Civil War Correspondence: There’s Something About Spider-Man [Recapping ‘Civil War II’ #6 & 7]
Civil War II has completely overwhelmed the Marvel Universe, with all of your favorite titles tangentially tying into the event in whatever way they can in hopes of a sales bump. With a founding Avenger dead and battle lines nearly drawn, it’s time to dig back into the story for more Civil War Correspondence, and review where I stand on the conflict. I reserve the right to flip-flop at will, although there's pretty much no chance of that now.
After nearly two months without a Correspondence, we're back to recap the events of Civil War II #6 and 7, as things head towards their inevitable conclusion and the stakes get higher but more personal. Spoilers follow.
Civil War II #6
After last issue's massive cliffhanger that Miles Morales is fated to kill Captain America in front of the Capitol Building, tensions run high, with Iron Man and Captain Marvel arguing once again about the best course of action. It's a rather uninteresting conversation, and could honestly be more effective if shown without the dialogue, because after five issues of this stuff, we know where they stand and they've shown no signs of budging.
The scene picks up tremendously when Captain America takes the time to approach Miles and ask him what he wants to do. In recent years, Bendis is always at his very best when writing Miles Morales, and although it didn't seem like Civil War II would focus so heavily on the character at the start, it's kind of unsurprising that the first event since his introduction to the Marvel Universe --- written by his creator no less --- would feature him prominently.
The best tie-ins to this event have been --- among others --- the Brian Michael Bendis and Nico Leon issues of Spider-Man that feature Miles and his allies trying to figure out where they fit in the larger scale of a Marvel Comics event. It's hard to believe that the nuance of Spider-Man and the boring bombast of Civil War II are written by the same person, as the ideas put forth are examined much more intelligently in the former.
Speaking of great tie-ins, the recent issues of Ms. Marvel that feature Kamala coming to terms with not being on the same side as Carol Danvers have also been excellent, and the moment when Ms. Marvel prevents her hero from flying after Spider-Man and Thor is one of the most effective of the series. Marquez has been the absolute star of this comic, and he perfectly nails the conflict in Ms. Marvel's face as she chooses her friend over her mentor.
The moment with Black Panther switching sides and allying not just himself but the nation of Wakanda with Iron Man is also quite effective, and builds on what has already been established in Ultimates. I don't want to seem reductive, because I'm sure these things are done in advance, but it almost feels like Bendis had time during the delays to read what was going on in the tie-in titles and adjust certain characters accordingly. This is the most personal issue of Civil War II, and it's all the better for it.
On a similar note, this issue finally gives us some more insight into Carol Danvers and softens her somewhat. After seeing the deaths of War Machine and The Hulk due to her actions, she's dug her heels in deeper when it comes to predictive justice, because it has to be the right cause of action. If it isn't, those deaths are her fault. She'll either be vindicated or go down swinging. I still don't agree with her, but it's the most compelling she's been all series.
Civil War II #6 also features some fun and interesting interactions between the younger generation of heroes as they meet Riri Williams for the first time, and you can tell Bendis is having a blast bouncing Riri off characters like Nova and Ms. Marvel.
As they sneak out to track down Miles, Carol Danvers gets word of Spider-Man's location, and it's only the worst place he could possibly be; outside the Capitol Building.
Civil War II #7
The most recent issue in the series starts off in an interesting place, and after a small hint earlier, it seems Ulysses' powers have evolved once again and have now rocketed him to the future, and it's not just any future, it's Old Man Logan's future.
Bringing in Sorrentino for these segments was a great choice to drive home the post-apocalyptic nature of the flash forward and jar the reader from Marquez' clean superhero style as much as Ulysses' is jarred out of the Marvel Universe into somewhere else.
Meanwhile, this issue wisely takes a step back from the huge cast associated with superhero events, and even the recap page only features nine people total. Scaling back Civil War II as the stakes became more personal was a great call by Bendis, and makes the ultimate conflict of Iron Man v Captain Marvel feel like it matters more because it's one on one, rather than a big dust-up between everyone.
My biggest problem with this issue was also my biggest worry going into it, that after Civil War II was stretched out by an extra issue, the penultimate installment would feel like half of a comic. Maybe it's the Old Man Logan segments and maybe it's classic Bendis decompression, but it feels like the last issue was too long to be one issue, but too short to be two, so it's been stretched a bit either side and cut in half to get to Civil War II #8 and that extra $4.99 per reader.
There's honestly not much to talk about in this issue, aside from another well done chat between Steve Rogers and Miles Morales and the revelation that the events of Civil War II cause the Old Man Logan timeline. I imagine it's not going to lead to the supervillains ganging up and killing everyone like in the original story, but who knows?
I am surprised that Ulysses hasn't become a villain yet, if that's the plan at all; his looming presence on the cover seemed to suggest an "absolute power corrupts absolutely" heel turn, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I also don't see him surviving this event, because what do you do with a plot device character other than nerf his abilities or strip him of them completely?
The issue ends with Ulysses telling the Inhumans that Carol needs to stop as she goes to grab Spider-Man, but this is interrupted by Iron Man wearing War Machine armor.
I don't know if it's a Stockholm Syndrome type deal from thinking way more about Civil War II than the average reader because it's my job to do that, but I really like the salt-in-the-wound, dirty tactics of Iron Man wearing his dead best friend's armor to get in Carol's head. It's poor sportsmanship, but Stark isn't thinking about that; he wants Carol to hurt because he blames her for everything.
Whose Side Are You On?
Last time on Civil War Correspondence, I put a poll up to see which side you fell on, Iron Man or Captain Marvel, and the poll was up for a lot longer than we expected it to be due to delays in the series.
I can now reveal that Team Iron Man won with over 1000 votes, to Team Captain Marvel's lowly 100+, giving Iron Man 90% of the reader support. Iron Man won the popular vote by a landslide, and I'm not sure how it works, but I'm pretty sure that means Captain Marvel is president now.
That's it for this week's Civil War Correspondence, I'll see you next month for a final installment wrapping up the series and seeing where it leaves us heading into the new year!