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    Power, Responsibility, and Morality in Marvel’s Civil War

    The Beginning of Marvel

    Marvel ComicsCivil War was one of the most memorable events in Marvel history. The 2006 storyline began when the US government passed the “Superhero Registration Act,” which stated that superheroes must reveal their identity and work under the government’s control. (This may remind you of the Sokovia Accords in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War, which was based on the comic series.)

    Iron Man lead the supporters of the act while Captain America lead the opposers of the act. While some heroes are neutral in the fight, most are polarized by the act. The series includes many themes of power, responsibility, what’s wrong, and what’s right.

    The Hero’s Power, Responsibility, and Morality

    In an explosion that resulted from a hero-villain battle, 600 people died; this included school children. The public turned against the superheroes and called for a restriction against them. Congress then passed the Superhero Registration Act, thus requiring heroes to register as a “living weapon of mass destruction.” This also required the super-powered villains to register.

    Superheroes were divided on whether they thought agreeing to the act was the right thing to do. Those on Iron Man’s side thought that it was their duty to follow government laws and that they were obliged to register. Captain America’s side however, the Secret Avengers, opposed the act because secret identities should be kept for heroes’ protection, and the act therefore abridged their civil liberties. Both sides had valid arguments.

    The registered superheroes were told to track down and detain the unregistered ones. Of course, as they are superheroes, they end up fighting. The fighting escalated so much so that both a child and a well-loved superhero end up dead. Spider-Man had unmasked earlier in the scene, so some of his enemies tracked him down and injured him badly.

    The prisons that held superheroes that were unwilling to register were styled after concentration camps. Both teams tried to draft as many super-powered individuals as possible and the Secret Avengers even recruited a villain for their team. A final battle occured in New York City, where Captain America was supported by his Secret Avengers, Namor, and his army, while Iron Man was supported by his team, the Champions and a clone of Thor. Finally, Captain America was about to kill Iron Man, but he realized how much damage has been caused, and thus he surrendered.

    What Defines a Hero?

    The series handles heavy issues of morality and how to resolve conflicts. It makes you think of some questions that may not have clear answers: What is more important: freedom or protection? To what degree should people be held accountable? How do you resolve a conflict peacefully when things just keep escalating?


    Continue here to see how female Marvel heroes compare…Women are powerful!