SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Civil War II” #6, on sale now
Following the shocking vision that the Inhuman Ulysses blasted into the minds of both sides of the conflict last issue, allegiances splinter and shift, a new hero gets a formal introduction, and another has a surprisingly defining moment in Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez‘ “Civil War II” #6. Meanwhile, The Inhumans observe Ulysses beginning to endure a strange transformation, while another hero is strangely conspicuous by his lack of participation.
Captain America Cements His Deception With A Defining Moment
As both sides stand shell-shocked after the startling premonition of Spider-Man — that is, Miles Morales — standing over the body of a violently killed Captain America and bicker about how to handle Miles in response, Cap himself stoically intercedes and interacts with an emotionally devastated Miles. In a brief but poignant moment, Cap reassures the still-innocent Miles that he remains a hero and inspiration to others, and convinces both teams to allow Miles to leave the scene and return home.
It’s a sequence that makes it all too easy to momentarily forget that it’s been revealed, to readers anyway, that Cap has secretly been a Hydra agent throughout his career, and recollection suggests all sorts of potential motivations for his seemingly altruistic and heroic approach towards Miles. Such a move would serve as a definitive and convincing reinforcement of his character late in the game of his lifelong deception, especially on the relative eve of his betrayal presumably coming to light. The outward heroism could also be little more than an ultimately selfish attempt at self-preservation, to try and establish a connection with a teenager that Cap himself professes he barely knows, in the hopes that a closer kinship would prevent the events of Ulysses’ vision from coming to pass.
Of course, the definitive reason for why future Miles is seen killing Cap has yet to be unveiled, although the logical presumption is that it stems from events that happen once Cap is outed as a Hydra agent. The final page of the issue shows that Miles has subsequently made his way to the Capitol Building, the site of Ulysses’ vision, which would hint that Cap’s outing is slated to happen during “Civil War II.” The distraught Miles arguably could be attempting to hasten the occurrence of this event in an attempt to alter it, or, resigned to his presumed fate, he might be ready to simply surrender to it.
The development in turn begs the question as to why Ulysses hasn’t foreseen any other vision regarding Cap’s secret, as well as a frightening larger question: what kind of disasters are in store that Ulysses is not predicting? The projective nature of his latest vision, and the transformation he seems to be undergoing in this issue, shows that his powers are evolving, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re improving; an observation later noted by T’Challa.
Team Iron Man Loses Its Champions, But Gains The Black Panther
Once Thor departs to take Miles back home, Maria Hill steps in and tries to arrest everyone that remains on the scene. T’Challa steps forward and announces his defection to Tony’s side, and for a simple reason that ironically plays right into Cap’s hands: “If you’re on Captain America’s side, you’re on the right side.” In a move that potentially impacts a longtime key character dynamic, T’Challa’s switch notably puts him in opposition to his ex-wife Ororo, who remains on Carol’s team. With their new ally, Doctor Strange teleports Tony’s team away.
The team’s younger members (Ms. Marvel, Nova, Kate Bishop, Cyclops and Riri Williams, many of whom are shown to later band together in the already-published “Champions” #1) opt to depart and locate Miles on their own. Their move represents more fracturing within the Marvel Universe, acknowledged by Tony, Cap and T’Challa, with the youngsters’ feelings about their place in the conflict explored in “Champions” #1.
Riri Williams, Is That You?
After barely appearing in more than a few panels over the course of the past two issues, an armored-up Riri Williams, still without an official moniker, finally introduces herself to her allies. Curiously, “Civil War II” has served as her rather inauspicious and inglorious afterthought of a debut, two weeks in advance of “Invincible Iron Man” #1, and well after being introduced in the series with nary a mention. Her departure with the future Champions portends her potential involvement with that team, already foreshadowed in that title.
Riri isn’t the only character skulking about in the shadows; Ben Grimm, aka The Thing, also made his arrival along with the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but thus far has largely played the role no larger than that of a paid extra. The already-published “Infamous Iron Man” #1 shows that Ben is now a full-fledged S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, so clearly his role as a member of the Guardians, and possibly his allegiance in the conflict, is another dynamic that’s subject to change. His silent inaction against his former allies playing for Tony’s team hints at a potential conflict within, as well.
The cover to “Civil War II” #7 shows Carol appearing to get the upper hand against Tony, but there will be plenty of other character developments to delve into next issue. The issue goes on sale November 23.
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