The Boy Scout and the Military Industrial Complex


Plowed through Marvel’s Civil War arc last week and was struck by how sophisticated the story telling is. Unfolding, as it does, across a number of separate comic book series we get a chance to see important events from multiple viewpoints. For all that most of the character’s wear tights for a living this spread of viewpoints, coupled with a subtle approach to the issues, lends an air of veracity to the story as events unfold.

Civil War also operates on multiple levels; for example the personality clash at the heart of the story is between Captain America, the ‘Boy Scout’, a living symbol of honour, liberty and apple pie, and Iron Man, industrialist, inventor and the embodiment of the Military Industrial Complex. Their rivalry is both personal and ideology and both, crucially, are operating from motives so pure you could drink them. Both of them realise that they have made mistakes during the conflict and both pay a terrible personal and moral price for their role in it.