The Civil War II tie-ins begin this week and who better to start with than Spider-Man? In this issue Ulysses teams up with Spidey to see if his powers of seeing into the future are legit, but is it good?
Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man (2016) #1 (of 4) (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The official Marvel synopsis reads:
There’s a new Inhuman with the ability to seemingly predict the future, and as the heroes of the Marvel Universe continue to grapple with their feelings about his very existence one thing almost everyone can agree on is that he bears a tremendous responsibility to use his powers safely. Peter Parker, aka THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, knows a thing or two about that — too bad he’s also got the ol’ Parker luck working against him.
Why does this book matter?
Ulysses and his powers are relatively new to the Marvel universe so this is a good time to get more character development for him. Plus it’s no surprise that Spidey gets first crack at him seeing as his Spider-sense is basically a version of what Ulysses can do.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Christos Gage keeps things interesting in this issue with some slight flashback usage as it opens with Spidey kicking some Vulture butt. Three Vultures to be exact, and we quickly learn he only knows of their existence due to Ulysses. From there Gage takes us through Peter’s day, meeting with the Human Torch, the Inhumans, and finally going on a scouting excursion with Ulysses. Gage nails Peter’s supportive big brother role with Ulysses as he understands being young with insane powers can be tough. As they take down a bad guy we further see inside Ulysses and it does well to establish the type of person he is.
Gotta love this exchange.
The idea of seeing into the future and using that power for good (and whether that’s a good thing) is persistent in this issue. Ulysses uses that power to show how it’s for good, but later he gets a touch of the future on one of Peter’s Parker Industry employees and it’s already obvious putting the cart before the horse could have ramifications. Then again, Gage swings things the other way too with Peter hoping to use Ulysses to figure out which of his technologies will be successful so that he might get it released earlier, saving lives in the process. There’s certainly a philosophical element to this summer event and it’s quite a thinker.
Travel Foreman is on art and he brings a very sketchy, messy style to the book that imbues a sense of elasticity and energy to every panel. I just love how Marvel finds artists who can show how bendy and odd Spider-Man is with his agility. The action is quite fun due to this and it’s also quite detailed. The Vulture bad guys in particular look high tech with the detail. His inks also imbue a sense of darkness and foreboding that suits this type of story as questions of right and wrong loom in the background.
It can’t be perfect can it?
My only issue with the book is its pace–a lot of action front-loaded the book, with much of the exposition and setup for the next issue near the back. It’s a minor quibble for sure, but it makes the read feel a bit unbalanced.
I don’t know, is he a prude for not wanting to see your junk? Or putting his head on a junk-touching pillow?
Is It Good?
If every Civil War II tie-in is like this sign me up for all of them, because the philosophical element of knowing what the future holds and whether that’s right or wrong is fascinating. Gage manages to pack this issue with action, big ideas, and strong character moments.