Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1 Writers: Declan Shalvey, Brandon Easton, Chad Bowers, & Chris Sims Pencils: Declan Shalvey, Paul Davidson, & Leonardo Romero Colors: Jordie Bellaire, Andrew Crossley, & Miroslaw Mrva Letters: Clayton Cowles Cover: Jim Cheung Publisher: Marvel
Marvels summer event, Civil War II is in full swing and another tie-in has hit the shelves, Choosing Sides.
After Earth’s heroes bested the Celestial Destroyer while he attempts to lay waste to their home world, it was discovered that the early warning came from the new Inhuman Ulysses. New Attilan’s latest refugee has the spectacular ability to foresee future events and their probable outcome. Tensions rise and friendships are on the brink of collapse as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man sees the Ulysses’ ability as non-stable and not fully uncovered. Arguing that using him to prevent future tragedies is too high a risk. Others led by Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel disagree, arguing that the risk is worth the potential benefits.
One of the disappointments of the main Civil War II series thus far is that lines aren’t drawn and sides aren’t being chosen yet. At the moment it’s at with the conclusion of issue 2, it’s everyone against Iron Man. This tie-in contains three separate stories following different corners of the ongoing event assuring to tell stories to impact the grander one at play. Does this comic deliver what its title is promising?
The opening story follow Nick Fury on a mission to take down a Hydra cell. After a briefing with S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill about the groups uprising, Fury is off with a quickly assembled team of rookie agents. However things don’t go according to plan as he’s eventually betrayed by his team who are under the impression that in order for S.H.I.E.L.D. to survive, Nick must be killed. This is of course implying that Ulysses had another vision and the members of S.H.I.E.L.D. could be playing a part later down the road.
The second story is centered on Dwayne Taylor, aka Night Thrasher during the battle with the Celestial Destructor in New York. We follow him around as he assists Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and other superheroes as they protect the innocent bystanders of the city that’s always in peril. There are some insights and inner-monologuing from Dwayne to get a glimpse of his views on the leaders of the two opposing sides. While there is clearly a side being chosen by the character at the closing, the story as a whole is weak. It’s a meaningless 10 page story because the chances of Night Thrasher popping up and playing an integral part in the main series is slim to nil. Sorry but no one cares about this character and as this one-shot comes off as nothing more than a waste of time.
The final tale is about the aftermath of the fight with the Celestial Destructor and the clean up crew of battles between superheroes and super-villains, Damage Control. This team has been around for a while and it’s a great idea. Super-heroics cause a lot of property damage and seeing a comic dealing with those hardships is always an intriguing idea. Unfortunately this story completely misses the mark as the tone is way off. The Civil War II series is dark, grim, with dramatic consequences, therefore the tie-ins should reflect that vibe. This however is played for laughs and it simply doesn’t fit. There are a few chuckles in there but just like the previous story, it feels pointless.
As far as artwork goes there’s really nothing of note to highlight, it’s all competent but standard. The art teams are able to capture the tone of each individual story so there’s really nothing to complain about, I’d just prefer something a little more eye-catching.
Another annoying problem with this book is the cover. It’s design in particular is plain, uninspiring, and incredibly deceptive. It has some of Marvel’s heavy hitters and highest money makers but they play no integral part in any of the stories. There’s nothing more than a couple of glorified cameos from Captain Marvel and Iron Man but they decided to have them predominately featured on the cover. Sure the names of all three stories are on the cover but they’re tiny in comparison to the gimmick that is used in order to sell this issue.
I could have forgiven the deceptive marketing had this comic supplied a few compelling stories that truly tied into the greater story. Unfortunately Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1 is a massive disappointment and nothing more than a vain attempt to sell more tie-ins. All but one of the stories has any value and it’s significance will undoubtedly be small at best. That added on top of substandard art, this is a Civil War II tie-in that you can surely pass on.
Score: 1.5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
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