Because these two comics are so closely tied, I’ll be reviewing these together. First off, let’s talk about the main event comic.
Civil War II 6 begins exactly where the previous issue ended, with Ulysses’s newest vision showing Miles Morales killing Captain America right on Capitol Hill. This vision instantly ended the issue-long fight between Captain Marvel and Iron Man’s sides of the conflict. On the one hand, Brian Michael’s dialogue writing is good here. The intense debate between Carol Danvers and Tony Stark feels like a real argument, and the little moment between Captain America and Spider-Man is really nice. On the other hand, hardly anything happens in this issue.
The opening scene takes up almost half of the issue. The rest features a couple quiet character moments, including one that shows us why the Guardians of the Galaxy will be stuck on Earth for the next while that’s kind of easy to miss if you’re not paying attention, and one where the younger heroes on Tony’s side agree to search for Miles together. These moments work alright from a dramatic standpoint, but again, not much happens. The moment would also work better if Riri Williams (Iron Heart) wasn’t awkwardly shoved into the group. I’m not saying Riri Williams isn’t a good character since I know nothing about her, but if you want to sell her to non-Iron Man readers, you’ll need to try harder. With only 2 issues to go in the main comic, it’s hard to see how the climax can live up to the event’s overall price.
The original Civil War event has a lot of problems, but at least you can say a lot of stuff happened in it. A faithful adaptation of that event would probably require a 3 hour movie, while this event feels like it could fit in a single TV episode. There are plenty of The Last Avatar/Korra episodes with more stuff happening than this while still having good character moments. I just finished re-watching the entire series, so I couldn’t help but make that reference.
The art by David Marquez is very good though. More often than not, characters almost look real on panel, and there’s good use of subtle facial expressions. Save for the opening pages where everyone is surrounded by dust from the battle, every background is very well detailed. There are many great panels with New York City’s skyline at night with all the lit windows, and Tony Stark’s hidden base is full of shipping crates, dim lights and metal platforms. Justin Ponsor’s colouring is just as fantastic. There’s a great variety of colour, good use of contrast and realistic looking reflections and shadows all over the place.
As wonderful as the art is, it’s not enough to make up for the lack of stuff happening in order to justify the $5 price tag. Everything that happened in this issue could have easily taken place in 10 pages, leaving more room for something – anything to happen. It makes for an underwhelming experience overall. Still, if you’ve been enjoying this event, this is at least worth a read. At this point, I wouldn’t recommend starting with this event if you haven’t already.
7/10 (Would be a 6 or less if not for the art)
Steve Rogers: Captain America 6 on the other hand is pretty good. It’s written by Nick Spencer, and it both starts and finishes exactly where Civil war II 6 does. Although the earlier part of this comic even takes lines directly from the main event, it adds some internal narration from Hydra Cap, letting us see into his mind a bit. The main story also shows a great conversation between Steve and Tony Stark. It shows that even though they’re usually friends and they’re on the same side this time round, they still have issues with each other. There’s a bit of suspicion going both ways, although with Captain America, there are additional motivations. The flashback scenes further detail Hydra Cap’s altered origin story. It’s hard to talk too much about these scenes without spoiling them, but they seem to directly contribute to Captain America’s mindset at the end of this issue.
The art by Javier Pina is good. There’s a smooth, clean look to everything, with more than enough background details to help set both the scene and the mood. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colouring is also great. The flashback scenes have a great mix of red backgrounds, dark colouring outside and grey scaling almost every character. The modern scenes are bright and colourful, with good use of shadows and glows from various energy constructs and lights.
Save for the fact that small character moments from Captain Marvel and Miles Morales aren’t in this issue, it almost feels like reading Steve Rogers: Captain America 6 gives you a deeper, more complete version of Civil War II 6. It’s also fun how Hydra Cap is manipulating both sides to benefit his hidden allegiances. If this interests you, check this issue out.