[EDITOR’S NOTE: In last week’s edition of ComicMix Six, we told you why the Skrulls’ "Secret Invasion" probably isn’t worth losing sleep over, given our list of the worst moments in Skrull invasion history. This week, we’re playing in the sandbox of big events yet again, with a list of reasons why Marvel’s recent Civil War event doesn’t stack up against one of its popular predecessors, the 1984 series Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. -RM]
Just over a year ago, Marvel shook up their universe with Civil War, a series-spanning event wherein the U.S. government decided, after a tragic accident involving super-powered heroes and villains, that anyone with superhuman powers would be required to register and become official federal operatives. Costumed crime-fighters picked sides, Marvel picked a slogan ("Whose Side Are You On?"), Spider-Man unmasked, and Iron Man’s pro-registration camp hunted down the anti-registration crowd led by Captain America. In the end, Cap tearfully surrendered, only to be "killed" for his troubles a few issues later.
Throughout the series’ seven issue (and countless tie-ins), the Merry Marvel Marketing team hailed Civil War as the most mind-blowing storyline since, well… ever.
Here at ComicMix, we’re not quite sure we agree. After re-reading Civil War and comparing it to one of the first epic Marvel crossover events, the ’80s action-fest Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, there’s a good argument to be made for the superiority of the earlier project.
Oh, and remember, what’s being discussed here is the 12-issue Secret Wars series, published by Marvel in 1984 (and featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man’s famous black costume), not to be confused with Secret War, the 2004-2005 five-issue series written by Brian Bendis.
Got it? Good. Now let’s begin…
6. REMEMBERING THE LESSONS ‘SESAME STREET’ TAUGHT THEM: In Civil War, heroes who fought alongside each other for years decide that the best way to debate the merits of a new law is to spy on one another and brawl at each and every opportunity. In Secret Wars, heroes who don’t necessarily trust each other decide that, despite their differences, teamwork and cooperation will improve their situation.
Sure, Spider-Man had a skirmish with the X-Men and the Hulk was shouting at everyone, but they still came together in the end. Wolverine and Captain America shared a heart-to-heart, and the heroes even accepted Magneto’s help, knowing that the greater good was more important than issues of mistrust.