See all reviews of Civil War II (9)

After the (necessary?) murder of Bruce Banner by Hawkeye in Civil War II #3, the stakes in Marvel’s big summer event have gotten next-level serious. Tensions are rising, especially between friends and comrades. Things are about to blow, but the question is: Is it good?

WARNING: There will be spoilers!

Civil War II #4 (Marvel Comics)

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The Lowdown

So Hawkeye is acquitted for killing Banner, but that’s not what’s important in this issue. What is important is that Tony Stark has figured out how Ulysses’ powers work and what this could mean for everyone if he keeps using them. Strap on in for a big dose of exposition, kids!

The Initial Impression

I won’t lie: I haven’t been satisfied with Civil War II thus far. The idea is interesting to me (having not seen Minority Report or anything similar) but the trouble has been the execution and a lot of the writing. The fourth issue is essentially the turning point for the event when everything finally goes to crap; I guessed that things would go wrong here and I was naturally curious to see how things would get out of hand. The trouble unfortunately, yet again, lies directly in the writing and its execution.

The Breakdown

The best way to sum up Civil War II #4 is that it is one part exposition, one part teasing, and one part heroes not being heroes. Essentially we learn how Ulysses has his portentous visions; Tony making a plea not to take them as gospel and Carol, of course, disagreeing, setting up for the big conflict and fight between everyone next time. That’s essentially it for the issue and it leaves us asking a big, important question in the end: Why should we side with Carol?

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Ah… well… can you promise not to She-Hulk Smash Clint?

The original Civil War event had a lot of problems, but you could see the pros and cons of both sides. After finishing Civil War II #4, I see no such balance. Carol Danvers wants to use Ulysses’ powers to stop future crimes and disasters, while Tony thinks it is too dangerous to arrest people for things they haven’t done yet and that Ulysses’ powers may not be reliable. Tony explains how the visions worked and why everyone should take them with a grain of salt, while also providing his research to the other heroes to check his data. His research in turn holds up to certain degree and shows how concerning this situation is. While all of this is delivered in a big exposition dump that grinds the story to a halt, it does provide credibility to Tony’s side more and you can really understand his concerns, especially after everything that’s happened.

However, Carol completely dismisses him. She sticks to her guns about what she is doing, just repeating what she has said in the past, and seems to refuse to acknowledge how bad things may be getting. It also almost seems like she isn’t fully convinced of what she is doing either at times, like how broken up she looks when talking to She-Hulk or in the brief moments after an interrogation scene when she has no evidence against the latest person she arrested. It doesn’t make her look good at all if she: 1. Refuses to consider that she may be wrong; 2. Doesn’t bring any good counterpoints to Tony’s argument; and 3. Has any doubts about what she is doing and is still willing to go to war with Tony and other heroes over the whole thing. There’s just no way I can see anyone siding with Carol on this and this is bad when the comic should be trying to have things be equal between the two sides.

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“What about Blindfold from the X-Men?” “SHUT UP!”

But besides that, the story suffers from other small problems. The situation involving Hawkeye killing the Hulk? We get the trial results, but not the fallout. This is a huge death and should have huge repercussions throughout, but it’s been swept aside and glanced over for a tie-in apparently. We don’t get any reactions from Hawkeye or any of the other Marvel superheroes outside of She-Hulk for three pages… sort of. Then there is the fact that the story feels very contrived on getting the two sides to fight each other. Carol refuses to discuss and argue her point with Tony like a grownup and is willing to fight him or her fellow friends without a second thought. Tony decides to completely escalate the conflict by whisking away someone Carol was detaining and then confronted her with a bunch of superheroes head on, even though he doesn’t need to at all. Then finally, even if you ignore how overdone the whole hero vs. hero conflict is in Marvel, it felt like it took way too long to get to this point. We’re over halfway through the event and now the big war is going to happen?

Bendis’ pacing has been pretty subpar, making the story too decompressed and slow going at points. His dialogue is alright and though occasional lines sound right, characters just go on and on at points when just letting the art tell the story would have been just as efficient. Although I did like how Bendis combined both Tony’s exposition dump with a flashback of Carol arresting someone, the characterization is iffy with almost everyone but Tony and Carol; the rest are blank slates or people with no thoughts on the situation.

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Ugh! You and your logic! It’s like so annoying!

The only thing that turned out great was David Marquez on art duties. The man does a fantastic job, plain and simple; he has an incredible ability to draw emotion out of each and every scene and has an eye for detail and striking images. His characters look great and really help add to the drama, like the opening bit with She-Hulk and Carol. Just the looks on their faces says everything that needs to be said about the pain and anger these characters are feeling. The layouts are excellently constructed, making the comic flow so well from panel to panel. The detail, the double page spreads, how panels are angled, and all of that… wonderful. I really want to see what Marquez can do with a big action scene, because I’m feeling he could knock it out of the park there as well. There’s just nothing to really complain or nitpick here (though I wonder if She-Hulk looking grey is on purpose or not).

Is It Good?

Civil War II #4 is a very average read. The story suffers from a lot of problems in its execution, pacing, and how it portrays Carol Danvers in the book. It doesn’t feel like an equal argument at all, which makes the narrative one-sided and not as compelling as it could or should be. In the end, it’s just really hard to recommend this comic enough though it engulfs most of Marvel series right now. It’s visually gorgeous, but that’s really it in the end.

Civil War II #4 Review
Tony’s argument and explanation are convincing.Beautiful artwork by Marquez.
Carol Danvers (all of the issue) and Tony Stark (end of the issue)Weak story execution.
5Average
Reader Rating 8 Votes
4.2
  • Theycallme_Mick

    It seems like the writers missed something when writing the previous 3 and current 4th book in this series, establishing a way for Captain Marvel to be right.

    Now I have not read Issue 4 yet, so I’m unaware of what is stated in the exposition dump that forms Stark’s opinion on this matter. But considering the criticism isn’t with the Tony’s facts/opinion, it’s with the lack of facts to form Carol’s opinion.

    I feel like it would have worked best if in the past 3 issues, we repeatedly saw Ulysses visions/premonitions coming true. So in spite of Tony’s facts on the subject, we can understand her opinion as she’s seen first-hand that his visions can and do come true, and did so on a consistent basis. So perhaps it’s more of an emotional argument, but at least it would be one established in some kind of truth.

  • Pascal Gorter

    I don’t understand why anyone joins Iron Man side. Just because one guy (Hawkeye) fucked up, predicting crimes is a bad thing ? What if there is 1% change a schoolbus will explode with your child in it ? Predicting crimes is what police and special agencies do all the time. It is the reason why terrorist attackes are prevented and when it doesn’t people ask: how come they didn’t know this ? The case about arresting innocents is easy: just check the facts. Shaduw the suspect. If he or she is innocent, let her go. Okay, I see that there might be the question how long you can arrest someone, but they don’t need to arrest them, just to follow them. If you have a superpowered computer that predicts crime that is enough reason you can get. This whole freedom of privacy is just bullshit when we talk about dangers that threath a whole country (and than I talk about terrorists). Also, did’nt the Avengers attacked Norman Osborn without proof during Siege, did Tony not profile his friends in Civil War I ?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Honestly, I think that you are so politically for Iron Man’s ideals here, that you cat fathom, that there are actually MANY people who would completely understand and stand by Carol’s stance, as shown by one of the comments here. I am one of the people that was 100% against Captain America in the Civil War movie, not understanding how anybody would think having accountability for anything is a problem. But yet, there were many team caps, who felt the exact same way about people who are team Iron Man, saying its “obvious” that Cap is the right one. Thats the beauty of these political themes. People can literally think in two very different mindsets. It all depends on where their morals lie.

    • Jordan Richards

      Well Carol’s idea and desire isn’t bad. Wanting to stop crimes and disasters from happening is a perfectly valid thing. She’s done some good with stopping Thanos and other things I have heard in the tie-ins. However, her portrayal and how she acts is awful in this issue. She does not do her side remotely in favor by refusing to listen to Tony’s side or being so stubborn

      Now, that does not remotely mean Tony is completely in the right either. I thought his concerns were valid and I thought he came looking out well here up until the end (he’s making a bad and edgy situation worse). However, he seems to view this whole situation as black and white and has been way too emotional at points throughout this event. Well I agree with his concerns that we shouldn’t be putting so much faith into the visions and they have been causing problems, ignoring them or not using them when they could potentially stop something bad is stupid.

      Ultimately, neither side looks good in this comic in the slightest when you look at the two overall with how they’ve treated Ulysses, how they’ve handled his powers, and how they approaching anything in this book. They both have good and bad points on future visions, but the writer has not done a good job with them having an equal, balanced discussion or making them look good.

      • Jordan Richardson

        Again, this is absolutely no different than Captain America vs Iron Man, where the pro Sokavia Accords were very logical and had points, by Captain America just wanted to ignore them and continue to think that he should do what he feels is right, just because he feels its right, being stubborn. That is just apart of characterization. The point wasn’t that they look good. Its that they both look bad, in forcing their own viewpoints on the other as fact. That is politics for you. Only the people on their own side believe themselves to be right. Im not sure, you are understanding that. There are many people who read this, who completely understand Carol’s point, which was made form the beginning and didnt need more elaboration which is, is the risk on one person being innocent, worth the lives of hundreds if he or she is not? Now you can agree with that or disagree, but that is her point, and she illustrated it well. It was Tony that needed further illustration and that is what this issue is for. She listens to Tony’s side well. She didnt dispute his facts. She acknowledges them. She just believes that the risk of each vision potentially being wrong, doesnt equate to the lost of life that would occur if they’re right. It seems you are looking for a more morally “heroic” reason for Captain Marvel to justify her actions. Like Captain America with his speeches. But logical, works just fine with me.

        • Julian Seguin

          No, no and NO. The Sokovia Accords were anything but logical. This is not the real world. That’s the way you’ve viewing and that makes your judgement flawed. The Sokovia Accords effectively destroy accountability and take away the Avengers ability to operate without restrictions. Letting other people control them is just stupid on so many levels.

          Tony joined more for himself, not for the public, Natasha joined because she thought it would convince others to join and keep the group together. Rhodey because he agrees with Tony. Vision is the only one does it solely out of concern for the repercussions.

          Captain America and Falcon both realize government or international groups are too widespread to be trusted. The events of Winter Soldier proved it. Who’s to say there aren’t corrupt nations in the UN who’d use the Accords to keep the Avengers away?

          At the same time, there should be some punishment for the collateral damage they’ve caused but taking away their independence does not make things better. They should instead assist with clean-up, with repair and formal apologies, something that convinces the public they can trust them.

          But in Civil War II, I see no way to believe Carol is in the right. She was at first; taking down Thanos and preparing to deal with Banner, but now she’s lost all credibility. She acts like a child in front of everyone acting like responding to the visions are as simple as taking down a crazed gunman. She’s not trying to convince Tony, she’s trying to convince herself. Tony has made some controversial decisions (kidnapping and experimenting on Ulysses) but he does not do it out of stubbornness. He’s pissed: he’s lost two good friends because of Carol, regardless of whether she may have saved many lives or not. The silver lining does not cut it, because it may not have even happened. And now Carol is detaining a US citizen on suspicion of being a HYDRA agent without a shred of evidence to suggest she is, refusing to listen.

          So Tony, sick and tired of her irrational and ignorant behaviour does something that cannot ignore. He sets her free. Carol, arrogant as ever, decides she’s gonna arrest Tony; when she says it, he all but laughs at her, pointing out that she broke just about every law in the constitution concerning rights and freedoms. Carol naturally tries to change the subject back to Tony breaking “a suspected terrorist” out of prison… need I say more?

          And for some reason, the Guardians of the Galaxy are with her, even though they’ve all made bad choices and know better than to play God. WTF is happening to Marvel’s Heroes?

          • Jordan Richardson

            How does the Accords destroy accountability?…..even a little bit. What Steve wants is freedom WITHOUT accountability. Having all the power to go wherever he wants, whenever he wants, even without the permission of said country, leave destruction behind and even loss of lives, and then say “tough, these things happen”, and expect people reacting to that behavior to be a problem and not himself. You need accountability for your actions. EVERYONE believes their right. That doesnt give them the right to do whatever they please, just as long as they believe their intentions are good. That is why the police have proper channels. So they can’t abuse their power and get away with it, doing whatever they please, because they believe they’re right. Actions should have repercussions and Steve thinks he shouldn’t have any because he thinks what he’s doing is right….and thats good enough for him. And if things happen to innocent lives in the process, “uhh sorry, but I’m not going to stop”. That is scary. This god level beings doing whatever they want, going wherever they want, and nobody can stop them and stand up to them.

            Tony joined, out of regret of his previous actions, and growing from that, realizing that there needs to be regulations on this team, no different from any powerful organization, like the police or army, who cannot just doing whatever they want when they please, and get away with it. There are channels and regulations. There have to be. ITs just not logical to not have them. In fact, its terrifying. Imagine if the Police can just do whatever they want, whenever. Same with the army. It would be terrifying. Its no different with the avengers. Its steve going, I will with my team of Gods continue to go wherever I want to protect people, and you guys can’t and wont stop us from doing that. And we can’t.

            Shield was controlled by Hydra. That is a freak example, not comparable to anything that is relevant here. And this is the United Nations of over 100 different countries coming to an agreement. Not just the American government having the power to use the Avengers as they please. It is literally the world, having to come to an agreement regulating the actions of this team for the betterment of the entire world. There shouldn’t be independence. This is not a right. This is a job. A job that controls the lives of others. There should not be complete independence in how they operate…at all.

            I disagree about Civil War 2. Carol is completely rational. If there was a machine, utilizing statistics, it would obviously be Carol and not Tony. Tony is more moral. Statistically, there is a bigger chance of the incident happening than not. And the potential harassment, of ONE innocent life, is not equative to the deaths of hundreds of innocents if that guy is actually a threat. That is just a fact. Now it is up to you, to be on the side of logic, or freedom.

          • Julian Seguin

            Carol was rational until she started pulling civilians off the street, and detaining them without evidence. That is ILLEGAL. She is abusing both this power and her authority as an agent of SHIELD.

            And while one life does not matter as much as a 1000, there is no guarantee it will always be better than the vision that Ulysses saw. Remember these are only possibilities. Not certainties. That means Ulysses could have been wrong about the Hulk. We don’t know why he might suddenly decide to go on a rampage, but they gave a rather good reason to when they confronted him with an army and tried to arrest him. That put him on edge, made him get angry, and forced Hawkeye to kill him.

            So yeah, I agree that the Hulk had to be put down before he could kill anyone, but it could have been avoided in the first place.

            And honestly the Accords are not necessarily bad, but the way they are being used does not work at all.