Superhuman Civil War: Legalizing Slavery or Defending Freedom

Warning: Contains Spoilers

Civil War is a crossover event in the Marvel Comic universe. Following M-day when Scarlet Witch rendered 90% of the mutant population powerless, the growing tension of mutant and human escalated as now remaining mutants are outnumbered. Following the Hulk rampage, Secret War. The tension reached its final breaking point when New Warriors attempted to capture supervillains in Stamford but they were overpowered when Nitro used his explosive ability to kill 605 residents (plus 7 superheroes and villains, 60 of them were elementary school children). With Human Torch almost lynched, the Superhuman Registration Act was quickly passed which allows the US government to gain their secret identity thus able to monitor them. Iron Man enlisted the help of Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Yellowjacker (Henry Pym) to come forward support the Act. Richards even built a prison designed to house those violating the act, the remaining superheroes were given a deadline to register. 

However, others disagreed. Wolverine went to track down Nitro, some factions remained neutral such as the X-men. Captain America led others known as Secret Avengers into rebellion, the result was that the Thor Clone killed Goliath and Invisible Woman (Susan Storm) joining the other side. There were many people involved in the conflict and I will show you why we should all support the Secret Avengers.

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Prodigy (Richard Gilmore)- The first victim of the Superhuman Registration Act, Gilmore made a scene for himself to get arrested to show people how inhumane the legislation is.

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Arachne (Julia Carpenter)– A double agent who registered to help other escape. When Shroud was captured, he revealed her double agent status and Ms. Marvel captured her (though not without a fight).

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Nichloas Fury- Remaining in hiding, Nick Fury aided the Secret Avengers against S.H.I.E.L.D. by allowing them to use his secret bases. He also convinced Winter Soldier (James Barnes) to help Captain America.

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Cable (Nathan Summers)- One of the most powerful telepaths, Cable allied with the Secret Avengers, he even confronted the president of United States to tell him to reconsider what he was doing. This was made complicated when Deadpool tried to stop him.

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Luke Cage- He refused to registered, even compared the Superhuman Registration Act as slavery. He rallied his neighbourhood to support him and joined Captain America later, becoming a key combatant. Jessica Jones fled to Canada.

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Butterfly (Layla Miller)- a mutant with the ability of knowing the past and future, Layla is part of the X-factor located in Mutant Town. X-factor Vol. 2 #9 shown Layla reading Atlas Shrugged and she declared Quicksilver, a pro-registration mutant, her nemesis. X-factor along with Mutant Town declared their opposition to Superhuman Registration Act at the end of their arc.

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The Thing (Benjamin Grimm)- An original member of the Fantastic Four, The Thing questioned about the morality behind the Superhuman Registration Act and decided to go to France to avoid the conflict until it dies down.

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Black Panther (T’Challa)– A superhero involved with Fantastic Four and Avengers, Black Panther avoided registration because he was not an American native, but his conscience and role as King of Wakanda led him to denounce the Superhuman Registration Act internationally. Initially relying on diplomacy, when Tony Stark tried to force Storm to register, he joined the Secret Avengers to actively undermine the legislation.

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Storm (Ororo Munroe)- Former X-man, now Queen of Wakanda. She supported her husband throughout the war, even took on Thor Clone herself.

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Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett)- While everyone was fighting, Wolverine went to apprehend Nitro, but was interrupted by the Atlanteans. Soon after, he uncovered the reason behind the Stamford explosion. Maria Hill tried to detain him and failed, Wolverine later joined the Secret Avengers.

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Invisible Woman (Susan Storm)- Original member of the Fantastic Four, Sue initially supported the Act when Johnny was injured but when Goliath was killed, she realised how wrong she was and joined the Secret Avengers along with Johnny.

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Punisher (Frank Castle)- Originally not getting involved, he helped Spider-Man escape from being captured. Captain America later recruited him on the condition of him using non-lethal methods to get to Baxter Building (Home of Fantastic Four). When Captain America allowed supervillains to join their cause, Castle killed them and was kicked out of Secret Avengers. Though I think he represented the virtue of integrity as shown in a flashback that he wouldn’t attack Captain America (similar to Rand’s attack on Rothbard, without the killing of course).

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Spider-Man (Peter Parker)- Blackmailed by Tony Stark, Spider-Man revealed his alter ego to the public. This action has caused his job, lawsuits, endangering Mary Jane and Aunt May’s lives. After Goliath was killed and a visit to the prison, Spider-Man changed his mind and joined the Secret Avengers, but not before he publicly condemned the Superhuman Registration Act. He soon learns that his action has a price.

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Captain America (Steve Rogers)- The main opponent of the Superhuman Registration Act, Captain America led those who saw the Legislation unconstitutional to secret hideouts. He followed his principles to the end and paid the price for his own convictions.

Speedball (Robert Baldwin)- The only survivor in the Stamford explosion, he was sent to the special prison designed by Mr. Fantastic where he received continued abuse for refusing to register. He tried to sabotage Stark’s attempt to make him into a poster child for Superhuman Registration Act but was shot before he could reach the podium to denounce the Act. Afterwards, his power evolved and he changed his name to Penance by wearing a newly designed suit of 612 spikes penetrating his body and registered, though not without having condemning the government.

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Daredevil (Matt Murdock)- Daredevil was a key player in the Civil War, he participated in most of the important battles. He was captured early on but later free during the prison break and continued his resistance.

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Human Torch (Johnny Storm)- Another original member of the Fantastic Four, Johnny enjoyed his public identity but when he was attacked by a mob of angry humans, he realised the danger of allowing people to know superheroes’ identity and join the side of Captain America, along with his sister Susan.

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Namor Mckenzie- Opposed the Superhuman Registration Act from the very beginning, he chose not to get involved. But when his cousin Namorita was killed in Stamford, he awoke sleeper agents to bring Nitro to justice. He later joined Captain America’s side.

Bonus:

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Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)– on the pretence of helping Tony Stark, he secretly led the cape-killers and S.H.I.E.L.D. to a supervillain hideout, though he aimed to gain something out of this war.

Sally Floyd- A reporter who wished to uncover the truth behind the war, only found herself trapped between both sides. She initially was against the Act, but later on she was not happy about the outcome of the war and partially blamed Captain America for having her tax pay for all the damagers, the above comic is a fan edit.


In the end, Captain America surrendered despite having the upper hand. Unlike Iron Man, he saw the damage the war had on the civilians, he turned himself in, but not his costume because that’s the true value of America. He may have lost the war, but he won his freedom, the freedom to choose.


All Marvel Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright © 1941-2016 Marvel Characters, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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