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Civil War II #1: Review

Jun 2016
Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Civil War II #1 Review by (June 3, 2016)
The Avengers/Stark Tower was sold to Qeng Enterprises. Apparently this is a different Stark Tower in Times Square.

There have been 2 earlier tie-ins to this issue (mentioned in the synopsis) and time has added some more:-

Civil War II: Ulysses #1-3. Shows Ulysses being trained by Karnak.
CWII: Gods Of War #1. Hercules takes part in the battle against the Celestial Destructor here, despite the fact nobody called for him. But then he goes off into a continuation of his previous solo series.
New Avengers #12 begins with the 'offical' New Avengers (Hawkeye, Hulkling, Squirrel Girl and Wiccan) in the Celestial Destructor battle. But then they get recalled by Sunspot to work with his AIM in what is setting up to be a separate conflict between them and SHIELD to run concurrently.
CWII: Choosing Sides #1 has 3 tales only peripherally connected to CWII:-
-- The original Night Thrasher, who returned in Contest Of Champions with upgraded tech, helps fight the Celestial Destructor.
-- Damage Control clean up after that battle. But 1st they have to convince Trull the Unhuman (in the form of a steam shovel) to help them.
-- Nick Fury Jr begins a story that will last through the whole series. Ulysses has predicted that Hydra will destroy SHIELD from within and NF goes to fight the traitors. But it turns his own team are some of the rogue Agents, who aren't Hydra. They work for someone who has his own prophecy that Fury must die to save SHIELD.

Nova #8-9. Nova is in the battle against the Celestial Destructor. Weeks later Nova can't contact Iron Man and comes to New York where he finds all the heroes absent and Mole Monster attacking. He fights alone apart from the Captain from Nextwave. Maybe this happens when other heroes are fighting Thanos in the FCBD issue?
International Iron Man #4. Just after the CD fight Tony Stark starts to look for his biological parents, which leads to the plot of that series. Which at least establishes that said plotline occurs during the 3 week gap in this issue.
Captain Marvel #6 is set between the 2 battles. CM gets some personal time with Rhodey (for the last time). And she and Alpha Flight fight an unrelated villain, but which convinces her to make use of Ulysses.
Ms Marvel #7 (bannered as Road To CWII but includes Ulysses). She, Nova and Miles-Spider-Man mix it up at a science fair. And Ulysses has a premonition about Kamala's friend Bruno.
Ms Marvel #8-9 has CM giving MsM an unpowered junior team to lead pre-empting crimes that Ulysses predicts. But Kamala is uneasy about the actions of her troop and the detainment of predicted offenders.
Spider-Woman #9. CM persuades Jessica Drew to check out Ulysses' minor predictions to verify them.
CWII: X-Men #1-4. 1 of Ulysses' visions says Magneto's X-Men will be killed by Sentinels and Terrigen Mists, but it is Storm's team who learn this, and go and save them. But telepaths Monet and Psylocke discover how Storm knew. Magneto already distrusts the Inhumans because of the Terrigen Mists' effect on mutants. He sees Ulysses as another threat. The X-Men choose sides (Magneto vs Storm rather than Iron Man vs Captain Marvel) over the Inhuman threat. Nightcrawler defects from Storm to Magneto. Psylocke goes the other way, and Magneto recruits Rachel Grey as a replacement. The 2 sides fight, but Ulysses shows Magneto that his side will lose the current fight so he withdraws his troops.

CWII: Amazing Spider-Man #1-4. U spends a day with SM between the 2 parts of #1. There is discussion of the possibility of seeing future technology, fears that U's personality might affect what he sees, and he foresees Parker Industries employee Clayton Cole reverting to the dark side. But it is learning that he is distrusted that sends Cole over the edge. Spidey tries to keep Cole on the good side, and they both fight Mendel Stromm's robots, but then Cole starts to build his own criminal gang. SMa joins CM's side, provisionally.
Deadpool #14 is another issue where the main character meets U, amid ongoing stuff. In #15 DP decides to resolve CWII by killing U, but U talks him out of it. #16-17 don't actually have anything to do with CWII. The Mercs For Money are unhappy that DP finances the Uncanny Avengers with the proceeds from their jobs. They settle their differences violently and then disband. And DP kills Jack Russell/Werewolf for sleeping with his wife, and in #18 it's DP vs Shiklah. DP has thoughts about whether CM's side would agree with him killing Werewolf. The Unity Squad HQ is in ruins after their fight with Ultron in UAv#10-12.
CWII: Kingpin #1-4. KP has returns from San Francisco and tries to rebuild the New York criminal empire he lost in Shadowland, but U predicting crimes doesn't help. But Fisk has another new Inhuman Janus who can block U's precognition. KP trains J to be his right-hand man, but J is getting ill. Punisher severely wounds KP, then SHIELD come to arrest him. KP pretends to be dead but recovers and wreaks revenge.
All-New Wolverine #10-12. SHIELD come after Old Man Logan because U has had a vision of him killing W/Laura Kinney's young clone Gabby. Cap (Steve Rogers) and SHIELD go after him, which causes him to attack Gabby in a blind rage. W attacks Logan, but Gabby isn't dead. And Laura takes her far away from CWII.
Spider-Man #6. IM tries to persuade Miles Morales to join his side against CM.

Squadron Supreme #9-12. A Ulysses vision tells Warrior Woman she'll need (dead) Sub-Mariner to save her from Power Princess. Blue Marvel foils a Squad plan via another U prediction. PP tells them about U and WW. WW attacks Peter Parker's Baxter Building to get Reed Richards' time machine to go save Namor. The Squad and PP follow but Spider-Man and the android Human Torch get in the way. WW is stopped but escapes, as does PP. Hyperion and Dr Spectrum find themselves as 'phantoms' back when Namor was killed. Nighthawk gets a vision from U which seems to show him fighting Hyperion.
Ultimates #7 (cover-bannered Road To CWII) sets some things up for the Free Comic Book Day 2016 CWII issue. It brings Thanos back into the current reality. It sets up another Cosmic Cube for him to come after. And Medusa calls to arrange the meeting with Captain Marvel to tell her about U's prediction about Thanos.
Then the FCBD has Thanos coming for the Cosmic Cube in Project PEGASUS. But U directs CM and some of her Ultimates and A-Force team-mates (including Medusa and She-Hulk) to meet him. War Machine happens to be there too. And WM dies and SH is fatally injured.
Ultimates #8 parallels the FCBD issue and the end of #1. It includes the strategy meeting where the fight with Thanos is planned, and the effect of WM's death on the Ultimates.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #4. The Hydra Cap story continues. He's seen watching the Thanos fight (which may be a recording). Cap is working to take over Hydra from Red Skull. And he's looking for Kobik, the little girl Cosmic Cube from Avengers Standoff, as she knows his secret but Kobik is keeping him and Bucky apart. They are with the Thunderbolts, and we see the alien pods opening in their #1. So their #1-4 are within CWII even though they don't get the banner until #5.
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #8. Hellcat visits She-Hulk in a coma, and passes the news to other friends.



 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Civil War II #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Ulysses, the new Inhuman from #0, staggers through woods begging for something to stop. He is met by Medusa leading a delegation of Inhumans and their allies Beast and Human Torch.

Weeks later in Manhattan the ANAD Avengers face a giant something called the Celestial Destructor. They are heartened when Thor (Jane Foster) joins them, leading heroes too numerous to mention (including Captain Marvel and the above Inhumans). They fight human-sized servitors of the Celestial.

Then Dr Strange pops up with a bunch of other mystic characters. The other heroes fall back in a pre-planned manoeuvre. The sorcerers unleash a prepared spell. And the menace disappears in a flash of light. And everybody retires to Stark Tower for drinks.

Tony Stark thanks the Inhumans for the warning that enabled them to have a plan for dealing with the Celestial. People chat, including War Machine and She-Hulk. James Rhodes wants to know why Tony Stark hasn't upgraded the WM armour for a long time - Stark says he can't afford it these days. Jennifer Walters asks Carol Danvers how the Inhumans knew the Celestial was coming. They go over to ask Medusa.

Queen Medusa takes a selected few (The original Spider-Man and both Captain Americas are added to the mix) into the kitchen to explain. She introduces them to Ulysses and tells them that he sees the future. Stark brings in young Jean Grey (of the time-displaced X-Men) to read Ulysses' mind to find out how his ability works. But his mind can't be read. (And he temporarily seems to be alone in the room?)

Capt Marvel wants Ulysses to join the Ultimates because their aim is to be proactive - stop disasters before they happen. Tony isn't so happy. The save they were all just involved in was undoubtedly a good thing. But many situations won't be so clear-cut. How will they know whether their intervention will be for the best? And what will they do if Ulysses predicts a person is going to do something bad? Do they lock him up to stop him? What if it's 1 of the people here? They all know that there are multiple alternate futures.

Ulysses tells them how he was infected by the Terrigen mist in #0. He started uncontrollably experiencing rather than seeing visions - in quick succession. Then the Inhumans took him in. Karnak trained him to focus on the contents of his visions (thereby stopping the kaleidoscope?), and notice details. Then he saw the future arrival of the Celestial Destructor, and checked exactly what day and time it was. Hence the successful defence against it.

3 weeks after that Ulysses wakes in New Attilan after another vision, and tells Medusa to contact the Ultimates.

(That call happens in Ultimates #7 and leads to the confrontation with Thanos in Free Comic Book Day 2016: Civil War II which leads to the death of War Machine and the severe wounding of She-Hulk. And that story continues here.)

Mary Jane Watson brings bad news to Tony Stark and the AI Friday. Rhodey is dead. Iron Man flies to the Triskelion HQ of the Ultimates where he's met by Black Panther and Maria Hill. He views the body and then angrily goes after Carol Danvers. He finds her by the bedside of Jennifer Walters, who is in a coma and may never walk again.

Carol tells him that they fought Thanos after a warning from Ulysses. They have Thanos captive. She tries to tell Tony that she loved Rhodey too (they were in a relationship) and that he knew the risks of the superhero life. But Stark storms out saying he's going to make sure this doesn't happen again.

She-Hulk has obviously been awake and listening for a while. She tells Carol not to let Tony have it all his own way - to fight for the future. Then she dies.


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David Marquez
David Marquez
Justin Ponsor
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Penciler)
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Inker)
Marko Djurdjevic (Cover Colorist)


Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

(T'Challa)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
She-Hulk
She-Hulk

(Jennifer Walters)
Spider-Man
Spider-Man

(Peter Parker)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)

Plus: War Machine (James Rhodes).