Just when you think you get to take a break from all the Marvel drama…they go and release Civil War II. Though I am excited to see one of my favorite artist/writer pairs teaming up on this arc, will they be enough to create a successful successor to the smash hit storyline? Let’s take a look at this new series of trauma and drama and get ready to ask even more existential and philosophical questions, which we all know will eventually be answered with fists.
Get ready to choose your side…again.
After reading the first two issues, I can say one thing definitively:
This arc will not have the same cultural impact that its predecessor did.
Marvel has managed to create some major hype and interest in a storyline that doesn’t seem to be taking any risks.
The basic storyline to this series is a dividing philosophical question: if you could foresee bad things before they happen, should you do something about it? Do you dare run the risk of changing the future, not knowing for sure if you’re not making it any better in the long run?
An interesting question to be sure…but there’s no real substance to it. Unlike the first Civil War arc, which based its question as a metaphor for so many issues plaguing the modern world (like the gun control debate), Civil War II is keeping its distance from anything tangible in the non-comics world. The question, no matter what the outcome, had no bearing on reality, and thus is forever condemned to remain philosophical.
There’s no controversy to this one.
However, don’t take my disappointment in the main issue as a bad review. This arc does pose an interesting problem, even if it will forever remain an unrealistic one to me and the rest of the comic-reading world. Additionally, this arc pairs Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez (from my favorite Invincible Iron Man 2015 run). Between Bendis’ witty writing and Marquez’s sketchbook style and expressive art, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the first issue.
And I wasn’t disappointed, either. This arc combines several of my favorite people: Tony Stark, Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, the Inhumans, the X-Men…..
Basically the entire Marvel Universe. Which is good, because the first Civil War arc touched every corner of the never-ending character world, affecting everyone from Cap and Tony to the Fantastic Four to lesser-known heroes like Patriot.
Extensive cast, clash of ideals, philosophical question…
Even if this arc doesn’t measure up controversy wise to the original, it feels like it’s going to be one hell of a ride. Except, as I said before, Marvel is not taking any real risks here. With the gun control debate reaching a boiling point, and the American political system more polarized than ever, taking a stand might actually land the company in some hot water.
So instead, they just made it personal.
Iron Man loses War Machine.
Captain Marvel loses She-Hulk.
This narrative is very quickly becoming a condensed and personal story, instead of a longer, broad-sweeping, episodic run. Which isn’t bad, it’s just safer.
Personally, I don’t blame Marvel for wanting to stay out of the political sphere. I mean, have you seen it? Yeesh! But, to some readers, given the impact both the original Civil War arc had culturally, as well as the more recent impact the (very different) film has had on the movie-verse…. This might feel like a let-down.
However, it still gets my seal of approval as an arc. I love the art, writing style and premise. Just don’t expect to be as provoked as you were in 2007.