Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Random Assortment of Reviews

BAKER STREET PECULIARS #1

"The Case of the Cockney Golem Chapter One: A Beast in Baker Street" by Roger Langridge (writer) and Andy Hirsch (artist)

This is a new series about three children (and one dog) who enter into the employ of someone claiming to be Sherlock Holmes in order to investigate the suddenly-animated statue of a lion which goes on a rampage through Baker Street. The series is inspired by some of the ephemera surrounding Sherlock Holmes. It's interesting, in fact, to note how minor figures in the Holmes canon like Mycroft Holmes, Irene Adler and Professor Moriarty loom much larger in works outside the canon. Likewise, Holmes' landlady Mrs. Hudson and the Baker Street children are the featured players in this series, while they were barely visible in the original stories. In fact, the Baker Street kids are more accurately the offspring of William Gillette's stage play, rather than the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This story seems to involve magic (what with the animated stone lion) which is supposed to be a no-no in detective fiction, but it suits the light comedic tone. As an all-ages comic book, it has plenty of funny dialogue by Langridge. If I hadn't known from the outset that he didn't draw this book, I'd have looked at Hirsch's art and assumed it was Langridge using an inker; which is to say, Hirsch's art is perfect for Langridge's form.

Baker Street Peculiars is published by Boom! Studios: "Freelancers' least-favourite publisher!"

COPRA #14

"Wir" by Michael Fiffe (writer/artist).

I'm still slowly going through the series Copra an issue at a time and at this point, the series has begun to delve into character-driven tales of the various cast members, rather than addressing the ongoing plots. This issue features Wir, the armor-wearing teenage member of the team. For much of the issue it's a quiet narrative about the day-to-day doings of listless teenagers and their usual routines. Up until the closing pages where the usual tone of Copra reasserts itself, it's like a male version of This One Summer. A very nice change-of-pace for what is becoming a series - and creator - I intend to pay attention to.

Copra is published by Michael Fiffe: "You guys, self-publishing is still a thing."

G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #227

"Cobra Nation Part 2" by Larry Hama (writer) and S.L. Gallant (artist)

Larry Hama is still kicking it old school on G.I. Joe with an endless series of running subplots and his usual cast of hundreds. This issue features Cobra Commander being forced into a new arrangement with his former ally Destro; the new Snake-Eyes learning how to shatter a sword using ninja magic (which is getting well outside of the level of ninja mysticism I like to see in this series) and the Joes welcome a new member Bombstrike (new to this continuity at least). It's nice to have another new character in the Joes' ranks as part of what made Hama's original run on the series in the 80s so enjoyable was the steady influx of new faces. The absence of new figures to sell has made it easier on Hama to tell the stories he wants to without having to shill for Hasbro, but I liked the way the commercial demands made him pivot from time-to-time; after all, Hama has stated repeatedly that he doesn't plan the series in advance but instead plots everything on the fly. New characters should always be part of that.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is published by IDW: "We're not an IP farm, we're an IP rest home."

THE MIGHTY ZODIAC #1

"Starfall Part 1: The Shadows Have Ears" by J. Torres (writer) and Corin Howell (artist).

Finally, we have the beginning of an epic story set in a world populated by anthropomorphic animal people. 12 of them are of the same race as creatures from the Chinese zodiac (snake, rooster, ox, etc) and are evidently being set up as the protagonists. It seems six stars have fallen from the sky and a dark power - represented by evil rabbits - are on the loose. A few of the heroes are introduced and it all has a lightness of touch similar to that of Kung Fu Panda. If that's your thing, this might be your thing too.

The Mighty Zodiac is published by Oni Press: "We publish more than just Scott Pilgrim, apparently."

Monday, May 23, 2016

"You self-blinded fool..." Mr. A #18 review

One of the best things to come of comic book creators turning to Kickstarter is that it's helped a true living legend of the medium - Steve Ditko - to continue producing work. Perhaps the exposure he's gained from Kickstarter is greater than what he had before, as self-published comics have a terrible time gaining traction in today's comic book market.

The latest Kickstarter production from Ditko is a new issue of Mr. A. Of all of Ditko's creator-owned characters, Mr. A is surely the best-known. Because the character is used to help enact Ditko's objectivist philosophies, he is also a character quite close to Ditko's soul.

In Mr. A #18 there are two stories; in the first, "Mr. A and the Horror," a man in a monster mask goes about extorting money from people. Mr. A sets out to stop the extortioner, but his victims are far too protective of him. In the second tale, "The Score," a businessman commits suicide and Mr. A sets after the men who drove him to that end.

Surprisingly for Ditko's work, there are sub-plots in these tales, whereas his self-published stories normally each tell a single tale. In both stories, there's troule at the Daily Crusader newspaper where Mr. A's civilian identity works, eventually leading to the return of the paper's first publisher who sets things in order at the climax.

Although I have no great love for objectivism, I rather like this book more than the other recent self-published Ditko comics I've read. His art seems more detailed and the lettering sharper. I only hope there are many more stories to come.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Rest in Peace: Alan Young

Another star from the days of old-time radio has passed away: Alan Young died two days ago, aged 96. He had a swift rise in radio, starring in his own program in 1944. It probably helped that during World War II there was a huge demand for performers. I don't personally find that his show holds up today but if you'd like to sample it for yourself, try this page at archive.org.

It was on television that Young really made his mark, starring in Mr. Ed as Wilbur, owner of the titular talking horse. I adored Mr. Ed in my youth and I'm sure I watched every episode on Nick at Nite. I can't recall much of the show's plots though, outside of the one with Mae West.

Young's other great contribution to my childhood entertainment was his lenghty turn as the voice of Scoorge McDuck on television's DuckTales cartoons. Young's career in radio clearly trained him for animation work (like so many radio veterans) and with his adopted Scottish accent I doubt anyone recognized his voice (though if you know Young provided the voice it's apparent immediately).

Rest in peace Mr. Young.

Monday, May 9, 2016

"And now we must reckon with what we have done to our own blood." Black Panther #1 review

Since I quit working for Marvel in 2012 I've mostly kept my distance from their comics (for a variety of reasons) but occasionally I do check in on some titles. Such a comic is the new Black Panther by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Brian Stelfreeze. The series has, no doubt, come into being because the Black Panther is making his live-action debut this month in Captain America: Civil War, but it's also receiving a lot of attention because Coates is a noted journalist from the Atlantic; in the mere two years I've been reading the Atlantic I've certainly come to look forward to his essays. Coates has thus become the third black man to serve as the ongoing author of comicdom's first black super hero, the Black Panther - following in the footsteps of Christopher Priest (1998-2003) and Reginald Hudlin (2005-2009); further, artist Stelfreeze is likewise black, him being an artist whom Priest long wished he could have had as a collaborator on his own series. As I enjoyed Priest's Black Panther in part for its political side, from Coates' background I anticipated a similar interest in playing with politics.

I seem unable to keep from thinking of Priest's Black Panther - it was certainly one of my favourite comic series. Like Priest, Coates' first issue features T'Challa and his Dora Milaje bodyguards and a plot against T'Challa which originates from a neighbouring state and is fomented by a manipulator who tries to turn his people against him; even the Kimoyo technology is back. Whereas Priest's book was told through the eyes of the buffoonish Everett K. Ross (himself debuting in Captain America: Civil War but missing from Coates' pages), Coates' story is told primarily through T'Challa's perspective, something which goes against Priest's own belief that T'Challa should be somewhat inscrutable, kept remote from the audience.

Whereas Hudlin set out immediately to retcon much of T'Challa's world, Coates seems willing to play with the world he's been handed; Wakanda's enemy Niganda from the Hudlin run is brought back, T'Challa's mother Ramonda from Don MacGregor's work is given a proper reintroduction, T'Challa is dealing with the reprecussions of various recent events in other comics and the Dora Milaje - who were present only in the background of Hudlin's work - are again part of the series narrative. As teenage "prospective brides" for T'Challa, Priest had always intended them to be somewhat probelmatic characters, with one of his initial Dora Milaje - Nakia - developing a terrible obsession for T'Challa. Here, the Dora Milaje are called Aneka and Ayo; having recently killed a lecherous chieftain, Aneka is sentenced to death, but Ayo liberates her. It also appears that the duo are lovers.

Aneka and Ayo carry much of this comic because T'Challa is - despite providing a monologue of his thoughts - not much of a protagonist. In his day, Priest had to deal with fans' impatience at how T'Challa would seem to be running behind on the villain's actions, slow to react, when in actuality Priest always considered T'Challa as hyper-competant and several steps ahead of the villains, but it would often take 3-4 issues before T'Challa would spring his carefully-laid plans. Priest had in part based his interpretation as a reaction against the work of Don MacGregor, whose T'Challa seemed to be constantly losing fights and always lagging behind his enemies' plots. It's hard to know from one issue where Coates is bringing T'Challa, but as the hero's inner thoughts are maade available here I sense rather more MacGregor than Priest; throughout this issue T'Challa is shown mourning the death of his sister, brooding over recent battles, unable to confront the person menacing Wakanda, unable to intervene in the Dora Milaje matter and denounced by his own subjects. Although I trust T'Challa to claim some form of eventual triumph, if this is the character's opening position it's hard to imagine his life getting much better in the coming story. Overall, T'Challa is depressed; what a bummer.

While Priest withheld the identity of the person (Achebe) manipulating events against T'Challa until his third issue, Coates identifies the person responsible in this issue. And while the former villain used political theater to help sway opinion, this latter villain uses mind control powers, which is certainly in-keeping with the Marvel Universe setting, but a heck of a lot less interesting politically. Although Coates is new to the comic book form, he seems to understand many of the tricks used by today's popular super hero creators, such as the unwillingness to render a story with a beginning, middle and end; this comic is all middle and thus not satisfying as an individual unit of entertainment. No doubt the collected edition of this story will be the best way to judge his future in comics - I mean, assuming he wants a career in comics.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Free Comic Book Day 2016 Roundup

I didn't bother going to the comic shop for Free Comic Book Day in 2015 because I felt I'd rather wait for the year's offerings to turn up on Comixology rather than brave the FCBD crowds. But otherwise, I've been out for Free Comic Book Day almost every year since the first one. My preferred shop offers two FCBD offerings for free per customer, $0.25 for additional comics. I came away with six books; here's what I thought:

The Invincible Haggard West #101 by Paul Pope (First Second).

This is actually a comic book from 2013 which sold for $2.99, but I guess there was a lot of overstock. Free Comic Book Day is actually a good venue for this comic - it's the opening sequence from Paul Pope's graphic novel Battling Boy, telling the final adventure of Haggard West, whose death has reprecussions on the rest of the book. The only thing wrong with this comic was its original cover price; since the entirety of the contents were in Battling Boy, the publisher was basically banking on getting Paul Pope fans to buy something twice. As a free book (or if it had been priced at $1 or lower) it's appropriate as a preview comic - it will make you (hopefully) want to pick up Battling Boy to have the rest of the story. I've already read Battling Boy, but I judged that $0.25 for some Paul Pope was a good deal.

Free Comic Book Day 2016: General (great title there) by Chris Roberson, Stephen Byrne, Mike Mignola, Richard Corben, Brian Wood and Tristan Jones (Dark Horse Comics).

This poorly-named comic contains three original short stories to advertise three ongoing Dark Horse properties. These are Serenity by Roberson & Byrne, Hellboy by Mignola & Corben and Aliens by Wood & Jones. Aliens did not interest me, but Serenity and Hellboy are properties I've enjoyed in the past. The Serenity tale is given the cover along with Joss Whedon's name (he's "executive producer," whatever that means in terms of comic book production; guys, you probably don't need his name to sell a free comic). It's a harmless bit of fluff where River tells a bedtime story to Zoe's daughter about the crew's adventures in the style of a fairy tale. If you already know Firefly/Serenity then it brings nothing new to the table, but it's a good bit of pandering. The Hellboy story involves a young Hellboy deciding to check out a cursed mirror his father told him about and that turns out to be a bad idea. Corben draws some great monsters.

The Tick: Free Comic Book Day 2016 by Jeff McClelland, Duane Redhead and Ian Nichols (New England Comics).

It's hard to go wrong with the Tick; although series creator Ben Edlund has long since moved on, the character is still a lot of fun. This book is easily the best value of all the FCDB titles I picked up as it contains three complete stories. The first two involve the Tick dealing with the problem of various alternate reality versions of himself appearing in the City, while the 3rd story involves "Tickfest," the Tick's first convention (which is actually a trap set by a super-villain). It's entirely suitable for kids or adults with plenty of fun lines of dialogue: "Reality and I have never been great allies, I suppose."

FCBD: March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (IDW/Top Shelf).

I've heard many complimentary things about March, the graphic novel adaptation (in 3 volumes) of John Lewis' participation in the civil rights movement. This book collects an example from each volume, together giving a good impression of the scope of Lewis' tale. I certainly do intend to get around to reading March one of these days.

Rom #0 by Chris Ryall, Christos Gage, David Messina, John Barber and Chris Evenhuis (IDW).

IDW has recently picked up the licenses to the Micronauts and Rom, two toy properties whose comic books were produced by Marvel, but everything Marvel invented remains with that company. Can Rom work without Marvel's involvement? I dunno. For some reason IDW has redesigned Rom, taking away his sleekness, making him look bulkier. His distinctive pointy-feet have been turned into normal boots, his mitten-hands are now normal gauntlets and his neutralizer looks completely different. It's the same set up (Ultimate Rom, as it were) with Rom battling the Dire Wraiths. I thought the Dire Wraiths belonged to Marvel, but perhaps the toy company owned the name? Anyway, these Wraiths don't use any of the previous Marvel designs, instead going for an H.R. Giger Alien look. Once again, Rom comes to Earth to stop the Dire Wraiths; this time he'll do it in a clumsier costume and opposite a completely different supporting cast (not introduced here). I think I can safely say this isn't for me - I'm not interested in Ultimate Rom and thought writer Ryall's earlier creator-owned book Onyx was already a decent enough revisiting of the Rom mythos.

Free Comic Book Day 2016 (Captain America)#1 by Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Dan Slott and Javier Garron (Marvel Comics).

Like so many of Marvel's FCBD offerings, this one previews some upcoming stories. Captain America gets the headline treatment because of his new movie and it features him battling Hydra alongside Sharon, the Falcon (who is also Captain America) and another Falcon (who is not Sam Wilson; comics, everyone!). Meanwhile, a Spider-Man story pits him against people who have mysteriously returned from the dead, something which happens every single dang month in comic books, but one assumes it's different this time. I'm still happy to remain on the outside of Marvel and not go back the ol' MU - too many memories. But these are decent previews. If I were still reading super heroes, I'd be following that Spider-Man story.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Creator credits for Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Welcome! A new Marvel super hero film has arrived and, per usual, I've been digging through elements of the film to see where they came from in the comics. You can find links to all of my lists on this page.

Stan Lee: co-creator of Spider-Man, Peter Parker, a teenage super hero garbed in red and blue with a red webbing design, spider emblem on chest and lenses in his mask; Spider-Man swinging around on webbing fired from his web-shooters and climbing up walls; Spider-Man motivated to use his powers to help others; Peter's aunt May Parker, who is not aware of Peter's double life (Amazing Fantasy #15, 1962); of Spider-Man's spider-signal flashlight (Amazing Spider-Man #3, 1963); of the Black Widow's red hair, black bodysuit, Widow's Bite wrist weapon and carrying explosives (Amazing Spider-Man #86, 1970); of the Avengers, a team of super heroes including Thor, Hulk & Iron Man; the Avengers battling Loki (Avengers #1, 1963); of Tony Stark providing the Avengers with their headquarters (Avengers #2, 1963); of Captain America frozen in ice during World War 2, revived in contemporary times, has difficulty adjusting; Bucky's seeming death during the War; Captain America joining the Avengers (Avengers #4, 1964); of Captain America throwing his shield so that it ricochets and returns to his hand (Avengers #5, 1964); of Zemo, an enemy to Captain America and the Avengers (Avengers #6, 1964); of Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch as members of the Avengers; Captain America as the Avengers leader (Avengers #16, 1965); of the Falcon, alias Sam Wilson, a costumed African-American hero who is friends with Captain America; of Redwing, the Falcon's small winged companion (Captain America #117, 1969); of the extraterrestrial Skrulls, from whom the Chitauri were derived (Fantastic Four #2, 1962); of Wakanda, a remote African nation largely cut off from outsiders; T'Challa, king of Wakanda, a man with cat-like senses who wears the masked identity of the Black Panther (Fantastic Four #52, 1966); of Vibranium, a rare metal found in Wakanda with unusual, unpredictable properties; King T'Chaka, the aged father of T'Challa and king of Wakanda until he was murdered; of the Wakandans worshiping black panthers (Fantastic Four #53, 1966); of the giant statues of black panthers which adorn Wakanda (Fantastic Four #54, 1966); of the Hulk, a massive, brutish creature with superhuman strength; General Thaddeus Ross, a military officer who is an enemy of the Hulk (Incredible Hulk #1, 1962); of the Hulk colored green (Incredible Hulk #2, 1962); of the Hulk traveling vast distances by leaping (Incredible Hulk #3, 1962); of Thor, Norse god of thunder (Journey into Mystery #83, 1962); of Loki, Thor's evil brother (Journey into Mystery#85, 1962); of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international espionage agency; the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, their mobile headquarters designed like a flying battleship; the enemy group and secret society Hydra with their "Hail Hydra" salute (Strange Tales #135, 1965); of the Hydra insignia, a skull atop octopus arms (Strange Tales #151, 1966); of Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist who wears Iron Man armor which grants him superhuman strength, flight and other devices (Tales of Suspense #39, 1963); of Iron Man's armor being gold; of Iron Man's unibeam in the center of his chestplate (Tales of Suspense #40, 1963); of Pepper Potts, Tony Stark's secretary and romantic interest; Stark Industries, Tony's technology company (Tales of Suspense #45, 1963); of Iron Man wearing red and gold armor (Tales of Suspense #48, 1963); of the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, a spy who encounters Iron Man (Tales of Suspense #52, 1964); of Hawkeye, an expert marksman who wields trick arrows (such as explosive arrows and cable line arrows) and has a personal relationship with the Black Widow; Iron Man's chief weapon, repulsor rays (Tales of Suspense#57, 1964); Agent 13, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest to Captain America; of Peggy Carter, an intelligence operative and wartime love interest of Captain America (Tales of Suspense#75, 1966); of Captain America's shield being indestructible (Tales of Suspense #93, 1967); of Agent 13's real name Sharon Carter; Captain America romantically involved with Sharon (Tales of Suspense #95, 1967); of Black Panther meeting Captain America during a struggle against Zemo and ultimately becoming his ally (Tales of Suspense #97, 1968); of Henry Pym, a scientist who develops a chemical formula which can shrink people in size (Tales to Astonish #27, 1962); of Ant-Man, the costumed identity begun byHenry Pym wherein he wore a protective red and black costume with size-changing capsules on his belt and a helmet which helped him communicate with ants; Ant-Manreceiving heightened strength by shrinking in size (Tales to Astonish #35, 1962); of Pym's nickname "Hank" (Tales to Astonish #47, 1963); of Ant-Man modifying his powers to increase his size, transforming himself into an enormous, super-strong Giant-Man (Tales to Astonish #49, 1963); of the Scarlet Witch, a woman from eastern Europe with vaguely-defined powers which alter reality

Jack Kirby: co-creator of the Avengers, a team of super heroes including Thor, Hulk & Iron Man who fought Loki (Avengers #1, 1963); of Tony Stark providing the Avengers with their headquarters (Avengers #2, 1963); of Captain America frozen in ice during World War 2, revived in contemporary times, has difficulty adjusting; Bucky's seeming death during the War; Captain America joining the Avengers (Avengers #4, 1964); of Captain America throwing his shield so that it ricochets and returns to his hand (Avengers #5, 1964); of Zemo, an enemy to Captain America and the Avengers (Avengers #6, 1964); of Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch as members of the Avengers; Captain America as the Avengers leader (Avengers #16, 1965); of Captain America, Steve Rogers, who wears a red, white and blue costume with 'A' on forehead and stars & stripes on his chest; of James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, Steve's friend and partner who joins him in battle (Captain America Comics #1, 1941); of Captain America's round, red and white shield with star in its center; Captain America's mask fastened to his costume (Captain America Comics #2, 1941); of the Skrulls, extraterrestrial invaders from whom the Chitauri were derived (Fantastic Four #2, 1962); of Wakanda, a remote African nation largely cut off from outsiders; T'Challa, king of Wakanda, a man with cat-like senses who wears the masked identity of the Black Panther (Fantastic Four #52, 1966); of Vibranium, a rare metal found in Wakanda with unusual, unpredictable properties; King T'Chaka, the aged father of T'Challa and king of Wakanda until he was murdered; of the Wakandans worshiping black panthers (Fantastic Four #53, 1966); of the giant statues of black panthers which adorn Wakanda (Fantastic Four #54, 1966); of the Hulk, a massive, brutish creature with superhuman strength; General Thaddeus Ross, a military officer who is an enemy of the Hulk (Incredible Hulk #1, 1962); of the Hulk having green skin (Incredible Hulk #2, 1962); of the Hulk traveling vast distances by leaping (Incredible Hulk #3, 1962); of Thor, Asgardian god of thunder (Journey into Mystery #83, 1962); of Loki, Thor's evil brother (Journey into Mystery#85, 1962); of the Vision, a green-garbed man in a cape (Marvel Mystery Comics #13, 1940); of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international espionage agency; the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, their mobile headquarters designed like a flying battleship; the enemy secret society group Hydra; the "Hail Hydra" salute (Strange Tales#135, 1965); of the Hydra insignia, a skull atop octopus arms (Strange Tales #151, 1966); of Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist who wears Iron Man armor, granting him superhuman strength, flight and other gadgets (Tales of Suspense #39, 1963); of Iron Man wearing gold armor; unibeam in the center of Iron Man's armor (Tales of Suspense #40, 1963); of Iron Man's armour coloured red & gold (Tales of Suspense #48, 1963); of the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, a spy (Tales of Suspense #52, 1964); Agent 13, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest to Captain America; Peggy Carter, intelligence operative and wartime love interest of Captain America (Tales of Suspense#75, 1966); of Captain America's shield being indestructible (Tales of Suspense #93, 1967); of Agent 13's real name Sharon Carter; Captain America romantically involved with Sharon (Tales of Suspense #95, 1967); of Black Panther meeting Captain America during a struggle against Zemo and ultimately becoming his ally (Tales of Suspense #97, 1968); of Henry Pym, a scientist who develops a chemical formula which can shrink people in size (Tales to Astonish #27, 1962); of Ant-Man, the costumed identity originated by Henry Pym wherein he wore a protective red and black costume with size-changing capsules on his belt and wore a helmet which helped him communicate with ants; Ant-Man receiving heightened strength by shrinking in size (Tales to Astonish #35, 1962); of Ant-Man modifying his powers to increase his size, transforming himself into an enormous, super-strong Giant-Man (Tales to Astonish #49, 1963); of the Scarlet Witch, a woman from eastern Europe with vaguely-defined powers which alter reality (X-Men #4, 1964)

Ed Brubaker: co-creator of the Winter Soldier, a legendary Soviet assassin now on the open market, has cybernetic arm (Captain America #1, 2005); of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes being almost the same age; of Vasily Karpov, a Russian officer who helped program the Winter Soldier (Captain America #5, 2005); of the Winter Soldier undergoing a memory wipe between assignments (Captain America #8, 2005); of the Winter Soldier regaining his memory and going into hiding (Captain America #14, 2006); of Peggy Carter suffering from dementia in her latter years; of Sharon as Peggy's niece (Captain America #49, 2009); of Helmut Zemo drawing out issues from Bucky Barnes' past to use against him (Captain America #606, 2010); of an elderly Peggy Carter dying in her sleep (Captain America #1, 2011); of Captain America wearing a helmet version of his mask with wings painted on the sides (Captain America: Reborn #1, 2009); of Captain America's modified blue/white costume with brown gloves (Secret Avengers #1, 2010); of there being multiple Winter Soldiers created in the Soviet Union (Winter Soldier #1, 2012)

Mark Millar: co-creator of the US government being motivated by recent unfortunate tragedies in superhuman battles to legislate all super heroes; Miriam, a woman whose son died during a super hero altercation, blames Iron Man for his death; Captain America refusing to participate in this law because of fears of it being misused, Iron Man siding with the law (Civil War #1, 2006); of Spider-Man siding with Iron Man against Captain America (Civil War #2, 2006); Iron Man leading his heroes into battle with those who follow Captain America (Civil War #3, 2006); of Captain America breaking super heroes who sided against the law out of Iron Man's prison (Civil War #6, 2006); of the heroes who sided with Captain America becoming vigilantes and refusing to comply with the law, dividing the Avengers in two (Civil War #7, 2007); Iron Man's eyes & unibeam glowing light blue (Ultimates #2, 2002); of Hawkeye's sleeveless costume (Ultimates #7, 2002); of the Chitauri, an extraterrestrial army who battle the Avengers (Ultimates #8, 2002); of Hawkeye married and with three children (Ultimates 2 #2, 2005)

Steve McNiven: creator of image of Captain America blocking Iron Man's repulsor blasts with his shield (Civil War #7, 2007); co-creator of an elderly Peggy Carter dying in her sleep (Captain America #1, 2011); of the US government being motivated by recent unfortunate tragedies in superhuman battles to legislate all super heroes; Miriam, a woman whose son died during a super hero altercation, blames Iron Man for his death; Captain America refusing to participate in this law because of fears of it being misused, Iron Man siding with the law (Civil War #1, 2006); of Spider-Man siding with Iron Man against Captain America (Civil War #2, 2006); Iron Man leading his heroes into battle with those who follow Captain America (Civil War #3, 2006); of Captain America breaking super heroes who sided against the law out of Iron Man's prison (Civil War #6, 2006); of the heroes who sided with Captain America becoming vigilantes and refusing to comply with the law, dividing the Avengers in two (Civil War #7, 2007)

Don Heck: co-creator of the Black Widow as an Avenger (Avengers #111, 1973); of Howard Stark, deceased father of Tony Stark and previous owner of Stark Industries (Iron Man #28, 1970); of Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist whose Iron Man armor grants superhuman strength, flight and special weapons (Tales of Suspense #39, 1963); of Pepper Potts, Tony Stark's secretary and romantic interest; Stark Industries, Tony's technology company (Tales of Suspense #45, 1963); of the Black Widow, alias Natasha Romanoff, a Russian spy, originally a KGB agent (Tales of Suspense #52, 1964); of Hawkeye, an expert archer with a variety of trick arrows such as those with explosive tips; Hawkeye having a close relationship with the Black Widow; Iron Man's repulsor ray weapon (Tales of Suspense #57, 1964) (Tales of Suspense #64, 1965); of Pym's nickname "Hank" (Tales to Astonish #47, 1963)

Roy Thomas: co-creator of Ultron, the Avengers' enemy (Avengers #54, 1968); of the Vision, a synthetic man with red skin, green costume and yellow cape with a jewel on his forehead; Vision's powers of flight and altering his density (Avengers #57, 1968); of Ultron being built by one of the Avengers, but turning against him; the Vision joining the Avengers (Avengers #58, 1968); of Quinjets, the personal aircraft of the Avengers (Avengers #61, 1969); of Hawkeye's real name, Clint Barton (Avengers #64, 1969); of Vision and the Scarlet Witch having feelings for each other (Avengers #91, 1971); of Ant-Man's helmet providing environmental seals (Avengers #93, 1971); of the Soul Gem, from which the Infinty Gems were derived (Marvel Premiere #1, 1970)

Larry Lieber: co-creator of Thor, Norse god of thunder (Journey into Mystery #84, 1962); of Loki, Thor's wicked brother (Journey into Mystery #85, 1962); of Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist who wears Iron Man armor which enhances his strength and grants flight along with other gadgets (Tales of Suspense #39, 1963); of Henry Pym, a scientist who develops a chemical formula which can shrink people in size (Tales to Astonish #27, 1962); of Ant-Man, the costumed identity begun by Henry Pym wherein he wore a protective red and black costume with size-changing capsules on his belt and wore a helmet which helped him communicate with ants; Ant-Man receiving heightened strength by shrinking in size (Tales to Astonish #35, 1962)

John Buscema: co-creator of Ultron, the Avengers' enemy, a robot (Avengers #54, 1968); of the Vision, a synthetic man with red skin, green costume and yellow cape with a jewel on his forehead; Vision's powers of flight and altering his density (Avengers #57, 1968); Ultron being built by one of the Avengers, but turning against him; the Vision joining the Avengers (Avengers #58, 1968); of Quinjets, the personal aircraft of the Avengers (Avengers #61, 1969); of Helmut Zemo trying to destroy the Avengers as revenge for the destruction of his family, seeing them as Captain America's family (Avengers #273, 1986)

Christopher Priest: co-creator of Black Panther wearing a Vibranium-weave uniform with lenses in his mask and anti-metal claws in his gloves; of T'Challa wearing a beard (Black Panther #1, 1998); of Black Panther wearing a necklace of talons around his neck (Captain America #13, 1999); of the panther god Black Panther worships being the Egyptian god Bast (Black Panther #21, 2000); of Black Panther being driven into a murderous rage while pursuing his father's killer (Black Panther #29, 2001); of Everett Ross, a US government official who is charged with working alongside super heroes (Ka-Zar #17, 1998)

Mark Gruenwald: creator of Hawkeye's modular design arrows (Hawkeye#1, 1983); of Hawkeye's archery gloves (Hawkeye #2, 1983); co-creator of Wanda and Pietro's surname Maximoff (Avengers #186, 1979); of the US government asserting its ownership of Captain America's costume and shield (Captain America #332, 1987); of Crossbones, alias Brock Rumlow, a vicious thug (Captain America #359 & 360, 1989); of Crossbones' wrist-loaded blade weapon (Captain America #364, 1989); of Brock Rumlow's name (Captain America #400, 1992); of Crossbones being facially disfigured under his mask (Captain America #407, 1992)

Sal Buscema: co-creator of Vision and the Scarlet Witch having feelings for each other (Avengers #91, 1971); of Peggy's name; Sharon Carter as a relative of Peggy (Captain America #162, 1973); of Helmut Zemo, a man whose father died during an operation involving Captain America, causing him to seek Captain America's destruction (Captain America #168, 1973); of Peggy Carter as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Captain America #169, 1974); of the Falcon wearing a pair of mechanical wings (Captain America #170, 1974); of Captain America based out of Brooklyn (Captain America #237, 1979)

Steve Ditko: co-creator of Spider-Man, Peter Parker, a teenage super hero garbed in red and blue with a red webbing design, spider emblem on chest and lenses in his mask; Spider-Man swinging around on webbing fired from his web-shooters and climbing up walls; Spider-Man motivated to use his powers to help others; Peter's aunt May Parker, who is not aware of Peter's double life (Amazing Fantasy #15, 1962); of Spider-Man's spider-signal flashlight (Amazing Spider-Man #3, 1963); of Iron Man wearing red & gold armor (Tales of Suspense #48, 1963)

John Byrne: co-creator of Captain America & Iron Man having a tense, argumentative relationship (Avengers #165, 1977); of the Falcon as an Avenger (Avengers #183, 1979); of Wanda's surname Maximoff (Avengers #186, 1979); of James "Rhodey" Rhodes, pilot and friend of Tony Stark (Iron Man #118, 1979); the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier falling out of the sky (Marvel Graphic Novel #18, 1985); of Scott Lang, the new Ant-Man (Marvel Premiere #47, 1979); of Hank Pym helping to mentor Scott Lang as Ant-Man (Marvel Premiere #48, 1979)

Joe Simon: co-creator of Captain America, Steve Rogers, who wears a red, white and blue costume with 'A' on forehead and stars & stripes on his chest; of James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, Steve's friend and partner who joins him in battle (Captain America Comics #1, 1941); of Captain America's mask being fastened to his costume; of Captain America's round, red and white shield with star in its center (Captain America Comics #2, 1941); of the Vision, a green-garbed man in a cape (Marvel Mystery Comics #13, 1940)

Kevin Hopgood: co-creator of the War Machine armor, a suit of Iron Man armor colored silver and grey and outfitted with heavy weaponry, including a shoulder-mounted canon (Iron Man #281, 1992); of Tony Stark as a child prodigy; of Howard Stark being emotionally distant from Tony (Iron Man #286, 1992); of the War Machine armor being worn by James Rhodes with a unibeam designed for its chest (Iron Man #284, 1992); of Howard and Maria Stark dying in a car accident (Iron Man #288, 1993)

Len Kaminski: co-creator of the War Machine armor, a suit of Iron Man armor colored silver and grey and outfitted with heavy weaponry, including a shoulder-mounted canon (Iron Man #281, 1992); of the War Machine armor being worn by James Rhodes with a unibeam designed for its chest (Iron Man #284, 1992); of Tony Stark as a child prodigy; of Howard Stark being emotionally distant from Tony (Iron Man #286, 1992); of Howard and Maria Stark dying in a car accident (Iron Man #288, 1993)

David Michelinie: co-creator of the Falcon as an Avenger (Avengers #183, 1979); of Wanda and Pietro's surname Maximoff (Avengers #186, 1979); of Hawkeye firing Ant-Man on the arrowhead of one of his arrows (Avengers #223, 1982); of James "Rhodey" Rhodes, pilot and friend of Tony Stark (Iron Man #118, 1979); of Scott Lang, an ex-convict who becomes the new Ant-Man (Marvel Premiere #47, 1979); Hank Pym helping to mentor Scott Lang as Ant-Man (Marvel Premiere #48, 1979)

Bryan Hitch: co-creator of Captain America wearing a helmet version of his mask with wings painted on the sides (Captain America: Reborn #1, 2009); of Iron Man's eyes & unibeam glowing light blue (Ultimates #2, 2002); of Hawkeye's sleeveless costume (Ultimates #7, 2002); of the Chitauri, an extraterrestrial army who battle the Avengers (Ultimates #8, 2002); of Hawkeye married and with three children (Ultimates 2 #2, 2005)

Steve Epting: co-creator of the Winter Soldier, a legendary Soviet assassin now on the open market, has a cybernetic arm (Captain America #1, 2005); of the Winter Soldier undergoing a memory wipe between assignments (Captain America #8, 2005); of the Winter Soldier regaining his memory after an encounter with Captain America and going into hiding (Captain America #14, 2006)

Sal Velluto: co-creator of Black Panther wearing a necklace of talons around his neck (Captain America #13, 1999); of the panther god Black Panther worships being the Egyptian god Bast (Black Panther #21, 2000); of Black Panther being driven into a murderous rage while pursuing his father's killer (Black Panther #29, 2001)

Brian Michael Bendis: co-creator of the Raft, a maximum security prison for superhuman criminals (New Avengers #1, 2005); of the Falcon joining Captain America in his conflict against Iron Man (New Avengers #21, 2006); of Hawkeye joining the renegade team of Avengers who followed Captain America (New Avengers #27, 2007)

J. Michael Straczynski: co-creator of Tony Stark mentoring Peter Parker (Amazing Spider-Man #519, 2005); of Tony Stark building a new costume for Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #529, 2006); of an inspirational speech which quotes, how one must "plant their feet and say no, you move." (Amazing Spider-Man #537, 2006)

Reginald Hudlin: co-creator of James Rhodes taking Iron Man's side in his conflict against Captain America (Black Panther #22, 2007); of Black Panther changing from a moderate position in Iron Man's conflict against Captain America before finally taking Captain America's side (Black Panther #23, 2007)

Robert Bernstein: co-creator of Iron Man's armor being gold; of Iron Man's unibeam in the center of his chestplate (Tales of Suspense #40, 1963); of Pepper Potts, Tony Stark's secretary and romantic interest; Stark Industries, Tony Stark's technology company (Tales of Suspense #45, 1963)

Mark Texeira: co-creator of Everett Ross, a US government official who is charged with working alongside super heroes; of Black Panther wearing a Vibranium-weave uniform with lenses in his mask and anti-metal claws in his gloves; of T'Challa wearing a beard (Black Panther #1, 1998)

Gene Colan: co-creator of Hawkeye's real name, Clint Barton (Avengers #64, 1969); of the Falcon, Sam Wilson, a costumed African-American hero who is friends with Captain America; of Redwing, the Falcon's small winged companion (Captain America #117, 1969)

Kieron Dwyer: co-creator of Ant-Man wearing a costume with increased black tones (Avengers #57, 2002); of Crossbones, alias Brock Rumlow, a vicious thug (Captain America #359-360, 1989); of Crossbones' wrist-loaded blade weapon (Captain America #364, 1989)

Roger Stern: co-creator of Helmut Zemo trying to destroy the Avengers as revenge for the destruction of his family, seeing them as Captain America's family (Avengers #273, 1986); of James Rhodes as one of the Avengers (West Coast Avengers #1, 1984)

Steve Englehart: co-creator of Peggy's name; Sharon Carter as a relative of Peggy (Captain America #162, 1973); of Peggy Carter as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Captain America #169, 1974); of the Falcon's mechanical wings (Captain America #170, 1974)

George Tuska: co-creator of Tony Stark becoming horrified by the carnage done with his company's weapons and eliminating his weapons production (Iron Man #78, 1975); of Maria Stark, wife of Howard, mother of Tony (Iron Man #104, 1977)

Ron Garney: co-creator of Tony Stark building a new costume for Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #529, 2006); of an inspirational speech which quotes how one must "plant their feet and say no, you move." (Amazing Spider-Man #537, 2006)

Mike Grell: creator of Iron Man's identity as Tony Stark being public knowledge (Iron Man #55, 2002); co-creator of Friday, an artificial intelligence used by Iron Man which has a feminine personality (Iron Man #53, 2002)

Jackson Guice: co-creator of Helmut Zemo drawing out issues from Bucky Barnes' past to use against him (Captain America #606, 2010); of there being multiple Winter Soldiers created in the Soviet Union (Winter Soldier #1, 2012)

Dick Ayers: co-creator of Agent 13, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and love interest to Captain America; Peggy Carter, intelligence operative and wartime love interest of Captain America (Tales of Suspense #75, 1966)

Bob Harras: co-creator of Hydra taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. from within (Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, 1988); of S.H.I.E.L.D. exposed as rife with internal corruption and dismantled (Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #6, 1988)

Paul Neary: co-creator of Hydra taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. from within (Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, 1988); of S.H.I.E.L.D. exposed as rife with internal corruption and dismantled (Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #6, 1988)

John Romita: co-creator of the Black Widow's red hair, black bodysuit, Widow's Bite wrist weapon and carrying explosives (Amazing Spider-Man #86, 1970); of the Falcon's red costume (Captain America #144, 1971)

Tony Isabella: co-creator of Helmut Zemo, a man whose father died during an operation involving Captain America, causing him to seek Captain America's destruction (Captain America #168, 1973)

Koi Turnbull: co-creator of Black Panther changing from a moderate position in Iron Man's conflict against Captain America before finally taking Captain America's side (Black Panther #23, 2007)

Michael Lark: co-creator of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes being nearly the same age; of Vasily Karpov, a Russian officer who helped program the Winter Soldier (Captain America #5, 2005)

Mike Deodato Jr.: co-creator of Tony Stark mentoring Peter Parker (Amazing Spider-Man #519, 2005); of Steve Rogers' modified blue/white costume with brown gloves (Secret Avengers #1, 2010)

Fabian Nicieza: co-creator of Helmut Zemo taking advantage of the animosity between Captain America and Iron Man so he can manipulate them to his own ends (Thunderbolts #105, 2006)

Tom Grummett: co-creator of Helmut Zemo taking advantage of the animosity between Captain America and Iron Man so he can manipulate them to his own ends (Thunderbolts #105, 2006)

Paul Jenkins: co-creator of Iron Man developing a prison to contain super heroes who refused to submit to the US government's oversight laws (Civil War: Frontline #5, 2006)

Steve Leiber: co-creator of Iron Man developing a prison to contain super heroes who refused to submit to the US government's oversight laws (Civil War: Frontline #5, 2006)

Trevor Hairsine: co-creator of the Falcon wearing a military-style costume with large amounts of black and gray; the Falcon wielding guns (Ultimate Nightmare #1, 2004)

Warren Ellis: co-creator of the Falcon wearing a military-style costume with large amounts of black and gray; the Falcon wielding guns (Ultimate Nightmare #1, 2004)

Mike Friedrich: co-creator of Peggy Carter as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Captain America #169, 1974); of the Falcon's mechanical wings (Captain America #170, 1974)

Tom DeFalco: co-creator of Crossbones as a Hydra agent (Captain America #24, 1999); Ant-Man helmet with red lenses (Fantastic Four #405, 1995)

Ryan Odagawa: co-creator of Friday, an artificial intelligence used by Iron Man which has a feminine personality (Iron Man #53, 2002)

Archie Goodwin: co-creator of Howard Stark, deceased father of Tony Stark and previous owner of Stark Industries (Iron Man #28, 1970)

Luke Ross: co-creator of Peggy Carter suffering from dementia in her latter years; of Sharon as Peggy's niece (Captain America #49, 2009)

Tom Morgan: co-creator of the US government asserting its ownership of Captain America's costume and shield (Captain America #332, 1987)

Randall Frenz: co-creator of Howard Stark working with Captain America and Bucky during World War II (Captain America Annual #9, 1990)

Leinil Francis Yu: co-creator of Hawkeye joining the renegade team of Avengers who followed Captain America (New Avengers #27, 2007)

Mark Bagley: co-creator of Howard Stark working with Captain America and Bucky during World War II (Captain America Annual #9, 1990)

Patrick Zircher: co-creator of Howard and Maria Stark's "accidental" death caused by a conspiracy (Iron Man: the Iron Age #1, 1998)

Manuel Garcia: co-creator of James Rhodes taking Iron Man's side in his conflict against Captain America (Black Panther #22, 2007)

Howard Victor Chaykin: co-creator of the Falcon joining Captain America in his conflict against Iron Man (New Avengers #21, 2006)

Kurt Busiek: co-creator of Howard and Maria Stark's "accidental" death caused by a conspiracy (Iron Man: the Iron Age#1, 1998)

Don Rico: co-creator of the Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff, a spy who encounters Iron Man (Tales of Suspense #52, 1964)

Leonardo Manco: co-creator of Tony Stark using technology to repair injuries done to James Rhodes (War Machine #1, 2008)

Jim Shooter: co-creator of Captain America & Iron Man having a tense, argumentative relationship (Avengers #165, 1977)

Greg Pak: co-creator of Tony Stark using technology to repair injuries done to James Rhodes (War Machine #1, 2008)

David Finch: co-creator of the Raft, a maximum security prison for superhuman criminals (New Avengers #1, 2005)

Greg LaRocque: co-creator of Hawkeye firing Ant-Man on the arrowhead of one of his arrows (Avengers #223, 1982)

Kevin Kobasic: co-creator of Crossbones being facially disfigured under his mask (Captain America #407, 1992)

Bob Layton: co-creator of James "Rhodey" Rhodes, pilot and friend of Tony Stark (Iron Man #118, 1979)

Barry Kitson: co-creator of the deaths of Howard and Maria Stark in an auto accident (Iron Man #288, 1993)

Salvador Larroca: co-creator of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts as a couple (Invincible Iron Man #15, 2009)

Gil Kane: co-creator of the Soul Gem, from which the Infinty Gems were derived (Marvel Premiere#1, 1970)

Scott Lobdell: co-creator of the red widow icon on Black Widow's belt (Journey into Mystery #517, 1998)

Randall Green: co-creator of the red widow icon on Black Widow's belt (Journey into Mystery #517, 1998)

John Ostrander: co-creator of Ant-Man wearing a helmet with full face mask (Heroes for Hire #6, 1997)

Jim Steranko: co-creator of the Hydra insignia, a skull atop octopus arms (Strange Tales #151, 1966)

Pasqual Ferry: co-creator of Ant-Man wearing a helmet with full face mask (Heroes for Hire #6, 1997)

Aaron Lopresti: co-creator of S.H.I.E.L.D. developing a fleet of Helicarriers (Ms. Marvel #13, 2007)

Matt Fraction: co-creator of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts as a couple (Invincible Iron Man #15, 2009)

Bill Mantlo: co-creator of Maria Stark, wife of Howard, mother of Tony (Iron Man #104, 1977)

Chris Claremont: co-creator of Captain America based out of Brooklyn (Captain America #237, 1979)

Brian Reed: co-creator of S.H.I.E.L.D. developing a fleet of Helicarriers (Ms. Marvel #13, 2007)

Roger McKenzie: co-creator of Captain America based out of Brooklyn (Captain America #237, 1979)

Neal Adams: co-creator of Ant-Man's helmet providing environmental seals (Avengers #93, 1971)

Gaspar Saladino: creator of the Avengers logo with enlarged letter "A" (Avengers #96, 1972)

Bob Hall: co-creator of James Rhodes as one of the Avengers (West Coast Avengers #1, 1984)

Luke McDonnell: co-creator of James Rhodes wearing Iron Man armor (Iron Man #169, 1983)

Dennis O'Neil: co-creator of James Rhodes wearing Iron Man armor (Iron Man #169, 1983)

Steven Grant: co-creator of Wanda and Pietro's surname Maximoff (Avengers #186, 1979)

Gary Friedrich: co-creator of the Falcon's red costume (Captain America #144, 1971)

Paul Ryan: co-creator of Ant-Man helmet with red lenses (Fantastic Four #405, 1995)

Ron Frenz: co-creator of Crossbones as a Hydra agent (Captain America #24, 1999)

Rik Levins: co-creator of Brock Rumlow's name (Captain America #400, 1992)

Adi Granov: creator of Iron Man armor design (Iron Man #75, 2004)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The History of Captain America vs. Iron Man (part 5 of 5)

For some years, Captain America and Iron Man were good friends. Perhaps not the sort of friends who would spend their days-off together, but quite chummy together as Avengers and frequently consulting each other about their problems as super heroes. Notably, when the Avengers fell apart in 2004 and were then rebuilt as a new team, Cap and Iron Man were the only name Avengers who returned to the team. Between Cap's leadership and Iron Man's finances, they remained the backbone of the Avengers. Until Civil War (2006).

Civil War began when the super-villain Nitro fought the New Warriors on a schoolyard and caused an explosion which killed hundreds of children (and the New Warriors). In the wake of this tragedy, some people demanded a higher degree of accountability for super heroes, which was not at all unreasonable - the Avengers had themselves been subject to oversight almost from their inception so ideally other super heroes would simply be expected to run their lives like the Avengers. Unfortunately, some people had an extreme hardline on this topic - notably S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill. It should be noted that the Maria Hill of the comics is nothing like her film counterpart - in the comics (especially in the era of Civil War) Hill would either a) harrass or b) obstruct super heroes whenever she met them.

As legislation for the Superhuman Registration Act was being mulled over, Hill summoned Captain America to a meeting for him to share intelligence with her about the super heroes. Under pressure, Cap admitted some heroes would surely oppose registration, making them true vigilantes. To this, Hill retorted, "So, nobody you can't handle?" Cap instantly took umbrage at the assumption he would help police an act he wasn't entirely in favour of, noting "Super heroes need to stay above that stuff or Washington starts telling us who the super-villains are," which was his basic same argument against returning to government service back in 1987. Hill then had her provactively-named Cape-Killers arm their weapons against Cap (yes, this legislation was not yet law and Hill was already preparing foot soldiers to murder super heroes). This finally turned Cap completely against her and he fought his way out of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s clutches, then started a resistance against the SHRA.

So do remember who started Civil War: it wasn't Iron Man; it wasn't Captain America. It was Maria Hill, because she's just the worst.

Iron Man took point on those heroes who supported the SHRA and battle lines began forming, but the SHRA passed midway through Civil War #2. Iron Man finally arranged a trap for Captain America's team in issue #3 so that he could attempt a peaceful solution (but first he tranquilized two of Cap's men - teleporters Wiccan & Cloak - so Cap had no escape route). Incensed at Tony for striking down two of his people, Cap attacked and both sides were committed in battle, until finally a cybernetic clone of Thor which Tony had created entered the battle scene and killed Goliath, long-time scientist, hero and best friend of Hank Pym. Cap and Iron Man's forces wouldn't fully meet again until the finale of Civil War in the brawl for it all, wherein Captain America surrendered after disheartedly seeing the public was on Iron Man's side. Cap would be killed while in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody en route to court. Tony Stark was then made director of S.H.I.E.L.D., which had the positive side effect of dethroning Maria Hill. Even though Hill had asked Tony to take her job for the gretaer good, his first act as director was to make her fetch coffee for him because Tony is a tiny, petty, twisted little nimrod.

Tony Stark joined Reed Richards and Hank Pym in devising various plans to improve the state of superhumans in the USA. Let's review what they accomplished!

  • A super hero team in every US state! (were immediately infiltrated by agents of the Mandarin and Skrulls)
  • A prison in the Negative Zone to incarcerate super heroes and super villains! (mixed prison population led to problems, basing the prison in the Negative Zone provoked attacks from Negative Zone's dominant powers)
  • New super heroes created through Stark, Pym & Richards' technology! (super hero elitism run amock; screening processes still failed to locate infiltrators such as the aforementioned Mandarin agent)
  • Thor was cloned! (and went on to kill many people)
  • Norman Osborn was controlled by nanites in an assassination attempt on an Atlantean ambassador to intentionally provoke a war with Atlantis! (the war did not emerge but tensions remained hot)
  • The Thunderbolts recruited super-villains into their ranks to become a state-sanctioned army of criminals! (rather than putting them in prison)
  • Psychotic killer Norman Osborn was made director of the Thunderbolts! (positioning him to replace Stark as head of the Initiative)

In short, by codifying and militarizing all the superhuman might of the USA, Stark, Richards and Pym (or rather, a Skrull impersonating Pym) had simply made it all the easier for the government to abuse its power over ordinary citizens. Maybe anti-vaxxers have a point: you can't trust smart people.

Iron Man would eventually lose control of the Initiative after the events of Secret Invasion because Norman Osborn killed a Skrull, which proved that he was better suited to hold Iron Man's job (no, I don't get it either). While all the people who had trusted Tony and joined the Initiative found themselves completely under Osborn's thumb, Tony had bigger problems: looking out for himself. Er, wait, that sounds terrible. Tony had recorded all of the Initiative's data into his brain to keep it safe from Osborn, then wiped his own memory. Tony had his mind put back in order just in time for the crossover event Siege, but (oops!) Tony's back-up brain was copied prior to Civil War, so Tony didn't recall any of the terrible things he'd done.

But that's okay, because when he reviewed all of the data he concluded, "I am not sorry, and I'd do it all again." But hey, everything turned out fine - Captain America had even come back from the dead in a more-convoluted-than-usual-resurrection. In the end, no one was hurt. Oh, except for Goliath. And everyone killed under Osborn's watch. Any way, no one important was hurt.

And so I take my leave of you and hope you have enjoyed this brief look at Captain America & Iron Man's battles. I should perhaps mention they recently fought each other to the death in a story called Time Runs Out, but since that story wound up being written out-of-continuity almost immediately after publication, I don't think it matters.