Review: Civil War II #8

civil_war_ii__8Ulysses’ precognitive powers grow stronger with each passing moment. As they reach their peak, what horrors from the future will be unleashed? And seeds sown here will bear bitter fruit for the Marvel Universe of tomorrow. Protect the future or change the future?

It all gets decided here!

After a bit of a delay, Marvel‘s latest event wraps up in Civil War II #8 launching the publisher’s line in another direction. Written by Brian Michael Bendis the comic ends in pretty much the exact way I expected.

Driven mostly by action and relying on David Marquez‘s art to make it interesting, the issue continues the battle between Captain Marvel and Iron Man over the nation’s capitol. Full of flash, the issue isn’t too deep as has plagued the series, and frustratingly shows what could have been with a different direction in script.

The issue is mostly battle, but that battle is broken up with a flash of possible Marvel futures which is something we’ve seen done before in previous events. We get flashes of what’s to come, or may come, each drawn by the different artists below. It’s a tease and a way to sell comics attempting to get fans excited and stick around. It didn’t work before, and I don’t expect it’ll work now as a tactic, but that’s a discussion for another time.

But, lets focus on what could have been.

After the battle between Carol and Tony there’s a coda of sorts giving us the fate of Tony (which you can figure out through the various Marvel NOW! series that have already launched negating a major point of the issue) as Carol discusses his status with Beast. There, the philosophy and moral and philosophical quandary we were promised in the beginning is actually discussed. For a story that had such an interesting premise, precognition preventing crime, it relied on shock deaths and fighting never really dipping too deep into the meat of the discussion. And that’s why I describe the event as a whole as paper thin. But, for a few pages and a dozen or so panels we get an interesting discussion of why Tony did what he did in fighting Carol. It’s an epilogue of sorts that attempts to add some depth to a comic filled with fight scenes.

Marquez’s art is on point as usual. The fight is dramatic and use of panels is really impressive in how scenes are broken up and reactions are thrown in there that way. There is an issue in seeing how much damage Carol is doing to Tony and at some points I think it’s more than a later panel shows, but the dramatic effect is there. Other artists provide glimpses into possible futures and it’s generally good. A little jarring since it wasn’t expected but it doesn’t kill the flow at all.

The comic wraps up the event, resolves the issue of having someone like Ulysses around, and actually makes a case for the idea that the series is supposed to be about. It’s a paint by numbers Marvel event in the end where the final issue’s goal is to wrap things up quickly so we can sell whatever comes next. It’s not as overt as previous events, but it’s a noticeable pattern at this point.

The event wraps up as I expected, a summer blockbuster film with little to challenge the reader relying on flash and shock instead of its cerebral promise.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: David Marquez, Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuña, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Marco Rudy, Mark Bagley, John Dell, Esad Ribic
Story: 6 Art: 8 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review