|FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2016 (CIVIL WAR II) No. 1, May 2016|
Despite the brevity of Brian Michael Bendis’ actual narrative, this “opening salvo of Civil War II” must surely have whetted the appetites of “Marvel Worldwide” fans everywhere with its utterly outrageous action-packed plot concerning War Machine, She-Hulk and Captain Marvel literally going toe-to-toe with Thanos in a desperate bid to prevent the Titanian Eternal from acquiring the Cosmic Cube. The Free Comic Book Day ‘exclusive’ certainly lives up to its pre-publication hype of being a magazine “no fan can afford to miss out on” and it’s extremely doubtful many of its readers didn’t immediately hunger for the crossover storyline's official opening issue in order to ascertain just how badly hurt Jennifer Walters and James Rhodes actually were having been badly battered during their short-lived confrontation with “The Mad Titan”. Little wonder the New-York based publishers were so “proud to officially peel back the curtain on…” their summer 2016 blockbuster multi-title event and let people “get their very first taste of the ensuing war…”
Indeed within the space of just eleven pages the five-time Eisner Award-winner’s short story not only provides plenty of exposition as to the Inhuman behind “the escalating conflict” and their seemingly formidable precognitive ability. But additionally mixes some rarely seen emotional tenderness in with the terrifically entertaining carnage of The Avatar of Death’s attack upon Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S.; “The Cosmic Cube does not belong on Earth… It belongs to me! You will not keep me from my prize!”
Fortunately Jim Cheung’s stunningly detailed artwork is precisely the sort of quality pencilling needed to depict this “snapshot of the conflict that will split the Marvel Universe in two!” The British illustrator does a superb job of making Captain Marvel’s deep-felt affection for War Machine abundantly evident in her facial expressions. Whilst his drawing ability equally excels in representing the ferocious power Thanos can wield with a single-punch and the impact such a devastating blow can cause a mortal man; albeit it one who wears a Variable Threat Response Battle Suit.
Issue One of “Free Comic Book Day Civil War II” is also noteworthy for containing “a special secondary story from All-New, All-Different Avengers writer Mark Waid and legendary artist Alan Davis.” Debuting the “sting” of Nadia’s Wasp, this brief introductory tale makes it tantalisingly unclear as to whether the “mysterious new character” is actually “friend or foe” by portraying the teenager successfully invading the internal workings of the Vision.
|Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Penciler: Jim Cheung, and Inker: John Dell|