Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Color Artist: Justin Ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Civil War II #6 picks up directly after the surprising cliffhanger at the end of last issue of Miles Morales Spider Man standing over the impaled Steve Rogers Captain America on the steps of the US Capitol. This issue then jumps right back into the ongoing morality play between Tony Stark and Carol Danvers over the use of precognitive premonitions to arrest people before they commit their crimes. The core question here is if Carol should arrest Miles over what a vision that may be the future.
As the heroes recover from the shared psychic vision Carol immediately wants to place Miles under arrest. Tony of course refuses, as does Captain America who finally steps to the forefront and denounces Carol’s stance on preemptive arrests. There is a page early in the book with Steve and Miles discussing the importance of being a symbol. Miles is obviously shell-shocked over the revelation and is almost catatonic at his potential violence but Cap is reassuring and his stature in the superhero community is prevalent here, even changing the balance of power. It is also a touching moment to see Steve reassure Miles that he knows the new Spider-Man is a hero and would not hurt him.
There isn’t a lot of action in this issue, but that’s a good thing. After last issues slugfest it was nice to have a quiet issue that sets the stage for the final confrontation. This issue also starts to divide our alliances as we go from two sides to four. Tony team is still on the run and is composed of old-school Marvel heroes, most of them former Avengers. Splintering from this group are the young heroes who we’ve already seen in the new Champions series. Carol loses some support as well as the Inhumans are starting to have questions over Ulysses powers as well as the way Carol is using his premonitions.
Bendis is at his best with an issue like this. There’s lots of catchy dialogue and he has an incredible handle with Miles Morales but also with the young heroes and they way they are questioning their elders. I’m still not sold with the characterization of Carol and I find myself thinking that Maria Hill and SHIELD would have been a better foil for Tony but it is to late for that. I still can’t get behind Starlord and the Guardians of the Galaxy, who are professed outlaws, siding with preemptive justice. Black Panther has an excellent moment but the best part of this issue is Spider Man and where he is at the end of the issue.
Marquez’s art is beautiful. He has been at the top of his game with this mini-series and even though the book has fallen behind on its release schedule it is worth it if this is the art we’re going to get. I understand the frustration with the delays. I’m frustrated as well since this is the second time in a year Marvel is launching new titles from an event that hasn’t finished, giving away some of the ending. But that doesn’t take away how pretty this book is and I actually applaud Marvel for not forcing a bunch of different artists on it so that it ships on time. In my opinion that ruins event books and is jarring to the reader, take a look at Age of Ultron for an example. The colors are superb. The majority of this issue takes place at night or in dark locals but Ponsor still splashes the book with murky colors that distinguish the heroes but also fits the dower mood of the issue. Ponsor and Marquez are a wonderful team that I hope to see them work together again in the future.
Verdict: Buy this book. I know you may have event fatigue but this book is visually beautiful and the series is building to what will hopefully be a glorious crescendo and if you made it to issue #6 you need to stay to the end.