CIVIL WAR II #6
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez, Justin Ponsor, Clayton Cowles, & Victor Ochoa
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 26, 2016
Tides turn and sides change.
Reeling after the vision of Miles and Steve, Carol and Tony argue over what to do. Miles just wants to go home, while his friends want to protect him in what they see as yet another impending schism between heroes. Carol realizes she isn’t alone, but that may not be enough to help her as she finds what Miles is up to.
Civil War II #6 is much more coherent than many of the previous issues. Here, we have a logical progression from beginning to end. I hate that it came six issues in, but for this series it really is better late than never. Had the rest of the event had the momentum and pace of this issue, I feel it would have been much better executed. There’s a singular idea that works through each page, tying the plot in a manner which doesn’t feel confusing or surprising.
I also like that this issue is a natural progression from the previous chapters. While it does not make up for glaring issues in plot and writing, it does at least weave them together for something that makes sense within its context. The characters’ interactions are much more revealing and evocative, an important touch which brings out the nuance of Miles’ and Carol’s circumstances in particular. There are some slight gaffs with dialogue, but overall issue six is a vast improvement over the rest, even considering the quick jumps.
Brian Michael Bendis’ focus on Miles helped to tie this story together in a way which didn’t have the same problems as the rest of the crossover. Miles as a plot vehicle exposes the alignments of each of the characters and allows something to emerge within each of them that fits within the narrative. Through him, Bendis was able to enhance the characterization of factions new and old, and finally began to cast Carol in a light that didn’t vilify her while making Tony the ultimate hero.
Everyone is at odds, and this is the issue in Civil War II where you see that the most. There are some moments, like Miles and Steve’s conversation or the escape with Dr. Strange, and T’Challa’s change of face, that felt rushed and unnecessary, though.
David Marquez continues to draw everything beautifully. I like the expressions and how they convey conflicting emotions, even when characters aren’t speaking. Marquez captures the serious nature of the story with a wide range of feelings that mark the complicated nature of the heroes’ conflict.
I love Justin Ponsor’s change of pace with color. Civil War II #6 is laden with deep and heavy emotion, and the schemes reflect that. In the aftermath of a large battle and Ulysses’ latest vision, everything is in disarray, from buildings to the characters. These muted blue and gray sheens over many of the scenes pull readers’ emotions to the depths of the characters’ own feelings as we reach the series’ climax.
Civil War II has had more than its fair share of problems. The sixth issue changes the game by unifying the story and placing the characters firmly within it, rather than relying on event-convenient ideology and behavior. I wish the rest of the series had been written like this issue, because it could have had a much stronger start. On its own, this issue is a cut above the rest in the event, but though it tied together the threads started in the ones that came before, it still has problems that aren’t easily fixed.
The Verdict: 7.0/10