Civil Wars are never kind to their soldiers. Just ask Tony Stark and Steve Rogers about the first round of Marvel Universe in-fighting. This time, Captain America and Iron Man are on the same team, the end results shake out to about the same – two super-powered teams unable to maneuver with no other recourse but the fist. As the battle intensified in Civil War II #5, the only thing keeping old allies and friends from tearing each other apart was another sudden and stark vision from the Inhuman Ulysses.
On that note, the latest dip into the intellectual and literal superhero fistfight of Civil War II resumes with the gruesome spectacle of Miles Morales standing over Captain America’s bloodied and impaled corpse. As fighting screeches to a halt, Carol Danvers and Tony Stark face their latest moral quandary: arrest teenage Spider-Man or allow him to go free and possibly kill Steve Rogers.
Captain Marvel’s Arrest Goes Sour
As the crowd surges around Miles, slumped onto his knees with his mask over his nose, Carol Danvers and Tony argue over the merits of arresting teenage Spider-Man. Captain America, the very dead man from the vision (and also a secret double-dog agent for Hydra), steps between them. The crowd is shocked as he allows the young wall-crawler to leave of his own volition. To Captain Marvel’s eternal frustration, Miles catches a lift home to New York with Thor.
In the aftermath, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Maria Hill tries to arrest Cap and the rest of Team Iron Man – which goes about as well as you can imagine. Tensions waver on the brink of another major skirmish as the tenuous white flag disintegrates. Before the battle can resume, though, one of Carol’s own teammates steps between Hill, Danvers and Captain America – none other than T’Challa.
Black Panther Switches Sides
In some ways, Civil War II has its own unique dynamics, but it also parallels its predecessor fairly closely at times. The first outing featured a major team-flipper, that of Spider-Man. This time around, it’s T’Challa – who played a major role in the film adaption – who is fed up with Captain Marvel’s Minority Report (which writer Nick Spencer even pokes fun at in Captain America: Steve Rogers #6). His intervention allows Doctor Strange to teleport the entire team away before anything else can happen.
As Iron Man’s team departs, Carol asks Medusa for aid in tracking them down (via Lockjaw), to no avail since the Inhumans are already hopping in a wormhole. However, at her most confused and dismayed, Peter Quill and the crew of the dearly departed C.I.T.T. comfort Captain Marvel. Peter even confesses his agreement with her stance, they embrace in a group Groot hug for good measure – much to Kitty Pryde’s displeasure.
Despite the heartening moment, all is not well with either side. Carol’s forces are diminished, and Tony’s team appears utterly disheartened.
The “Champions” Depart (For Now)
Far from celebrating after their narrow escape and minor victory, tensions run high on Team Iron Man’s side of the fence. Doctor Strange is clearly not pleased with the in-fighting, and the younger teammates, especially Nova, Hawkeye, Cyclops, and Ms. Marvel are extremely concerned about their companion Miles. As the youngest members of Tony’s squad quietly depart, they meet the gal inside the bulky, War Machine-like armor, Riri Williams.
She offers her help in their search for Miles, heading out along with them (shades of team-ups in future Champions issues?), as their elder heroes look on, somewhat dismayed. Both squads debate the merits of their future actions, ironically, about an Inhuman whose predictions have grown erratic but may hold a key to how events align in the Marvel Universe.
The Future Waits on the Steps of the Capital
If Civil War II #5 was about battle, then its follow up is all about its repercussions. The latest chapter comes to a close in an anticlimactic fashion, but several major plot strings dangle tantalizing before the divided Marvel heroes. Miles Morales awaits his fate on the steps of a not-yet demolished capital building in Washington D.C. Danvers and crew have apparently located him, but Stark’s team will likely be right behind them, both its elder and younger members.
In addition, upon returning to New Attilan, the Inhumans discover Ulysses in the throes of another transformation. Could his increasingly powerful abilities end the debate indefinitely, forcing the future to come true? It also appears that Tony Stark’s fate is sealed as the semi-finale rolls out. But what becomes of Iron Man and the void he leaves for Riri's Ironheart and Doctor Doom to fill? Will Captain America’s insidious plot be revealed, or will he meet a similarly gruesome fate to the one in Ulysses’ vision?
The End Is Near
Although writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist David Marquez and their team lost some momentum during the anticlimactic showdown, he’s left enough intriguing loose ends to drive the plot through to its potentially startling conclusion. Readers who are tired of all the in-fighting can breathe easily, because the end of Civil War II is upon us. In two issues, fans will find out if Marvel’s skirmish redux can stand up to the exalted levels of its predecessor.
Overall, the second round hasn’t had quite the impact as its forerunner, even though the issues it deals with are just as relevant and fascinating. Their overarching storylines, while sweeping, have the ability to bowl over even the most stalwart reader. Hopefully, Bendis and his team – now gifted with an extra issue – can satisfyingly resolve the second Civil War and set things up to join the Marvel NOW! Divided We Stand relaunch, already in progress. What do you think of Civil War II so far? How will it's conclusion affect the Marvel Universe?
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Civil War II #6 is currently available online and in fine retailers. Civil War II #7 arrives on November 23.