Writer: Charles Soule
Artist:Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Sunny Gho
As the usual opening song and dance goes for me recently, yet another Marvel Secret Wars miniseries started this week, and this guy chose to review it. The book in question is Civil War 1, based on the famed Marvel Event from the last decade, Civil War, brought to you by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. Full disclosure, I find myself not liking that event more and more as time goes on, but there’s something about this mini that drew me it (it was Soule and Yu). With that in mind, this was definitely not what I was expecting, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.
Right off the bat, Soule builds the world beautifully in just a few double page spreads. After pushing out the story of the original series quickly, we come to discover a world of the Superheroes divided, literally. After an event that wiped out a major US city (no spoilers) and many heroes, the war between Captain America and Ironman only worsened, and two individual states were formed, one being egotistically called “The Iron”, and one being The Blue. The two lands are polar opposites in every way, and one woman looks to finally bringing the two together. That woman is Miriam Sharpe, mother of one of the children killed in the inciting incident to the original Civil War series. When the two heads of state are brought to the negotiating table, let’s just say things go poorly, and the divide is only growing. Soule really flexes his muscles in this issue in getting down to the economic and political nitty gritty. If you have any interest in those topics, issues brought up at the negotiating table will set your mind wondering about this new world, which is exactly where I was. On top of that, the characterizations seem a little different, but all make sense in the greater picture. Cap appears to be closer to the cranky old man we saw in Hickman’s Avenger, and Tony is… Tony. However, what really got me was the work on Peter Parker. Those who know the Civil War event will recall when Peter switched sides, and he continues to have a bone to pick with Tony here. His character has changed, as Cap’s right hand man (hint hint), but he just comes off strong here. I want to see how some of my other favorite heroes are in this world, which is exactly what Soule should be looking to do for readers with a number 1 issue. Side note: LOVED the way “Dark Reign” is glossed over in one panel, not one of Marvel’s finest hours.
Yu dazzled us with his work on Avenger’s in the past few years, and for much of this book, he continues that quality. His facial work seems almost extreme, but not to the point of driving out of the story, and his sketchy (maybe?) line work in the figures is always a gift to the eye. I think this quality comes from teaming up with Alanguilan and Gho, all of which have teamed before. They clearly have a rapport that’s working, and I love getting to see them work together. That being said, a few panels seemed a little rushed. While it was slightly distracting, the issue overall was very solid in storytelling, and I’m left with wanting to give Yu, Alanguilan, and Gho more time to refine it rather than just being turned off. It’s often not easy to look past it, but with the quality these guys have, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Civil war continues the hitting streak that Marvel has been having with these minis. Even if you weren’t a fan of the original story, I would urge you to check this out to see these creators doing great work.
4 Laws out of 5