Ahead of this week’s New York Comic-Con, Marvel has hinted at a sequel of its 2006 crossover series Civil War with a simple postcard.
Ryan Higgins, the owner of Comics Conspiracy in California and co-host of the Comics Conspiracy podcast, was sent a muted postcard from Marvel with the Roman numeral “II” and a picture of Iron Man trading fists with Sam Wilson, the current Captain America in Marvel’s “All-New, All-Different” line. The artwork was done by original Civil War artist Steve McNiven.
From 2006 to 2007, Marvel’s Civil War was a blockbuster deconstruction of post-9/11 paranoia through the superhero genre. Juggling security versus freedom in modern America, a mishap with young, untested superheroes goofing off leaves an entire town leveled and the entire superhero community dealing with the aftermath. Should superheroes be federally overseen and regulated? It’s a question Iron Man and Captain America debate with fists and ion blasts and bashes to the skull.
Ten years later and Civil War is remarkably resonant. We’re still trying to debate the cost of freedom and the undefined boundaries possessed by authority. In 2016, Captain America: Civil War, the next in Marvel’s wildly successful film franchise, features a story heavily inspired by that seminal series.
Marvel just recently reintroduced Civil War in this summer’s Secret Wars crossover, which has ended with a soft reboot of all of Marvel’s ongoing titles. In that Civil War, the battle never ended and only escalated to dangerous heights as General Steve Rogers (yup) battles President Stark (YUP) one last time.
Under the “All-New, All-Different” initiative, which is launching officially this week, many of the past grudges that fueled the original Civil War have been essentially buried. But this being comic books, all it takes is one nasty push for things to get rollicking again.