When a reality television is the causes the deaths of thousands of people and ruining friendships, you know that it should be taken off the air. The New Warriors (if you don't who they are Google them and remain confused that you still don't know who they are) were filming a reality TV show that showcased them capturing super villains in places other than New York. This particular time they came across Nitro. A villain that they knew was out of their league. Still, they went in fighting.
Unfortunately, Nitro has no conscience or remorse for anyone and used his powers to explode killing the New Warriors and thousands of men, women, and children in Stamford, Connecticut. This incident ruined the image of super powered people in the eyes of millions forever prompting the American Government to step in and pass a law that forced super powered beings in the United States to register their powers, name, and secret identity or face imprisonment.
Despite everything that happened, Captain America believed that the masks were a tradition and wouldn't stand for the government policing the good guys. Tony Stark thought it was a great idea for superheroes to register their powers and identities so they could be held acccounteable for their actions. This drew a line in the sand for heroes. Each person who was for or against the Super Hero Registration Act had a leader for their cause. Thus starting the Super Hero Civil War.
There haven't been as many classic crossover events in the last decade or so since Marvel has such an event every year when they used to happen far less frequently. So it's sometimes hard to find a crossover that is actually more than just a fight or even worth reading. Civil War is probably one of the best Marvel crossovers since the 90's if not of all time. Civil War did something that was rarely seen by Marvel. Heroes fighting heroes. Now, you're probably thinking that this happens all of the time. Usually when heroes fight each other it's because someone has gone evil, possessed, or being mind control. Any which way, there is usually a clear hero and villain. This time, there really isn't one.
The majority of the people who read this series sided with Captain America because they want to rage against a government that no longer is for the people and they want to fight back. While others will say the law is the law and it has to be followed. Both sides were right and wrong and neither would agree with that at all. This was one of the reasons that Civil War was so good. It raised a lot of real world questions. What if the government tried something like this? Would you go for it? A lot of people talk a big game, but at the end of the day most people are going to do what Peter Parker did. Support the law until they cross a line that can't be forgiven.
Civil War is also a great starting point for anyone wanting to get into Marvel Comics. This is where all the drama starts and classic characters like Captain America, and Iron Man make major changes in their personalities and when less known characters like Luke Cage step out of the shadow and become major players and leaders. This is also a book every fan of comic books (whether you're DC, Marvel, Top Cow, or anyone else) should own in their collection. It's full of great fight scenes as well as some tragic and unforgettable moments. Even if you don't like comic books, this is an amazing story written by Mark Millar combined with beatiful artwork by Steve McNiven.