Trade paperbacks provide the added benefit of being able to take in a story in one fell swoop. The only downside is that you don’t get the different variant covers or feel like you are creating a comic book collection. However, Marvel has done a fantastic job with the Civil War trade back, including all seven issues of the Civil War storyline and a couple of the original variant covers for each issue. The collected Civil War saga is written by Mark Miller, penciled by Steve McNiven, inked by Dexter Vines and colored by Morry Hollowell.
The writing in the entire collection is sharp and everything you would expect from a Marvel comic; the clear dialogue tracking makes following the storyline incredibly easy. This is all good news, since this is one of the first comic books I ever read and it introduced me to characters that most inexperienced comic book readers wouldn’t know.
The easy readability of the paperback allows the story to flow, and emotions come out of the panels to tug at the reader’s heartstrings. The other aspect of the writing that really adds to the series is the incorporation of outside stories. While reading it for the first time, I was incentivized to pick up other comic books that helped explain the backstory of some other characters. The fantastic writing is even more of a reason to pick up the comics in the series or at the very least, the trade paperback edition.
The illustrations do not fail to stun the human eye. Outspoken colors along with detailed illustrations allow the book to jump out at the reader. In the few cases that the writing fails to address the storyline, the illustrations help the reader find where they should be. The coloring done by Hollowell helps set a very cool mood, and the darker colors that were used help illustrate how dark the story truly is; the feeling of betrayal and sadness is definitely emphasized by the color and ink-work done by Vines and Hollowell. The life-like pencils by McNiven makes the story very relatable and that much easier to read.
The Bottom Line:
If you want to have a good read before watching the Captain America: Civil War film coming out March 6, 2016, this is for you. The only downside is that it’s already obvious the film will not follow the storyline of the comic series. If anything, reading the trade paperback will allow you to gain a better perspective of the different personalities of Marvel heroes. For the non-collector and casual reader, the trade paperback is a perfect choice, plus you still get to look at some of the awesome variant covers that came out when the original Civil War series debuted.