Civil War II – Thoughts

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While fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are gearing up for Captain America: Civil War, us nerds in comic book land are prepping for Civil War II. We are just that cutting edge (and fickle). Today, thanks to New York Daily News we have got our first snippets of info in a surprisingly open look at the famed Marvel Creator Summit story building process:

“Civil War 2” writer Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso break down the premise.

“A mysterious new Marvel character comes to the attention of the world, one who has the power to calculate the outcome of future events with a high degree of accuracy,” according to the synopsis. “This predictive power divides the Marvel heroes on how best to capitalize on this aggregated information, with Captain Marvel leading the charge to profile future crimes and attacks before they occur, and Iron Man adopting the position that the punishment cannot come before the crime.”

That’s the surface level pitch but just like the original Civil War there are ties to the real world and how we live our lives,

“People’s personal accountability is the theme of this one,” Bendis explains to his peers of his project with artist David Marquez. “From the way cops are acting on camera, to the way people talk to each other online.”

So I am expecting a lot of reflection and viewpoints on how we collectively represent ourselves as a society. The original Civil War was all about the responsibility of power and should we let our governments control our freedoms even if it meant giving some of them up. This feels like it could be a response to the growing toxicity in our general discourse and how we are in general, very quick to jump on people, things and situations in terms of being “right” or “wrong.”

If you are interested in Marvel’s think-tank writing process the piece is really worth a look. It gives a lot of insight into the dynamics that come into play when Marvel’s top talent have to sit in a room and come up with the next “big thing.” Plus it is worth it just to see in black and white that nothing too bad will happen to Spider-Man this time around! (Although that could be Dan Slott being Dan Slott and prepping us Spidey fans for another fall!)

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR BELOW
(Although seeing how loosely Marvel Studios have adapted previous big comic book stories you are probably good) 

Civil War II is something I am personally really looking forward to. The original event was the series that pushed me into buying comic monthly rather than trade waiting. It opened up the Marvel Universe for me and introduced me to so many characters and series I had previously overlooked. Also back then it was an idea that had not really been done on that big of a scale:

Hero Vs. Hero fighting over fundamental difference on how to be heroes.

It was thought provoking for me like no other comic book I had read up to that point in my life.

It had these huge groundbreaking moments that made me look at the pages in shock. You had the big epic battles between the Pro and Anti Registration sides of the conflict. The willing unmasking of Peter Parker as Spider-Man. Then the heart breaking epilogue that was Captain America #25 that capped off (pun intended) the whole event perfectly. It was a Mark Miller master class in shock and awe comic books. Miller providing the shock while  Steven McNiven’s on the top of his game artwork brought the awe. So much awe!

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Then all the way through every reader was encouraged to pick a side. You had to choose. In a perfect storm of advertising everyone even casually interested in comic books had an opinion on which side was right and why. There was no middle ground. You were either for or against. Personally I was Pro-Registration:

  1. Because that was the camp Spider-Man was in.
  2. It had the promise of the most interesting outcome for future stories to be told in its wake. Which sort of turned out to be true.

It was also an event that had repercussions that lasted years. Some of which are still being felt today almost a decade on.

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The reason for the conflict in Civil War II is different and the figureheads of the sides of positioned on opposite ends of the spectrum from the first conflict. This time we see Tony Stark on the morally righteous side. Presumably making up for recent Illuminati based transgressions and also to try and avoid the mistakes of the past. While on the morally grey side we have Captain Marvel pushing for the precog like preemptive taking down of wrongdoers. Pushing current Captain America, Sam Wilson to one side to take centre stage in Marvel’s marquee book of the year is a big step in the continued evolution of Captain Marvel. One that will most likely be reflected in the upcoming movie baring her name in a few years. Plus it is going to be great to see her squaring off against the titans of Marvel’s lineup of heroes.

Marvel are promising big things and that “this will change everything” like they do with all of their event books. (Which IMO are usually some of the most fun reads I have every year, barring one or two missteps, I’m looking at you AXIS!) This time though I am inclined to believe them because this is CIVIL WAR II (CIVIL! WAR!! II!!!) and also because you have Brian Bendis at the helm. Bendis is one to push big change regardless of potential fallout and is also great at crafting those big, epic moments with the artists he works with. So even if nobody else cares I am super stoked to see what happens.

Will the twists be a big as the first time around? Maybe, maybe not. The Marvel Universe is still fresh from its soft reboot (sorry, realignment!) at the hands of Secret Wars so anything is fair game at the moment. Will the shocking death actually be that shocking despite the revolving door of doom that is death in comics? It honestly depends on who it is that is killed off and how they bite the dust. It could be poignant like Xavier’s death in Avengers Vs. X-Men or fall a bit flat like The Wasp’s in Secret Invasion.  Weirdly unlike most comic book fans I enjoy a good death and resurrection story and these sorts of events tend to kick off some of the more interesting ones.

At the end of the day though like the first Civil War event, it promises to be fun. Which is all you need for it to be a good read.

So yeah, I’m excited for this one.

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