In 2006, Marvel Comics launched Civil War, a seven-issue limited series that kicked off a massive, line-wide event. Written by Mark Millar and penciled by Steve McNiven, the event explored the ideas of superhero culpability and secret identities through the launch of the Superhuman Registration Act. The act required all heroes, regardless of their powers or history, to register their secret identities with the government and essentially work as a branch of law enforcement.
The SRA caused a schism between the heroes of the Marvel Universe, culminating in multiple conflicts where heroes fought heroes. The storyline serves as a loose inspiration for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, though the conflict in the film is on a smaller scale. As excitement builds for the film after the launch of the first trailer, there have been rumblings of a follow-up event to Civil War in the Marvel Comics continuity.
Today, Marvel confirmed that the follow-up is indeed coming, appropriately titled Civil War II. The event is being spearheaded by Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez, the creative team currently working on Invincible Iron Man. Specific plot details are being kept under wraps for now, but editor Tom Brevoort, editor on both Civil War and Civil War II, described the series as follows:
“The fun thing about ‘Civil War’ [was] that the issues involved not only divided the heroes, they also divided the fans, to say nothing of the creative people. The attempt was to craft the conflict so that each side held a valid and defensible position, so that a reader could fundamentally agree with either one side or the other, with neither being painted as absolutely right or absolutely wrong. While the issues involved are different, we’ll be taking the same approach to ‘Civil War II.'”
Writer Brian Michael Bendis added his own cryptic hints about the upcoming event:
“If you are scared of earth-shattering Marvel events where no one is safe… be afraid, be very afraid.”
The series was initially teased in early October, when a post card adorned with the image at the top of the article was sent to a comic retailer. The card simply had the Roman numeral II on the back, with the date Spring 2016. Marvel has confirmed only that the title is slated for sometime in 2016, but there’s very little chance the comic will miss the massive promotional opportunity of the Civil War film. Whether the comic launches simultaneously with the film or just after, it’s a smart move to tether the two events and aim for greater audience crossover.
That said, Marvel Comics are still struggling to finish its latest crossover event, Secret Wars. The series has been hit by a number of delays, pushing the final issue’s release date back from October 2015 to January 2016. Launching another event series so soon could present a logistical problem for the publisher. More importantly, rehashing a previous storyline, regardless of the original’s quality, might alienate some longtime readers. It will be up to all of the creators involved to not only to produce a quality story, but to differentiate it enough from its predecessor to please the current readership.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.
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