Civil War Journal – Week Two


Civil War Journal is Bam Smack Pow’s weekly recap of Civil War II to help you navigate this summer’s hottest crossover event!

Welcome back to the Civil War Journal, our guide to helping you figure out how to stretch your comic dollar across dozens of tie-in books to the summer’s biggest event, Marvel’s Civil War II. Now that the Free Comic Book Day teaser’s done and the Zero issue has come and gone, Marvel officially begins the War today!

Previously: In the Zero issue, Captain Marvel was frustrated about how hard it is to keep the world from blowing up every Wednesday, She-Hulk was frustrated that her jury convicted a man based only on predictions made from his prior crimes, War Machine was a good guy that the President loved, and Ulysses became an Inhuman and immediately saw an Apocalypse. In the Free Comic Book Day issue, Captain Marvel used Ulysses’s visions to set a trap for Thanos. They caught Thanos, but She-Hulk and War Machine were gravely injured in the process.

Spoilers ahead!

Civil War II #1

The book opens with Captain Marvel and Iron Man leading a massive attack of dozens of Marvel heroes against a cataclysmic Celestial. It’s amazingly well-organized, and that raises doubts for Iron Man, so Captain Marvel confesses that she set it up based on a prophesy from Ulysses. Tony tries to verify the young prophet by asking Jean Grey to read his mind, but his mutation has made him immune to that. Tony, enraged, makes all of the arguments Minority Report made against using prediction as the basis of justice, but everyone else is too focused on the major win that morning to listen to him.

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The issue skips over the fight against Thanos we all read on Free Comic Book Day, but it gets Tony to the hospital in time to learn that War Machine did not survive his injuries. Grief-stricken, he yells at Carol for the dubious strategy of acting on the Inhuman prediction, but they are quickly distracted by She-Hulk crashing in the next hospital bed. As the book closes, her EKG flatlines, doctors scramble for defibrillator paddles, and Carol Danvers cries.

I am not convinced that this crossover is going to be good. I’ve made my concerns known, but mostly, it’s that Bendis hasn’t paced crossovers well in the past, the Inhumans are never going to happen (prophesy that, Marvel), and Carol has a fine argument but Tony is overwhelmingly right based on every science fiction story ever. That said, this was a good first issue. It made Carol’s point clearly – the means were shaky, but the good guys saved the whole world in the first section, and you can understand why people would go from that win to volunteer to ambush Thanos. Marvel has been teasing a major death in Civil War II, but the cliffhanger in the hospital room could mean fans have lost two prominent characters in the first issue, which usually helps a series stay relevant for a few more years in the publishing canon. And Tony Stark made great arguments in Civil War I and won that war but came across as the bad guy (probably because he stuck people he didn’t like into a Negative Zone Guantanamo), and he made great arguments in last month’s Captain America: Civil War movie but lost to the title character, so this series could be his chance to follow his ideas to a popular success.

As the crossover evolves, we will keep a tally of which tie-ins feel necessary to the plot and which are great reads if you have extra cash, but for now, let’s assume that you have to read the Civil War II series to understand the Civil War II crossover.

Keep up with the Civil War Journal by following this link!