Civil War: Opening Shot Sketchbook

 Posted: 2008

Story Details

A series of upheavals threaten to shake the Marvel universe to its very core.

The original Avengers had to disband after they were betrayed by the Scarlet Witch, a victim of her mutant powers to alter reality. She was taken by Magneto to Genosha where efforts to restore her sanity failed.

When confronted by the New Avengers, she altered history to create a mutant utopia. When the proper timeline was finally restored, the mutant population was greatly reduced. And most were unaware of what had transpired.

The Hulk, one of the most prominent threats to mankind, has mysteriously gone off the radar. Rumors are abundant while the facts remain hidden.

A small group of people are aware of everything that has happened recently. This group is the Illuminati. Since the Kree-Skrull war, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt and Namor have taken it upon themselves to meet on special occasions to exchange information and monitor the activities of their community.

These same people are aware of the imminent crisis that awaits them from the people they have sworn to protect. After the tragegy in Stamford, CT, the Federal government is intent on passing the Superhuman Registration Act. It will require individuals with super-powers to identify themselves and register with the government. Failure to do so would be a federal crime. Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic see this as a reasonable request; the other members do not. The group disbands over this issue.

The issue goes on and addresses the main question of the series. Should superheroes be held accountable for their actions? Do their civil liberties outweigh general public safety?

It then sets up the additional series Civil War: Front Line by establishing Daily Bugle reporters Ben Urich and Sally Floyd will be covering opposite sides of the issue. Their coverage starts in Civil War: Front Line #1.

An emphasis is placed on Spider-Man's decision about the SHRA, noting that his choice will affect Mary Jane and Aunt May as well. This storyline begins in Amazing Spider-Man #532.

She-Hulk will also be caught in the middle of this debate. As a lawyer, she has to side with the SHRA. As a super-hero, she has her personal opinons. Her participation is detailed in She-Hulk (Vol. 4) #8.

Wolverine takes it upon himself to locate Nitro, the person who is actually responsible for the Stamford tragedy. This will be explored in Wolverine (Vol. 3) #42.

General Comments

This is geared for the casual reader to give them a brief summary of the cross overs that led up to this crossover. The explanations are brief and reasonably accurate. A stylized description of each event using five-word sentences was chosen to maintain the melodramatic tone.

Overall Rating

1.5 webs. As an art preview, this was great. As a vehicle to buildup to the actual story, it fell short. If I wasn't already interested in it, this would have done very little to convince me to purchase anything. That being the primary reason for a preview, I can't give it too high of a score.

This 15 page preview should have been expanded to include more pages to provide a better backstory for this mega-crossover. Using this approach it comes across with all the coherence of a Calvin Klein ad.

Shortcuts taken. Pretentiousness highlighted. Shatner-speak in effect. Low rating given.


Background: The breakdown of the Scarlet Witch began in Avengers #500. The altered reality for the heroes occurred in House of M #1. The Hulk was exiled into space in Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #91.

This issue used the pencils from several issues. In addition to the issues listed above, those included in this preview were:

 Posted: 2008