What would you do if you had access to someone who was able to tell the future? Would you go Marty McFly on the person and use them for gambling or would you use that person to prevent bad things from happening? This is the dilemma brought to the Marvel Universe with issue one of Civil War 2.
When it comes to event stories like this, it’s hit or miss as to how the writers and artists involved are able to make the main story as stand alone as it can be while making the side stories feel a part of the story as a whole and not pointless nonsense. This issue did a fine job of being a self contained story while also referencing other side issues in the Civil War 2 story.
If there’s one thing I’ve loved about Brian Bendis’ work over the years is his ability to make each issue feel like a self contained story. He gets that while comics today are multi-part stories, each issue has to feel like a story on its own. While there are a couple instances in the story which are referenced in other issues of the Civil War 2 story, Bendis has created a story that does not make you feel you need to pay dime one on the other issues in order to enjoy this. That’s important. If the writer is doing his or her job correctly, they’re going to create a story that doesn’t require the reader to reader twenty other issues to enjoy the story. If they do their job correctly, they’ll impel the readers to want to head to their local comic shop and buy the other issues.
There is one story choice I’m a little ambivalent about and that was the passing of a pretty well known character. While I certainly love spoilers and will routinely look for them for comics or movies I’m interested in, I don’t like to be the one to spoil something as big as the death that occurs in this story. The only clue I’ll offer is that the character is African American. As far as how the passing is presented in the story, it makes complete sense and doesn’t feel forced. Sometimes with big events like this they do something rash like kill off a major character without much of a reason to do so. While Bendis did a good job of making this death a logical part of the story, I have to ask whether this particular character was the best choice. When you have such a small roster of minority characters, killing off one of them doesn’t seem like the best idea when there were multiple other characters to choose from that would have given the story the same gravitas.
The art work in this issue from Dave Marquez was fantastic. What struck me most was the characterization during the emotional parts of the story. When characters are reacting to the deaths, they’re drawn in such a beautiful, realistic way which really brought the emotion out of the story without Bendis having to write word one to express anything. There was a scene with Spider-Man that really stuck out too as it was a perfect way to showcase the personality of Peter Parker without having him say anything. A group of heroes are interviewing the new InHuman that can read the future. In the background, Peter Parker, as Spider-Man, has his mask slightly up while eating a snack. It was such a small detail but sometimes those small details are glazed over in order to showcase the main action. When you pay attention to every thing happening on the page, you can add more to the story without having to say anything.
Overall I’d have to say this was a great first issue. It felt complete while also adding in the story elements that are available in the side issues of the Civil War 2 story without making the reader feel lost. The main issue of the story, profiling and how people in position of power should use it, is an important issue. With the supposed threats of terrorism that the government insists are out there, people feel unsafe. When they do, they rely upon people in power to keep them safe from the evil forces in the world, whether that be local or worldwide. Yet some of the methods that are being used to stop the bad stuff from happening are to say the least not the most ethical tools that can be used. Are you still a hero if the methods you use to do good are just as evil as what the bad guys would use? I can’t wait to see what happens next issue. I can’t recommend this story enough.
As far as the artwork is concerned, Dave Marquez has created some great work here. I’ve loved his work on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and he brings the same flair he brought to those comics here. Again, his attention to the littlest details take what could be an insignificant scene and turn it into a work of art by giving the characters personality and emotion. Everything on the page means something and you can’t ask for anything more.