Civil War II #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Colorist: Justin Ponsor
Cover: Marko Djurdjevic
There are SPOILERS below for those that may not have read the issue.
After the reveal last month we expected large, gamma related, and destructive things to happen in this issue. Well, we definitely got them but not in the way that we expected. Which was probably more impressive since we live in this world of constant spoilers and leaks when it comes to comics and this series has already seen it’s fair share of those. Though before we even get into the narrative in Civil War II #3 let’s focus on the visual storytelling of David Marquez and Justin Ponsor. An art team that has been pretty phenomenal on many of the titles they’ve worked on together in the past. So it was no surprise that they would be doing the same in this series.
This issue is an emotional and tense roller-coaster that’s more drama than superhero action. Again, maybe not what was expected but Marquez makes sure to deliver some visually stunning work to move Bendis’ script and deliver the necessary emotional beats from beginning to end. The uncomfortable conversation between Carol, Bruce, and Tony is a great moment where the attention to detail and body language really helps to make the scene pop. Then we get the double page of the gathered heroes who are there and ready for anything (or so they think) to go down that conveys Banner’s shock and awe. But as great as those pages look, Ponsor and Marquez make sure that when the big moment comes that your face matches Tony’s and Carol’s. It’s brutal and quick and that tear in Bruce’s eye as he lays on the ground just drives it home. Mixing the flashback to the courtroom was a nice emotional touch as well from the artists. By the time we see Barton crying and telling his side of the events you realize you didn’t need Iron Man flying in blasting with repulsor rays. Also, Ponsor’s coloring of the arrow was perfect symbolism and on point. It’s also his colors that helped make for a more intimidating Matt Murdock in that courtroom. They were brief but strikingly good whenever we saw them.
Everyone knows that Bendis can do some of the best character driven moments that don’t require much action and he doesn’t drop the ball here. He keeps the debate between Tony and Carol interesting but again adds something to it as we lose yet another hero. Each one looking more like collateral damage by following these visions laid out by Ulysses. The standout sequence is the secret conversation between Bruce and Hawkeye that lays out some truths that Bruce knew about himself. This flashback was drawn by Olivier Coipel and is a dark and telling moment between the two Avengers that brings up another debate on whether or not Clint should be held accountable. So Bendis just gave comic fans something else to argue about online when it comes to this series.
Civil War II #3 is still moving at a slower pace that may not sit well with some considering all of the elements involved so far. I’m also still looking for what is ultimately at stake here in Civil War II. Aside from the friction between Tony, Inhumans, and Carol it’s a bit muddled as to the risk here. However, this issue is one of the better in the series so far and a huge part of that is due to the talents of Marquez and Ponsor.