Here it is, folks, the final issue of … oh, there’s one more now? Well then why did this one seem so skimpy? Couldn’t they have just made it oversized? Fine, okay then; here is the penultimate issue of Civil War II — is it good?
Civil War II #7 (of 8) (Marvel Comics)
Ulysses’ appearance and powers continue to evolve, as the more-or-less innocent center of all super-conflict finds himself in a far-flung, time-crossed conversation with a certain grizzled apocalypse survivor who warns the kid that Tony Stark finally pushed “her” too far.
Back in the present, the former Ultimate Spider-Man sticks his finger in fate’s face and sets up shop on the Capitol steps, secure in his non-homicidal disposition. Steve Rogers joins him in a show of solidarity, but knowing what we know about the reality-warped Captain America, could he have an ulterior motive? No time to wonder, here comes a massive ode to Rhodey!
Captain America said he shouldn’t take the mask off. Good intention, or trying to get Spider-Man shot? Hmmm ….
Is It Good?
Yes, Civil War II #7 does feel more like a preview than a full comic, which maybe isn’t the worst thing, considering so much of the Brian Michael Bendis event series has been a bit of a slow-paced slog. The story’s through line is still bare, though, as we’re again reminded that as Ulysses’ powers become more emotional, they are less reliable. Can a metaphor be subtle and too on-the-nose at the same time?
But enough about that — this issue is all about comics’ next superstar artist, David Marquez. He gets help from Andrea Sorrentino for a bit (spoiler; go read the issue), but everything that’s been said about his forms and storytelling is true. His characters are highly detailed yet full of life. The layouts in the issue’s final fight scene are arranged and angled completely differently from the more “standard” fare in the lead-up, effectively heightening tension and providing a sense of dynamism. The whole presentation is just sublime, in so many different ways.
Okay, it’s unfair to say Civil War II #7 is all David Marquez’s show. A lot of credit goes to colorist Justin Ponsor, too. The climactic battle scene is one of the most beautiful one-on-one throwdowns you’ll see, thanks in part to the marked contrast between Carol Danvers’ bright energy blasts and Tony Stark’s dark, War Machine-inspired armor.
Civil War II #7 is the lightest weight issue of the series thus far, although the rise in tension and the helplessness as events spin out of control is continually palpable. Still, it feels as though this and the added-on final issue could have been combined into one oversized, overall more satisfying edition. But then again, if that would have forced the art team to rush and not turn in the masterworks presented here, never mind. More Marquez and Ponsor cannot possibly be a bad thing.