Whenever a kid is born in our immediate family (by which I mean, whenever we get a new niece, nephew, son or daughter), I put together a time capsule for the kid. If I remember to get everything, this consists of a newspaper from the day they were born, a mint coin set, the Grammy nominees CD, and loads of year in review magazines. It all gets packed into an empty popcorn tin (bonus - we get to eat the popcorn).
For the birth of The Boy, I decided it'd be neat to grab a few current comic books and toss them into the mix. Well, my timing couldn't have been better, for he was born near the beginning of the Marvel Civil War.
It's an excellent concept. Imagine a COPS-type show, but with third tier superheroes as the cops. Then imagine they stumble across some real big bads. They know they're outclassed, but in a quest for ratings, they try to take them. The result? Stamford, Connecticut blown up, killing most of the heroes and about 60 kids. The public goes nuts. Congress rapidly passes a law requiring Superheroes to 1) reveal their secret identities to the feds, 2) be trained and registered as law enforcement agents, and 3) be put on the Federal payroll (and presumably at their beck and call). The superhero world splits down the middle, with IronMan on the side of the Feds, and Captain America refusing to register and going underground a the leader of the restance. (Listen to the NPR story from May, here. They've got the first 7 pages as a pdf, too.).
Killer stuff, here. Blazingly political, and fascinating even if, like me, you don't know who in the hell half of these guys in the tights are. They're up to Ish 3, and so far it's great! We're getting a nice range of responses to the registration demands, ranging from mindless to thoughtful to those nearly torn in two by the decision. It looks like some of the crew will be switching sides as time goes on, and I'm eating it up.
The main storyline is only 7 issues, but when you roll in all the tie ins, the official total is 85. Add in the oblique references, and it's gotta break 100, easy. I'm going to be watching Spidey and The Thing. I figure maybe a dozen or so issues, total. I've never read superhero comics before, but these are great! Oh, and looking around the web, I see that Joss Whedon had a hand in plotting the final installment. Now you know it kicks butt! If there's one person in this world whose creative impulse can be trusted, it's Joss's.