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February 24 2007

(SPOILER) Joss' input into the end of Marvel's Civil War. The final issue which came out this week caught many comic book fans by surprise with its ending. Anyhow, Joe Quesada (Marvel's E.I.C.) explains at a New York Comic Con panel how Joss addressed the ending (which still has to played out in full). Spoilers for upcoming Marvel events btw. Update: Joss posts about the ending in this thread.

In the context of the series, the ending did work well but I get the feeling some people were expecting deaths galore or some sort of Deus Ex Machina event to set things back to normal. All in all, a gutsy move by Marvel.

I liked the ending too because it doesn't hit a cosmic re-set button.There is big change now in the status quo to the Marvel Universe.I enjoyed Civil War more then House Of M.I didn't follow Planet Hulk in his book,although I know what's going on, but will follow World War Hulk this summer since that seems to be the next phase in what's happening in the landscape of the Marvel Universe.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2007-02-24 15:11 ]
There were definitely those who were expecting something more grandly operatic -- and deathier -- but what was on the page was absolutely the right ending. Gotta second the "gutsy move" sentiment.

[ edited by RambleOn623 on 2007-02-24 03:35 ]
I was just about to post something about this over on the Org.

A lot of opinionated internet "fans"/critics (are there any other kind?) not only hated the end of Civil War, but used it as an opportunity to bash Whedon for coming up with the ending in the first place.

Well for one thing we don't know exactly WHAT ending Joss suggested. I mean who's to say that issue #7 counts as THE ending? Repercusions will be felt throughout the Marvel Universe for a long time to come, so maybe Joss' input was about something still to come.

However, in terms of THIS ending, the one in question, not only do I really, really like it, but it seems like something Joss might have suggested. Think about it...

Realistically, what other ending could there be? Captain America and his "rebels" were never going to guerilla warfare their way into getting the US government into repealing the legislation. And any attempt to have some kind of cosmic, universe-wide "reset", anything that magically returned everyone to the status quo would have been incredibly hokey, unoriginal, and would have pissed off 99% of the fans anyways.

The fact is the average citizen of the Marvel U not only wants this law in place, but believes they NEED it. So no amount of in-fighting was ever going to lead anywhere.

And more importantly, the fact that the "bad guys" (e.g. the pseudo-fascistic pro-reg gung-ho heroes) won is EXACTLY the kind of ending we needed in order for us to truly understand how precious freedom is. Now, the pro-registration forces will no longer be able to just wage a war of ideals but actually LIVE in the world they thought they wanted. They'll have to live with the long-term consequences of what they were fighting FOR. And what better way for them to come to terms with how wrong they were than that?

My wife said that if she were writing the story and wanted to prove to her audience how wrong the registration was, how important freedom is, this is exactly the ending she would have gone for.

So if Joss came up with the idea, then more power to him. He wanted us to witness what it would be like to live in a world where "security" was more important than "freedom".

(Then again, Joss came up with the ending of Buffy that had Slayer power being forced upon a whole generation of unwitting Potentials, so who the hell knows what passes for freedom? *shrug*)
Just read this little bit about Joss' input on the Civil War ending over on Comic Book Resources...

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=9775

Joe is asked about Joss Whedon’s role in the ending of “Civil War.” Quesada nearly tells the story, then stops himself. “You’ll learn that story in a month,” he said, because of a dangling plotline that’ll be used somewhere else. Look for it as part of a video podcast on Marvel.com. Quesada added that when Whedon entered the Civil War conference and ended the stalemate on how to end the event, “he [McCann] actually urinated himself.” “Maybe a little drool,” said McCann.

So again I say that the "end" that Joss suggested might not have been seen yet, at least not in it's entirety.
Is it opposite day? Did I miss opposite day?
Did I miss something??
I think I'm missing everything, but I loved betwixt's last entry nonetheless.
I know I'm missing everything.
I haven't been loving Civil War, mostly because the portrayal of characters I care about (i.e., Iron Man) has been really inconsistent among various books, and the main series seems to leave a lot of gaps in terms of motivation. That said, I like where the last issue leaves the story, and I'm hoping that the "Initiative" series sends things off in an interesting direction.

So, while I think this whole thing has been kind of a mess, I'm feeling pretty good about where it leaves the Marvel universe.

I've got no idea, of course, which part of the ending Joss is supposed to have come up with -- as Tom Brevoort's newsarama interview contains an original script excerpt that isn't THAT different from the final outcome (though one significant difference -- the original suggested that Cap was not only happy about Tony leading SHIELD, but insisted on it; in the final version, Cap is largely silent about his motives in surrendering, and how he feels about Tony running things).
So again I say that the "end" that Joss suggested might not have been seen yet, at least not in it's entirety.


If I were to guess I'd say Cap kills himself. At least that's what I think is going to happen in #25 of Captain America. This'll kick off the whole Civil War: Fallen Son mini-series. But I could be wrong.
That's an idea Simon, I kinda thought in #25 the big surprise would be Frank Castle taking up the mantle of Captain America (temporarily obviously), because of the way he was holding the mask.

[ edited by Odysseus on 2007-02-24 13:52 ]
Didn't care about Civil War (after all I only read like 3 Marvel titles, which might become 4 when I join the Runaways wagon. And only of them briefly touched on the CW thingie).

But, now I'm curious about the ending. SO Iron Man's side won? Just for the sake of being precise, would someone mind telling me what exactly was the ending? The talk of Joss-basching, makes me afraid of reading reviews in some major sitges, cause they'll definetely be either way biased.

Interesting and poignant ending, and at least now Marvel can't criticize DC for being somber around the time of Infinite Crisis. Sorry for the rant, I'll always be DC defender, and that annoyed me back then (not that I did not agree with part of it, though).

But if it was suggested by Joss, is just show how ready he is to make changes. Although I'm not really into that idea. But you do have to wonder, when Buffy asks "Are you ready to be strong?" at the end of her final speech in "Chosen", whether she's not thrusting something un-willingly onto some girls throats (please no weird imagery, I know how that line just sounded). I know we live in a world that thrived for some women empowerment, and that's we saw on those brief flashes during the speech. But culturally the world is not quite ready, and some girls might not be ready to face that. They did change the world. And as we saw in the solicits for the Buffy Season 8, that will definetely be touched upon.

Just in time: After all, in "Firefly" the Alliance won.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2007-02-24 14:19 ]
Hi and briefly: I walked into the infamous Marvel meeting, where they pitched me civil War. Cool enuf, sez I. Then they pitched the end they were currently going with, wherein the woman whose son is killed breaks up the fight between Cap and Iron Man, much like Joanne Dru in "Red River". Not cool enuf, sez I. If the whole thing rests on Cap and Tony's conflict, and they're gonna fight, I sez sez I, somebody's gotta win. I just pitched that Cap got past Tony's armor and started beating the poo out of him -- thus becoming exactly what Tony had called them all: a superpowered guy taking it out on a powerless human. Cap realizes this and lay down his arms. (But he wins. Eat that, Stark.) That is literally the tale. I said looking around at the destruction of Manhattan didn't have much resonance -- these guys destroy Manhattan all the time! It was the personal act of putting his fist into the face of his powerless one-time friend that would Make Cap feel like a bully, a monster, a Nazi and kiddies, I didn't say much else. (Except that a fight between titans broken up by the 'voice of reason' before it ends is a lame fight indeed.) I didn't know Civil War was gonna envelop the whole universe for a year. I didn't know the entire face of Marvel was changing, and though I heard pitches of what's to come, I don't know what stuck. I think I've been given too much credit for all this. Which is sweet, but I wanted to save you all endless speculation. Which I have done, and now back to work. -j.
Thanks, Joss. Indeed, whatserface breaking up the fight--much lamer.
Thank you for clearing that up, sir.
So is this thang worth reading then? I can't say I was especially keen on the whole House of M thing the other year... Loving Astonishing at the minute though Joss!
Ooh, I was so close, Joss. I figured your contribution would have been the ordinary folk coming up and tackling Cap, thus making him realize he was in the wrong.

Personally, I think Cap's surrender was the right way to end Civil War. Possibly the only right ending.
Joss said poo. This pleases me. I never expected to type this.
Civil War has been very much worth reading, robsthell. Well worth your time and money. I'd agree that, on the face of things, some of the heroes have been acting a little out of character, Reed and Tony in particular, but when I look at the big picture of the Marvel Universe and the kind of people that these two heroes have always been, the way they have been portrayed in Civil War really isn't that much of a leap from the norm.

Simon, the Captain America that I have read about for the last twenty years has been many things but suicidal has never been one of them. There is no way that a hero like Cap would ever take that path, in my opinion. If Marvel have him do so, even if only as a way to fake his own death for whatever reason, that will be the one truly out of character act I have witnessed throughout the whole of Civil War. No matter how bad things might get for him, Steve Rogers isn't going to end his own life by choice.
No matter how bad things might get for him, Steve Rogers isn't going to end his own life by choice.


Well he lost the argument and more importantly he thinks he has lost the support of the people so god knows what kind of state of mind he is in. To use an cliche, the old ways are gone. Marvel are hyping Captain America #25 for some reason. Be interesting to see what it is.
I think it is sweet that no one at Marvel wants to take credit for Joss' idea, even on a 'relatively' small plot point. I've been kind of hit and miss reading Civil War, but I've really been enjoying Young Avengers and Runaways (which is an off-shoot of the CW series).
Simon, I'd say a more likely possibility is that Steve will decide to give up being Captain America as he no longer considers himself worthy of the role and we will see the new guys step up in #25

As for Steve, I believe that there is a Ronin suit going spare these days. ;)

[ edited by Roxtar on 2007-02-24 17:45 ]
Thanks for the clarification, Joss!

I'm not sure that's how Cap's motives came across on the page, in the final cut, but his surrender is one of those endings that manages to feel surprising and inevitable at the same time, which is something I think of as a Whedon trademark.

And now I'll be thinking of parallels, like the Operative telling the Alliance to stand down, at the end of "Serenity." (Not that, umm, Cap kills children -- as much as Tony might like to imply that to help his case).
I'm still trying to decide what I think of the ending of Civil War. I felt like it was a little anti-climactic when I read it, but as it sinks in, it seems more and more interesting. I really like what Haunt has to say about it in this thread. Food for thought!

As for Steve, I believe that there is a Ronin suit going spare these days. ;)

I have been a little puzzled as to who might be wearing the Ronin suit since I read the most recent issue of New Avengers! The character's dialogue (and the fact that we now know Cap is in jail) made me think it couldn't be Cap, but who knows. I'll be very interested in what happens to him. Ed Brubaker is doing a wonderful job writing the Captain America title right now, so I'm sure whatever happens, it'll be an excellent story. The Fallen Son thing does seem to suggest that Cap will die, but I can't imagine he'd kill himself. That seems very unlike him.

As a die-hard Spidey fan, I'm of course most interested in what the outcome of all this will be for Peter Parker. Given the ending of the last Amazing ... I will be quite upset if someone dies so I'm hoping for the best but the fact that he's wearing his black costume doesn't make me very optimistic. I just want to give the ol' webslinger a big hug. :(
I'm a little behind on New Avengers at the moment but I thought that Echo was still in the suit at the start of the post-CW storyline. Could be wrong on that though.

If there really is somebody new in the suit at the time that Cap is still in jail then it's unlikely that he is taking on Ronin as his new identity. Mind you, it's possible that the current New Avengers storyline is set after Captain America #25. Without having read the issues I'm only guessing there.
well, you know what it is, joss... your credit gets books into hands :)
Personally I really enjoyed Civil War as a whole and thought the ending they went with was the best out of all the possible choices.
Although I don't really see Steve Rogers committing suicide (how else could he come back as Cap after that? ;-) ), I wouldn't mind Bucky taking over the Captain America costume for a few months/years... he was really well reintroduced in the Marvel Universe by Ed Brubaker.
One of the biggest fan complaints I've heard about Civil War has been its realism. "Who wants the Marvel Universe to mirror actual world events, even metaphorically?" has been the battle cry of many complainers. "The whole 'register the supers' thing has been done already... why make it into such a big deal this time?" some say. "Why would the writers try to portray what might actually happen were super powers to exist within the jurisdiction of a country like the United States?" ask some.

I applaud Marvel for trying to do something big (like the Secret Wars or D.C's various Crises storylines) but which actually resonates with current world events; which touches on actual political viewpoints; and which rings undeniably "true," annoying though that might seem.

If there were superheroes, their governments would fear them and try to own them. Period. That's human nature and the way all political entities actually function.

So I appreciate the fact that the Marvel Civil War ends in what might be called a fairly realistic manner. By that time lots of people have become casualties to the conflict, there are lots of hard feelings all around, but in the end, if no one is willing to realize that the conflict is WRONG, and just why that is so, then it won't ever stop on its own. Because such conflicts, especially civil wars, don't ever stop on their own. They are eternally cyclical.

Way to go, Joss, for understanding so effortlessly that Cap, the ultimate devotee of freedom, truth, and justice (which are, after all, supposedly the American Way), created to be a human weapon by a man-made super serum, would walk in both worlds -- and that he would feel, acutely, the terrible irony of becoming the living embodiment of what homo sapiens would fear the most and what he himself had been created to battle against-- the iron fisted uberman.

So, nice work. You nailed it.
(Except that a fight between titans broken up by the 'voice of reason' before it ends is a lame fight indeed.)

So tell me how you really feel about Babylon 5.
Way to go, Joss, for understanding so effortlessly that Cap, the ultimate devotee of freedom, truth, and justice (which are, after all, supposedly the American Way), created to be a human weapon by a man-made super serum, would walk in both worlds -- and that he would feel, acutely, the terrible irony of becoming the living embodiment of what homo sapiens would fear the most and what he himself had been created to battle against-- the iron fisted uberman.


It's very metaphorical. Simple, yet so brilliant. (Joss's take, not Xander_Starcat's.)

(Not to say that Xander_Starcat isn't simple yet brilliant...) ;-)
I agree that Joss's ending is better than the proposed ending would have been. But that was just about the execution of one moment (and didn't change the outcome). So I credit Joss for helping make the moment better than it would have been, but it doesn't make the story into one worth reading by humans.

I don't read many mainstream comics, and Civil War makes me glad I don't. If any of their stories are anything like CW (and I suspect they are), they're a colossal waste of money and reading time. I'm actually a little embarassed that I followed the story for this long, hoping something the slightest bit interesting, creative, thought provoking, useful or original might come out of it.

Civil War says clearly that Marvel is still living in 1940. The ending is the same as it's been since 1940: Remember kids, no matter what, Uncle Sam is always right! (and always wins, so like, don't bother!)

67 years later, and they still can't tell a story more complicated than that.

It's not just boring, it's not just banal, it's possibly one of the worst build-ups to a non story I've ever read. The promise of something different happening in comics for a change, ah, so enticing. I'm new to the mainstream Marvel universe, so I thought maybe they were actually doing something. And it's maybe a good thing, because it educated me as a consumer, and it's not going to happen again (the buying mainstream Marvel crap part, not the educating part. Except for astonishing of course. But they don't count. They're Jossverse.).

I've learned my lesson. The few writers like Vaughn and Joss and some other jewels really are the only place it's at, and the billboard stuff really isn't worth it. Thanks, Civil War: you've showed me what to avoid in comics. 1940 was a good year I'm sure, but the signal is getting weaker and weaker as the years go on...

[ edited by dispatch on 2007-02-25 10:33 ]

So tell me how you really feel about Babylon 5.


Giles, that is laugh out loud funny. Because it's true.
So tell me how you really feel about Babylon 5.

You stole that joke from Joe Rogan. Admit it!

:)
Has Joss seen Babylon 5 (most of it, to be any fair critic of the series as a whole or at least the Shadow/Vorlon conflict aspect, and I say that not yet having seen Season 5, a couple of the last TV movies, and Crusade) ?

I've seen some interesting discussions about that mid-Season 4 resolution. JMS couldn't have won either way, you can't please everyone. If it's just a bunch of blow-'em-up, you'll get criticism. He went the talky route, he got criticism. To be fair, there'd been many space battles and massive casualties prior to the end of the war, so he did kinda service both fanbases (or all three of them, if you keep in mind that a lot of viewers love both the cerebral and the action-packed). What's more, in that same season we had a pretty kick-ass ending to the Earth Civil War as well, which in my mind turned out to be more interesting in the end than the almost Lovecraft-in-space conflict we got with the Shadows/Vorlons who were pretty much just pompous and full of hot air.

[ edited by Kris on 2007-02-26 00:00 ]
dispatch wrote:
Civil War says clearly that Marvel is still living in 1940. The ending is the same as it's been since 1940: Remember kids, no matter what, Uncle Sam is always right! (and always wins, so like, don't bother!)

67 years later, and they still can't tell a story more complicated than that.


Dude... just, whoa... I think it's possible that you missed EVERY BIT of the point of that ending. However this topic has been pushed off the front page so no one is ever gonna see what I'm saying, therefore no point in debating.
I didn't like Civil War. The ending didn't even seem like an ending. The whole thing felt rushed, like they needed another 3 issues to resolve things. Knowing Marvel it's going to be too long before there's another major cross over and all the changes of Civil War will be forgotten.

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