Civil War II #1 – Spoiler Free Review

The first issue of Marvel’s Civil War II is out and there is quite a bit to talk about. This comes from the minds and talents of Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor, who worked together on the recent Iron Man Reboot story line and other projects. Personally I loved the Reboot arc and was eager to see how they would handle this story.

Civil War II focuses on the conflict between Iron Man and Captain Marvel after the Terrigen Mists creates an Inhuman who can predict the future the “near perfect” precision. However, this doesn’t mean that such an ability makes our heroes’s job easier as is seen in the first issue. In fact, it is the fallout of using this ability that sets the stage for this confrontation.

The concept is excellent and for the most part the story works as it should. There were some beautifully written moments in this issue which connects you to the characters. And this is absolutely aided by the artistic talents of Marquez and Ponsor.

But there is a problem with the story. Ulysses.

Ulysses is the Inhuman who can see into the future, the literal center of this storm. And I don’t feel a bit sorry for his problem. This is a guy who is the reason why the heroes put their lives on the line twice in this issue, and not once do we see his take anything. We see Stark, we see Danvers, we even see Medusa, and they carry their weight of the story excellently.

Honestly you could get rid of Ulysses and the story would probably be better if he was replaced with a computer program, or with an established character who just developed the power themselves. The one time he’s given the opportunity to show some personality it’s devoted to a bad college shout out. If his role wasn’t the sole driving force of the story, then this wouldn’t be such a problem.

And before anyone goes off and say I’m bashing Mr. Bendis’s work, I love this guy’s storytelling from Alias, to Guardians of the Galaxy, to All New X-Men and his work on Iron Man. Furthermore, the last major scene of this issue was nothing short of moving. But this story is sadly hindered by this one weak character. Even if there was a short panel of him reacting to what happens at the end of this issue would’ve been good enough for me.

I’m hoping we’ll get to know Ulysses’s better, and have him be more than a token character. Because the Civil War II story has the emotion, just not in the one character who needs it the most.

Seth Frederiksen
Seth Frederiksen
A post-grad history buff who is addicted to comics and books, and lover of anything with the words "ice" and "cream" in it. I've been a huge Batman fan since I can remember, and have come to appreciate sequential art as literature and entertainment. Also I have a soft spot for dogs. Just saying.