In this series we spotlight comic book stories that are likely best left forgotten. Here is an archive of past installments.
Today, we take a look at another odd plot development during Marvel’s Civil War…
Our story begins in Civil War: Frontline #1 (by Paul Jenkins, Ramon Bachs and John Lucas – who do all the stories featured here), when reporter friends Sally Floyd and Ben Urich, one representing a progressive independent newspaper and one representing, well, you know, the Daily Bugle, discuss the Superhuman Registration Act…
Sally and Ben are our narrators for this series.
Naturally, Sally is against the Superhuman Registration Act as a violation of civil liberties. In the third issue, she sees a battle between a Pro-Registration hero and an Anti-Registration hero that ended with the Pro-Registration hero killed. In the next issue, she and Ben discuss the incident…
A couple of things to note here.
1. Sally is not good at turning a blind eye at things.
2. She thinks that there is a conspiracy involving the Civil War.
In issue #5, Sally and Ben both get arrested for interviewing anti-Registration heroes and not revealing their location to the government.
Let’s see Sally in custody in #6…
Gotta love Reed’s evil mastermind pose.
So a Congressman visits Sally in custody the next issue and gives her a sealed envelope and debates the issue with her…
A few things here.
1. How in the world did that convince her she was wrong?
2. As we’ll see later on, there’s a real pattern here for “gothcha” moments where they really aren’t “gotcha” moments. Oh, you can predict that she’ll think that your offer, which totally sounds like a trick, is a trick? You’re really blowing my mind here. How can you possibly stand up to such brilliant rhetoric?
3. Sally now realizes that there are no conspiracies here. This is an important point for later.
At the end of #8, Sally is offered a chance to talk to Captain America.
In #9, she basically blows him off…
What the what? As we saw with the Civil War Frontline back-up story about the Japanese Internment Camps, Jenkins seems to have this odd inclination to want to reframe historical events to such an absurd degree that they’re basically meaningless. Forgetting whether you necessarily even buy into the argument (perhaps made most famous by Christopher Browning) that your typical Nazi soldier was just an ordinary guy forced to serve the Nazis due to obedience to authority and peer pressure, the key point is that they were fighting for a objectively “bad” moral cause. So this whole argument here really doesn’t fly (if she wants to argue that Cap could be morally wrong, then whatever, fair enough, but don’t do it through talking about Nazi Germany). By the way, as an aside, if you’re Cap, why would you ever talk to this lady ever again? Lady’s looking at her watch WHILE YOU’RE giving her an exclusive interview? What the heck?
So anyhow, here is where Sally is now. She’s basically reversed her position, especially on the whole “there is no conspiracy involved” angle.
Now here’s the kicker. SHE THEN DISCOVERS A CONSPIRACY BEHIND CIVIL WAR!!! I talked about it last week. She then decides to cover it up, for the greater good. Because, you know, she’s apparently quite good at turning a blind eye to things.
So keep that in mind when you go to the next page when Captain America, who surrendered at the end of Civil War due to his fight with Iron Man causing too much collateral damage and the average citizen seemingly supporting Iron Man’s side of the issue, inexplicably gives Sally ANOTHER exclusive interview…
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