Review: Civil War II: The Accused

The Accused #1It’s the trial of the century!  As a beloved Avenger falls, another takes the stand to answer for his death. As Hawkeye stands trial amid a case full of super heroes and politics – who will prosecute? None other than Matt Murdock – Daredevil! But when Matt digs into the case and secrets come to light…he may not like what he finds. Has Daredevil bitten off more than he can chew? Amid a growing conspiracy, can the Marvel Universe’s most stalwart defender of justice promise a fair trial? The answers won’t come easy.

I’ve been pretty down on Marvel’s 2016 event Civil War II. Overall, I think the writers have thrown to side the complex moral and ethical debates, replacing them with cheap events like the death of characters. It’s taken what should be a narrative that challenges the reader to debate their own beliefs and instead replaced it with shallow stunts that replace the focus of the quandary at the center of it all.

One of those stunts was the murder of Bruce Banner, the Hulk, by Clint Barton, Hawkeye. A trial is quickly breezed through in the main series again emphasizing the inch deep story. What happened in that trial? What were the arguments for and against the accused? Civil War II: The Accused fills in that gap presenting the trial of Clint Barton.

Written by Marc Guggenheim, the comic does a decent job focused on the trial itself presenting a complex issue and the debatable justness of it all. But, just like the main series, there’s some muddiness of that focus weaving through conspiracy theories that I’d rather not spoil.

Still, Guggenheim does a rather admirable job of keeping things pretty focused on the task at hand, presenting a trial. But, more importantly, he focuses on presenting the arguments for and against Barton’s actions and leaves the reader to decide for themselves whether he’s guilty of murder, not, or something else entirely. Beyond a few pages, most of the comic is focused on this and thus presents the most focused of Civil War II comics. This is the comic that comes closest to really asking if it’s right to act on a precognition.

The art by Ramon Bachs and Garry Brown is pretty solid. It feels gritty in a good way and matches the tone of a trial, by which I mean it feels a bit like Law & Order. There’s a possibility of going into this resulting in a bland boring presentation with characters talking a lot and little action, but Brown and Bachs make even those scenes interesting by delivering as much in movement and faces as being said with words.

Civil War II: The Accused fills in a lot of gaps and I’d say is a pretty vital comic for those interested in Civil War II. But, more importantly, it actually comes close to delivering on the premise that was set up in the beginning of the event. It also leaves the reader with no clear answers. All of that together equals a success and the best comic I’ve read so far dealing with Civil War II.

Story: Marc Guggenheim Art: Ramon Bachs, Garry Brown
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review