Hello interweb, Nate here! You know what I decided I wasn’t going to do when this book was announced? Read it. The reason is because most event books are pointless and Marvel makes them so often that they’re annoying. I also knew that this book was nothing more than a response to Captain America: Civil War because if people saw Captain America: Civil War and then saw that Marvel was producing a book with “Civil War” as the title, people would want to buy it. Now I JUST got finished with the final issue and good god it was horrible. I did not anticipate this book being as bad as it was and I want to let off some steam. So with that, here’s my review!
MAJOR SPOILER WARNINGS FOR THE FOLLOWING COMICS: Civil War II, Ultimates, Doctor Strange, Spider-man, and Ms. Marvel
Title: Civil War II
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis
Artist(s): David Marquez
I don’t even really know where to start there’s so much I want to say. Also, because I have so much I want to say I probably will probably forget to say a few things by the time this review is published because that happens with things like these. Just to go over the story briefly: an Inhuman named Ulysses has the ability to see the future and a war breaks out with Captain Marvel believing she can use this ability to stop crimes before they happen and thus save lives, and Iron Man believes that if you arrest criminals before they commit crimes then that’s unjust.
I should probably start with the writer: Brian Michael Bendis. I’m going to be honest, I actually never seen Bendis as a bad writer until this story. Now my Bendis reads includes: any Spider-man book with Miles Morales as the lead, All-New X-Men, and the first chunk of his Uncanny X-Men run (stopped reading after Battle of the Atom). That’s pretty much it. I haven’t read any of his Jessica Jones comics, I haven’t read his Daredevil run, I haven’t read his Avengers run, and I have not read the Age of Ultron miniseries. So whenever I saw people online complaining about how bad of a writer Bendis was, I never really understood why. I mean I love his Miles Morales comics and his All-New X-Men run was pretty good with a few complaints here and there. Plus, while I never read these comics, I have heard that his Daredevil, Alias, and current Jessica Jones are really good. However, after reading this comic I have thought back to my criticisms with his Miles Morales comics and his All-New X-Men comics and those same criticisms are in this book cranked up to 11. I didn’t like how he wrote Jean Grey in his All-New X-Men run and how she suddenly turned into some kind of psychic god out of nowhere (to be clear here, Jean Grey is usually a really powerful mutant but this is teenage Jean Grey who is new with her powers and shouldn’t be at that level of strength yet). Miles in his Spider-man books has told us that he’s immortal and in a recent issue Miles was able to release this omnidirectional electric blast that kind of came out of nowhere. I mean they say it came from his venom blasts, but it still didn’t make a lot of sense.
In the last issue of Civil War II, a celestial being comes out of nowhere and basically tells Ulysses that his powers have evolved to the point where he is no longer an Inhuman and is now basically a god so he should just go with the celestial being and watch over the universe. WHAT?!?!?! I mean, really? This is just some deus ex machina that comes out of nowhere! This is kind of like how Jean Grey and Miles all of a sudden gain these power boosts out of nowhere just to get out of a tough situation. It’s lazy writing! And the thing that drives me up the wall about Ulysses is how he doesn’t even seem to have an opinion bout how his powers should be used, and if he does he never gives them. You could’ve replaced him with some type of non-sentient device that shows the future instead! Yes he couldn’t really control his powers and the visions just come out of nowhere, but he still could’ve said “yes I believe my powers could protect people” or “no I don’t want people fighting over the use of my abilities, leave me alone!” Iron Man even kidnaps him to figure out how his powers work and he just kind of goes along with this.
Lets take a step back and talk a little bit about this conflict here for a sec. I feel like it’s pretty clear here that Bendis is trying to make Iron Man seem like the villain, but I’m on his side easily(which is something I never thought I’d ever actually say)! I mean Ulysses powers presented us with visions of the future that we know for a fact are alternate realities like the Old Man Logan future. So Carol should’ve realised that no his powers aren’t reliable so we shouldn’t treat them as divine prophecy or whatever. And Tony even points this out! But Carol refuses to even consider Tony’s side and decides that she’s going to do what she’s going to do. And at the climax of the story, Carol beats Tony up until he’s left in a coma! (Yeah, he didn’t die like Cap did in the first one, he just was sent into a coma. But don’t worry, there were pointless deaths that I’ll get to in a second). The biggest problem with the first Civil War was the fact that neither sides actually discussed their views and just went into battle. They kind of solved that here since they actually did talk it out, but Carol didn’t even listen to what Tony was saying or considered it! I would’ve been fine if she took a second to think over before making up her mind, but she didn’t! Even when she arrested an innocent woman who was clearly innocent even though Ulysses had a vision of her committing a crime, she still didn’t give up! And the thing that really pissed me the hell off was when Ulysses showed a vision of Miles Morales holding a dead Captain America in his hands and instead of Carol thinking “Hey, Miles would never do that in a million years. Maybe there’s more to this power than meets the eye!” she goes “You’re under arrest!”. What the actual hell!!!! Miles is a kid, he’s probably more innocent than any superhero there (other than maybe Kamala), and Captain America is his idol! If this was Wolverine, or Hawkeye (since he did kill Hulk earlier), or even Peter Parker (since he was controlled by Doc Ock for a while) this would’ve made a little more sense. But MILES MORALES!!!
Now let’s be honest, the biggest reason this happened was because Miles is Bendis’s little baby and Bendis wanted his baby to be in the spotlight. Now I have my problems with Miles Morales. I already brought up how his immorality and his omnidirectional electric blasts are dumb, and I understand why people may dislike him since he is a part of the Marvel’s PC characters crowd, but he is a really fun character in his solo series and I love reading his stories. But I don’t think he should be one of Marvel’s A-listers quite yet. I mean Peter Parker was basically a background character in this, wasn’t he? Did he do anything important in this at all?
The sides didn’t even make any logical sense and the thing they did well in the first book that was ignored here is almost nobody had a say in their opinions! Unless you read Miles Morales’s tie-in issues you wouldn’t know why he was on Tony’s team, and unless you read Kamala Khan’s tie-ins you wouldn’t know her reasons either! And why is Old Man Logan on Tony’s team if his whole mission is to change the future? And the All-New X-Men made no sense with the team they where on and …ugh!
The final battle also annoyed the hell out of me because during the battle Iron Man shoots at Captain Marvel, misses, hits Captain America and knocks him unconscious, and then all he did was ask his suit if Cap was alright and then once he learned that Cap’s vitals were healthy he kept on fighting. I mean, really? After Civil War and what happened with Miles earlier in the story, that’s how you react? Captain America died at the end of the first Civil War because of Tony Stark, and then we see a vision of Cap dying by Ulysses, but when he gets knocked unconscious by whatever he shot at him all you do is a “Is he ok? Yes? Ok, moving on!” Screw you, Tony!
Speaking of deaths, Bruce Banner died in this! Did he need to die? No. Was it an honorable death? No! Basically Ullysses saw a vision of Hulk going on a rampage and everybody confronted Bruce Banner before Hawkeye killed him with an arrow. That is such a dissapointing death to such a great character that I almost stopped reading. I think there was another death but I can’t think of what it was at the moment.
Continuity is another problem with this and it gets worse when you read the tie-ins. Now one of the reasons I decided to read this in the end was because I was reading Spider-man and Ms. Marvel and both had tie-ins to this story so I took a break from those books to read this one. This book totally screwed over Ms. Marvel because Bruno had a serious injury due to Kamala helpping Carol first and now Bruno left the title. I liked Bruno! I liked his relationship with Kamala and now that he had a girlfriend and all things were getting interesting! And yeah I realize that G. Willow Wilson writes Kamala’s books and Bendis has little to do with that title, but if this book wasn’t created in the first place then those tie-ins wouldn’t be made and Bruno would still be in the Ms. Marvel comics! Unless Wilson was planning on getting rid of Bruno anyways but I doubt it. That’s not even touching the continuity issues within the miniseries! Doctor Strange used magic even though in the current Doctor Strange books magic is gone and Eternity is freed even though in the Ultimates Eternity is chained up. This is a criticism I hear a lot about Bendis where he ignores continuity and while I never really understood that before it is glaringly obvious here.
In comparison to the first Civil War, this one is way worse. Even though a lot of people don’t like the first Civil War and I do see the problems with it, I like it. The movie was WAY better than any of these (which is strange since it’s usually the other way around) but the first one was at least decent.
Also, the art in this comic is really good. Pretty much the ONLY good thing I can say about it. I like the art. That’s it.
Ok I’m done. I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting to say but I think everyone gets my message here. This comic was bad and I hate it! Worst comic of 2016 by far and I’m dissapointed in Bendis. Bendis, I really like your Miles Morales comics and your All-New X-Men comics were really good with a few bugs here and there. But this! This was horrble!