Civil War II #1 Review


After a couple of disappointing preludes, Civil War II officially kicks off with this first issue, and unfortunately things don’t get any better.

Civil War II #1 (of 7)
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez
Colors by Justin Ponsor
Published by Marvel Comics

Warning! The following review contains SPOILERS for the first issue of Marvel’s Civil War II. If you don’t want to know what happens, just move along buddy.

So far, Marvel’s big summer event Civil War II has been a complete waste of my time.

First came the Free Comic Book Day special, which was a disjointed mess that had some really pretty pictures. Then came last month’s zero issue, which again had a lot of very attractive artwork but essentially acted as a nothing but a teaser for the conflict to come.

But those I can forgive. Everyone knows that the real action starts once the main miniseries finally launches. And that’s exactly what happened this week with Civil War II #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez. Finally we would start to see some serious storytelling and I could settle in and enjoy the rest of the event.

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Turns out, not so much.

First I want to say my problems with Civil War II have absolutely nothing to do with the art of David Marquez. His work in this issue is just brilliant and honestly the only thing that stopped me from marching down to my comic shop and demanding a refund. The man has a serious gift and I can’t wait to see his work on a book that doesn’t suck.

Because that is the best way to describe Civil War II #1: it sucked. Hard.

First off, God help you if you missed the FCBD Civil War one-shot, because if you did you were totally lost. The events of that issue are kind of sandwiched into the middle of the narrative here and if you didn’t get a copy when you could, then you are kind of screwed.

The least Marvel could have done is make it available on ComiXology to download so that if you did miss it, you could happily follow the events of the this first issue. But no, can’t go upsetting the comic book stores, so there you go.

Second, why is it that every time Marvel publishes a miniseries with “Civil War” in the title, an African-American superhero has to die? In the original it was Bill Foster, aka Goliath and now it’s James Rhodes, better known as War Machine.

I mean, it’s not like Marvel has an abundance of black heroes to begin with. Why do they feel it necessary to keep killing them off? Should Sam Wilson and Misty Knight start sleeping with one eye open?

(I won’t even go into the “death” of She-Hulk here, because it is painfully obvious she will be back. The fact they are using her “death” as a catalyst for Carol is insulting to just about everyone’s intelligence and ridiculously cliche.)

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But it’s the reason War Machine was killed brings me to why I though Civil War II #1 was total crap.

The characterization of Tony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man, is so off here that it just boggles my mind.

This is a man who thrives on being in control. He wants to know all the variables, plan for every outcome and be ready for each and every one. He is a scientist and a futurist after all. Is Bendis and Marvel seriously trying to convince me that he would be against what Ulysses and his power to see the future represents? What, just because Rhodey got killed?

Are you kidding me?

This is a character that formed is own superhero group, Force Works, in order to preemptively handle situations before they arose. Exactly almost word for word what Carol Danvers is also trying to do with the help of Ulysses.

What, did Bendis just forget about all that because they needed Iron Man to lead the opposition? They figured lets kill his best friend War Machine and that will explain everything and give him a reason?

That, my friends, is lazy, unimaginative, garbage storytelling at its worst.

must read: Civil War Journal – Week Two

The Bottom Line: Some really incredible artwork by Marquez can’t change the fact that Civil War II #1 is one seriously bad comic book. It is unforgivable for the writer of two ongoing Iron Man titles to just forget a key aspect of what makes Tony Start who he is.

I have no intention of wasting my time and money on any more of this miniseries. For those of you that decide to read the rest of Civil War II, I honestly do hope you enjoy it.

I’ll be over here reading DC Universe: Rebirth.