Hey there, true believers!
Thanks for coming back for part 2 of our look at some of the coolest moments from Marvel’s biggest event ever (at least when it was published), Civil War! Be sure to go back and check out part 1 if you haven’t already, and then read on!
Spider-Man Switches Sides/The New Thunderbolts
When Spider-Man joined Iron Man’s side, he did so because a) his wife and aunt were living in Tony Stark’s tower at the time and Peter looked up to Tony, which Tony used to manipulate him, and b) because Tony convinced him that they were truly doing the right thing by registering and backing it. But then they’re attacking Captain America for arresting villains and trying to save people, and a clone of Thor killed Goliath and suddenly Peter feels like he has been duped. His identity is public now, so he feels backed into a corner like never before, and Iron Man makes the mistake of trying to stop him and vaguely threating him.
Spidey smashed Iron Man and escapes, but SHIELD sends cape killer units and they’re newest weapon: a newly recruited team of Thunderbolts, in this case being used sort of as an answer to the Suicide Squad. We see an assemblage of pure scumbags, like the Mac Gargan Venom, Bullseye, Taskmaster, Jack O’Lantern and Lady Deathstrike. They are sent after Spider-Man, and after the fight with Iron Man he’s not at peak condition.
He gets drugged by some gas and things are really not looking so good for the old web slinger. It looks like SHIELD is done even pretending to be morally righteous and is going scorched earth on any heroes not willing to sign on the dotted line.
The Punisher Punishes
Spidey looks like he might be on the verge of being done in by a couple of third-rate goons in the Jester and Jack O’Lantern, but then…
He’s saved by, of all people, the Punisher! Frank makes quick work of the villains attacking the old web head and absconds with the delirious, drugged and beaten web-head. Seems Frank, who has not been seen since this all started, has been keeping tabs on everything and everyone. He brings Spider-Man to Captain America’s supposedly secret base for medical attention, and offers his services to Team Cap. At first Cap makes use of his skills, which are put to great use helping them get their big prison break together for all of the captured heroes, but when Frank guns down some villains that have come to team Cap to volunteer to help, because they’re freaking villains, Cap snaps and beats the Punisher up, who refuses to fight against Cap.
This is Gonna Hurt
For this entire ordeal Captain America’s team has been underground and on the run not only from SHIELD but from Iron Man’s Avengers, now bolstered by the Thunderbolts. Multiple heroes have been captured and imprisoned inside Prison 42, located in the Negative Zone and designed by Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Hank Pym. Things have been getting bleaker and bleaker for the heroes opposing registration, but that all changes here.
Using intel gathered by the Punisher they are able to get access to the prison, and the shape changing Young Avenger Hulkling frees all of the previously captured heroes who join Cap just in time to confront the newly arrived Iron Man and his team. For the first time the stacked deck has been evened out, and it’s about to be one hell of a fight. As the two armies of (primarily) superheroes stare each other down, Captain America warns Iron Man and Reed Richards to close their eyes, because this is gonna hurt.
Chaos erupts moments later.
Team Cap vs Team Iron Man, round 2
With way too many super powers going off at once in an enclosed space, Captain America orders Cloak to use his teleportation powers to get everyone outside. Unfortunately Cloak teleports everyone into downtown Manhattan, and the damage is severe and immediate. As the battle escalates plenty of people get space to shine- Spidey in particular kicks a lot of ass, as does the Invisible Woman- but it’s really Captain America vs Iron Man that we’re here to see. Cap learned from their last fight, in which he got his ass completely handed to him, and is serving Iron Man up on a platter.
He’s got Iron Man completely beaten and holds before delivering a finishing blow. We know he’s not going to do it, but the first responders nearby don’t and Cap is tackled off of Iron Man by firefighters and EMTs. Cap takes a second, sobered by their intervention, and sees that all that this fighting is accomplishing is proving the other side right. Cap surrenders and orders his team to stand down, despite the fact that they were just completely winning the big fight. Well, ‘everything but the argumet’, Cap says.
They said things would never be the same again when they were marketing Civil War, and they weren’t wrong. There are a LOT of changes to the Marvel Universe coming out of the end of this story, and some of them are really, really big.
- Tony is In, Cap is Way, Way Out
After the final battle ends and the dust clears, Captain America is in SHIELD custody and Iron Man has just been named the new director of SHIELD. Tony is riding high, and Cap is sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial. Unfortunately, he will never make it into the courtroom. As he is being marched up the courthouse steps by SHIELD agents, including his girlfriend Sharon Carter, he is targeted by a sniper (that ass hat Crossbones). Cap takes the bullet to protect a bystander, and in the chaos a brainwashed agent Carter fires shots point blank into Cap’s torso, and he is presumed dead. This airs on national television and goes a long way to further isolating the heroes that supported Cap and went underground when he surrendered…
- Underground Avengers
Cap’s underground team of Avengers decides to keep Avenging, registration be damned. After Cap’s death they refuse to give up. A very loosely organized group, they are kind of under the leadership of Luke Cage while they hit and run against villains while trying to stay a step ahead of SHIELD and Iron Man’s shiny new Avengers team. Pictured is most of the roster: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine, Dr. Strange, and Ronin (Clint Barton). They are also joined by Jessica Jones and by the Bucky Barnes Captain America.
- SHIELD’s Avengers
While the underground Avengers are slumming it and living rough, Stark assembles a new team to represent his new version of SHIELD. With field leader Captain Marvel, he is joined by the Sentry, the Wasp, Wonder Man, the Black Widow and Ares, the God of War. One of the most powerful Avengers teams ever assembled, they quickly find their hands full with the likes of Ultron and Dr. Doom before their biggest threat pops its ugly head up. But before we get to that, I want to make sure to mention…
- Norman Osborn’s Thunderbolts
What the what?
Norman Osborn, who was outed as the Green Goblin just a couple of years prior in Mark Millar’s Marvel Knights Spider-Man, is able to use his money and influence to get a ‘second chance’ and is given the Thunderbolts program to run (against Stark’s wishes). Taking medication to prevent the Green Goblin persona from taking over, Osborn quickly puts his team of psychopaths to work capturing (at best) non-registered heroes while trying to keep from killing each other. His main line-up is Songbird, Penance, the Swordsman, Moonstone, the Radioactive Man, Bullseye and the Mac Gargan Venom. Like the Avengers, they will have their hands full until everyone is forced to drop their Civil War grudges when…
- The Skrulls Make Their Moves
Having figured a way around all forms of detection, the alien shape-shifting Skrulls have been hiding among us for years, and due to the strife and confusion of the Civil War they are ready to make their move. The Hulk was sidelined by the heroes in Planet Hulk, the X-Men were decimated in the House of M, and the Avengers just tore themselves in half. The war is over. The invasion has begun.
So, there are our picks for the (2nd) 5 coolest moments from Marvel’s Civil War.
Be sure to check out some of our other Coolest Moments From… lists, such as the original X-Factor, the 90’s great Age of Apocalypse, the fantastic Ghost Rider-centric Rise of the Midnight Sons, the classic Death and Return of Superman, the incredible Infinity Gauntlet, and of course, part 1 of our look at Civil War!