REVIEW: Civil War 2 Choosing Sides #4 – “The Power Pack Are All Grown Up”

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Civil War 2 Choosing Sides #4

“The Punisher”

Writer: Chuck Brown

Penciler: Chris Visions

Colorist: Megan Wilson

“Power Pack”

Writer: John Allison

Penciler: Rosi Kampe

Colorist: Megan Wilson

“Nick Fury”

Writer/Penciler: Declan Shalvey

Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire

Release Date: 8/17/16

Price Tag: $3.99

I have been reading Civil War 2 Choosing Sides on and off, only picking up the series when there was a character I was interested in reading. Civil War 2 Choosing Sides #4 was my most anticipated issue from the series because it was bringing back one of my favorite superhero teams, the Power Pack.

Plot

“Punisher”

Punisher does what he does best in the mix of Civil War 2.

“Power Pack”

Julie is taking a break from the superhero game, and spends a day with her siblings at her new college, but the controversy of Civil War 2 comes up in their conversation.

“Nick Fury”

A silent issue pitting Nick Fury and Black Widow against each other.

Story

“Punisher”

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.53.39 PM

The first story in this issue was about the Punisher. It was a generic story of the Punisher killing off bad people. It wasn’t very connected to Civil War 2, and I didn’t feel that this short story was needed for Choosing Sides. Choosing Sides should have short stories from characters who don’t have their own series. If Punisher needed a story connected to Civil War 2 it should have been a tie-in to his current ongoing series.

“Power Pack”

The Power Pack was the main reason I was anticipating Civil War 2 Choosing Sides #4. Sadly, I felt this story was all over the place. It was trying to accomplish too many things in the short amount of space the story had.

At one point in the comic the kids are talking about growing up, and then Jack randomly brings up the events of Civil War 2. The tie-in to Civil War 2 didn’t seem organic. It felt very forced just for the sake of it being in a Civil War 2 tie-in book.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.57.08 PM

If this book wanted to be a Civil War 2 tie-in it should have focused on the loss of their brother, Alex. They touch upon it, but if they compared the mourning of Alex to the loss of Hulk in the superhero community it would have been a better tie-in to the event.

But instead this comic focuses on the Power Pack kids growing up, which is fine, but I didn’t like how the writer approached it in the comic. The growing up part of the story felt very awkward, and didn’t really do much for Jack, Julie, or Katie as characters.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.55.10 PM

A better story that I think would have fit this issue more would have been Julie talking about her bi-sexulaity with her siblings. This was the last major story to happen to Julie when we saw her in Avengers Academy. This would have shown actual character moments between Julie, Katie, and Jack. It would’ve allowed the story to tackle all the same themes in a more fluid way.

“Nick Fury”

There’s not much to say about Nick Fury’s story because there really isn’t any. From the Choosing Sides issues I’ve been reading all of Nick Fury’s short stories have been silent. So you see a lot of Nick Fury in every issue, but you still don’t really see where the story is going.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.58.03 PM

For example in this issue, Nick Fury fights Black Widow, but you don’t really know why because there’s no dialogue.

Art

“Punisher”

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.54.23 PM

The muddiness of the coloring really worked for this supposedly chaotic Punisher story. I especially enjoyed the use of reds where it made it look like blood was smudging over the panels. It definitely made the short story feel like the Punisher from the Daredevil Netflix television show. This was really highlighted for me in the last page where the Punisher looks a lot like Jon Bernthal who plays the Punisher on Netflix’s Daredevil.

“Power Pack”

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.55.58 PM

I was impressed with the artwork for the Power Pack short story because it felt like a call back to the original Power Pack ongoing series. This was especially highlighted when the kids were using their powers. For example, the small detail of when Julie uses her light speed power the artist doesn’t show her legs, but if you look at more modern Power Pack books Julie’s legs are usually shown.

Even though I did like the throwback for older fans, there were aspects I didn’t like about the art. Some of the facial expressions looked weird, and made the characters look awkward. I especially didn’t like Julie’s new character design.

“Nick Fury” 

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 4.58.13 PM

I do like the art style for this story. It makes the silent moments seemed prolonged, in a good way. It shows that every move counts, which is very relevant for a silent story. But I still think this story needs more dialogue to help hold the readers attention, the art isn’t enough.

The meat of the issue is a fight between Black Widow and Nick Fury, but the artwork doesn’t actually show the fight. It shows a highlight reel version of the fight. If the story is going to rely so heavily on the art than we need more story to be told through the artwork.

Verdict

I was disappointed with all of these stories, but especially with the Power Pack. The issue had potential, but the stories didn’t hold up enough for me to recommend this issue.

 

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