Published March 1, 2019

13 Biggest Moments in Marvel's Civil War

Relive one of the defining moments of comics history.

Civil War Moments

Beginning in 2006, a seven-part Marvel event divided not only the Marvel Universe, but also fans themselves. Everyone had to answer the question, "Whose Side Are You On?"

Written by Mark Millar and penciled by Steve McNiven, the story of Civil War unfolded in all corners of the Marvel Universe across dozens of issues. The battle of politics, morality, and what makes someone a hero had ramifications that lasted for years.

Whether you sided with Tony Stark or Captain America, comic book fans wouldn't soon forget the destruction caused by Civil War.

The Explosion Heard 'Round the Country

A group of young "super heroes" film themselves attempting to apprehend the super villain Nitro for a reality TV show. To avoid capture, Nitro blows himself up, along with 600 civilians. The public decides they can no longer tolerate untrained heroes, and the Superhuman Registration Act is born.


Captain America Stands in Defiance

The Superhuman Registration Act requires anyone with powers to register with the government to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. Cap refuses to follow orders, claiming that it takes more than powers and training to turn someone into a hero. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. team moves in to contain him, Cap escapes on a jet.

Captain America

The Registration Act Passes and The Watcher Appears

The Act becomes law and S.H.I.E.L.D. hit squads take anyone opposed to the Registration Act into custody. Reed Richards and Tony Stark, major proponents of the Registration Act, build a specially designed prison in the Negative Zone for these anti-registration “heroes.” Uatu the Watcher appears, a harbinger of catastrophic things to come.

Taken into custody

Spider-Man Reveals Himself

Iron Man convinces Spider-Man to register with S.H.I.E.L.D., explaining the perks for him and his family. Tony specially designs a suit for Spidey, the “Iron Spider,” and at a press conference Spider-Man reveals himself as Peter Parker, photographer for the Daily Bugle.

Spider-Man Reveals Himself

A God Comes Back to Life

When Tony Stark and Captain America first collide, the heroes hold back from using the full extent of their powers. The former teammates don’t want to do permanent damage, despite their conflicting ideals. The battle is at a stalemate, until S.H.I.E.L.D. calls in "Codename Lightning," and Thor, supposedly dead, appears on the battlefield.


The Mighty Have Fallen

The "Thor" who fought in battle wasn't the real God of Thunder, but rather a clone. This clone malfunctioned and, in battle, killed the anti-registration Goliath. Cap's team barely escape and heroes on both sides now understand the gravity of the situation.

Might Have Fallen

Tony Stark Takes Drastic Measures

Needing all the firepower he can get, Iron Man recruits villains interested in joining his fight. Stark offers “redemption” and clean records to Venom, Bullseye, Lady Deathstrike and more if they're willing to fight against Cap and his compatriots.

Tony Stark Takes Drastic Measures

A Change of Heart

With villains joining his team and Goliath’s murder, Spider-Man realizes he joined the wrong team and abandons Tony. Sue Storm, along with her brother Johnny, can't idly stand by as her husband locks up their greatest allies. These changes take serious symbolic and emotional tolls on the Pro-Registration heroes.

Sue and Johnny

31 Pieces of Silver

A SH.I.E.L.D. hit squad arrests Daredevil and takes him as a prisoner to the Negative Zone. Tony offers him one last chance to join his team, but Daredevil keeps quiet, revealing a silver coin in his mouth. This symbolic gesture compares Tony to Judas and weighs heavily on Tony's mind as he begins to question whether he’s chosen the right side.

Silver coin

Punisher Gets the Boot

Despite helping coordinate a massive breakout, Cap kicks the Punisher off of his team when he murders two villains who ask to join the resistance. This moment symbolized that no matter how desperate Captain America was for recruits, he looked only for heroes, not for murderers.


Rematch in the Negative Zone

When heroes break out of the Negative Zone prison, the two teams collide once again. Cloak, acting on Captain America's orders, teleports both sides to the middle of New York City in hopes that Tony will grasp the collateral damage taking a toll on the city and its civilians in the conflict.

Rematch in the Negative Zone

America Attacks Captain America

Captain America physically triumphs over Iron Man and positions himself to deliver a critical blow when bystanders attack him. Cap says he doesn't want to hurt them, and they tell him he’s too late for that. When he sees the destruction he’s caused to the city, he has a change of heart. The tides have turned.

America Attacks Captain America

Steve Rogers Surrenders

Captain America tells his team to stand down upon realization that he has lost sight of the argument and was no longer fighting for the good of the people. He no longer represents the voice of America, so he removes his mask and turns himself in as Steve Rogers, not “Captain America.” The Superhuman Registration Act stands and Tony Stark is victorious.

Steve Rogers Surrenders


NYX (2024) #1 cover by Sara Pichelli


July 24's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Find your way in New York with the New Young Mutants, join the Strange Academy students' team-up with Doctor Doom, and more in this week's comics!

Be the Hero of Your Exercise Adventure with the 'Marvel Fitness Deck'

Culture & Lifestyle

Be the Hero of Your Exercise Adventure with the 'Marvel Fitness Deck'

Become your own health Super Hero with the 'Marvel Fitness Deck', a 50-card deck of exercises for Marvel fans of all ages!

IRON MAN #1 cover by Yasmine Putri


Iron Man Enters a New, Brutal Era

This October, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Spencer Ackerman will launch a new run of 'Iron Man' with artist Julius Ohta.

PHOENIX (2024) #1 cover by Yasmine Putri


July 17's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Soar with Phoenix, discover the secrets of Atlantis, turn the tide of 'Blood Hunt' with Dracula and Wolverine, and more in this week's comics!