Written by: Brain Micheal Bendis
Art by: David Marquez
Bad. Bad bad bad bad bad. Bad. Civil War II #5 is a bad comic and is absolutely not worth your money. It’s lazy, uneventful and full of classic “Bendis tropes” guaranteed to reduce your teeth to dust through constant grating. That’s all you need to know honestly, but if you wanna partake in a bunch of event bashing and general griping then by all means please read on.
The “war” part of Civil War has finally arrived, but it does little to alleviate the boredom and disinterest in the event. There’s around 23 pages of random punching that amounts to nothing, with every character moment consisting entirely of:
“CHARACTER X!! HOW HAVE YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN THIS CONFLICT??”
“WELL CHARACTER Y, I-” then they’re promptly interrupted so Bendis doesn’t have to explain any out of character choices.
This issue seems like a who cavalcade of Bendis tropes, so much so that you can play Bendis bingo along at home:
- Character uses dated catchphrase so Bendis can trick us into thinking he knows how they speak
- Unrelated intro to pad out the script
- Repetitious dialogue where everyone talks the same
- Montage of characters watching a montage of news reports while looking away solemnly
- “big moments” falling flat because they could be from literally any other event
- Repeating major plot beats from THE VERY SAME EVENT proving it didn’t need to be as long as it is
I’ve been a real fan and defender of Bendis for a few years, he’s written some of Marvel’s best stuff in recent years and can occasionally craft a good event, but here literally every single one of his flaws is on show. I wanted to be fair to this comic and hope it had gotten better, but honestly nothing has changed from my last review. Bendis simply isn’t trying, it’s obvious he doesn’t care about the event and only sees it as a means to yet another unnecessary relaunch. I have to keep going back to the comic itself to see if there’s anything I’m missing or anything more I can talk about, but the whole comic is just:
punch, snark, punch, snark, punch, DRAMATIC MOMENT, punch, snark, CLIFFHANGER ENDING, then adverts for a bajillion tie ins necessary to further expand such a dense story.
Once more, the only trace of a positive in this comic is Marquez’s art, but even that feels boring. While his art is clean and concise and nails that “Marvel” feel about the characters, the scenes he gets to draw are so dull. For what’s meant to be the big important fight issue, the whole “war” feels so small in scale that it doesn’t event feel worthy of an event. Most fights are one on one, with another one on one fight happening in the background, alongside a splash page at the start of heroes running towards each other. Marquez’s should be getting so much more fun stuff to draw, but with Bendis asleep at the wheel I don’t really blame him for turning in a largely forgettable issue.
I’d like to reiterate, Civil War II #5 is five bucks, consists of 23 story pages (and I’m including another 2 page spreads as two separate pages), 3 recap pages and 4 pages of adverts for other books. At the risk of sounding dramatic (probably the only moment of actual drama in the Civil War II event) that’s an absolutely disgusting asking price. I know people say you shouldn’t really consider a book’s length when discussing price, but instead look at it’s quality, but this issue has neither length nor quality. Literally every other publisher is putting out cheaper books of higher quality with equal or even higher page counts. There is absolutely no reason to make yours marvel. The only shinning light I can see in this event is that it’ll hopefully move Marvel away from their current “multiple events a year with higher prices” trick if it bombs enough sales wise.
So yeah, like I said; it’s bad.