If I remember correctly – and if I don’t, I’m sure someone will tell me in the comments – back in the late ’80s/early ’90s, DC editor Denny O’Neil had a strange editorial edict for people working on the Batman books: People in the DC Universe don’t believe that Batman exists, and instead think that he’s just an urban myth. Now, considering that he’s part of the Justice League and therefore has saved the world more than a few times, that’s an interesting tack to take, I think you’d agree. Thankfully, Tom Brevoort is taking us back to those days, in a strange way, as this exchange over Civil War and belief systems in the Marvel Universe shows:
[W]hy hasn’t the danger posed by alien invasion and Cosmic beings been raised by anyone as a justification for the SHRA? Between them, Tony Stark and Reed Richards have been involved in dozens of cosmic struggles. They would know better than most how close the Earth has come to destruction at the hands of alien invaders. In fact, this issue worried them so much that it caused them to form the Illuminati. Why then wouldn’t they ever mention this issue in the context of supporting the SHRA? Tony doesn’t even mention the threat in that great “Casualties of War” discussion between him and Cap. He goes so far as mentioning Operation Galactic Storm, but it nevers occurs to him (or to Cap) to mention that the SHRA could help provide the Earth with a defense against highly advanced, hostile alien races. Tony and Cap mention the danger posed by Sentinels, but they ignore an arguably much larger threat looming in the background, one that was shown to have been a primary concern for Stark… As a long time Marvel reader, I believe that Tony and Reed, people who have extensively dealt with dangerous alien/Cosmic threats, should have thought to argue that a trained superhuman force is necessary to protect the Earth from such threats. Afterall, the premise behind the [first issue of the current mini series, New Avengers:] Illuminati sets the stage for the pro-reg to use this issue as the main justification for the SHRA. It would be one of the strongest arguments for registration, and should be very persuasive to super human and common man alike. Is there some reason why this justification was set up in the Illuminati, only to be ignored in the context of justifying the SHRA?
For the same reason it never gets brought up in real life: the average person in the Marvel Universe doesn’t believe in the existence or presence of hostile alien life, and the folks who know better would rather keep it that way.
But Captain America certainly knows that the threat is there. You’d think that it would at least be worth a mention when people already in the know are arguing about whether the act is justified. Is the fear of being run by sentinels any worse than than the fear of being conquered by the Kree / Skrull / etc. or dominated by Thanos?
The first person who uses this as an argument in public, on either side, is going to lose. This’d be like Hilary Clinton in her announcement about throwing her hat into the Presidential Race, saying that she wants to be president to protect us from alien threats. Their credibility would be completely shot.
Wait, what? We the readers are actually supposed to believe that the average person in the MU doesn’t believe in the presense of hostile alien life, despite NUMEROUS encounters and engagements and battles with MANY different alien species? Right out in the open?
Yes–just like in our world.
So many issues raised, not least of which Tom’s apparent belief that we here on real Earth have been visited by as many alien races publicly as they have on Marvel Earth. What does he know that we don’t…?