Civil War II #8 – “Where Do We Go From Here?”

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Future Artists: Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuna, Alan Davis & Mark Farmer, Marko Rudy, Mark Bagley & John Dell, Esad Ribic
Colorists: Justin Ponsor
Letterers: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 12/28/16
Rating: Rated T+
Price: $4.99

Ten years ago the Marvel Universe faced a Civil War that pitted friend against friend. In the wake of a horrific tragedy the Marvel heroes must ask some hard question that include whether or not superheroes should register with the government and be regulated. This split long time friends like Captain America and Iron Man on opposing sides with others choosing sides and others like Spider-Man caught in the middle. The event was a major turning point for Marvel.

Now the Marvel Universe are in the midst of another Civil War. When a new Inhuman emerges with the power to predict the future like never before sides are chosen once again. After Captain Marvel uses Ulysses prediction to stop an attack by Thanos which  left War Machine dead and  She-Hulk in critical condition. Since then casualties have added up including Hawkeye killing Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk dividing the heroes even more.

Iron Man took on Captain Marvel, with heroes taking sides, and switching sides. The latest vision from Ulysses shows Spider-Man (Miles Morales) standing over an impaled Captain America (Steve Rogers) on the steps of the Capitol. As the events appear to be setting up to play out with both Spider-Man and Captain America at the site Captain Marvel comes to arrest Miles while Iron Man comes to protect him. Now the heroes must decide will they stand with Iron Man and Protect The Future or with Captain Marvel and Change The Future.

Plot:  This is it the final face off with Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel fighting to change the future with Tony Stark, Iron Man opposing standing against her to protect the future.

Story: This review honestly is hard for me to write. This event as a whole has me all over the place, which is how I felt the event was. A lot of this seemed over extended, the story could have even been done in half the issues and none, or at least only a few of the tie-ins.

This event was actually extended an issue to allow Bendis the room to give this ending. The ending is a major problem I have with this issue and the event. We are a few months into the new Marvel NOW! Publishing Initiative, and we were told that Tony Stark is dead. This really rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way and I think the ending here didn’t do anything to fix it.

Tony Stark is left in this coma-like state after the big explosive final battle with Captain Marvel, which I don’t get after he has taken on the biggest villains, including Thanos and allies like The Hulk, but Captain Marvel ends him with a blast.. Beast tells Carol that Tony had been experimenting on himself which is the only reason he is alive and that he doesn’t know what will come of him. I would rather have had Tony die, and be resurrected by some dumb plot device later than this limbo we were left with.

Then the guy that started all of this, Ulysses has evolved to a higher being, one of the Celestials. Could he become the new Watcher? Where does that leave the original Nick Fury? Is he something else? All we know is that he is now ascended to a higher plane as a part of something bigger and he left us with glimpses of the “Futures”. Some of these futures we know are coming, like Monsters Unleashed, Inhumans Vs. X-Men, the events of Royals (the new Inhuman title coming out during ResurrXion), but then there are a few grimmer ones that show the heroes all defeated. One shows Miles with the impaled Captain America on the Capitol steps still. Another one shows us Miles looking at what appears to be a mutant massacre. The final two has Captain Marvel watching as Ultron stands over the bodies of  Iron Man (Stark), Hulk (Banner) Captain America (Rogers in classic costume) and Wolverine (Logan), followed by Ulysses seeing Thor (Odinson with Miljoner in hand) fighting Loki. Leaving us wondering what is going to happen?

But apparently Ulysses isn’t the only one to tease what’s to come, since we get  another glimpse during Carol’s talk with the president. We see the Mavrel NOW! push books, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Spider-Man, Invincible Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Inhumans, Champions, and maybe the Defenders? The defenders has me most interested since it features the Netflix Defenders team pretty much but in the 616.

This issue just felt like I was in one of Ulysses’ flashes, I felt so much was thrown at me with very little reasoning or explanation. In a book this big, an event this big, I felt like I wanted more than this, more than glimpses of what might come. I wanted an emotional heart wrenching finale, that left me wondering about the state of the Marvel Universe and these characters because of their emotional states at the end, not because of the teaser images.

Art: David Marquez delivers such powerful art when it comes to facial expressions that I craved more of it here. He did an awesome job with The fight scenes and everything, he is showing he is a true powerhouse of an artist.

The panel work/layout was great here, especially the one where we seen all the Marvel NOW! titles being teased and they were all in the Captain Marvel star emblem. But the flaw in the art for me was the Ulysses visions. When we see these “Futures” we have Ulsses witnessing one, Captain America, Nova, Spider-Man, Medusa, and Captain America, but it was hard to tell if they were a part of the scene or just observers. I would have liked something making them stand out, like maybe something simple like a halo around them showing that they aren’t a part of this scene but just witnessing it.

Justin Ponsor outdoes himself every time I see his work he keeps raising the bar for himself and the industry. He made great use of colors and shadow here drawing my attention perfectly.

Verdict: Overall I enjoyed elements of this issue, but I wanted more character emotion and scenes, and less reliance on the glimpses of the future gimmick.