Review: Civil War II #2 – Let’s not involve the Hulk, okay?
Beware, this is a spoiler filled review, and if you venture below this point, even Iron Man won’t be able to save you.
Two issues in one month? Hell yes! As the Marvel Universe reels from the events of the first issue, Tony Stark decides to take matters (and the law) into his own hands and declares war on the Inhumans. But not everyone agrees with Tony’s perspective and they are willing to die trying to stop him.
Following on from the previous issue, Stark is angry. Incredibly angry. His best friend is dead, and he blames Ulysses, the newest member of the Inhumans with the power of precognition.
Our story begins at New Attilan, the home of the Inhumans. Tony want Ulysses and he won’t stop until he gets him. The first issue of Civil War II gave us two casualties which acted as catalysts for the upcoming predicament, and now the second issue shows us how the war truly begins. Tony has entered the Inhuman’s sovereign state and has kidnapped one of their subjects. This is Tony Stark declaring war upon the Inhumans, this is the start of a new civil war.
At this point in the story, it would appear that Tony Stark will once again take the antagonistic role of the two sides of this coin (as he arguably did in Civil War I), but of course, it’s all down to the reader’s own point of view. Here it’s totally understandable why Tony would seek out Ulysses, why he would want someone to blame for his best friend’s death, but he just isn’t going around this situation in the correct manner. Personally, I have already chosen my side in this conflict based upon what I know about the conflict – I am firmly on Tony’s side in regards to protecting the future / changing the future, but I cannot condone his actions here.
Tony has attempted to go off the grid in his effort to understand Ulysses’ power, but unfortunately for Mr. Stark, the others know exactly where he is thanks to Hank McCoy (now affiliated with the Inhumans). Before they get there, however, Stark is doing his best to induce a vision from Ulysses. He is unsuccessful. That is, until Captain Marvel arrives with the various super heroes of the Marvel Universe. Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Hawkeye, and Falcon all argue with Tony about his actions, and then it happens. A horrifying vision is projected upon the heroes in the proximity, death is coming soon as Ulysses weeps “The Hulk is going to kill you all”.
Our final segment of this issue takes place just outside of Alpine, Utah, in a scientific facility as Captain Marvel walks up to a lone scientist – it’s Bruce Banner. And here the issue ends.
Now, one of the questions that gets raised in this issue is this: Does knowledge of the future cause the future to happen as predicted, or would it inevitably happen anyway? Before the close of this chapter, Bruce Banner doesn’t appear to be involved in anyway in this conflict, yet thanks to Ulysses’ vision, he is payed a visit and brought into the fold. If everyone just kept Bruce out of it, would the Hulk actually go on to kill anyone, would he get involved anyway? Or was this vision just one of many possible futures?
There is really no defending Stark’s actions in this chapter of the story, he has kidnapped an innocent man and thus declared war upon a subgroup of people that only wanted to help. Naturally, the leader of the Inhumans, Medusa, is rather quite miffed about the current state of affairs, but it is actually fellow Inhuman Karnak that is spurred into action, determined to rip down Stark Tower (knowing Tony isn’t inside). The other Inhumans also race to Stark Tower, not to reprimand Stark, but to prevent Karnak from destroying the building as it could harm countless civilians on the streets below. The Inhumans are completely in the right in this scenario – Ulysses isn’t responsible for what happened to Rhodey, of course he isn’t. As far as he knows, he has no control over what he sees, he simply informed people as to what he saw. He only wants to help.
The only real negative I feel so far is that, including the Free Comic Book Day and issue #0, we’re now four chapters into the Civil War II story, and we still have no real reason for anyone other than Iron Man and Captain Marvel to be divided. The story has mostly focused on Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Ulysses so far, and I feel like there should be something significantly poignant or overwhelming to spur the other characters into action and to choose their own sides. Right now it just feels like Tony is in the wrong and that’s it. Hopefully something major will occur in the next issue regarding Ulysses’ vision and the Hulk, and that will divide our heroes in the way I stated earlier (does knowing the future cause the future to happen), it just needs to be something, anything to really kick this story off.
Let’s talk about the art. What can I say? It’s beautiful. Massive props to David Marquez, he just continues to amaze. He’s truly an asset to the comic world. Three particular panels stick out to me, these are: The Hulk vision (seen above), the various heroes arriving at Stark Tower to plead with Medusa to let them handle Stark, and the same heroes bursting through the wall of Stark’s hideaway. All three of these panels are striking. Marvel really did themselves a favour when choosing Mr. Marquez as the artist for this major event, bravo. A final point about the artist, and the art itself – one of my favourite aspects is the fact that Marquez is able to actually distinguish each character’s face, each character actually looks unique, unlike a certain other artist from another Marvel series I review, for example, Tony and Ulysses both have similar facial features, same colour hair, etc, yet you can actually tell them apart.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this issue yet again, and am genuinely looking forward to seeing what happens in the next part of the story. I highly recommend that you pick up the available issues for this Marvel Event and I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. I have to say, I’ve never really been all that bothered about the Inhumans (or X-Men for that matter), yet their inclusion in this event has really started to tempt me to check them out.
So over to you, dear readers. What are your thoughts on Tony Stark’s actions in this issue? What do you think about Ulysses’ vision of The Hulk? Will he really end up killing the heroes, or is that simply how Ulysses interpreted what he saw in the vision? And where do you stand on the topic of the future – can we change it, or is tomorrow a set path? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis.
Art by: David Marquez.
Cover by: Marko Djurdjevic.
Civil War II #2 is available now.
Image credits: Marvel Comics.