Civil War II is a comic book crossover storyline published by Marvel Comics that debuted in June 2016. It is the sequel to 2006’s Civil War and consists of a nine issue eponymous core limited series, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artists David Marquez and Justin Ponsor [Source : Wikipedia]
Outside of the United States, comics are published in a different manner (and in various forms). The Civil War II event is currently being published on a monthly basis. However, issues are not exactly the same as american single issues. For instance, this first issue includes Civil War II 0, Civil War II 1 and Free Comic Book Day 2016.
CIVIL WAR II : ISSUE #00
This prelude sets the stage and provides all the necessary information to dive into the event. The story opens in a courtroom. She-Hulk (Miss Waters, a lawyer) is defending one of her clients, who is facing jailtime for the mere fact that he was once a criminal. Her speech alone gives the reader the gist of this new Civil War and the moral debate at the center of the story. Later, Captain Marvel tells a story that emphasizes the moral issue at stake here. It is clear she wants to prevent the future if such a thing has a positive outcome near term.
We also meet the character who triggers everything : Ulysses. The terrigen cloud (a cloud hovering around the world which triggers the inhuman gene in those who carry it, giving them a special ability – hence, making them part of the Inhumans) transforms two high school students ; one of them, Ulysses, gains the ability to see the future (through visions that he not only sees but also experiences). The prelude ends with Ulysses having an alarming vision : a devastated world in flames.
What I enjoyed about this introduction is its ability to immerse you in the story immediately. It is fast-paced and yet manages to plant the seed of what Civil War II will be about. All the characters are interesting and developped in a short-time, they are very well depicted and it only takes one page to care for their fate. From a visual standpoint, there isn’t much to say besides : bravo ! This prelude is a very enjoyable read, it is beautiful to stare at and it absolutely leaves you wanting more.
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2016
I was pleasantly surprised with this particular part of the story as it confirms one thing : no one will be spared and there is no down time. The story barely started and we already lost two main characters. As stated above, the strenght of Civil War II is its great rythm. In this Free Comic Book Day edition, we focus on the consequences of Ulysses’ visions. Following his vision from the previous issue, Ulysses and the Inhumans go to Captain Marvel. She decides to act and stop the menace before it comes to Earth. During the battle, a character dies which will set the conflict between Iron Man and Captain Marvel in motion.
I wasn’t expecting the writers to kill off main characters so early in the story and I feel this is bold and smart. I feel we will lose more characters (possibly more important ones) in issues to come. It gives the reader the sense that this whole conflict is not just a philosophical debate but has concrete and grave consequences.
Unlike the first issue which focused on setting the stage, this one is action-packed and the battle scenes are intense. I especially like the color tones used : colorful yet dark. The drawings are even more impressive than in the prelude.
CIVIL WAR II : ISSUE #01
Now, this is where we enter Civil War II ! Celebrating a recent victory, the Avengers are partying in the Stark Tower. This is when Ulysses is introduced by the Inhumans. This issue sets the fundamentals of the conflict . Iron Man wants to protect the future as he believes Ulysses doesn’t see THE future but a POTENTIAL one. Thus, acting upon a vision by either fighting against enemies who are not yet a threat or condemning people who have not committed a crime yet is not the right way. On the other side, Captain Marvel wants to change the future, theoretically for the better since acting before a menace occurrs could save lives and avoid disasters. She seems to believe the end justifies the means.
The debate is interesting but very unoriginal. It does feel sterile as I think the decision to act upon a vision or not, to change the future or let it happen, should be made according to each individual situation. Things get heated when Tony Stark finds out about the death of a close friend. Blinded by his pain, he turns this whole debate into a real conflict. Blaming Captain Marvel for this tragedy, Iron Man storms out to seemingly take matters into his own hands.
This issue succeeds in gradually increasing the tension between Captain Marvel and Iron Man. My only problem is that, though the characters, the action, the drawings and the rythm make Civil War II an extremely enjoyable read with no boring moments, I feel the essence of the conflict is rather weak. Also, what seems to start this war between Captain Marvel and Iron Man is not the idea of PROTECT THE FUTURE VS CHANGE THE FUTURE but rather a personal tragedy. Still, I am eager to read the following issues so Civil War II has done its job : it has me very interested. So, despite its flaws, I do recommend reading it as the pros outweigh the cons.