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Review: Civil War #2

CivilWar2“We’re being played” – President Stark

The second installment of Civil War continues to stun with its expressive landscapes. Each panel in Civil War #2 presents its own reward, in addition to the engrossing mystery of what I can say now is my favorite battlezone.  Issue two showcases the aftermath of Miriam Sharpe’s assassination as both factions in the warzone carry out their own respective measures and investigation. We get an interesting reveal from President Stark’s analysis recent events. Employing his trademark technical finesse Stark carries out a statistical analysis of occurrences spanning from the  Stamford Incident (the classic trigger of the Civil War event) up to the Maria Sharpe’s death.   Stark’s work presents us with a timeline reminiscent of a similar one in Avengers #5 (Vol.4)  and another one created by a time displaced Hank McCoy in Bendis’ All-New X-Men.

I really do love timelines like these, they act as firm plot structure devices, and can lead to some awesome foreshadowing.  In this case the timeline does not just hint that there is more than what meets the eye is at work in Battleworld, it shows what could have been.  I have not been reading all of the tie ins to Secret Wars, but I have been reading most the reviews on Graphic Policy, and there seems to be a recurring theme that Battleworld is definitely flawed. I suspect the timeline analysis segment here touches on that thread.

A5 Timeline

Beasts TimelineCW Timeline

Back in the Blue, Rogers is overseeing a project dubbed “Bellcurve”  which appears to be a means to depower superhuman individuals.  With the genius inventiveness of Hank McCoy at its helm the project is poised to be a game changer for the seemingly endless conflict. Once more the Blue is constrained by resource limitations and the Blue faction is only able to conduct one successful run of the experiment. This will require a stealth mission into the Iron to acquire the necessary materials to carry out the project again.  What I found significant about this project is that it mirrors the Spin-tech measures used by the Pro-registration faction in the original Civil War event. This is yet another point emphasizing how similar each faction appears to be beyond the surface. Additionally Hank McCoy engineering depowering tech presents a striking parallel to the Utopia (Dark Reign) event where the Dark Beast (Hank’s Alterate reality doppelganger) creates the omega machine to painfully remove mutant abilities at the behest of Norman Osborn. That both events occur on the same timeline trajectory (albeit different universes) is no coincidence I think. That makes me appreciate this story so much more.

The visuals continue to carry the story in their own way. Seeing the capital cities of the Blue and the Iron was not only breathtaking, they  really accentuate the politics of place. Stark’s Resilient Alpha (a city we’ve seen a variant of before) is a sprawling technological utopia. This gilded empire matches the bureaucratic and ambitious nature of Stark’s politics and perhaps his approach to the super-human question….big, imposing, and intricate.  The capital of the Blue “Liberation” is a mountain side refuge, complete with a sweet Cap Shield Motif. A majestic unassuming refuge…remote and protected.  Seeing the nerve centre of both factions really anchors each ideology and gives them a sense of importance and place on par with the Inhumans’ Attilan or Namor’s Atlantis. I’m seriously dying to see Blue and Iron variants of Hellicarriers next.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall 10 Recommendation: Buy!