Gang, our Civil War II #8 review is a little SPOILER-Y, so…check back with us after you’ve read the issue. Oh? Still here? Thank you!
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Civil War II is now over, and like the rest of the series, the finale is a mixed bag. First off, let’s just say that Civil War II will not be considered a classic like Mark Millar’s Civil War. Civil War II spun its wheels for way too long and didn’t offer enough twists to justify eight months of this story. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were very powerful moments in Civil War II, there just weren’t eight months of powerful moments.
Secondly, it is very clear which Marvel Universe characters Bendis was interested in utilizing in this series. This was a Tony Stark/Carol Danvers/Miles Morales series with a bit of Steve Rogers and Inhumans thrown in. The rest of the MU took a back seat which begs the question, did this need to be such a long event when it had so few featured players? This was a story that was refreshingly small trying to disguise itself as something huge and sometimes it hit the right notes (the conflict of Miles Morales comes to mind), and sometimes it fell flat (the uneven characterization of Carol Danvers).
This last issue of the Marvel mega-event features the final battle between Carol and Tony. Iron Man loses, but he isn’t dead, guys, he’s comatose or something; the issue doesn’t really make it clear. Carol Danvers stands the clear victor and I’m not really sure why Marvel wanted to make her a shades-of-gray-type of hero right before the push toward her film debut, but there you go. The ending makes her seem unlikable, a hero that won by happenstance not through morality or righteousness.
Although the Danvers stuff falls flat, it is with Ulysses that Bendis hits it out of the park in this final issue of Civil War II. Ulysses transcends to the level of Eternity or Living Tribunal providing Marvel with a new omnipotent cosmic heavyweight. This is effective because now we’ve seen this new cosmic entity as a freighted human being, so the next time Ulysses pops up in whatever guise he will take, there will be an emotional in for readers.
Bendis also provides a few future story beats before Civil War II comes to a close as fans are teased with future huge stories involving Ultron, Killraven, and male Thor (with Mjolnir) versus Loki. Those types of teases are always fun and Marvel found a bevy of really cool guest artists to render these foreshadow-y images.
There were some big deaths in Civil War II, but is there any doubt that War Machine and Bruce Banner will be back sooner rather than later? Seriously, the impotent use of deaths that stand for like half a year needs to end in all comics. Civil War II #8 would have worked better if I haven’t been reading post-Civil War II stories for like three months now. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next and Bendis hits most of his landing, but Civil War II did not fully live up to the legacy of Marvel’s Civil War.