Brian Michael Bendis’ Civil War II #7 is finally out, although the “summer” event still has one more month to go. On deck is Marvel’s Inhumans vs. X-Men. If you want to know what the company’s obsession with hero vs. hero tales means for our cultural mosaic, then check out my latest YouTube video below.
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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.
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.
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.
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.