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Friday, March 31, 2006

Restoring the edge to the Marvel universe

I talked to Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada yesterday and writer Paul Jenkins today about Marvel’s big upcoming event, “Civil War.” The miniseries will see the Marvel universe divided over a superhero registration act, which reflects the real-world debate over civil rights vs. homeland security. Jenkins is writing a companion miniseries, “Civil War: Front Line.”

They both made an interesting observation about where Marvel is headed after “Civil War.” In a way, it’ll be a return to Marvel’s roots. When the Marvel “revolution” took place in the 1960s, many of its superheroes, most notably Spider-Man and the X-Men, were mistrusted — more likely to be shot at by the police than welcomed. Over the years, the heroes have become more accepted. But with many heroes in “Civil War” refusing to register with the government, they’re going to be on the outs with the law again.

“This was a great way of giving the edge back to the whole universe a little bit,” says Jenkins, who points out that in the real world, superheroes would pose a real headache for law enforcement. When Spidey catches a couple of bad guys and webs them to a wall for the cops, what are the police supposed to do? It’s not like Spider-Man offers a statement to the police or shows up in court later as a witness.


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