Civil War #1 Review
First off, before I mention anything else, Marvel better give Dexter Vines an exclusive contract, because Steve McNiven's art looks as good here as it has EVER looked, and since the only difference that I can see is that he's being inked by Vines, I have decided to give him credit for that extra little bit of improvement to McNiven's work, which already was quite good.
The art for Civil War #1 was excellent.
Not since John Byrne on Legends has the art for a big crossover mini-series been this good, and I think McNiven on this comic did a better job than Byrne did on Legends. Remarkable work.
As to the story. Well, it's funny, if comic books were children being cared for by the comic companies, then Marvel Comics should be receiving a visit from Child Welfare soon, because they really did a number on this comic. Through no fault of the comic itself, practically the ENTIRE story has already been reported, which robs the reading experience a good deal. Kinda hard to get pumped about a story when you've heard it a million times before you ever actually READ it.
However, if I had to divorce myself from the outside influences, and pretended that Civil War #1 was the first I heard any of this stuff before, I would have to say that the story worked well. Mark Millar did a good job, I think.
I have only three concerns about the writing. The first two are minor, but I think the last one is significant.
1. Yellowjacket comes off a total jerk. Sorta affects your rooting interest when one side is represented by Yellowdouchebag (and douchebag was used this week in another comic, so it is okay to say here! One cool point to the person who tells me which comic used the word "douchebag" this week!).
2. A number of the characters were off, voice-wise. But not as many as you would think, really, especially with Mark Millar involved. The best, though, was Goliath saying "honey" to Ms. Marvel, in the context of "This is the start of the witch hunts, honey." The only thing better would be if he called Ms. Marvel "girlfriend."
3. The biggest, and most important, scene in the comic (not counting the opening)...and it was dumb.
Not only was it dumb, but it was unnecessarily dumb.
I have no problem with Captain America becoming a renegade. None whatsoever. I thought the scene where he escapes from the Hellicarrier to be excellent, with amazing visuals from McNiven (come on! Cap lands on a jet and rides on top of it until it lands!!). But the story leading UP to that?
Either SHIELD Director Maria Hill called Cap up to talk to her, or Cap went to her to talk. Either way, Cap was COOPERATING. All Cap did in the scene was refuse to lead the Avengers and SHIELD in a mission to round up non-compliant heroes. And for that, action, Hill orders a squad of soldiers to ATTACK CAP!!!
For such a major, major scene, it was far too dumb.
"What's going on?"
"We want you to lead these guys to round up heroes."
Those are not the actions of a SHIELD director, even one shown to be a total b-word. That is how, like, Yellow Claw acts. Or the Mandarin. Heck, Dr. Doom wouldn't even act like that.
And, like I said before, it was unnecessary, because the scene would work fine with only minute changes, like maybe Cap being more belligerent (which would be understandable, given the situation). Saying something like, "I will fight you on this." THEN her reaction would be believable. And not, you know, so dumb.
However, the art was amazing, and the story worked well, except for that problem (and it was only magnified because it was such a significant scene), so I will say that I WOULD actually recommend this issue, just with heavy reservations, and those are A. The Cap scene is dumb and B. If you've read anything about Civil War, you have basically read the entire story of #1.