So this week I am going to talk about Marvel’s Civil War II #1 by Brian Michael Bendis with art from David Marquez. Now I am going to give you a full warning here that I am going to spoil the ending. I waited a week to review it so that I can spoil it. If you don’t want to read a spoiler for the ending then I would suggest not reading my entire review. I will give full warning in the body of the review before spoiling anything… that being said… let’s leap in.
So let’s start with a quick rundown of what happens in the issue, spoiler free. The book starts with the Avengers (Iron Man’s team) facing a huge extra dimensional being made of energy, in a ruined city. Thor comes bursting in, followed by pretty much the rest of the Marvel Universe, as the team pick themselves up after obviously just getting a butt kicking. As the heroes fight drone like creatures around the being Tony calls up Doctor Strange and he, with an armada of other magic users, banish the creature. We soon find out, while at a Tony Stark party, that the heroes were tipped off by a Nuhuman named Ulysses. His power is that he can predict the future, and Captain Marvel and Iron Man come disagree with how to use him. Iron Man thinks he shouldn’t be used and that his powers present a problem, he questions where we draw the line and decides to go back to the party. The issue ends with Captain Marvel having acted on a vision of Ulysses with disastrous results.
First of all I want to talk about the writing. This book is really well written. I am not a big Bendis fan but I really love when he writes big books like this. For some reason I just think Bendis can really pull together all these different voices from the Marvel Universe. When Medusa, Captain America’s, Iron Man, Spider Man, Captain Marvel etc. are all in the same room, each person seems so individual and when they talk to each other their voices are so clear, in a way that I find a lot of other writers just can’t do. His writing is easily what makes this book and what will make this event, be amazing.
Marquez’ art in this book is outstanding as well. The lines are very clean and the characters are all very distinct. I really like Marquez style as well. The characters are cartoony without being over the top. It’s the right amount of realism and cartoon for me and I think it will not undercut the story in anyway. It’s always a worry when a serious story is drawn by an artist with a slightly cartoony style but Marquez is a perfect fit for where this story could go. Also hopefully he can keep up and we won’t have the delays that Marvel has suffered from in the past.
Now I want to talk about the spoiler of the review… the death of War Machine, James Rhodes. I was surprised and oddly sad about this death. I never thought I would care about War Machine dying but honestly it shook me. I think it shook me for a very simple reason, it was elegant. War Machine was the perfect character to kill off to affect both parties, on one side he is Iron Man’s best friend and confidant. On the other he is Captain Marvel’s lover. The scene where Iron Man confronts Captain Marvel is fantastic and easily the best thing Marvel has put out in months. The emotions running on both sides are evident and Captain Marvel’s rebuttal to Iron Man claiming that she killed his friend is perfect. She replies “He was a soldier. He went into battle. And you’re not the only one who loved him.” Powerful words. I would hate to be in Thanos’ shoes right now as I am sure the heroes will be on the warpath. This is also where the art truly shines as the rest of the book is a bit lighter and the art reflects that, but here the lightness does not take a single thing away from the intensity and seriousness of the book. The people look crushed and beaten, emotionally and physically. It’s truly a great scene worthy of a hero’s death.
This book gets 10/10 and I can’t wait to read the next issue.