Learning of the government's plans to instigate a Superhuman
Registration Act that would force costumed, super-powered individuals to
reveal their identities to the government and sign on as licensed agents, Iron
Man at first seeks to defeat the proposal, even going to such lengths as to hire
the Titanium Man to attack the hearing on the act as he testifies in order to manipulate opinion in his favor. However, at some point, Tony Stark's opinion of the Act changes, seeing it as a new means to achieve the goal that he had sought in forming the "Illuminati", and to tie the knots of friendship between humans and superheroes . He attempts to convince the other members of the clandestine group to support the new Act, stating that their input could prevent the Act from becoming too restrictive of superhuman activities, but all except Mister
Fantastic reject the idea of registration.
After the Stamford, Connecticut disaster turns public opinion against
superhumans and fast-tracks the Act into law, Stark comes out publicly in
support of the Act, but the new law splits the hero community in two. All of
Stark's planning and manipulation comes to fruition as Stark then becomes the
representative and leader of the pro-registration side, placed in opposition to
the anti-registration advocates. In his first major public action as a supporter
of registration, Stark again unmasked as Iron Man.
Prior to the events of Civil War, Stark assisted fellow Avenger Spider-Man
and his family. Peter Parker came to regard Stark as a mentor, became his
assistant, and accepted a new technologically-enhanced costume from him . Stark also convinced Spider-Man to unmask and go public with his identity as well. However, Peter's feelings of being manipulated and unease about the rightness of Stark's cause grew until Stark revealed a prison for superhumans he and Mister Fantastic had built in the Negative Zone. When Spider-Man attempted to escape from Stark Tower, along with his family, in order to join the Resistance, he attacked Stark, who had confronted him. However, due to Spider-Man's override of the suit given to him by Stark and some unexpected intervention by the Punisher, the web-slinger managed to escape with his family and was now considered a traitor by Stark and the Pro-Registration side.
As a lapsed fan, this site is a treasure trove. To the comic companies, it is a great marketing tool. It allows older fans to read synopses of what has happened to these characters over the years, though it's not always presented in the most direct way. I see it as a tool to help me decide which collections to buy, in TPB format.
I have to get all of the "Civil War" books. This "negative zone" prison smacks of Gitmo, and I'm sure that the books are full of "anti-Bush" propaganda. That's just a guess, from reading the synopsis, but I am an old comic fan. I remember the X-Factor villians called "the Right." They were a bunch of smiley-faced robots, back in the Reagan era.
Predictable as the politics may be, I still love the characters, and know that these changes are usually not permanent. I still enjoy reading comics, when I can afford them. Heck, I even enjoy reading the synopsized storylines on this Wikia website, which means it's got potential. Check it out!