SPOILER WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers for the Civil War II series.
Sigh. At least Civil War II is over now. Unfortunately, Brian Michael Bendis could have ended this thing six months ago.
The big fight? Two people. Two. Some other characters leapt to action in and around, but Civil War II #8 is a long, drawn-out scrap between Captain Marvel and Iron Man. One of them walks away. One does not. I’m not spoiling anything you haven’t already noticed through solicits or headlines from other sites.
Through and around the scrum, Bendis does what he does best, tugging emotional reactions out of the mainstays of the Marvel Universe. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing noteworthy, just typical Bendis stuff with a couple of his favorite and a couple fan-favorite characters. The most impactful moments in the story itself come from Hawkeye checking in with Captain Marvel at the end of the issue and the conversation Carol has with Beast before that.
David Marquez turns in superstar artwork throughout. He gets an assist for a handful of pages that are simply full-page ads for stories yet to come. Some of them have potential. Some just have real pretty drawings in Civil War II #8 from luminaries like Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuña, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Marco Rudy, Mark Bagley, John Dell, and Esad Ribic. Some of the ads have both pretty art and potential. I’m not sure what will be new series or what will simply be new arcs in existing titles. Heck, as Carol Danvers points out in this series, these could simply be potential stories that never truly materialize. Whatever the case, Marvel seems to have decided to combine their event-ender with the inevitable Point One issue that usually launches their next marketing initiative.
But back to David Marquez. I’ve been a Marquez fan for a long time, fond of his ability to shift style, construct gorgeous story flow, and sculpt dynamic characters. He is the reason I kept reading this series. The only reason. And he gave us all a beautiful collection of gorgeous art. His take on Carol Danvers Captain Marvel is definitive. His rendering of Medusa’s hair masterful. The characters all around the issue each have their own identities and when Marquez brings them together, they just gain that much more personality and charm. I’d buy a series drawn by Marquez starring any of these characters, but his take on Sasquatch, Puck, and Aurora leave me hoping there might be some more Alpha Flight in his future.
Justin Ponsor’s color art is epic and impactful. Working with Marquez, Ponsor creates cinematic visuals in every single panel. I don’t just mean Ponsor makes everything bright and shiny (which he does) but he fills the panels with sparks and bolts, fragments and dust. He makes me wish this comic was in 3D, as the visual presentation in Civil War II is far more impactful than 90% of the movies demanding extra cash for subpar visuals. I may not be the biggest fan of the contrived nature and lackluster presentation of this series, but the visuals in Civil War II cannot be denied. From start to finish, this was a very pretty series.
Now that Waverider has solved the mystery of Armageddon 200 – er, whoops. Sorry. Now that Logan has gone back in time to kill Hank Pym and undo all the damage caused by Ultron – nope. Dang. At any rate, Civil War II is over. The story was a mad lib linked together to generate eight issues worth of delightful art from David Marquez. The art, as mentioned, was amazing. And the overall impact on the Marvel Universe? There’s one less Hulk and a whole lot of musical chairs for characters coming up or stories already in progress. Heroes are mad at other heroes. There seem to be fewer villains, mainly because if the heroes are fighting each other, so why do we need villains? Again, the story was contrived. Rather than look for reasons to divide the good guys, how about we take an event and create adversaries worthy of the heroes joining together?
With this series wrapping up at this point in the calendar year all of us readers are presented with a nice, solid junction to evaluate what we’re spending Marvel money on and why. We paid over $30 for this story, which probably could have wrapped and been more effective in the span of an Infinite Comic. I didn’t need six issues of verbal jousting, pouting, and angst. I sure won’t be spending $30 on another event any time too quickly. Which is a darn shame, because Monsters Unleashed looks like it could be a fun time.
As for the Spider-Man content in Civil War II #8, Miles Morales is here, full of emotion and full of doubt. Bendis doesn’t do much except put Miles in some panels freaking out, crying, and freaking out and crying. Marquez makes it look great. If you waited this long to check the series out, my recommendation would be to wait a little bit longer and check out the collection from your local library.
Brian Michael Bendis finishes his story, but artist David Marquez is the real champ, turning in work that needs to be seen and enjoyed. Civil War II #8 gives readers a chance to evaluate what event books are supposed to be and why we pay money for them.