Speedball after Stamford, from Front Line 1 "Civil War" (Part 1)
"Civil War (Part 1)" Civil War 1 (2006)
"Embedded (Part 1)" Civil War: Front Line 1 (2006)
"The Accused (Part 1)" Civil War: Front Line 1 (2006)

Reader Rating: Above Average

Summary: The New Warriors' attempt to capture Nitro and associates in Stamford, Connecticut goes horribly wrong. Nitro explodes, killing most of the Warriors and hundreds of civilians. Public support builds for a Registration Act, requiring that super-heroes work for the government. Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic and Yellowjacket line up in favor of it. Captain America vehemently opposes it as an infringement of civil liberties -- and finds himself on the run from SHIELD.

Ben Urich and Sally Floyd, reporters for the Daily Bugle begin covering the unfolding story. Ben is on hand when Iron Man, to show his support for registration, unmasks.

The only Warrior to survive the explosion is Speedball, whose nearly dead body is found hundreds of miles away in upstate New York. His powers apparently gone, Robbie Baldwin awakens in a hospital bed -- and is immediately placed under arrest.

The Stamford villains are identified as Cobalt Man, Coldheart and Speedfreak. The Warriors include Microbe, Namorita and Night Thrasher. The heroes reacting to events include The New Avengers (Luke Cage, Spider-Man, the Wasp), The X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Wolverine), The Fantastic Four (The Human Torch, The Invisible Woman, The Thing), Daredevil, Dr. Strange, The Falcon, Giant-Man (Bill Foster), Ms. Marvel, Nighthawk, She-Hulk and The Watcher.

Continuity: This is the second time we've seen discussion of a proposal to register heroes -- the first time, Mr. Fantastic was on the other side. See "Dark Congress". Nighthawk contributes to the debate at Avengers Mansion -- and finds himself having to choose sides in another impending war.

Comments: Civil War is an emotionally powerful story written and drawn with a high level of competence. Even in these early chapters, however, there are too many scenes that feel like filler, taking five or six pages to present material that could easily be fit into a couple of panels.

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This page was revised on June 30, 2007

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