I was a bit bored, and 3/4 through I was ready for it to be over. The only highlight of the book is ending it where it did, because it makes Tony's story look like it has ended on a high note. But those familiar with the end of Civil War (because this doesn't go all the way to the end), know that everything is about to turn sour for Tony.
If I could get my money and time back, I would.
M. L. Asselin
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Oh, oh. The Avengers are in trouble.
Word is that the third and fourth installments of the critically and popularly well received 2012 live-action Marvel Comics Avengers movie will be a two-part story based on the “Civil War” graphic novel by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. Judging from Stuart Moore's adaptation, a (text-only) novelization of the graphic novel, let us hope that it is only roughly based on this story.
“Civil War,” which is set in the “Marvel Universe,” i.e., the world in which the Marvel Comics characters all live (and there are a lot of them, including the Avengers and the X-Men), follows a violent split in the superhuman community after the U.S. Government, following a terrible superhuman-related explosion that kills school children, decides forcibly to register all heroes or face imprisonment. Captain America and his rebel allies face off against government-aligned heroes led by Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Acting Director Maria Hill. (S.H.I.E.L.D. is a UN-chartered military organization that is somehow tolerated in the Marvel Universe's U.S.) The book's Agent Hill is not like the movie version; she is thoroughly unlikeable. You'll also read a version of Iron Man that you'll not love.
I haven't read the graphic novel, but I suspect that it works because of excellent drawing and creative interplay between word and art. In a novelization, one expects the author to translate the visuals into powerful and moving words. Moore writes credibly—there's surprising little cheesiness to a story involving characters with names like Hulkling and Jack O'Lantern—but he fails to build up dramatic tension or convey a convincing fight scene in words. In the book's climactic fight scene, for instance, he basically says that there are a lot of superheroes fighting in the air. Well, that's exciting, isn't it? Moreover, there's no character development and no pathos; I didn't care what happened to the characters. The burial scene following a character's death was almost comical, but not because it was deliberately so.
But beyond that, I think the entire concept is problematic: first, there are far too many superhumans in it to make the story more than a sketch at 340 pages or so (with large type at that). You'd have to write a tome as long as “War and Peace” to make sense of so many names flitting by (and even then Tolstoy had the good sense to focus on a handful of people). Second, superheroes sparring with one another has limited appeal. Beyond the “could Captain America take on Iron Man” sport of it, there's not much to like about characters you like fighting with one another, unless, perhaps, you're a divorce attorney. Anyway, we've seen this story before in a way, haven't we? It's like the fight between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants, except that we kind of don't like the latter group.
To make this “Civil War” idea really work, you'd have to create a truly compelling reason for a breakdown in trust that results in characters who normally are diehard friends to harm one another. It has to be like, well, the American Civil War, where brother fought against brother. And then you should have them reflect on the absurdity of it all, and yet keep them trapped within that absurdity. They know it's stupid to fight but they can't stop. Finally, you have to offer some sort of resolution that leads to healing. When you step back from it all, you then have to wonder, was any of that fun? At least, I hope that's what Marvel Studios thinks about as it prepares to film the “Civil War” movies.
My recommendation is to seek out the graphic novel or, better yet, wait for the movies. Either choice, however, will undoubtedly be more entertaining than this book.