REVIEW: ‘Marvel Snapshots: Civil War,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marvel Snapshots: Civil War

Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Ryan Kelly, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, and letters by Joe Sabino. Clyde Dobronski is an average guy, who happens to be an agent of SHIELD. Honest and hardworking, Clyde has always tried to do what is right by people. But as the Superhuman Registration Act has made every super that isn’t registered a criminal, Clyde begins to ask some hard questions about whose side is really the right one.

Comic books are known for being overly clean-cut where morality is concerned. Famous for highlighting battles between paragons of virtue and mustache twisting villains, the complexities of real-world morality are sometimes lost in the sound effects. Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 does a great job of looking back at one of Marvel’s more famous storylines and taking a deeper dive into what would actually be happening on the ground. While the reasons for the Superhuman Registration Act were understandable, is that all that would happen? And would there be individuals enforcing the law that might take things too far?

As the story opens, SHEILD agents are in pursuit of a super-powered individual. The young man’s crime is that he used his powers to put out a fire. That’s it. No explosions. No battle with any villains. He simply did what most would chalk up as a good samaritan style act of kindness. Nothing vigilante about it. Nonetheless, the agents run down the kid and using non-lethal, but extremely painful methods, bring the kid into custody. One of the agents present is Clyde. And this whole scenario clearly doesn’t sit well with him.

Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 gives readers a thorough history of Clyde. His story and how he came to be at this unfortunate moment. Already serving with SHIELD when the Stockton incident which triggered the Registration Act occurred, he quickly volunteered for the units tasked with enforcing the new law. He saw a problem and wanted to help be part of the solution. Honestly, completely understandable. From there though, he sees the situation spiral out of control.

From the seminal confrontation with Captain America that kicked off the Resistance, to the slaying of Bill Foster, Clyde is present at many of the pivotal moments in this story. And none of them help assuage his concerns that what he felt was initially good has spiraled out of control.

His doubts about the course SHIELD is taking only worsens as Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 goes on. The way the other agents talk to those who are brought in, referring to them as “thugs” and “hoodlums”, as well as being excessively rough physically with these young people shows some are not interested injustice. Rather, they appear to simply enjoy pushing around others. Something Clyde isn’t keen on.

The art in Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 delivers its story well. As the narrative puts its focus on the more everyday aspects of the MU the art delivers these elements well. Clyde isn’t a chiseled specimen of fitness. Rather, he looks like a middle-aged divorced father who rides a desk for 40 hours a week. The prisoners he deals with are just kids, and they too look the part. Most importantly though, artist Kelly and colorist Rosenberg’s work does a good job of delivering the conflicting emotions of the story.

The final element of the book is Sabino’s letter. The lettering here delivers the story cleanly while putting some extra emphasis into the text when the emotions start ramping up.

When all is said and done Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 tells an impactful tale about thinking for one’s self and not just “going with the program”. How reasonable people can find themselves in a place that, on the surface, should be good but isn’t. And reminds us of what we are responsible for in such a situation.

Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 is available December 2nd wherever comics are sold.

Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done Marvel Snapshots: Civil War #1 tells an impactful tale about thinking for one’s self and not just “going with the program”. How reasonable people can find themselves in a place that, on the surface, should be good but isn’t. And reminds us of what we are responsible for in such a situation.