Tony Stark’s hot on the trail of the sniper who killed Miriam Sharpe, but the unforgiven sins of the past will keep the killer safe for another day.
In Civil War #2, Charles Soule tethers the plot points tightly around relationships as we get a better look at the two factions set to go to war. The Blue and The Iron have been set apart by key ideologies which have only widened the gap.
The Blue — a libertarian state with only two rules: hurt no one, and help when you can — finds itself losing out on resources because of its weaker central government and a population that is basically free to do whatever it wants as long as the Punishers are placated. The Iron, on the other hand, is ruled by Big Brother. In exchange for giving up a few freedoms, the populace is granted all it needs.
When Stark’s spy drone follows the sniper further into The Blue, it meets its end when an angry and bitter Storm uses her powers over the elements to put it out of commission. Storm brings the drone to Steeltown where Colossus pulls out the electronic brain, and an appropriate response is given.
Meanwhile, deep within the capital of Liberation, Peter Parker and Steve Rogers talk about going to war using a weapon known as Bellcurve. Rogers has Hank McCoy test the experimental weapon on Flint Marko, and it’s revealed that Bellcurve is a device that removes superpowers. To power the device, more resources need to be gathered, and Parker takes a team into The Iron to take what they can.
Parker’s mission basically amounts to an act of war — getting Bellcurve operational isn’t a response or act of defense, it’s an offensive maneuver. As for Stark, he sends She-Hulk under disguise to Steeltown to prove whether his theory is correct. If it is, everything he’s understood and known could be wrong.
Soule’s work in Civil War #2 is almost flawless, and he builds up the story with meaningful characters brought in with meaningful motives. Storm wants revenge for the death of her husband T’Challa, and Parker’s black ops team made up of Elektra, Azari, and Venom, has its reasons for seeing The Iron dismantled.
The most compelling and layered scene is set in Resilient Alpha where Stark and Jennifer Walters talk after sex. Walters agrees to travel to Steeltown in disguise, but the dialogue is loaded with manipulation as Stark baits a hook and throws it out for Walters to bite. Walters knows what’s going on but agrees to it anyway. I hope Soule explores this relationship further, especially in light of the cliffhanger which could make or break the mission and sour the relationship.
Leinil Yu’s art is good if not great by his own standards. Yu’s compositions are brilliant, and he plays with the angles like a master cinematographer. But while the main shapes are there, the details aren’t, and Yu’s stylistic pencil work which plays with sketchy lines and controlled chaos looks unfinished when characters have no faces or are swallowed up in thick shadows.
Inker Gerry Alanguilan imbues the panels with texture, and Sunny Gho’s colors add depth through shading. Yu, Alguilan, and Gho have worked together on plenty of projects, and they know how to raise the art from the page.
Civil War is shaping up to be a great series worthy of its namesake, and if you’re loathe to pick up anything Secret Wars, do yourself a favor and check out this series. It’s a winner with a growing cast of characters, a pertinent conflict, and a creative team that’s producing work well worth the cost of admission. With Captain America: Civil War on the horizon, this is a great primer for things to come.
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