Just Imagine... Civil War in the DCU
I'm not a huge fan of Marvel comics, as anyone who's been hanging around here for any length of time knows. I don't understand them, and they don't understand me. I think we can both accept that relationship and move on.
Still, I've thought a bit about the ending of Civil War (arguably the biggest comic event of 2006). When you consider the sales, it seems to me that Civil War has largely been accepted -- if not enjoyed -- by the average "Marvel Zombie."
Which makes me wonder. As the "DC Drone" that I am, would I accept a story like Civil War set in the DC Universe? Let's consider what that story might look like, and I'll let you judge for yourself.
Imagine a DC Universe where Wonder Woman has been killed, and there are tensions existing between normal people and meta-humans. A lesser super-team -- oh, we'll say some sort of lame iteration of Infinity Inc. -- mucks up a mission and blows up a school, killing a bunch of kids.
This is obviously bad, and the government decides that they should start registering all meta-humans. Even guys like Superman. For some reason Batman agrees with this, so he hooks up with Checkmate and they start marking people off the list. Superman isn't too keen on the whole thing, so he says no.
Of course, Batman doesn't take no for an answer. He takes the initiative, reveals that he's industrialist Bruce Wayne, and then forces Robin to do the same:
"My name is Tim Drake and I've been Robin since I was thirteen years old."
Lines are drawn and the various sides do battle. Some guys (like Aquaman and Doctor Fate) initially decide to stay out of the fight. Now imagine for a moment that Batman, Will Magnus, and Ray Palmer get together to build a robot murderclone of Wonder Woman.
Holy crap, that's insane. But it doesn't end there. A bunch more people get killed, and then Batman assembles a team of supervillains -- including guys like Bane and Gorilla Grodd -- to do his bidding.
Things get weirder as a desperate and underground Superman recruits Wild Dog to aid in his fight against the forces of registration. Wild Dog promptly shoots some guys, and then Superman acts shocked that Wild Dog did what Wild Dog does.
Then there's a big ass fight in the middle of Metropolis between both sides, with Superman and Batman (decked out in anti-Superman armor a la Dark Knight Returns) beating each other up. Some people tackle Superman -- freakin' Superman -- because they don't want him to beat up Batman. So Superman -- freakin' Superman -- up and gives up.
So Superman gets carted off to some crazy red sun jail (a la Superboy Prime) and Batman chills with his new honey aboard some sort of weird Checkmate flying helicopter thingy. I don't even know.
Can you imagine how that story would have been received by DC fans? They would have thought it was batshit insane. Which -- when set in the DC Universe -- it is. So my question is: does it make any more sense in the Marvel Universe? Is it logical that Tony Stark would make a robot murderclone of Thor? Does it make sense that Captain America -- freakin' Captain America -- would ever give up?
As an outsider, it seems strange to me. For one, I can't understand why people in the Marvel Universe continue to "hate and fear" people with special powers. I mean, Jesus Christ, people. How many times have the Avengers saved your planet from the Skree or the Krulls or whatever they're called? Why do you still have trouble telling the difference between the X-Men and Magneto?
In the DC Universe ordinary people don't have this problem. They recognize that people like Superman are good because they save lives while people like Baron Blitzkrieg are bad because they're always trying to take over the world.
So what's the big difference between the DCU and the Marvel U? What is the thing that makes a story like Civil War work -- at least nominally -- in its universe when it would never even get off the ground in the DC Universe?