REVIEW: Civil War II #2 – I Don’t Fight Tony Stark

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Civil War II #2
Written By: Brian Michael Bendis
Art By: David Marquez
Colors By: Justin Ponsor
Letters By: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 06/15/16
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $4.99

Ten years ago the Marvel Universe faced a Civil War that pitted friend against friend. In the wake of a horrific tragedy the Marvel heroes had to ask themselves some hard question that included whether or not superheroes should register with the government and be regulated. This split long time friends like Captain America and Iron Man on opposing sides with others choosing sides and others like Spider-Man caught in the middle. The event was a major turning point for Marvel. Now the Marvel Universe stands on the precipice of another Civil War. When a new Inhuman emerges with the power to predict the future like never before sides are chosen once again. After Captain Marvel uses Ulysses prediction to stop an attack by Thanos leaves War Machine dead and She-Hulk in critical condition Iron Man takes against the Inhumans and all who stand with Captain Marvel. Now they must decide: Protect The Future or Change The Future.

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Plot: Still reeling from the death of Rhodey, Tony Stark decides to take matters into his own hands when he declares war on the Inhumans by storming into Attilan and kidnapping Ulysses. With the Inhumans ready to retaliate it is up to Captain Marvel and her team to step in to end this internally.

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Story: I really enjoyed the first issue of Civil War II, with the exception of the story layout in regards to the Free Comic Book Day issue. I felt it wasn’t structured right, but the emotional beats were on mark. This issue showed improved  structuring, but was still a bit off. A bigger issue was that I found the emotional beats lacking.

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One of my favorite parts of last issue was  how raw Tony’s emotions were when he found out that his best friend, the one man who was always there for him,  no matter what he did, was killed. In this issue Tony was a bit more calculated even though he admits he is having a nervous breakdown. We got one small flashback of Tony and Rhodey while Tony was interrogating Ulysses. I thought this would have been a nice time for a signature Bendis talking issue. Bendis could have used this time with Tony and Ulysses for Tony to really let his emotions free. I wanted him to tell Ulysses what Rhodey meant to him, he did that but without the emotional gut punch I wanted. I wanted to see Ulysses be heartbroken by Tony and maybe plant the seeds that he shouldn’t share his visions with anyone.

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The thing I found lacking with the structure was with She-Hulk we were left on that huge cliffhanger of her life support flat lining and all we got in this issue was Tony’s throwaway line that she was in critical condition. Other than seeing Tony’s emotional breakdown I wanted to know what happened to Jennifer Walters? Did she die? I wanted to see Captain Marvel’s big emotional scene during that reveal one way or the other.

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Despite those complaints the issue was well done. I like that they are using the Inhumans in this event aside from the connection to Ulysses. I have always been a fan of the Inhumans and I enjoy seeing them being a part of the main Marvel Universe while still on the outside and this issue does that. The Inhumans are seen as a sovereign nation whose borders are attacked and respond in kind. This is how Karnak should be written! He is powerful and sure, not cocky and cold.

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I also love a lot of the dialogue here, with Captain Marvel playing the role of mediator trying to keep the peace while keeping her own pain in check speaks volumes about the character. I hope we eventually get that issue where Carol breaks down and all those emotions are unleashed. Even though he was very much a tiny part of the issue I think the scene stealer is Dr. Henry McCoy, Beast. From Beast saying that he doesn’t fight Tony Stark to Tony Stark commenting on Beast being with the Inhumans every time Beast was on the page I was drawn to him.

CivilWarII2-7Art: One of the reasons the emotional scenes had such an impact last issue was because David Marquez delivers such powerful art. When it comes to his work on the character facial expressions  I craved more of it. He did an awesome job with Tony showing him mentally breaking in this issue just through the art, it was phenomenal.

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Justin Ponsor out does himself every time I see his color work. He keeps raising the bar for himself and the industry. He made great use of colors and shadow here drawing my attention perfectly. While the panel layouts provided a nice visual flow that didn’t distract me from the story or the pencils.

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Verdict: Overall I enjoyed this issue, but I felt like I wanted more emotion. The cliffhanger with the Hulk premonition has me excited for Civil War II #3, and the event as a whole.

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