WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ‘MARVEL’S CIVIL WAR 2’ #1-5 +
SPOILERS FOR CURRENTLY RELEASED POST ‘CIVIL WAR 2’ #1S
Marvel’s first ‘Civil War’ miniseries was a piece of shit. You know it. I know it. Linkara has explained in great detail why it’s a piece of shit and the Civil War movie goes out of its way to prove that it was a piece of shit by making something far better and making way more sense. Glad we got that out of the way.
So, what about the recently completed ‘Civil War 2’?…is what I would like to say and would be saying had everything gone as Marvel had planned, but unfortunately ‘Civil War 2’ has been delayed for various reasons (including having to write a new ending, the artist’s child being born (which I can give him a pass on so fair enough to him), and adding an additional issue to the then 7 scheduled for release) meaning that the big purported “Summer” Crossover Event will not actually end until after Christmas. This being while all the other books have done their Civil War tie in contributions and have already moved on to the events following the crossover. Most notable is the book ‘The Champions’, which follows the younger members of the ‘All New All Different Avengers’, Vision’s daughter Viv, and Amadeus Cho’s Hulk (and presumably his sister/handler Maddy too) coming together to fight evil in a world that no longer trusts its heroes,
Well, what do you expect when you go around accusing innocent people of being HYDRA Agents for seemingly no reason, lock them up without due process and with no evidence to support your claim other than the word of a college student that has been shown and proven by science to not be correct 100% of the time, which you have continually ignored by basically going all Bruce Wayne in BVS/ Dick Cheney “1% chance” (okay, so it was Tony who went into percents, but she still basically said it) and using your dead boyfriend (Who was also Tony’s best friend) as an excuse for justification for your actions? Not to mention accusing your friends, people you’ve fought alongside to save the world hundreds of times, of doing things they haven’t done and have no intention of doing and trying to arrest them. I notice we haven’t seen any sign of She-Hulk since she found out her cousin was murdered and his killer walked away scott free. What are you not showing us Carol? What did you expect would happen?
This is what happens when you only have three to four months to plan/write a summer event comic in order to cash in on the release of your movie division’s latest film of the same name. Don’t you just hate editorial mandates?
So, as you can probably tell, I’m not the biggest fan of this event. The premise is definitely interesting though: a new Inhuman (Daisy/Skye, Lincoln, and Raina from Agents of SHIELD, Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel, etc.) named Ulysses Cain has the ability to see the future, usually something terrible and devastating like a packed monorail exploding or Thanos showing up. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) wants to use him to stops crimes before they happen while Iron Man (Tony Stark (For once not on the less humane side)) disagrees, saying that punishment shouldn’t come before the crime. Sides are taken, fights are made, and stubbornness is abound.
As with the movie’s, I prefer the motivations in this story over the original, on the grounds that they’re not stupid and riddled with plot holes. Don’t get me wrong, Ulysses is strewn with plot holes, but the motivations of the characters aren’t. Profiling, and they call it that I swear, is a very real problem in the 21st century. This is why heroes like Luke Cage try to keep out of the conflict and why others like Sam Wilson (AKA CapNotHYDRA) use it as motivation to fight against it. Other still, like Carol, believe that stopping crimes before they happen is the best way to keep people alive. …This is after one of their friends is put into a coma and two of them die. One of them murdered by another friend.
So, remember how in the original ‘Civil War’ there was only one casualty (not counting Clone Thor), Goliath? Well here we have two so far…and one of them’s one of my favourite characters: War Machine and Bruce Banner. Why am I not calling him Hulk? Because he’s not Hulk. Amadeus Cho is Hulk. They established in ‘Totally Awesome Hulk’ (…really? Really with that name?) that Cho absorbed all the gamma energy in Banner and ‘Totally Awesome Hulk #7’ showed Cho scanning him to confirm this. Banner was not the Hulk anymore. Something Tony should have known since he scanned Banner himself in that same issue. It’s possible since Tony knew there was no way Banner could turn into Hulk and kill them all he went to his lab a) to keep him safe from Carol should she decide to go back on their truce and b) shove it in her face when she realizes the vision (Not Vision, totally different) was wrong. Cause Tony would do that. He’s kind of a dick. Or it could be he wasn’t thinking clearly because of the previous death.
As for War Machine…wow, killing off a black character right off the bat this time. At least last time you had the decency to wait for issue 4. Not even in the main comic either. In the Free Comic Book Day Exclusive issue that came out before issue 0 (Yeah, there was an issue 0. This thing has a grand total of 10 issues counting the FCB Exclusive) even hit shelves. Marvel’s killed off one of the most well known black comic book superheroes out there right now thanks to the MCU…you ever get the feeling that Marvel Comics hates its movie division? I’ll get into that another time. So, here’s the question. Why did they kill off Rhodey? One of the earliest (and by earliest I mean he debuted within a decade of Falcon who was the actual first) African-American superheroes (Black Panther is African) in Marvel history, the biggest supporting character of the Iron Man movies, and who had just gotten a promotion in the comics to Secretary of Defence? (In the same comic event no less) Most likely it was because he was the character who would affect both Carol and Tony the most. He was dating Carol and he was Tony’s best friend. If anyone was gonna leave the biggest impact on both leaders of this conflict, it’d be him.
Here’s my question. Did they have to kill him? Why not have him in a coma and just not have She-Hulk be injured at all? She’s a Hulk. This shouldn’t happen to her. My guess is they took her out to get rid of a heavy hitter for either side (possibly Carol’s, though ‘A-Force #8’ put some doubt in that), but that doesn’t make sense when Tony’s team has Thor. Maybe she was taken out because she might have otherwise made Carol see sense. We’ll get to that.
So, why’d they kill Bruce? Same reason they had Peter unmask as Spider Man in issue 2 of the original: a sales boost. I’m not kidding. Numbers for ‘Civil War 2’ went up briefly for issue 3 after drastically decreasing for issue 2. Since then numbers for subsequent issues have continued to drop. I’m not the only one who has problem with this series.
Let’s talk about our leads starting with our leading lady, Captain Marvel AKA Colonel Carol Danvers: The self proclaimed ‘Boss of Space’ and leader of Alpha Flight, a group which defends Earth from alien attacks via its low orbiting satellite ala Justice League. She’s also a member of both the Ultimates and A-Force. I bring up Alpha Flight because it’s the one that appears in her own book, which is the only one that goes into Carol’s perspective of these events. In almost every other book, Carol is shown as the antagonist (or at the very least an obstacle) or as the cause for dissent among the heroes (mostly Ulysses, but Carol too). (Note that I say this as someone who doesn’t read X-Men, Inhuman, or Peter Parker related books that don’t include Deadpool, Moon Girl, or Ms Marvel so it might be different in those books) At minimum, she’s shown as being fanatically devoted to the apparent certainty of Ulysses’s visions and the unbreakable belief that by following them she is doing the most good to the point of stubbornness. This is despite the fact that two of her friends have been killed (one of them her boyfriend), another friend is now in the hospital recovering from a coma and the news that her cousin (one of her few close surviving relatives) is dead and his killer was found innocent, and her actions are turning pretty much everyone (including, in the latest issue of her own book, her entire team) against her.
‘Captain Marvel #6’ gives us a reason for why she’s so devoted to the cause: pressure from her superiors to be able to stop threats to Earth quicker as well as guilt over not having stopped a biological based terrorist attack by one of her arch enemies before an entire town of people were killed. It shows that Carol was also initially interested in how accurate the visions were until this incident. Afterwards, she became desperate to stop something like that from happening and stopped caring about accuracy. Rhodey’s death just pushed this mindset even further. If there is only a 1% chance of something going wrong, she will take it as absolute certainty and all that. Ulysses’s vision, by the way, having only a 10% chance of being accurate and most of the correct visions only coming about because other people try to stop them, usually Carol. Meaning, Ulysses’s visions are self fulfilled prophecies. Yes, they say in ‘CW2 #4’ that his accuracy is getting better, but I doubt it’s over 50%. Issue 8 even goes out of its way to reassure that Carol had nothing to do with what Barton did to Banner, something that other books debate. I still say she indirectly influenced Barton’s judgement, but that’s neither here nor there. Of course the only reason Clint was let go was because the DA was trying to bring back the Superhero Registration Act (See ‘Civil War 2: The Accused’) and like hell we’re going through that shit again. Point is, her comic does show her wrestling with doubt over what she’s doing, but it’s one of the few comics to do so.
The one comic that portrayed Carol with any sort of sympathy outside her own was ‘Invincible Iron Man #14’ where she and Tony accidently end up attending the same AA meeting post Banner’s death and Rhodey’s funeral. Tony’s Carol’s sponsor and, in an effort to avoid her, avoided their regular meeting spots and went in disguise, not realizing until too late that she had the same idea. They have a nice little truce chat outside before Carol leaves and Tony has his meeting. It gets across that it really hurts Carol and Tony to fight each, but have to because they’re convinced that they’re right and the other is wrong. They both see the other as stubborn. Granted I agree with Tony on this, but I do sympathise with Carol I really do. That doesn’t stop me from what I’m about to say.
At some point, one of Ulysses’s visions is gonna be about her and I’m gonna laugh and say “Yeah, not so great when they’re about you, is it?” in my best douchebag voice. Because, and I say this as someone who is a fan of carol, has read previous Captain Marvel era Carol books, and is looking forward to the upcoming movie with Brie Larson, she really does deserve it. Good luck pulling out of this hole Marvel. Last time you greatly vilified a hero’s personality in a Civil War named comic they got so bad you had erase their memory years later to fix them.
Now let’s talk about Tony…good god this series puts poor Tony through the ringer. You think Carol has it bad? At least she’s functioning. Tony’s got it much worse. The entirety of ‘Civil War 2’ from the end of issue 1 onward has basically been one big mental breakdown for Tony due to the death of his best friend and further enabled by Banner’s death as well as his frustration with Carol and her allies. He hasn’t gone so far as to start drinking, though his triggers do hit him causing him, as mentioned above, to go to an AA meeting. Because of various books going over the events of issue 3 of ‘CW2’, we get to see Tony break down over Banner’s death over and over again and it hurts every time. Not only is he dealing with grief, but also guilt over not being able to prevent Banner’s death and having to fight his friends to try and prevent them from doing what he sees as wrong. So Tony parallels Carol’s suffering a lot though he’s taking it worse. His company continues to crumble, he’s pretty much secluded in a bunker(?) or someplace where he, F.R.I.D.A.Y. and his assistant Mary Jane Watson hang out, analyse Ulysses’s powers, grieve, and sulk. …Okay, that’s mostly him. F.R.I.D.A.Y. and MJ mainly try to help him and mostly fail. Can you blame him? All of Ulysses’s visions that his friends get involved with (that he knows about) ends up getting his friends killed. It happened to Rhodey, happened to Banner, and now it looks like it’ll happen to Steve and/or Miles. …Probably Miles.
Now, we know that Miles, because of his presence in ‘The Champions’ does, in fact, survive ‘Civil War 2’. Tony, on the other hand from what we can tell from the post ‘Civil War 2’ books that have come out (most notably ‘Infamous Iron Man’ which stars Doctor Doom who has been in Tony’s main book for some reason) it has been heavily implied, will not. That makes two of my favourite characters that have been/ will be killed. Thankfully, according to ‘Infamous Iron Man #1’, Tony will be around in some capacity in his successor Riri William’s book. So that’s nice. I know he’ll come back. Of course he will. It’s a comic book. This isn’t Goliath (Sorry, big guy). This is Tony Mother[BLEEP]ing Stark. This one of the Big Marvel 3. (ie Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor.) It’s like the DC Trinity, but without a woman…well, I guess that’s not true now. Thank you, Jane. Yeah, Odinson’s coming back. They’ll keep both. Jane’s too popular to get rid of. Off track.
As for Steve, well, we know he’s a HYDRA Agent (Read: Thinks he is). And according to his latest issue, Ulysses, for some reason, can’t see HYDRA stuff related to Steve…possibly because of the same fanageling that Kobik is doing to keep Bucky from contacting him. There’s an epilogue story to the event coming the same day as the final issue (entitled ‘The Oath’) who’s summary on comixology implies that it’s where the heroes find out that Cap is HYDRA (or thinks he is) and it is very likely, given what we know of the Post ‘CW2’ books, that Cap will kill Tony. No idea what’s gonna happen to Carol, though considering she’s on the covers for the ‘Ultimates 2’ book from Post ‘CW2’ (At least I’m assuming it is), I think she’s be adding Tony to her list of people to grieve, but ultimately okay. I don’t know how she gets around the whole HYDRA Cap thing. Maybe he erases her memory somehow. I don’t know.
I hope that from this long ass rant, sorry about that by the way, you have come to understand my feelings on about this event. I do want to stress that this is a much better story than the original. The art is good and the writing from the (so far) 7 issue comic itself is concise and well written, The only thing you’ll really be questioning is why is Kamala on Tony’s side in issue 4 and 5 when she was on Carol’s in issue 3. That’s really more on the artist than the writing and he probably added her because one of the big promotional materials for the event was a picture of her ripping up Carol’s photo, implying that she was siding against her idol. I still consider Brian Michael Bendis to be a much better writer than Mark Miller. I just wish he would stop killing my favourite characters. Bendis, I swear if you so much as think about killing Kamala…
You know what? Skip both events. Just go watch the movie again.