An interesting thing I've noticed is that, quite often, fans will defend to the death "Marvel history," even though what they really mean is "Marvel history since I began to read Marvel." This ties into this issue of Civil War because I have seen more than a few folks discussing which side of the Civil War that Thor would be on, and people make the argument that of COURSE Thor would be on Captain America's side! However, this flies in the face of the first fifteen years or so of the Marvel Universe, where it was Iron Man and Thor that were the best of buddies. In fact, in the late 80s, Tom DeFalco wrote an issue of Thor where it took Captain America actually picking up the hammer of Thor for Thor to not automatically side with Iron Man in the disagreement that Iron Man and Cap were having at the time (over Iron Man's actions during Armor Wars). That doesn't mean that Thor would automatically side with Iron Man, of course, but based on Marvel history, Thor certainly is not automatically predisposed either way. Then again, that's presuming that Mark Millar is paying attention to Marvel history, which is unlikely, but that's a whole other thing.
Anyhow, that's just something that bugged me, it really doesn't have much of an impact on Civil War #3, which was yet another solid issue from this series. Steve McNiven is continuing his excellent artwork, although his work is at its best when Dexter Vines is inking him (Mark Morales and McNiven himself chip in, with mixed results). Morry Hollowell does a fine job on colors.
The issue follows the Pro-Registration crew making their rounds (including the Fifty-State Iniative, which seems to be having trained superheroes working in each state of the Union, similar to the X-Corporations from Morrison's New X-Men), while we check in with the Anti-Registration crew, who have new secret identities, including a rather bizarre one for Daredevil, where his "disguise" is to basically look like Matt Murdock. What the heck?
I especially liked the agreement of Emma Frost to Tony that the X-Men won't get involved. It was a nice scene, and it was good to see Emma give the "Where were you during Genosha?" speech sans hysteria (see the most recent New X-Men for the same scene, only hysterical).
Anyhow, there is a trap set by the Pro-Registration heroes that leads to an awesome fight, where McNiven REALLY shines. Such well-illustrated action (and by the by, while it's nice to see Captain America even SLIGHTLY appear fallible, his "betrayal" of Iron Man in this issue really isn't a betrayal at all). And a really cool cliffhanger.
The issue does continue the random odd things, like, for instance, it's one thing if Captain America calls the agents who hunt down the rogue heroes "cape-killers," but get this, that's what they call themselves!!!!!!!!!!! What the heck?!!?
The Thunderbolts and Cable both don't really fit in this issue with what's going on in their own titles, but I guess Fabian Nicieza doesn't have much input on what happens in this series.
Thing acted a bit condescending, out of nowhere, in this issue.
Also, asking the Black Panther to be part of a US Government Iniative? Who the heck thought THAT was going to work?
So yeah, as a single issue, this was good. Although, I have to say, it's remarkable to me how much this issue essentially just goes along with the idea that this issue has been settled. No one argues for or against their position in this issue, except for some catty comments from both sides. I found that strange.
Anyhow, great art and a good story? I would recommend this issue.