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Civil War #2 Review

One of the problems with the whole "company written" comics, is that it is kinda hard to knock a particular writer, as it is quite likely NOT his/her idea when something occurs. To wit, in this issue, it was specifically NOT Mark Millar's idea to have Peter Parker reveal his identity to the world. So it's kinda hard to knock HIM for the scene, ya know? Rest assured, though, that I don't think Peter Parker would do that.

As for the majority of the issue (as the Peter revelation is saved for the end of the issue), it was a pretty good issue. The step up from issue #1 is that there was no blatantly silly stuff like Maria Hill attacking Captain America for no reason, but the step down is that we got less story. I understand that it was less pages, but I don't think that that should mean the format of the style should be affected. The first issue felt like a complete chapter in a bigger story - this issue felt like half/three-quarters of a chapter.

Once again, the clear star of the comic is Steve McNiven (with able help from Dexter Vines and Morry Hollowell). His art was fantastic once again (although he made Peter look like an elf on the last page - dude's eyes were white and creepy looking), and it really helps the rest of the issue when the art on the comic so good looking.

There is also an excellent action sequence where Captain America and Falcon rescue the Young Avengers, who were arrested for violating the Registration Act. McNiven's art was excellent and Millar diagramed a very interesting chain of events. In addition, the safehouse was brilliant. Thirty-third degree SHIELD officers...hehe. That was classic.

However, beyond the fact that the story felt a bit unfinished (almost entirely, I think, due to the fact that the Peter Parker reveal, for "drama" reasons, was scheduled to take place at the end of the issue, so it cut the story off abruptly and before its time), the other issue with the story is not, I think, a problem with Civil War #2 itself. And that problem is the clear identification of a "good" side and a "not good" side.

When you think about it, why the heck can't Mark Millar write one side as better than the other? It doesn't make the story flow worse or anything like that. The problem there is yet another example of Marvel throwing this book under the bus (not counting them spoiling the big reveal before the book came out), in that no one said, "Hey, Marvel, make both sides seem equal." No one. THEY came up with that. THEM. Not anyone else. The Grand Committee To Produce This Crossover came up with this idea (thanks abhay). Therefore, while it does not really affect the story, it has to affect the reader who has been prepared to read this comic WITH the idea "both sides will be treated equal" placed in their head.

And Millar really doesn't even bother with that in this issue. Barely even a cursory attempt, really.

Maria Hill is a doofus in the issue.

Iron Man is all, "Man, I pray we're doing the right thing" with the exact OPPOSITE amount of conviction that Captain America has in his side. You don't see Captain America saying, "Oh man, I sure hope we're doing the right thing."

Mr. Fantastic is so creepy even his wife is creeped out.

The SHIELD soldiers are dicks, especially the one talking to Captain America.

Peter comes off as a pawn, not as someone who honestly believes in what he is doing, simply parroting Iron Man's talking points.

J. Jonah Jameson, early on, isn't handled that poorly (although where does he get "they'll work for SHIELD or go to jail?" Is that actually the Act? If so, that's weird), but when the character who often gets treated like a buffoon is the most normal activist for your side, you know you're in trouble.

So, while that is a problem with Marvel's stance regarding the crossover, I can't really hold that against this comic, can I? It's not Civil War #2's fault that Marvel promised something they didn't deliver.

So, for Civil War #2, there was some excellent art and a good story, with some iffy characterizations (as one side is portrayed as super confident and right while the other side is...well...not) and an unfinished feel, due to the big reveal having to end the issue. I'm torn between Not Recommending it and Recommending it with heavy reservations. Hmmm...It's really a close call.

I actually went with Not Recommended, because the whole "blowing what they said they were going to do" thing was so burned in my skull as a disappointment, but darnit, I can't hold this book responsible for that!

So now, Recommended with the reservations mentioned about. And, really, just GREAT art.

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