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Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2: Review

Jul 2016
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Story Name:

(multiple titles)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2 Review by (July 22, 2016)
This is another issue where people *do* make choices, but not choosing sides in Civil War II.

Story 1:-

Writer Jeremy Whitley, artist/colorist Marguerite Sauvage.

This might be a good place for an overview of James Rhodes' life since Secret War.
Invincible Iron Man #6-11 was his last major adventure, with Iron Man and the ANAD Avengers in Japan. CWII#0 showed him with a bright future beckoning in politics. Then he was in the fight against the Celestial Destructor in the 1st part of CWII#1 (also seen in CWII:Gods Of War #1). Captain Marvel #6 reintroduced us to his romance with Carol Danvers from before SW, and gave them possibly their last quality time together.
Then came his death in battle with Thanos shown in Free Comic Book Day: CWII and Ultimates #8, with the immediate shock felt in Power Man & Iron Fist #6 and the end of CWII#1.
His funeral was in Captain America: Sam Wilson #10 and this story.

Story 2:-

Writer Brandon Thomas, artist/colorist Marco Rudy.

The Cellar is the latest superhuman prison as seen in Amazing Spider-Man. It was run by Augustus Roman who was using the powers of captured criminals (and heroes) to power his super-identity Regent. This issue probably happens after Roman is defeated and imprisoned in his own jail in ASM#15. We don't know who's running the Cellar now.

Since SW Thinker was part of Hood's villainous Illuminati until he betrayed them for his own purposes. Then he played poker with Leader in Uncanny Inhumans #5-6. No clue why he's in prison here.
Captain Ultra was in the Revengers with Goliath. Since then he popped up in X-Men: Legacy #8, and after SW he was a prisoner in Pleasant Hill during the Standoff event. And now he's been transferred to the Cellar.
Nitro and Tiger Shark were also Pleasant Hill inmates. Before that post-SW Nitro appeared in Starbrand & Nightmask #1-2. After Standoff TS presumably avoids recapture to be among the villain crowd in Deadpool & Mercs For Money #3. Then he *does* get caught but temporarily escapes from custody on the way to jail (presumably the Cellar) to be the featured villain in Spider-Woman #8.

Story 3:-

Writer/artist Declan Shalvey, colorist Jordie Bellaire.

Marc Spector is in an asylum in his latest series begun this year.

The 3 Moon Knight costumes Fury uses are from the 2014-25 series:- the white business suit of Mr Knight, the black & white armour from #16 and the bird-beaked shogun from #3.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Story 1:- War Machine

This story shows several characters mourning James Rhodes at his funeral in Philadelphia.

America Chavez (Ms America) saw him die (fighting Thanos in Free Comic Book Day: Civil War II). (Ultimates #8 showed that she blames herself for not saving him.) She can't face staying in the church, and her friend from the Young Avengers days Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) follows her out. America convinces Kate to join her on an interdimensional trip.

Monica Rambeau (Spectrum) also blames herself for not saving him at light speed. (Ultimates #8 also showed that she blames herself because she planned the mission.) She too leaves the service, turns into light and streaks away. We see her also blaming herself for not preventing the death of Sub-Mariner's wife Marrina in Avengers #293 when she was chairman of the team. She contemplates committing suicide by letting her energy form just dissolve away. But in Jim's memory she will just try to save the next 1.

We catch up with Misty Knight at the bar afterwards with her partner Sam Wilson (Captain America). Next day she returns to Brooklyn, rings her mom and visits a martial arts school she started with Danny Rand (Iron Fist). She helps the current sensei Silhouette (ex-New Warriors) teach some kids. Her lesson from Jim's death is that life's too short and she'd better get on with forging her own super-career.

Ororo Monroe (Storm) thinks they should be celebrating Jim's life not mourning his death. Later she remembers Jericho Drumm (Dr Voodoo) telling her (presumably off-panel during the gathering in Captain America: Sam Wilson #10) about Philadelphia's rich history, and she stays to explore the city where Jim grew up.

Meanwhile America has shown Kate some of the James Rhodes in alternate timelines:- as leader of the Avengers, Mayor of Philadelphia, running his own company, marrying Carol Danvers.

Story 2:- Goliath

This tale is narrated by Officer Moore of the Cellar superhuman prison giving evidence at the parole hearing of Tom Foster (Goliath). It frequently compares his life to James Rhodes who recently died.

It reminds us how Tom's uncle Bill died as Goliath in Civil War I, and Tom took over the role for revenge. He reformed after World War Hulk but was jailed after joining Wonder Man's Revengers in the 2011/2012 Avengers and New Av Annuals. (But even Rhodes took the law into his own hands in the Crew mini-series when his sister Jeanette was killed.)

Foster has been transferred from the Raft to the new Cellar. Another inmate the (Mad) Thinker has devised a way of disabling the convicts' power dampeners. He, Captain Ultra, Nitro and Tiger Shark ask Goliath to join them in an escape. But when freed he turns against them and subdues them, and helps stop a more general riot, saving the lives of some guards including Moore.

Moore now asks that Foster be paroled and allowed to choose 1 of the possible futures open to him:- inspirational speaker, Avenger, scientist. And a few weeks later he's free.

Story 3:- Nick Fury Jr in Post Prologue part 2

Nick Fury uses his new battlesuit's functions to adopt a series of Moon Knight's costumes as he fights his way through security guards to reach Elton Blake. Blake is a financial backer of SHIELD, but also of evil groups like AIM and Hydra, who's political clout has kept him immune from investigation. Fury thinks he may be the mystery leader of a traitor cell within SHIELD because the Agents he fought last issue have been paid by 1 of his companies.

Fury is presumed-dead and undercover, hence his use of Moon Knight as a cover. Marc Spector is currently in an insane asylum so has an ironclad alibi. But Nick's suit runs out of juice just as he catches up with Blake on the roof of his building.

Blake is happy to confirm that he's involved but not the leader. He repeats the line from last issue that they are trying to protect SHIELD from Fury - a prophecy says he'll destroy the organisation. He even directs Nick to a SHIELD base where he can find the leader if he's quick. And then commits suicide by jumping off the building.

Jim Cheung (Cover Penciler)
Jim Cheung (Cover Inker)
Justin Ponsor (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

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