Crazy Theory Theater: A CIVIL WAR for the Ages?
Let’s be clear about this from the start — the following is not a "rumor." It’s not a planted information leak or otherwise based on any inside knowledge. This, as our title qualifies, is just a homegrown crazy theory — speculation based on breadcrumbs of information, attempting to map out from afar where the trail will lead.
Let’s establish some facts here first: 2006-2007’s Civil War was far and away not only Marvel’s most commercially successful "event"/publishing endeavor of the last decade, but it was also arguably the comic book industry's biggest commercial success story during that time (maybe someday someone will calculate all of The Walking Dead’s collection sales and we’ll have a healthy debate). Its early issues sold better than 300k a piece, and was one of the few event titles whose sales actually went up from the first to second issue.
Marvel eventually returning to the valuable brand in some fashion is more likely a matter of "when" than "if."
The challenge for the publisher, if and when they ever do attempt a follow-up, is devising an original premise that isn’t just a redo of the ideological hero-vs.-hero formula of the first, but has enough thematic weight to legitimately be branded another Civil War.
So who could Marvel pit against one another that could genuinely represent a war of ideology over genetics or culture, but be big and broad enough to involve their biggest superhero franchises?
Hold that thought for a moment…
What else do we know about Marvel events? Well, we know they don’t ever really end. The conclusion of a Marvel or DC event almost always just winds up planting the seeds of another event. Crisis (apologies, DC) begets crisis. There’s rarely a dull or down moment in the Marvel Universe, and the publisher’s last and current event, both largely orchestrated by Marvel conductor-in-chief Brian Bendis, seem to be establishing time travel as an increasingly important element in the Marvel U.Angel has apparently left his teammates at the main X-Men branch at the Jean Grey School, joining Cyclops' rogue rival school.
The current Age of Ultron is steeped in time travel — Ultron is apparently attacking the present from the future, Wolverine and Invisible Woman are traveling to the past to try to present the future/present and Marvel has made it clear that implications of the Butterfly Effect are about to take hold in that series.
In fact, it's something that Marvel — and Bendis in particular — have been making clear for months. Here's an excerpt from our interview with the writer back in October:
Bendis: And they couldn’t be more wildly different. And wait until you find out the connection between All-New X-Men and Guardians.
On Earth, there’s a lot of space-time continuum abuse, and the butterfly effect doesn’t always reveal itself on Earth. So someone’s bouncing back and forth in time...
Nrama: The original X-Men, maybe?
Bendis: Maybe! Somewhere else in the galaxy, someone else is feeling the ramifications of that decision, and that’s going to be coming full force. How about them apples?"
the solicitation for Indestructible Hulk #11 cannot go unnoticed:
"Spinning out of the events of Age of Ultron! Hulk’s sent on his most dangerous mission yet, working for a secret subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D.! History’s breaking — and only the Hulk is strong enough to hold it together!"
"History is breaking"… and it’s going to need to be held together.So then, what does all this have to do with a sequel to Civil War? Let’s let these few images address that question with a few thousand words:
old coverWhat ideological line of division amongst heroes could Marvel use to legitimately fuel another broad scale, commercially blockbuster civil war? How about the one Bendis has and is already establishing in All-New X-Men — Marvel's biggest heroes against themselves? The purer idealists of Marvel’s past vs. their own war-worn, pragmatist counterparts of the present. 'Lighter' vs. 'darker' ... era vs. era.
Truly a Marvel Civil War for the Ages.
We’re just sayin.’
Crazy, right?*[editor’s note: The old Wolverine vs. current Wolverine image on the above right that was solicited as the cover for June’s Age of Ultron #9 has been replaced with the similar-but-different current Wolverine vs. current Wolverine image to its left. As to why Marvel is making that change? Beats us. And they ain't talking.] Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!