Pipeline Civil War Special


The first thing you'll notice when you flip open CIVIL WAR #6 is the bottom of the credits page:

"Special Thanks to Laura Martin, Dave McCaig, Paul Mounts, Wil Quintana, & Andrew Crossley."

It took an extra five hands to get this issue done a week later than initially intended. This does nothing to deter the pessimism of those thinking that the last issue will run late.

Plus, after you add the series colorist, Morry Hollowell, to that list, you have just about half the CrossGen coloring staff listed in this one title. The studios in Florida may be gone, but it's good to see they're all still working together.

The story in this issue answers a few questions, pays off a couple of set-ups, and clearly sets up the Big Monumental Battle in the final issue next month. Those wondering about the 50 state initiative and the Negative Zone prison will get more answers here.

Overall, I liked it. There's one or two scenes in here I loved. The one I loved the most is the one most likely to get the most negative "Internet Splitting In Two" reaction, but I've grown accustomed to my black streak of humor. I'm OK with that. Others in the comics blogosphere are guaranteed to hold up the pages as their prime example of what's wrong with the Marvel Universe today. It's such a simple moment. So in-character. And so unadorned. The moment just happens. And you believe it. And you'll either buy it, or be repulsed by it, but it makes perfect sense.

Longtime Marvel fanboys are going to love the opening pages, wherein lots of old Marvel favorites get namechecked and a new shot of life is injected into them, though not in the old way. In some ways, it almost feels like Millar is Ultimatizing the Marvel Universe. Much the same approach he used in co-founding the Ultimate universe is being used in resetting the Marvel Universe proper into a more modern day setting. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out in the long run, or if it is accepted at all. Millar is working hard to set up the New Marvel Universe in such a way that umpteen million new titles might spin off from CIVIL WAR. Some readers will be starting their petitions and websites as soon as this issue hits stands, I'm sure.

The book isn't perfect. There's at least one scene that made me groan a little, as a character does more than I think would really be possible. I think Millar falls victim in there to a little bit of sacrificing believability (notice I didn't say "realism"?) for the sake of moving the plot ahead. Given the broad nature of the storyline and all the things we've had to buy or not up to this point, I'm willing to give him the rope on this one.

Oh, and Millar indulges in his own clichéd last page Big Talking Head again. Drives me nuts.

It's tough to judge the art for this issue. It's a little shaky in spots, but I can't hold that against McNiven. The PDF preview I'm reviewing this book off of is low res. What looks like a pencil line scanned directly in might just be a finely inked line that is degraded with the lower resolution. Thankfully, the colors throughout most of the issue are bright enough that even the darker printing that inevitably happens in comics shouldn't muddy up the art, the way it has in previous issues.

To answer a couple of questions I've been asked already: Yes, there is a fight or two in this issue, including a mano a mano fight that occurs right after my favorite moment of the series so far. And, yes, the endgame is here. Issue #7 will need to be such a big blowout of an issue that I have no idea how it will all be wrapped up in one normal-sized issue. Heck, even if it was an extra 16 pages and George Perez was drawing it, I'm not sure how it'd all wrap up so quickly. But I'm sure Millar has a clue there. He gets paid for that kind of stuff. (Marvel can also use the tie-in books to flesh out the missing bits.)

CIVIL WAR #6 isn't going to ignite the masses the way the second and third issues did. But there are some key character moments and plot points in there that should be entertaining to those who've followed the series so far. The issue is in stores today, unless you're in Canada Australia or on the west coast of the U.S.

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