Excuse the language for a moment, but fuck. I mean, seriously. Fuck.
When I started the “Taking Issue with…” articles I was expecting to follow a couple of series at a time and to spread the love across a few different publishers. The public outrage surrounding Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 made the first choice for me, but the second choice was a toss up between a bunch of great books, not least the simultaneous events of DC Rebirth and Marvel’s Civil War II.
I thought it was going to be a tough call, but then I read one of the most intense and gripping issues of a major comic book that I’ve read in a very long time and realised it’s no choice at all.
Civil War II #1 is that issue.
As with Rebirth, Civil War II is intended to be accessible to new readers as well as an exciting event for the current fans of Marvel continuity but if you haven’t picked up a major Marvel book in a while or you’re completely new to the comics I definitely recommend the Free Comic Book Day offering Civil War II #0 to set the scene and get the characters and plot into motion. Even if you’re a die-hard fan that bonus Issue #0 will make Issue #1 that much better (or worse).
We’ve known for a long time that Civil War II was going to boil down to Captain Marvel vs Iron Man in a conflict of morality that would have fans divided on which side was in the right, moreso than the popularity contest that was the Captain America: Civil War movie a few months back. We also knew that the “Protect the Future” and “Change the Future” sides would centre around a new character with precognitive abilities of some sort.
While Issue #0 doesn’t cover any of that, it does a great job of setting up where most of the major players stand before the big question is asked, and then Issue #1 really throws down the gauntlet with a vengeance.
This issue has some pretty major action sequences and some gorgeous art thanks to David Marquez, but the truly gut-wrenching impact of this issue is hard to put into words.
No matter how good Bendis‘ writing is, no matter how funny the quips and how evocative the panels, all I’ll remember of Civil War II #1 is how reading it made me feel and how Civil War II has already sent shockwaves through the current Marvel universe.
It’s been a very long time since a comic truly hit me like that and you can bet I’ll be back with Civil War II #2 when it hits shelves on the 15th of June.