Rating: 3/5 – An Expensive and Unnecessary Zero Issue.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
The first Civil War for Marvel happened ten years ago! It was a seven issue mini series that split the superhero teams against each other with Captain America and Iron Man leading the opposing sides. Just a couple weeks ago Marvel and Disney released Captain America: Civil War that was heavily influenced by the comic and just yesterday passed the $1 billion mark in global ticket sales. Now ten years from the original series Marvel is going back to war with Civil War II, and so far after reading this first issue it feels different from the first, and unfortunately this zero issue despite having some great art, misses the mark for me in the writing and especially it’s value.
This zero issue definitely reads like a prelude. Writer Brian Michael Bendis breaks the issue up into four major parts, each starring a different hero. The first starring She-Hulk as she’s defending the longtime Daredevil villain the Jester. Bendis then jumps to a scene starring War Machine/James Rhodes discussing future plans with the president and finishes up with scenes starring Captain Marvel and an all new Inhuman character. She Hulk’s scene was by far the most interesting for me and it was great to see characters like Doc Samson get time in the spotlight, but this issue reads like set up, which is exactly what it was. The flow of the story felt disconnected and if I was basing my decision to read this series after picking up this zero issue, there’s not a whole lot of excitement here that would bring me back for me.
The art by Olivier Coipel is gorgeous, but again because of the script and lack of almost any action, most of the characters are in standing/stiff poses. It’s absolutely the norm for a Bendis book to have a bunch of characters talking for most of the issue, but when you have an artist like Olivier Coipel and a prelude issue that should be meant to draw a reader into the event, I’d expect a little more. Not only that, but the cost of this book is really unfortunate for what Marvel delivers.
Civil War #0 delivers twenty-three pages for $4.99. There’s nothing more that I’m used to seeing in previous books that cost the extra $1. No card-stock cover, no thirty-plus pages of story, no extras or reprints of the original Civil War series…and for those reasons alone I could not recommend this zero issue. If anything, read the “Free Comic Book Day” issue of Civil War II to provide a better and obviously more valued reading experience. Also, when comparing this issue against the “Free Comic Book Day” issue, this zero issue provides context but doesn’t seem as required to enjoy what’s ahead. Civil War II number zero isn’t a bad comic, it’s just not nearly worth the price of admission and has actually diminished my excitement for what’s to come in this event as opposed to building it up.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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