CIVIL WAR II #2
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez, Justin Ponsor, Clayton Cowles, & Victor Ochoa
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 15, 2016
Try not to deliver any Parcheesi lines.
After the emotional fallout of the inaugural issue of Civil War II, Tony is taking matters in his own hands to understand the mystery of Ulysses. Medusa and the Inhumans try their best to oust him, only to be caught fighting his decoy. Tony’s actions have upped the ante, putting Carol in a position to quell an international conflict and later apprehend Tony. Meanwhile, Ulysses gets a startling vision that promises to divide our heroes even more.
Alright, so the beginning of the issue is a pretty consistent development from the previous. Tony is acting erratic, obviously thrown by the death of Rhodey and the critical condition of Jen. However, I continue to be astounded by Tony’s obvious leanings and how he is actually the impetus to the major divide (remember that Ulysses first contacted Carol about Thanos, not the other way around).
This development feels as though the division between the heroes is fabricated in a way that feels forced and rushed. In fact, Tony himself continues to act not only ethically unsound, but he is creating the very schism he feels came about because of Carol’s actions.
I continue to have the same problems with Civil War II #2 that I had with the first issue. While Brian Michael Bendis moves through the story with an adequate pace, the plot threads within the issue seem to be picked up and dropped with breakneck speed. Somehow, Tony’s posturing is setting him up to be the moral high ground while he continues to make objectionable actions, such as kidnapping and torturing Ulysses.
The framing around the Inhumans’ conflict with Tony makes much more sense, as this particular element carries within it the history of their anger and the reason for their isolation. To be honest, this premise sounds much more reasonable for the overall framing of the story rather than the split between Carol and Tony and helped to improve some issues I had with the previous chapter.
David Marquez and Justin Ponsor continue to make the book visually stunning. Medusa’s confrontation with Tony at the beginning of the issue frames her as a force to be reckoned with. Marquez draws her with a power befitting of a warrior queen, and Ponsor’s colors give her a brooding presence which makes her seem threatening.
Through the rest of the issue, Marquez and Ponsor display their ability for ensemble scenes that don’t feel too messy and have the right mix of foreground emphasis of primary characters and the soft image of objects in the background.
Overall, this issue is an improvement, but unfortunately not by much. Many of the problems with the plot and interaction of the characters persist in a manner that betrays the set-up for this event and where the lines are drawn. I’m not sure where the story is going, as some of the plot elements feel rushed and hollow, but I do have hope that every part of this story can be woven together. The art however continues to astound and amaze, ultimately helping to digest the story.
The Verdict: 7.5/10