Review: Civil War II #3 – Let the bodies hit the floor!
Beware, this is a spoiler filled review, you have no excuse to ‘Hulk-out’ if you read something you didn’t want to know.
This is the one everyone will be talking about! One of the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe will fall! Who it is and how and why will divide fans for years to come. Will the heroes of the Marvel Universe survive the unthinkable happening? The fallout to this issue is enormous!
So, Marvel fans, in the previous issue a death was foretold, the murderer named; well, we got the death – only it was not somebody we expected, and the killer was in no way the person we thought it would be. The rift between heroes is expanding, sides are already being decided. Let’s just jump right into it, shall we?
We pick up in a the Manhattan Federal Court House as, who else but Matt Murdock (the world’s only lawyer apparently) calls his first witness – one Colonel Carol Danvers. Readers will recall that in the previous issue we left off somewhere in Utah with our heroes confronting Dr. Bruce Banner after experiencing a future where the good doctor ‘Hulks-out’ and murders a number of superheroes. This issue actually revolves around what occurred in Utah, and this court case we are witnessing is in fact about said events.
All one has to do to understand how seriously the Marvel heroes are taking Ulysses’ vision is to simply look at the featured image for this article. Seriously, look at all those people – X-Men, Inhumans, the various Avenger teams, they’re all here to confront Bruce Banner, to arrest Bruce Banner before he has the opportunity to make Ulysses’ vision a reality. For the record, Tony is massively against what Colonel Danvers, what S.H.I.E.L.D. has in mind, as you would expect; he is, after all one of Bruce’s closest friends (if not his best friend).
Naturally, Dr. Banner doesn’t take this news terrifically well, but to be fair – Dr. Henry McCoy has actually taken the liberty of hacking Bruce’s work servers and has discovered that Bruce is experimenting on himself, something that most definitely has not worked out well in the past, so the heroes have excellent cause to be worried regarding, not only their own safety, but the safety of the public. I must say, I was a tad confused because of these events as I was under the impression that Amadeus Cho (the Totally Awesome Hulk) had cured Bruce from his Hulk-based affliction.
Anyway, Bruce is understandably upset about the heroes’ plan to arrest him, claiming that his work has allowed him to keep the Hulk at bay for over a year, though this does nothing to change the mind of the group. Bruce begins to get frustrated. Tragically, we don’t get the chance to see what happens next as a rather unique arrow flies through the air and strikes down the iconic Dr. Bruce Banner.
In court, Hawkeye details the situation – that Bruce had specifically given him the device that would be able to put him down – to kill him. Hawkeye informs the court that he was under specific instructions from Bruce to kill him before he ever had the chance to change into the Hulk ever again. It is claimed by Hawkeye that he noticed the familiar green glint in Bruce’s eyes, signifying that a transformation was imminent. I, however, fail to notice any change in Bruce’s eye colour from his first appearance in this issue up until the split second before his unfortunate demise. I don’t know, they just look the same shade of brown to me. It has to be said that this wasn’t a decision that Hawkeye took lightly, he genuinely did believe that the Hulk was about to appear.
Personally, while I quite enjoyed this turn of events to prevent the rampaging Hulk future, I am a little disappointed that we don’t get to see a pissed off Hulk going all-out berserk. What a sight that would have been, but hey, we do have ourselves another Hulk to take into consideration, right? After all, Ulysses said he saw the Hulk rampaging, he never specifically mentioned either Bruce or Amadeus. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.
Concerning Tony’s claim that one does not get to come back from murdering an Avenger, it does seem rather hypocritical considering his role in the death of Black Goliath during the events of Civil War. I suppose we can assume that he hasn’t recovered from that guilt? That he himself hasn’t come to terms with murdering one of the good guys. Either way, just as Nova and Spider-Man (Miles Morales), I am firmly on Tony Stark’s side of the argument. So far, many attempts at preventing a future from occurring has turned out pretty badly for our heroes – She-Hulk is dead, Rhodey is dead, and now Bruce Banner has joined the growing list of the deceased. I can’t help but wonder how many more deaths are yet to come before this tale is done.
Carol, Captain Marvel, is being rather… I don’t know, a little too stubborn about this whole situation. I get it, she truly believes her way is for the best, but at this point – three superheroes are dead. Three. All as a direct result of trying to change the course of the future. Surely Carol could take a step back and assess the situations that have unfolded in such a short amount of time. Sure, they have managed to prevent a number of bad situations, but still. Though, even though I don’t agree with her outlook, I do believe she made what she thought was the right decision. After all, if you thought the Hulk was going to wreak havoc and potentially kill friends of yours, what would you do?
Once again, I genuinely cannot fault the artwork in this event. David Marquez has knocked it out of the park once again. Unsurprisingly, my favourite panel has to be the mob of super-powered humans ready and waiting to face Dr. Banner (not really the best way to confront an unstable killing machine, is it?). Honestly, there isn’t much left to be said that I haven’t spoken about in previous reviews – I simply love the artwork.
Before we end the review, let’s talk about the pros and cons. I’d like to talk about the cons first so we don’t end on any negatives. Okay, my main gripe with this issue is that previous situations from the past seem to have been glossed over. For example, not only is Bruce not supposed to be The Hulk any longer thanks to the actions of Amadeus Cho, but Tony has seemingly forgotten about his role in Civil War and the death of Black Goliath. It could simply be that he hasn’t forgotten, but rather omits mentioning it to Carol. I suppose I’ll give Bendis the benefit of the doubt as we cannot tell which it is. Right, aside from that, I was a little underwhelmed by the cliffhangers – there are two in this issue: the court’s decision regarding Hawkeye; and Tony and Mary Jane looking up at a screen (apparently seeing their future). Both cliffhangers are ‘meh’ in my opinion. Unlike the cliffhanger from the previous issue (which had me eager to read this one), I am left to wait for the next chapter of the story rather than excited to see what comes next.
Onto the positive aspects of the issue – Other than the art, which as I stated previously I adore, I actually kind of like how they managed to change the situation concerning the Hulk’s murder of heroes. Am I disappointed that we didn’t get to see a Hulk rampage? Absolutely, but even though we were denied that spectacle we still got to see a potential game changer in the death of Bruce Banner – a founding member of the Avengers and one of Marvel’s most iconic characters.
Finally, it’s back to you wonderful readers. What did you think of the issue? Have the events portrayed in this issue swayed your allegiance, or perhaps cemented you to your side? Most importantly, how do you view the situation around Hawkeye and Bruce Banner? Was it a mistake to kill off such a massive character, or was it the right decision to make? Let us know in the comments below. I shall see you on the I July when the next issue is released.
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis.
Art by: David Marquez.
Cover by: Marko Djurdjevic.
Civil War II #3 is available now.
Image credits: Marvel Comics.