Review: Civil War II #1

Civil_War_II_1_CoverThis is it! War comes to the Marvel Universe as lines are drawn and sides are formed.

Ulysses – a young Inhuman with the power to profile the future has emerged. His new abilities send shockwaves through the superhuman community. Divided amongst themselves, will they use Ulysses to prevent danger before it happens? Or should they allow the future to unfold unaltered? As his new powers send shockwaves rippling across the Marvel Universe – battle lines will be drawn. Do you stand with Iron Man? Or will you side with Captain Marvel?

Will the heroes of the Marvel Universe wield the power of “predictive justice” to change the future or battle to protect tomorrow?

Civil War II #1 kicks off with an interesting premise and a muddled execution. There’s a lots that’s good, lets start with that. The first issue does an excellent job of setting up the situation and catching readers up as to where things stand. It can be helpful to read the Free Comic Book Day Civil War II #0 to get more details, but this issue has everything you need, especially setting up the characters and their varied personalities.

While the story uses this idea of predictive justice as one of its driving factors, writer Brian Michael Bendis really focuses on those personalities. The story might take inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report, but it’s the fallout from the predictive justice that’s at issue here. In other words, this first issue puts aside the actual debate topic and focuses on emotion. We saw that in the first Civil War and Captain America: Civil War. You don’t want to dive too deep.

Civil_War_II_1_Preview_3We get a sense of what could have been with some excellent pages where the actual debate begins as to whether wielding this knowledge/power is right and what it could lead to. To me, that was interesting and what’s said had me going around figuring out if these would be characters’ stances and the impact of it all.

It’s not so much the use of visions of the future to stop bad guys (seriously, hasn’t the Avengers and X-Men done that before?) that seems to be driving this event series though. It’s the death of two individuals that’s really the divide. And there muddies what could have been an interesting debate and topic. Now I wonder if characters are acting out of logic or emotion and it diminishes their stances a bit. The comic would have been stronger without those deaths or to have handled them in a different way. Are the sides split because predictive justice is wrong? Or are sides split because people died due to it? We won’t know.

The art by David Marquez is great and his art is some of the best things about the comic. Each character is solid and distinct with their signature looks. There’s some fantastic details put in each panel, especially with Spider-Man, and the shear amount of characters he puts in is impressive. You’ll have fun going through the comic and calling out all of the characters present.

Like most of Marvel’s event comics, the first issue definitely hooks you and has me interested to see what comes next. Hopefully it’ll focus more on the actual political debate within and not water it down with actions based on emotions.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: David Marquez
Story: 7 Art: 8.4 Overall: Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


  • One thing I’m wondering is if they will pull back in future issues to show that the people who died are still part of Ulysses’ vision. Maybe the end of #1 is seeing his vision? Maybe when we get to the final issue, the entire event was one big vision that started when Jean couldn’t read his thoughts? That moment when Ulysses is sitting alone in the dark with a single light on him is the start of the vision, and in the final issue, we’re back with him in the closet and he chooses not to tell?
    That’s my theory, because I can’t believe they killed off the two they did.

    • That’d be very Inception. Not sure if I think it’d be cool or be pissed if it were all a “dream.”

      • SAME! While I’m sad at the people who died and would love them back, I would hate that kind of ending to this event. It would really cheapen it.

        • Exactly. I wish the first issue didn’t have that at all, and instead it was two or three issues in. Their deaths shift the focus too much from using the information to stop crimes before they happen to being about their deaths.

          • I agree. The issue was a bit too overstuffed. In the words of my mom, “Keep it simple, Stupid.” If their deaths came later, then it would drive the emotional side. But now, everyone’s going to be emotionally clouded and go into this without thinking. We don’t even know Thanos’ real intentions of being on Earth. We just know what Carol, who’s upset, said.

            • Exactly. I’d leave the first issue to the set up and the argument with each going their own way. Have things go sideways at the end. Then start the second issue with the deaths and Tony’s reaction. That way things aren’t as much driven by the deaths, they’re already heated from the first issue. The deaths are just that “see I told you so” moment.