Civil War Correspondence: Ceasefire [Recapping ‘Civil War II’ #8]
Civil War II completely overwhelmed the Marvel Universe over most of the year, but thankfully all your favorite titles are now free from its clutches and we’re finally at the last issue.
With Iron Man and Captain Marvel ready to duke it out one last time, and with Spider-Man caught in the middle, let’s get together for one last Civil War Correspondence and see how the world has changed forever... this time around. Spoilers follow.
Civil War II #6
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Future Artists: Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuña, Alan Davis & Mark Farmer, Marco Rudy, Mark Bagley & John Dell and Esad Ribic.
Color Artist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
I thought I knew where Civil War II was going with the first page, which features a man on his way to work when his car is destroyed by falling debris --- when he looks up in the sky he sees Captain Marvel and Iron Man duking it out, superhero style.
I thought Bendis and Marquez might be going for a nod to the conclusion of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s original Civil War, which ended with Captain America realized they weren’t fighting to protect people anymore, they were just fighting. The collateral damage and the destruction done to the city in Civil War is what caused Captain America to surrender, and I thought here maybe Carol, Tony, or hopefully both of them would see that.
They just fight a bunch for most of the issue, as Medusa of the Inhumans tries to get Maria Hill and SHIELD to mobilize and stop the fight based on Ulysses’ latest vision, and Ulysses’ powers continue to grow and evolve as he becomes increasingly disconnected from humanity.
I’ve been on Tony Stark’s side for most of this event, but there’s a moment where Iron Man fires missiles at Captain Marvel, she dodges, and they blow up Steve Rogers. Stark shouts out “Great job not killing Cap just then!” which, considering he irresponsibly fired the missiles (similar missiles to the ones that left She-Hulk in a coma), is an incredibly petty and immature thing to say in the midst of a fight that is causing very visible property damage at the steps of the Capitol Building.
At no point did this comic --- over the course of eight issues --- convince me that this fight needed to happen, and therefore it makes both Tony Stark and Carol Danvers seem incredibly irresponsible. If anything, the fight at the end of Civil War II makes a case for the registration act of Civil War I, because neither of these individuals should be engaging like this out in public.
I think every time I’ve written about Civil War II, I’ve made sure to point out how great David Marquez, is and there’s a sequence about halfway through where he and colorist Justin Ponsor channel Mike Del Mundo, as Ulysses’ powers overwhelm everyone in the vicinity, just before he sees visions of the multiple possible futures for the Marvel Universe.
It’s a stunningly beautiful page in an issue where Marquez plays a lot with panel presentation and layout, and I would not be against him and Ponsor incorporating some of the experimentations of Civil War II into whatever their next project is.
Okay, so the futures are a big hook here, I guess. It’s similar to Kang’s blackboard of future events from Bendis and John Romita Jr’s Avengers, but spread over the course of a few pages with guest artists presenting them.
There’s Monsters Unleashed and Inhumans vs X-Men, which are easy to identify. There’s the future Miles Morales stood over the slain Captain America, which has a decidedly green hue possibly hinting towards a future event regarding Steve Rogers’ status as a HYDRA agent.
Surprisingly, there’s a Killraven page that might not hint to anything specific, but hints of Martian invasion event have been seeded as far back as Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch’s Captain America Reborn. "Days of Future Past" and Age of Ultron seem fairly standard, but the last one of Loki wielding All-Black the Necrosword has me excited for possible future events in the Thor titles.
This leads to Ulysses evolving into a universal being similar to Eternity, and being greeted by Eternity into the fraternity of cosmic entities.
I don’t know how this was handled editorially, and I don’t know if this was discussed between writers, but it seems odd. The driving plot point of Al Ewing’s Ultimates, and the mystery that fuels that team’s new mission statement, is that someone or something put Eternity in chains. If you’re reading those comics, you know it’s a big deal. Now, like I say, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that this has all been coordinated between writers and editors and it all lines up, but as a reader reading this issue right here and now, it reads like Bendis is so focused on his own storyline that he hasn't noticed what other creators are doing in the same sandbox.
Following the climax, it’s established that Carol Danvers’ final blow would have killed Tony Stark if not for weird experiments he’d been doing on his own body for years. Carol’s line of “I didn’t start it” rings insincere, but in a way that I believe it’s supposed to. I don’t think anyone can read this comic, see Carol Danvers say she didn’t mean to essentially kill Iron Man, and come away thinking, “Oh, that’s okay then,” and while I don’t quite understand the rationale of positioning Captain Marvel so negatively on the cusp of her Hollywood turn, it does seem intentional.
Lastly, Captain Marvel meets with the president to discuss the future of her role in the administration and how the Marvel Universe is reacting. This is essentially to highlight a new status quos and new series such as Champions, Invincible Iron Man and Hulk, and there is an interesting group shot of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones that suggests a possible Defenders title (even if it does ignore the post-Civil War II continuity set up in Bendis’ own Jessica Jones), but I want to talk about the president here.
He’s shown only in shadow, so it’s hard to tell who its supposed to be, and while his figure is more Obama than Trump, look at this quote here from the President of Marvel’s United States of America.
That sure sounds like a specific someone, and even the suggestion of Carol Danvers working for him is the final straw for me as a fan of the character, until further notice. Civil War II will hopefully go in the same category of recent events like Original Sin and AXIS, where it’s mostly forgotten, but the lasting damage on one of the character reinvention success stories of the past decade will likely keep it around as a stain on her reputation.
Way to go 2016, you took Captain Marvel from us too.
Whose Side Am I On?
Justice League vs Suicide Squad. The second issue is out now and it’s a great event comic, go check it out.