Talk is cheap. And in Civil War II #7, nothing happens but talk, and it’s not cheap. For five dollars American I got pretty pictures, a lot of talk, hardly any plot progression, and nothing happens. In a comic that includes entire pages taken up by credits, alternate covers, a next issue tease, and a minimalist roll call, that is awful. When it’s taken into account how late this event series is, it is simply an awful shame. But then again, what does or doesn’t happen in this issue may be a matter of perspective, and we may just have seen the death of another major Marvel superhero. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on what does happen in Civil War II #7…
What Has Gone Before
Ulysses is a new Inhuman who seems to have visions of the future, and his existence has driven a wedge in the superhero community, specifically between Iron Man and his followers who believe that the future should not be messed with, and Captain Marvel and her followers who think they should use these visions to prevent bad things from happening. The latter folks have gone so far as to emulate Minority Report and stop possible enacters before the crime is even committed. This has resulted in a tragic battle with Thanos that crippled She-Hulk and cost War Machine his life, and the assassination of Bruce Banner.
After these forces went to war in New York City (why S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t just declared war themselves on all of these ‘heroes’ and put them under arrest for public endangerment is beyond me, after all, isn’t that their job?), Ulysses received a vision of Spider-Man Miles Morales killing Captain America Steve Rogers on the Capitol steps that stopped everyone in their tracks. Now apparently it’s time to waste an issue doing nothing, until someone else dies, I suppose.
What Does Happen
The Inhumans, who are usually a lot smarter than this about these sorts of things, are worried about Ulysses, and are trying to get him to go visit Captain Marvel and the Ultimates to run some tests. Finally, the visions are starting to worry them. Instead of listening to them, he’s having some sort of, pardon the pun, vision quest. He visits the possible future of Old Man Logan, perhaps to cash in on the hype of the recently released trailer for Logan, or perhaps just to fill up space.
Ulysses’ adventure with the future Wolverine brings only one thing – the concept that Old Man Logan’s post-apocalyptic world of a New Jersey that looks like the Old West and cannibalistic children of the Hulk is all the fault of Tony Stark. From the mouth of Wolverine, one of Brian Michael Bendis’ sacred prophets – “Tony Stark happened.” and “He pushed her too far.” Her who? Guess who. Yep, you got it in one.
Talk Talk Fight
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Spider-Man has gone to Washington DC to prove the vision wrong, and Captain America has joined him. They have no intention of killing or being killed, although I have to say I haven’t trusted Cap since he became a Hydra agent, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here. Captain Marvel watches from afar, chats with Maria Hill, before intruding and insisting Spider-Man turn himself in for the future murder of Captain America.
When Captain Marvel tries to take him in physically, she finds Spider-Man protected by a force-field, and that’s when Iron Man makes his presence known. The two go at it almost immediately and battle for a few pages before Captain Marvel takes a final two-page shot. Spidey is behind a force-field helpless, but Captain America, perhaps with his mind reeling as to what Hydra can leverage from the situation, does nothing. How very Hydra of him to allow two superheroes just try to kill each other.
The War Ends?
The description on the Marvel website for this issue of Civil War II in which nothing happens is: “THE WAR ENDS…” Really? Huh. Maybe I missed something, because nothing really happens. Maybe the war ended in one of the dozens of tie-in comics and I missed it. Or maybe, as it is sometimes in Brian Michael Bendis stories, the real action happens off-panel. We do see a battered Iron Man helmet for the cover of the next issue, just as we’ve seen the battered War Machine helmet on the cover of Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2 here. Is Iron Man dead at the end of this issue?
For two pages and two-page spread, Iron Man and Captain Marvel fight, and in that last spread, she seems to blow a hole through Iron Man, almost eerily similar to how Thanos did much the same to War Machine way back when. We know that Tony Stark is a ghostly almost artificial intelligence-like presence in the latest Iron Man titles, so it’s entirely possible this is his end here, ironically wearing armor that looks like a cross between the Hulkbuster and the War Machine armors… two other heroes fallen in this crossover event. Perhaps Iron Man is dead, for as long as heroes stay dead these days…
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve grown cold to death in the Marvel Universe, and through Captain America’s treatment this past year, I have grown used to favorite characters being damaged beyond repair or redemption. That said, I find it very hard to either grieve for Iron Man nor care about how these events will affect the future of the Captain Marvel character. If Marvel doesn’t care about their broken toys, really, why should I? And that’s been the problem with Civil War II from the very beginning, hollow death after hollow death.
There are things to think about here, other than the possible death of Tony Stark. I mentioned the Inhumans are worried about Ulysses. It is said his visions are becoming more potent, and more erratic. Is it possible that his visions are not peeks into possible futures, but attacks on specific targets? Every time Ulysses gets stressed, he has a vision. Such visions have stopped superhero conflicts more than once. But this time, and last time, could he have had targets? Perhaps he sensed Captain America’s potential evil and marked him? And he already has a reason to hate Tony Stark, for trying to torture him earlier in the event. Does Ulysses perhaps have a different power than we at first thought? Does he actually cause superhero deaths?
This issue was pretty much status quo for me, meh for the words, but the art by David Marquez as always was terrific. I did find myself wondering more than once if Captain Marvel’s scarf/belt was made of the same living artistic elastic as Batman’s cape however. I’ll be back with more reviews of Marvel’s Civil War II event, and if you’d like to read my thoughts so far, click here. What do you folks think?