Captain Marvel

Marvel’s Civil War II doesn’t kick off until June, but readers have been given teasers with a release on Free Comic Book Day and Civil War II #0. The question many fans are asking now is: Did Marvel learn anything from the debacle that was Civil War I?

Anyone who has seen Captain America: Civil War knows that hero vs. hero tales can be entertaining — provided the writers don’t let political hackery get in the way. Marvel’s first attempt at a “civil war” between heroes was a pathetic Bush administration allegory gone wrong, but the “pre-crime” angle this time around may deny the writers the rope they would undoubtedly use to hang themselves.

She Hulk Civil War 0

Before we go on, here’s what you need to know about the Civil War II content released thus far:

  • Jennifer Walters (aka: She-Hulk) defends Jonathan Powers (aka: The Jester) in a New York City courtroom. She claims he was the victim of “entrapment” by the government while “talking shop,’ but he is convicted of a non-disclosed crime anyway.
  • The Jester is killed in prison before his sentence can be appealed.
  • Captain Marvel wishes she could stop disasters before they happen.
  • Ulysses, an Inhuman who “experiences” the future, teams up with Captain Marvel to try and learn more about his condition.
  • Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, War Machine, The Inhumans, and others use one of Ulysses’ visions to get the jump on Thanos before he can raid a facility housing the Cosmic Cube.
  • The group does stop Thanos but War Machine and She-Hulk are gravely injured in the process.

Ulysses Civil War

At a cursory glance, Civil War II looks like it has enormous potential.

  • When Bendis is on his game, he produces all-star work.
  • Oliver Coipel’s artwork is excellent (as was Jim Cheung’s in the Free Comic Book Day release.)
  • Exploring Minority Report-like themes with Marvel characters is a no-brainer.

Thanos FCBD

The problem Marvel’s comics division faces is that it’s often its own worst enemy. The company’s track record suggests that a ready-made winner will be turned into a loser by writers who use the event to take political potshots.

My guess is that Civil War II will be much better than the first incarnation, if for no other reason than because President Obama is still in office. Instead of feeling some bizarre social responsibility to convey to readers that all Republicans are evil, writers will focus on broader themes that transcend petty politics.

If you’re on the fence about whether to check out Civil War II or not, then stop in here over the next couple months to get an update. I plan on reviewing the event unless it goes completely off the rails.

Rhodey Captain Marvel

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

4 comments

  1. I’m hesitant to pick this story up because I didn’t like the original 2006 storyline. Loved the movie, though, largely because it completely removed all the anti-Bush commentary and didn’t turn Tony Stark into a straw man fascist.

    1. “I’m hesitant to pick this story up because I didn’t like the original 2006 storyline. Loved the movie, though, largely because it completely removed all the anti-Bush commentary and didn’t turn Tony Stark into a straw man fascist.”

      I wasn’t going to read it at first, but once again I was like, “Well, it’s ready-made comic reviews that I’ll enjoy writing…so what the heck.”

      I figure if it’s good, then no big deal; if it’s not good, then I’ll save my readers some cash.

  2. I’m highly skeptical. DC tried the “let’s prevent problems before they happen” thing and it ended up with Arsenal on drugs cradling a dead cat that he thought was his daughter.

    So far I don’t see what the Civil War angle is. You could obviously do a Minority Report thing (“It’s wrong to arrest someone who hasn’t done it yet!”) but that doesn’t seem to be where they’re going. A new Inhuman blowing up a city when he manifests his powers seems a bit cliche considering how many times that sort of thing has happened with mutants, but maybe they’ve got an idea for that (Inhumans are immune to the future prediction thing or something?).

    The first Civil War had a germ of a good idea but it really failed to explore it well, or make up its mind who was right. I don’t have enough info yet to guess whether this will be good, but #0 was at least coherent. Eh, I doubt it’ll be much, but I’d like to be pleasantly surprised. I just hope it’s a smallish event. Secret Wars was a huge incoherent mess and I hope they never do one that big again.

    1. “So far I don’t see what the Civil War angle is. You could obviously do a Minority Report thing (“It’s wrong to arrest someone who hasn’t done it yet!”) but that doesn’t seem to be where they’re going.”

      I guess the question that needs to be answered is, “Why was The Jester killed?” Someone took him out so that appeals process wouldn’t begin. It’s annoying that the charges against him were never clarified, but we know Walters likened it to a “mind crime.”

      If Marvel had an Inhuman blow up a city, then that would be too much like the first one. I suppose it would make sense, but I hope they don’t go that route.

      A decent pro-registration argument would be, “We should be able to monitor someone who literally experiences the future while his body remains in the present.” Those who oppose registration would say, “Heck no! We don’t want any government getting close to that kind of power because it will be abused.”

      My guess is that at a minimum the government would want to know who can experience the future and then put those individuals in the Witness Protection Program. I’d let them live on the taxpayer’s dime on a beach in Hawaii as long as they agree to have their phones tapped and not try to alter the future.

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