WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Invaders #7, by Chip Zdarsky, Carlos Magno, Butch Guice, Alex Guimarães and Travis Lanham, on sale now.
Avengers: Endgame may have killed off Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but to many, the breaking point that really fractured Earth's Mightiest Heroes came in Captain America: Civil War. That movie pitted Iron Man against Captain America and Bucky Barnes in a brutal rivalry, which split the team apart until Thanos came for a second round.
Invaders #7 gives us a new civil war between Tony and Cap, only this time it's courtesy of Namor. In the process, as the Star-Spangled Avenger and Iron Man duke it out over differing philosophies again, and when Bucky intervenes, writer Chip Zdarsky pays homage to the explosive disagreement the Russo brothers gave us on the big screen.
Cap's in a spot of bother as the media is against him for not taking Namor out sooner. The Sub-Mariner's been launching terrorist attacks on the surface, turning humans into Atlanteans, leading to them seeking refuge in his underwater kingdom. Steve knew about the weapon but didn't know when and where it would be fired, so he's feeling the heat.
After tending to some of the victims at an underwater camp, Steve returns up top only to be ambushed by Tony. It's a flurry of fists and for a long time, Iron Man wanted to take Namor out, especially after he threatened them in Jason Aaron's Avengers. Cap kept opting for the diplomatic route as he didn't want to risk the lives of innocent Atlanteans, but that wait has led to this disaster; as a result, he lets Tony get in a few shots to vent.
However, Bucky's on the scene and he's had enough, pulling Iron Man off. They then engage in fisticuffs and the ensuing brawl is quite similar to Civil War. The hand-to-hand combat, plus Bucky pulling his gun and firing at Stark from close range, is reminiscent of when Sebastian Stan's Bucky escaped Iron Man and Black Panther's custody and began beating folks down. He took out Steve, Falcon and Agent 13, before an unsuited Tony tried to stop him with a nanotech gauntlet.
Zdarsky quickly defuses the situation, though, as Steve stamps his authority, ensuring the two-on-one doesn't escalate as far as the movie. The Russos had Iron Man being beat down by Steve at a wintery base when it was confirmed the Winter Soldier killed Tony's parents, which led to Cap leaving the shield behind and forming his Secret Avengers for Avengers: Infinity War. It's intriguing here to see Steve once more letting someone off the hook who committed treason against America, as Namor's minions are also going behind his back and making parts of the surface, like Russia, uninhabitable.
While the original Civil War comics were about Steve and Tony disagreeing on superhumans having to register, this issue is a bit more clear-cut. Cap enabled Namor by not allowing Tony and Co. to rush into action, and honestly, seeing as Namor has attacked places like Wakanda selfishly, you can't help but side with Iron Man on this one. As usual, Steve loses his cool when Tony begins taking it to Bucky, so you can't even say it's Iron Man alone being emotional.
For fans hoping cooler heads prevail, Tony may have crossed a line in retaliation as he went behind Cap's back to recruit another Invader in Jim "Human Torch" Hammond, giving the android an Iron Man-like upgrade. The other Human Torch and fellow Invader Toro found out, but as ticked off as he is, Jim is clearly on Team Stark, making it clear their former teammate must pay. It's similar to when Tony and Reed Richards unleashed a clone Thor in Civil War in terms of principle, but nonetheless, Iron Man doesn't seem to care as long as he get results. Not even if it once more drives a wedge between him and Captain America.
Invaders #8 goes on sale Aug. 14.