Civil War Journal – Week Three


Civil War Journal is back to help readers navigate the summer crossover with recaps of all the related books!

Welcome back to Civil War Journal, Bam Smack Pow’s weekly recap column of all things Civil War II. Last week had the first official issue of the event, and now we’re seeing the first three tie-ins!

Previously: Captain Marvel used the prophetic visions of new Inhuman Ulysses to organize heroes into a massively successful battle against a Celestial force, but not everyone was comfortable making plans based on possible futures.

Spoilers ahead!

New Avengers #12

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What happened: Relevant to the crossover, Wiccan, Hulkling, and Squirrel Girl join the fight against The Celestial Destructor. Several squirrels fall in battle, but otherwise, it’s a win. In a thematic sister story, Maria Hill hunts for Sunspot’s hidden A.I.M. group, not because they’ve done anything all that bad but because she’s sure Sunspot is fated to corruption.

Was it good? As an issue of New Avengers, it moved the A.I.M. vs. Avengers vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. plot forward, but as a Civil War II issue, it doesn’t give any more than readers got out of the first issue. Scenes are presented with exact dialogue bubbles.

Recommendation: Only for current New Avengers readers.

Civil War II: Gods Of War #1

What happened: Hercules walks out of his bar to see the battle with The Celestial Destructor and realizes that Captain Marvel invited all the heroes except him. Awkward. It gets worse when villain team The Uprising Storm tries to recruit him as their new God Of Chaos, and when he fights them, it turns out no one else can see them. People are pretty sure he’s cracked. Or drunk. Even worse, the Storm says that Ulysses can’t see them, either, so Herc’s not going to get much support from his friends on this one. So the issue closes with him recruiting a team of gods with time on their hands to join him in a secret little war.

Was it good? It was as good as Abnett’s Hercules series has been thus far, but as a tie-in, it doesn’t make much sense. I mean, there’s great relatable pathos in walking in to a party your friends pointedly didn’t invite you to, but if the Storm is right, and there are things Ulysses can’t see, then Captain Marvel’s entire argument falls to pieces, and the War would be over right then.

Recommendation: Fans of the previous Hercules series should get in on this, but fans of Civil War II should avoid it entirely because of the incongruity. This book is not going to tie back in to the main story.

Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #1

What happened: After the fight with The Celestial Destructor, Spider-Man asks to spend some more time with Ulysses to get a sense of how reliable his predictions are. They intercept a bad guy mere seconds before he can shoot his ex-girlfriend and her new husband, and Spider-Man is impressed. He relates the predictions a little bit to his own spider sense, starting to trust Ulysses. He takes the kid to Parker Industries and suggests he use his gift to help them direct medical research into the tech that is sure to save more lives. But while there, Ulysses gets a vision that reformed criminal Clash is going to betray Spider-Man.

Was it good? It’s a good Spider-Man issue, and it’s obvious that Christos Gage has a lot of experience writing the modern Peter Parker. But again, if we put this next to Civil War II, it’s going to fall apart. Ulysses tells Peter that Clash is going bad, but “you have to remember, not everything I see comes true.” Which negates Captain Marvel’s entire argument. Again.

Recommendation: Spider-Man fans are going to enjoy it. Civil War II readers are advised to avoid this one.

So what we learned this week is that if any writer takes a look at the central premise of the conflict in Civil War II,  the argument becomes absurd. Brian Michael Bendis has his work cut out for him this summer.

Tie-In Round-Up:

Recommended: None yet. Just the main series, with preludes from the zero issue and the Free Comic Book Day pages.

Good but not top tier: Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man, Civil War II: Gods Of War, New Avengers

Not good: None yet, but a crossover this big is going to get some books in this category by the end of the month, I’m sure.

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