Prince, Michael J. "‘Whose side are you on?’. Negotiations between individual liberty and collective responsibility in Millar and McNiven’s Marvel Civil War." In: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics 6.2 (2015), S. 182–192.
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|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Prince2015
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Keywords: "Civil War", Politics, Superhero, USA
Collection: Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
The Civil War series by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, published between July 2006 and January 2007, involves superheroes in a battle among themselves as an allegory for political conflicts of the United States, post-Patriot Act. Akin to Alan Moore’s Watchmen and the Uncanny X-Men series, Civil War centers on a political solution to regulate and control superhero vigilante justice. The rhetoric represented by the conflicting factions orbits the concerns of individual liberty vs. collective responsibility, with Captain America (a World War Two and Cold War warrior) siding most adamantly against government supervision and Iron Man fighting in favor of government control. The civil war played out among the superheroes echoes contemporary social and political concerns seen in the Occupy movement, gun control, and the resistant politics of the ‘Tea Party’. The visual representations in the series invoke visual cues from news, reality shows, as well as the flamboyant conflicts one would expect when the superhero pantheon engages in a fratricidal conflict. While the series has the forces of government control triumphing in the end, Captain America’s eventual martyrdom casts the work as a conservative ideological project, characteristic for comics in general, of endorsing the status quo.
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