Remember that huge Marvel Comics event back in 2006 called Civil War? Remember how much you loved or hated it? All those awesome moments of superheroes fighting that stirred up so many emotions? Well get ready to relive some of those moments because Marvel has made a sequel! Major Spoilers sat down and checked out the opening issue. Click here for the review of Civil War II #0!
Previously in Civil War: Back in 2006, Captain America and Iron Man got in a huge fight about superheroes having to register. There was punching, kicking, and someone died somewhere. Things changed. None of that matters because this comic has nothing to do with that.
WOW. THAT IS A LOT OF TALKING
Brian Michael Bendis is known for having lots of dialogue in his books. There are many times when you can tell a comic is written by him just by the way characters talk and the flow of the conversations. I’ve never had problems with the amount of talking he sometimes puts in his stories, but I have heard complaints. Civil War II #0 would be the first instance of me disliking an issue for having too much talking.
The issue starts off extremely strong with a scene of She-Hulk doing what she does best: being a lawyer. Here, she is defending Jonathan Powers aka Jester because he has been wrongfully accused. Just by talking about the “old days” with an undercover police officer he has been arrested and is on trial. Jennifer Walters’s closing statement is amazing and Bendis not only writes a compelling speech, but makes it stay true to how I imagine the character of Jennifer Walters to be. It actually makes me want a She-Hulk comic of just her as a lawyer (FYI we kind of had that with her last series and it tanked, so what do I know?). From there it is downhill, unfortunately, as scene after scene is nothing but conversations between two or three characters, little of it that compelling. We see Rhodey (War Machine) talking with the President about becoming the Secretary of Defense and eventually President himself. Then, Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) and Doc Sampson discuss Carol’s mission to stop disasters before they happen, followed by She-Hulk and Maria hill talking about She-Hulk losing the trial and finally kids at high school watching a Terrigen Mist come in.
I understand that Bendis is setting up each character’s viewpoints and stance on what seems like will be the dividing topic in Civil War II. If you’ve read the Free Comic Book Day issue, you know that an Inhuman teenager has the ability to see the future and I’m sure Carol will want to use his abilities to stop all the bad things from happening. Unfortunately, there is more action in the smaller Free Comic Book Day issue than in all twenty-two pages of issue zero. Maybe that is part of the problem? Having read that and knowing some of the set up might make some of this issue seem superfluous and tedious. Could that also be why this is issue zero and not number one? It isn’t the big opening you’d expect from an event but it does seem integral to the story so I’m confused as to why they chose to number it the way they did. Unfortunately, nothing here makes me any more excited for Civil War II than I was before (which was not at all).
IT CERTAINLY LOOKS GREAT
Olivier Coipel makes reading all the talking fun to look at. There are some great pages that have wonderfully drawn details and figures in the panels. The opening with She-Hulk looks just like what I’d expect from a courtroom drama on TV and there are some brilliant lighting and coloring effects done by Justin Ponsor. There is an amazing shot of a Helicarrier above the clouds and you can see a tiny disruption in the cloud line that ends up being She-Hulk jumping her way on board. The Terrigen mist scene is the most exciting one along with the cliffhanger. One thing that irked me was during Rhodey’s conversation with the President of the United States, the President’s face is always obscured or in the shadows. I’m assuming this is because it is supposed to be real life President Obama but I’d rather Marvel just use a fake president than having to find clever ways of hiding the face. It was done so much that it became distracting, to the point that I was chuckling by the scene’s end. Coipel does what he can with the script and while he does the best with what he has, nothing is stand out exciting. Still, the art is beautiful and the best thing about the issue.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT MUCH WORTH READING
Civil War II #0 did nothing to make me excited or want to read more of the event and while the artwork is fantastic, the dialogue ends up droning on without much point. While Bendis is certainly setting up character’s motivations, some of it becomes tedious and heavy handed. Readers looking for the action that was in the Free Comic Book Day issue will be severely disappointed. Why the book was numbered zero is still confusing but if this is what their opener for the event is, I can see why they wouldn’t want to brand it with a number one. When the main thing that gets me debating in the issue is whether She-Hulk should be able to jump onto a Helicarrier, it’s not a good sign. And at a $4.99 price tag for only twenty-two pages, this one is a tough sell.