I come today, not to bury Marvel, but to praise it.
To praise Civil War. In fact, to praise Civil War for precisely the same reason many people are damning it: because it's boring.
Arguments over legislation? Boring? Welcome to Washington, folks!
Like many other Washingtonians, part of my career has involved participating in goings-on on the Hill (Capitol Hill, that is; the slaughteryards where tasty links of legislation are made). With all the political coverage on the teevee nowadays, you'd think anyone could develop a realistic sense of how this town works, without ever needing to live here, work here, or even visit here.
Yet, the many-headed media's fictional portrayals of Washington have more influence on most non-locals' idea of our national government than does any news coverage (which is sometimes fictional anyway).
People who don't live here but do watch movies and TV get silly ideas in their heads. That the president runs the government. That representatives have the nation's best interests at heart rather than their own. That the administrative branch is efficient enough and motivated enough to perpetrate large-scale, long-term conspiracies. That government is gripping and exciting. These are the kinds of things that make Washingtonians laugh long and hard.
Marvel, folks, is telling you like it is. Legislation is boring and vague. Frustrated that you don't know what the legislation is that the Marvel characters are arguing about because you haven't seen it? Ha! That's better than being frustrated that you don't know what the legislation is because you have seen it, which is exactly what happens when most normal people see a bill.
Irate because longtime comrades-in-arms are being put so easily at odds by a simple bill, because it seems unrealistic? Heh; sit in on a Republican discussion of illegal or legal immigration bills.
I read a description of the Big Two's big events this summer (on another blog, but I don't remember which one): Infinite Crisis is exciting but fantastically incomprehensible and Civil War is boring but excruciatingly realistic. Or something like that.
So, I applaud the realism of the honorable competition (for Quesada is an honorable man). I also applaud Marvel for doing what it does best: being different from DC, specifically, being more realistic.
Yes, I know a lot of you steadfastly turn a blind eye to any differences between the two companies, but fortunately that doesn't erase them.
In IC, all of DC's heroes stop fighting one another are start fighting all the villains; in CW, all of Marvel's heroes stop fighting villains and start fighting one another. DC is busy heightening the differences between heroes and villains and sharpening the contrast between Good and Evil; meanwhile, Marvel asserts there is no right or wrong in the problem its posing, that real issues are inherently grey. As ever, Marvel strives to reflect our world, and DC to illuminate it.
Both purposes are potentially good, useful, and interesting, by the way (even if I personally enjoy one more than the other).
So read Civil War. And if you find it boring, or it frustrates you because there's no simple answer ...
good. Because that is how the world is.