Review: CIVIL WAR II #5


Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez, Sean Izaakse, Justin Ponsor, & Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 21, 2016

You’re under arrest.

Carol and Tony’s fight has come to a head as they band together with their respective sides to fight each other. Their accompanying forces wage war against each other in a battle of ideals, ultimately leading to yet another vision destined to shake the relationships between each of the characters.

Believe it or not, Civil War II #5 is an improvement, though one without substance. I still find the conflict between the characters to be poorly constructed, and at every turn Carol is touted to be the morality reprehensible force while Tony continues to make rash decisions based on a poor foundation. Many parts of this issue don’t make sense, but at least the fights are spectacular.

Brian Michael Bendis’ affinity for quips is dulled in this issue, which I think helps the story. Some of the dialogue feels off, whether based on the characters or their circumstances, but most of it seems to fit the occasion. However, I find it difficult to move beyond this issue and its placement with the rest of the event. Making most of the issue a battle between Marvel’s finest could be an easy smokescreen for lackluster storytelling, but even this element could not overshadow how much this story relies on contrived ideas and reader ignorance. I don’t feel this story helps to portray Bendis’ talents, and from framing to plot elements, Civil War II #5 falls short.

Even if the story doesn’t make sense, at least David Marquez, Sean Izaakse, and Justin Ponsor deliver on art. The visuals save this story, from aerial combat to visages of nigh-apocalyptic events, and help to make it more exciting. Marquez’s use of form helps this particular issue because so much of it is marked by action and battle. Ponsor’s colors are much darker in this issue, capturing the gritty and gruesome aspects of a major fight between once friends. The end of the issue is a bit confusing, as it’s hard to distinguish between Ulysses’ vision and the present events, though the art is still well done.

Civil War II continues to be a confusing mish mash of ideas, both morally and plot wise. There are surprises that don’t make sense and the motivations of the characters feel unclear at best. The ending was not so much a surprise as a hackneyed way to deliver shock, complete with beautiful, sad, and opportunistic posing of characters to commemorate their pain. I haven’t been sure where this story has been going and I’m still not sure, especially with only two issues left.

The Verdict: 6.0/10


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