The previous issue of Civil War II ended with the confirmation of War Machine’s death. I can see why it would be a dramatically important death, with the leaders of both sides being very close to him. At the same time She-Hulk flatlined, and from a real world clinical standpoint, that means dead. Once you flatline, not even a defibrillator can save you. A lot of movies and comics don’t seem to understand that. Anyway, to my relief She-Hulk isn’t dead yet and is just bedridden in a hospital after being hit by a rocket built to take down Thanos. This issue begins in the aftermath of last issue’s ending.
Tony Stark starts off this issue with a rather rash action, going into Attilan at night and taking Ulysses, the new inhuman with foresight, captive. As rash as his actions are, it’s a well-written scene that introduces some of the Inhuman powers without wasting time. Stark then tries to study Ulysses’s brain to figure out how his powers work, while Captain Marvel tries to deal with everyone diplomatically. Through most of this issue, Carol seems to act more mature than Tony, being reasonable despite her loss. To be fair though, Tony admits he’s having a complete nervous breakdown.
There’s nothing wrong with Brian Michael Bendis’s writing in this comic, but one could make the argument that this issue moves slow. Save for the ending, I’ve talked about most of what happens in this issue. The dialogue is well-written and for the most part, everyone feels in character. It’s nice that so far, most characters are trying to be reasonable and are trying to stop things from escalating. The comic’s ending is where that changes, where Ulysses’s next vision will probably cause more problems than it solves. Without spoilers, it’s the moment that shows how Iron Man might at least be partially right, or at the very least, Captain Marvel might be putting too much faith in a relatively unknown person’s foresight.
One thing needs to be pointed out though. Counting the Free Comic day issue and Civil War II 0, this is actually the 4th issue. So far it’s Tony Stark vs a whole bunch of people instead of a Civil War, even if one of those issues was free. It’s time to get the story moving along already.
Like the first issue, the real highlight is David Marquez’s art. It’s utterly fantastic from start to finish. The opening establishing shots of New York at night are complete with a variety of buildings in the background, the dark New Attilan while everyone sleeps, and the Statue of Liberty’s face in the foreground. There’s a single panel of Stark and Rhodes smiling together to help establish Tony’s motivations. The fight between Medusa and Iron Man is mostly made up of close-up panels in the dark, yet it’s still easy to figure out what’s going on. Every character is well-detailed, including Captain Marvel’s black eye, the wrinkles in Ulysses’s shirt and Medusa’s hair moving from panel to panel. The wide variety of facial expressions perfectly captures characters’ emotions and reactions. The colouring by Justin Ponser is equally good. Everything is bright and colourful at day, while lights and monitors give off a realistic looking glow in darker scenes.
The writing in this comic is on the lower end of good, while the art is utterly fantastic, balancing this issue out to a good comic. Does that make it worth the $5 price tag? Good question. Considering most of DC’s books are $3 right now, this event doesn’t feel good enough so far to justify each issue’s high price. That said, this issue moves along better than the last and there is a chance that this event will improve from here. Like the first issue, I would suggest you read this before you buy it. If you’re sick of Marvel events, this likely won’t change your mind, but if you liked the first issue, you’ll probably enjoy this.