CIVIL WAR II #8
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez, Justin Ponsor, Clayton Cowles, Victor Ochoa, Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuna, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Marco Rudy, Mark Bagley, John Dell, & Esad Ribic
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 28, 2016
It’s finally over.
Civil War II could have been a series to discuss the grays in real life and superhero morality. It could have been a chance to explore destiny, fate, and seeing the future. It could have been an opportunity to discuss what it takes to protect ourselves and how lines can be drawn that defy our values in ways we never expected. But it wasn’t.
I chose to review this entire event because I wanted to see it as a full picture for myself. I wanted my thoughts to be coherent and connected. The unfortunate thing is that the coherence of my reviews was not something you’d see in this series beyond the art. Civil War II was not well done and this ending is the glittering manifestation of that reality.
For one, I love Carol Danvers. If you know me personally, you know this to be the truth. Yet, I wanted to see something happen to her. I wanted her to experience the true repercussions of her actions. Yet, that is not what happened. In fact, the ending of this event is reminiscent of the reality of white privilege, that you can do heinous things and end up okay, or even promoted. I still maintain that Carol would never have taken this stance in the first place, but it is rather insulting that she 1) did and 2) still comes out on top.
Then Tony? Tony was ever the hypocritical figure of white male heterosexual posturing. There are scenes in this very issue where Carol tries to get him to stop, to calm down, to talk, and to recognize that she doesn’t want to hurt Miles. Yet, he continues on his campaign of righteousness, continuing the trends we saw from the first issue regarding his behavior and his ego taking over his conception of right and wrong.
What Civil War II reminds me of is the issues of our own world and in comics, but not in a way that provokes honest discussion and change. No, what this event did was recognize that whiteness is the ticket to getting away with hurting others or acting with moral superiority despite the existence of reality and marginalization. This series is a reflection of the many things wrong with what happens around us, though that doesn’t seem to be a deliberate action.
Kudos to the art team, from the main story provided by David Marquez and Justin Ponsor, Clayton Cowles, and Victor Ochoa, as well as the slew of artists who worked on the pages depicting possible futures. They saved this issue from being an utter disappointment with spectacular visuals, from color to varying styles. Otherwise? Civil War II #8 would be the embarrassing capstone for a rushed and indelicate project touted as an important marker for the Marvel universe.
From pacing, characters and dialog to the utter premise, Civil War II itself and its eighth issue have been constructed from the barest of bones with the loosest of threads. There doesn’t seem to be any major ramification, the developments don’t make sense, and it ultimately is something that falls flat from conception to execution to conclusion.
But hey, I’ve finally read a comic event worse than Fear Itself.
The Verdict: 1.0/10