I really can’t add much more to four really great critiques I read of it:
Marvel and Mark Millar get almost 100% wrong what something as ultimately silly and fragile as a fictional universe full of super-powered people needs to sustain itself. I wrote sometime ago here about how human beings in fantastic settings need to remain recognizably human. So, for example, I suggested that a good storytelling premise in a mainstream superhero comic might be to ask, “Why don’t people in DC-comicsville give the Joker the death penalty?” Or, “Why don’t people in either of the major superhero comics universes unquestionably accept the existence of the supernatural and of God, given that supernatural events regularly define the course of their lives?”
These are only good storytelling premises in these fictions if you use them to further explore the element of the fantastic which defines those fictions. Maybe DC people are more benevolent than us-people. Maybe they’re weirder than us-people.
Instead, in Civil War, what we have is Mark Millar asking the dullest possible question: how can I make a world of people from Atlantis and Asgard, a world of undestroyable metals and space gods, and so on, more like our own world? This is why Tolkien was right to say that fantasy and allegory are not happily partnered. Millar can’t even deliver competent allegory: the various commenters who have called the series “ham-fisted” in its views of the current American political situation are being generous.
Fanboys love to dramatically swear off the demon rum of their favored culture swill, like supervillains talking about how they will have revenge against a world which has scorned them. But man, I’m way beyond Dr. Doom here, into Kid Miracleman territory. I really have no interest in seeing what happens next in the story of Marvel’s superhero titles.