I had heard this book being talked about in the real life Superhero Community for years now. I had gotten it last year. But today I finally picked it up and read the whole thing from beginning to end.
I always knew that I'd sided with Captain America on that. Superheroes should never be owned by the government. I liked how he stood up for the rights of Superheroes to be free from government control, despite how unpopular his view was. Because even though 90% of the civilian people supported policies that sounded good in theory, Captain America knew what was right. And despite 90% of the population being for the Pro-Registration Act, the Registration wasn't popular with a lot of the Superheroes. Some of them even switched sides. Some of them wouldn't take sides.
The Government Superheroes were even accepting Villains in to their group. And when some of the Villains tried to join the Rebel Superheroes, the Punisher shot them both. Captain America attacked the Punisher and the Punisher wouldn't fight back because he respected Captain America. But, you didn't really see the Punisher after that. I wish that encounter between those 2 went a little better. But one is known more for his morals and ethics, the other more for his tactics and strategies. I can relate to them both but I guess the conflict between them is symbolic - even more so than the book had possibly intended for it to be.
As for the ending, if you don't want to know then don't read any further. It didn't end the way I had hoped but at the same time Captain America had realized one very important thing. That Superheroes VS. Superheroes isn't a good thing. Time wasted fighting each other when it could have been spent fighting the bad guys.
I think in a realistic situation, I would prefer to NOT be a Government Superhero. But I don't necessarily think there should nor would be a conflict such as that. But that the book's very existence represents a warning not to get like that should ever such a possibility occur. That it could exist but as optional. None of that mandatory stuff. Or even just licensed rather than government. Kind of like how a Private Investigator or a Bounty Hunter is. Or someone who is CPR Certified or Lifeguard Certified.
I agree that training and education is a good idea for Superheroes. But to control it too much would be too tyrannical in practice. It could easily be taken advantage of.
But here's the twist. I served in the Marines. And in my mind I consider myself Tothian at all times. I was Tothian even before I joined the Marines. Even before Military School. The training, education, experience, and opportunities were idealistic as a part of my life, but not for my whole life. Just a chapter of it. After the enlistment, I had to fight my own battles, with my own uniform, my own name, my own ideals, my own time, my own weapons, my own supervision, studying and training and operating my own way. So that my time working in the Marines didn't define me, but it did add definition to who I am.
Anyway, back to the Marvel Civil War. Nick Fury wasn't to be found in it but his name was mentioned and he had tactical relevance to the story. There are tactics to be learned in there, some of which are even mentioned in The Art of War
. I was glad to hear that he had supported the rebels.
I wish the story had continued either with fighting the good fight, or with some kind of mutual agreement rather than just giving up, just for the sake of not wanting war. Sometimes we have to fight for what matters. It's unfortunate and not that we should encourage war nor fighting, and encourage peace, but at least to keep the Warrior Spirit alive and not give up on believing in the things that matter.
So, while I wouldn't rate the outcome all that high, the story itself I enjoyed a lot, and just fighting the battle to begin with rather than just sitting quietly and ignoring what mattered, made this book worth reading.