Life Lessons from Marvel's Civil War Graphic Novel

Who says that comics are just for kids? There's a difference between the comic strips that you see in the Sunday newspaper (in which, Dilbert is my new favorite) and more complex graphic novels. Comic strips are simple, funny, and usually intended for younger audiences. Graphic novels are pretty much novels with complex plots, deep character development, and mature themes.

In anticipation for Captain America: Civil War, I decided to read the Marvel Civil War graphic novel. You know the old saying, the book is always better than the movie. Well, since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has used different characters and slightly different story-lines than the graphic novels and that the movie isn't out yet, I can say that it looks like the movie will be different than the comic, which can be a really good thing. That way, when I watch the movie, I'll probably still see some unexpected surprised and have an awesome time.

If you still think that comics are just for kids, then check out these life lessons I found in the Marvel Civil War graphic novel: 

(minor spoiler alert!)

1. There is a Big Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals

In the beginning of the novel, an amateur "C-list" group of superheroes known as the New Warriors recklessly invade a house full of criminals resulting in an explosion that kills hundreds of innocent people, many of whom are children. Even though every professional was once an amateur, a professional has a lot more experience and skills.

2. Anything Can Change Anytime

At first, Steve Rogers aka Captain America and Tony Stark aka Iron Man were close friends. They disagreed on the Superhero Registration Act, which was a law requiring superheroes to not hide their identities and become employees of S.H.I.E.L.D (with proper training and accountability). It was designed to regulate superhero activity to prevent incidents like what happened with the New Warriors and instill public trust in the superhero community. Captain America saw it as a dangerous move that would split the superhero community (he was right) and place the ones working on the streets, like Daredevil, in even more danger. Iron Man saw it as a necessary move to keep the public safe and have them trust superheroes again, especially after what happened with the New Warriors.

This disagreement changed everything, not just for both men, but for the whole Marvel universe.

3. Secrets and Relationships Don't Mix

Even the Fantastic Four split here. Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic created a jail to hold superheroes who refused to comply with the Superhero Registration Act. The project was top secret, so it's arguable that Reed was right to keep it from his wife, Sue Richards aka the Invisible Woman. But when she found out what he created, she was so furious that she left Reed and joined Captain America's rebellion.

4. It's Totally Fine To Change Your Mind

Spider-Man plays a significant role in the Civil War for many reasons, and one of them is that he switches sides. At first, he is pro-registration with Iron Man, and even does something really drastic to show the public his good faith.

Later on, Spider-Man decides to switch to Cap's side. From deciding to be pro-registration and then anti-registration, both times he made his decision based on his conscience and values.

5. Intention Don't Justify the Methods

In the comic (and probably the movie), Thor isn't present. Needing a heavy-hitter on Iron Man's side, they create a clone. Creating a being with Thor's powers, but not actually Thor, chaos happens. Let's just say it's not good.

The Superhero Registration Act made it the law that every superhero had to register under S.H.I.E.L.D., which made any unregistered superheroes (pretty much everyone on Cap's side) criminals. To hunt them down, S.H.I.E.L.D. ironically recruits supervillains to legally capture unregistered superheroes (because, you know, fighting superheroes is their specialty). They end up brutally beating one superhero in particular legally. This is ironic for so many reasons.

6. Stay Focused on Your Goals

Both Captain America and Iron Man are superheroes who fight for the greater good. In the Civil War, they take actions that they believe are the greater good, but they got so sidetracked fighting each other, they forgot that. Instead of fighting for the people, they were fighting each other, which isn't very superhero-like at all.

Want to check out the graphic novel? Grab it here.
via Amazon

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