4. CIVIL WAR (CIVIL WAR #1-7, 2006-2007)
In 2006, Marvel set out to shake up its roster of characters by pitting them against each other in an all-out war of ideals. The heroes were split over the proposal of the Superhuman Registration Act, a bill that would force all heroes to disclose their identities to the government and become agents of the United States.
This was too much freedom for Cap to give up, so he broke off from the pro-registration heroes, led by Iron Man, and created a renegade squad focused on stopping the passage of the law. The tale was emotionally charged and showed just how unwavering Cap really is with his beliefs. The story is also perhaps most famous for spurring the assassination of Captain America in its aftermath.
Civil War was socially relevant and hard-hitting, as Millar questioned the morality of working outside of the law and also how much power the government should really have. It also didn’t hurt that Steve McNiven provided some jaw-dropping fight scenes between Iron Man and Captain America. This was a comic event done right and the attention to detail was apparent in every panel.
Rarely do mainstream superhero comics weave politics and Spandex, but Millar shedded that notion and used Cap as the focal point of an entire movement. Civil War shows off Steve Rogers as a hero who aims to preserve America’s ideals, even if that means fighting the American government to do so.