So, the dust has settled, the smoke has cleared, and the Civil War is over. Captain America is in prison, Iron Man is in charge of SHIELD (and by extension, every super-human in the United States), and Registration is the law of the land! Huzzah...wait a second, doesn't that kind of seem like a depressing ending? And doesn't it kind of mean that the entire seven issues were a complete waste of time? Oh, well. It sold, right?
So now the obvious question is, "What happens next?" Here it is, my absolute infallible predictions on the future of the Marvel Universe post-Civil War.
Within five issues, Captain America will either break out or be broken out of the Negative Zone prison. Probably, he'll be the "new Ronin" they're talking about in the pages of 'New Avengers', since the "take up a temporary identity" gimmick is one they've done before for Cap, and it makes a certain amount of sense; he doesn't want to restart the big war, and Cap's a big, tangible symbol of the Resistance. But he's obviously not going to stay in prison for long, because he's got his own series.
Within two years, it will be revealed that Iron Man is either mind controlled, an impostor, or just plain went insane. It will be further revealed that he orchestrated the explosion at Stamford, CT (by maneuvering either the heroes, the villains, or both into that spot) to create the furor that pushed the SHRA into law, all to consolidate super-heroes under his personal control. There'll be another big crossover, Iron Man will be defeated, and the SHRA will be repealed now that everyone sees how dangerous it is to give so much power to one man.
Within five years, there will be a tremendously unconvincing storyline in which Peter Parker pulls a scam to make everyone think that the revelation of Spider-Man's identity was, in turn, a scam; everyone will believe this new scam hook, line, and sinker, allowing Peter to return to his old job at the Daily Bugle.
Within seven years, if Tony Stark was revealed to have just plain gone insane, it will at this time be revealed that he was either mind controlled or an impostor all along, and the real/normal Tony Stark will come back as Iron Man.
Within ten years, Aunt May will be back from the dead, if she was in fact fatally wounded and not just wounded at the end of the latest issue of Spider-Man.
In other words, my prediction for 'Civil War'? In ten years, it'll be as if none of it ever happened. Because there's either two options here. Either one, this is Act One of a grander story that will end with a return to the status quo, or two, Marvel's editorial staff has just made a colossal mistake that they will spend the next decade burying.