The Marvel Universe has always had problems with masked identities. From the Sentinels and the Mutant Registration Act to Jonah Jameson and his tirades against Spider-Man, masked heroes and villains are usually the object of scorn. However, when a group of heroes inadvertently destroy a small town, the scales of tolerance are tipped and the civilians call for the cataloging of the super-hero community. The mini-series, "Civil War: Front Line", deals with what the normal man and woman on the street thing of this turning point in the history of the once merry Marvel universe. Caution: Possible spoilers ahead.
When we last left Sally Floyd, she had been led to a decrepit shack in a junkyard by someone who appeared to be a normal homeless man. To her surprise, however, she was being led to a secret meeting with Captain America by Cap himself. Taken off-guard but relatively unshaken, Sally attempts an interview with the star-spangled hero. He's supremely unhappy with how everything has turned out, going so far as to say that this United States of America is not the one he signed up to protect all those years ago, and compares it to Nazi Germany. Sally does not buy it, and leaves the interview ten of her alloted minutes early, pondering how Captain America sounds just as she did at the start of Civil War.
Meanwhile, at the home of Ben Urich, he and Peter Parker are attempting to find out if Tony Stark was using the Civil War to manipulate the stock exchange. Once Peter hacks into Stark's accounting firm's computers, they discover there was a massive influx of money two days before the Registration Act was announced, and Peter assumes the influx is from Stark selling his stock in Stark Enterprises. Urich is surprised by this, while Peter simply comments that he would have been surprised before Stark played with his life.
Sally Floyd is now on her date with one of Ben Urich's detective friends, set-up so Ben could gain some information from him. They chat about Norman Osborn and his crazier-than-usual shenanigans including his attack on an Atlantean delegation. The date ends well for both Sally and the detective.
At the Avenger's Tower, Reed Richards is trying to find out who altered the nanites it Norman Osborn's bloodstream. He comes to the conclusion that they had to have been manipulated by an outside source, and brings his findings to Tony Stark. Stark replies that he knows this, and has known since the beginning of Civil War.
As of right now, it looks like Stark's side is going to get a comeuppance while Captain America's is going to get what they want. I'm pleased that Norman Osborn is playing such an integral part in all of this, however. I also look forward to seeing what happens to Ben Urich and Sally Floyd at the end of this.
Here we are in the last third of this mini-series, and now is the time all the secrets, conspiracies, and plot-lines touched on during the first portion of the series come to a close. This issue featured both Ben and Sally finding out seemingly integral things about both sides of the Civil War. The only question is, has their epiphanies come too late? The writing, as usual, is quite satisfactory. Reed Richard's growing aggravation at not knowing something comes across quite well. The art is the same, and either it has grown on me since the beginning of the series or the artist has improved. My only concern is that everything will wrap up neatly, and that seems to be the direction things are headed. In any case, I'm excited to see how this ends.
There is a random dog in Avenger's Tower. Does anyone know who this dog (or wolf) is?