FCBD Civil War II review

An Inhuman predicts that the mad god Thanos is coming to Earth in search of a Cosmic Cube. The Avengers are waiting for him when he shows up at Project Pegasus. They take him down, but one Avenger is seriously hurt. And one dies. 

Have you read any Marvel event since Avengers Disassembled in 2004? Well, you're reading it again. Brian Michael Bendis provides the unsurprising words and Jim Cheung, John Dell and Justin Ponsor the slick artwork. It's extremely professional work and not bad for what it is - it's just so, so unsurprising. Should I expect more from an event declaring it's the heir to an earlier one? Well, yes, if Marvel expect me to shell out ever more cash to follow the series and crossovers weekly as opposed to waiting six months for everything to show up on Marvel Unlimited. 

On the basis of this, I'll give whatever special officially begins things a go, but will likely take a break from Marvel until it's over; heck, I ignored the line for months while Secret Wars (Redux) went on and on, and survived quite nicely. 
The second story in this Free Comic Book Day offering is more my cup of tea, being an effective introduction to the new Wasp, Nadia. She's flying into trouble while reminiscing about the recent day she turned up on Hank Pym's doorstep only to find the good doctor was Marvel-dead. As expected, she seems to be the daughter of Hank Pym and first wife Maria - so why is she a dead ringer for second wife and original Wasp Janet Van Dyne? 
Ah yes, remember Jan's first appearance?
Creepy as it seems, Hank did try to dissuade Jan when she started crushing on him. Anyway, here's Nadia, who looks like both his wives, and she's moving on to All-New, All-Different Avengers with its ninth issue. There, she'll be drawn by the excellent Mahmud Asrar, here she's in the supremely capable hands of Alan Davis and Mark Farmer, whose classic, kinetic style suits Mark Waid's sharply efficient script (I like his subtle nod to the Wasp having debuted in Tales to Astonish) down to the ground. And there's vibrant colour work from Matt Hollingsworth. 

I don't see why, if Marvel feel they have to replace Jan with a younger model, they're not actually going with Hope a la the Ant-Man movie, but if we have to have a new Wasp (for a little while, replacements are like deaths at the once House of Ideas), Nadia could be interesting. 

So, it's 50/50 so far as my interest goes in the projects this book is plugging. What did you think?

Comments

  1. I don't think they had this at my LCS, I don't remember seeing it. Probably it was sold out. I have barely been the slightest bit interested in this EPIC EVENT because I didn't really enjoy the first, and I just feel this is so unnecessary, though I understand why Marvel is doing it.

    I would have liked this for the first appearance of a new Wasp but overall just give me Janet back, please. It's really surprising they didn't go with Hope to line up with the MCU. Hmm, I guess right now Marvel is Hope-less?

    Nadia isn't very original, and if she's Maria and Hank's daughter, why would she choose her dad's second wife's identity. Sure, Hank was Wasp also, but if you're not going to have Hope as Wasp, why not make her Ant-Girl/ Woman?

    I never realized that about Jan before. That was really wrong. "Not much more than a child!" I realize that back in the day when women were not recognized so much as such, for example, Lois Lane being a Girl Reporter," but still. So, really, Hank was not just a wife beater ...

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    1. Aw come on, you know he wasn't actually a wife beater, he was the victim of, if memory serves, Bob Hall drawing Jim Shooter's script to look like more ... hang on, I found Jim Shooter's blog post about it. I choose to believe it, because while Hank's growing despair made some kind of sense, he worshipped Jan - he'd not have been abusing her.

      http://jimshooter.com/2011/03/hank-pym-was-not-wife-beater.html/

      Jan being so young at least explains, in part, her immature comments in the early years of her career. I reckon Hank to be about 15 years older and he likely didn't begin courting her until she was 20, so he's not really creepy. This isn't Hal Jordan and Arisia, thank goodness!

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    2. If Pym is a wife-beater, then so is Peter Parker for hitting his pregnant wife because he was "stressed", yet fandom makes excuses for this incident all the time, while Marvel never acknowledge it - I mean, I can understand why, what with Spidey being a high-profile character compared to Pym, but it could be argued that it's a paradigm for the way a community will make excuses for abusive behavior in its popular members while vilifying same in its outliers.

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    3. I'll have to check that out. I didn't know about it, nor about Spidey hitting M.J.. As for Hank and Jan, I remember more how it resonated as they split up and, possibly a false memory of mine, his action was mentioned multiple times. The actual incident I remember more, I think, if not in flashback then from *ugh* Wizard magazine.

      If not, then I do agree that with more popular heroes something bad is excused away or just looked at as not canon because of the writer while less of an A-Lister is the opposite. An example can also be found with Carol Danvers. While her rape/ kidnapping is often referred to, and to a point Spider-Woman's saving her life and support and so on, how often is it referred to that the entire Avengers team just let it happen. But, maybe that's a bad example.

      In any case, I thought that the rift between Hank and Jan stemmed from that instance of abuse, and that he agonized over it, and there was some kind of reconciliation of sorts just when Dr. Pym discovered Maria was apparently alive, although that turned out to be M.O.D.A.M.

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    4. Thanks for reminding us about that awful Peter Parker business, Brigonos. I was not reading that run, but it does sound despicable.

      You're right, Uncle, the part that the Avengers played in facilitating the rape of Ms Marvel is pretty much rarely mentioned but Avengers Annual 10 by Chris Claremont (based in part on a great article by Carol Strickland in the first issue of LOC fanzine) did address it - I'm glad Marvel don't keep going back there, the way they kept bringing up the Hank business. Creators make missteps, making the characters look bad, I prefer to address the mistakes and move on, or just move on.

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    5. That's kind of why it makes me angry about Babs Gordon. While her story became one of a survivor and allowed for her to inspire in a whole new way, DC and fans celebrate a story that was encouraged with the words, "cripple the bitch!"

      We have an R-Rated animated retelling of her being shot, tortured and crippled, all in a way that was to set up a new dynamic between Batman and The Joker, and Commissioner Gordon. A story that had intended to further write off an iconic female hero by putting her in a position of physical and emotional pain, and who was shown as terrified and needing a Bat man to avenge her.

      When New 52 was announced I read a post from a rape survivor. She was in a situation like Batgirl around the time the book was released and it made her feel horrible for many reasons and on many levels. It made her angry that people were upset with the New 52 if it meant a new beginning for Barbara where "The Killing Joke" never happened. This woman was hoping for a reality where something so evil and horrible didn't happen to her hero, to another woman (even fictional). She didn't get it.

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    6. The guy who wrote Killing Joke has disowned it and said its legacy in comics has been toxic. It's kind of hard to argue otherwise.

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  2. I found Civil War 2 to be rather dour compared to the original, which managed to add recognisable real-world concerns about the politics of superheroing to a universe that was becoming increasingly distant from any kind of reality the reader could recognise or relate to - and did it in a story about Cap surfing a jet plane and then crying manly tears when he realises he's let down the Real Heroes Of 911. Brilliant tosh - 2 not so much.

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    1. I agree CW was tosh, but I don't go with the brilliant. The twisting of characters such as Reed Richards and Carol Danvers, and the tremendous heavy handedness of the government side just irked me!

      Mind, that Cap scene does sound like pop art brilliance, dunno how I missed that one.

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  3. This might sound crazy, but I think the new Wasp might be a robot built by Hank. That would explain why she looks so much like both his wives and why we've never heard of her. But more importantly it would open the door for all sorts of conflict. Why would the creator of Ultron want to create more robots? Why did he model her after Janet without her permission? And so on.

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    1. Oh blimey, that would be so Hank. I hope it's not the case (mind, if it isn't now, it will be at some point, just look at how many times the Vision has been re-origined). If I had prizes to give out, you'd get one!

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  4. fun fact someone may have alreayd stated this but Nadia means Hope in Russian here's "Hoping" she isn't a bad guy plant for the red room or Kang

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    1. Aha, nice one, that's a bit clever!

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  5. And I need a wee reminder, what's the Red Room?

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