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COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Civil War #1

 
Civil-War-1-1-600x911
Civil-War-1-1-600x911
Civil-War-1-1-600x911

 
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4/ 5


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To sum it all up..

BEYOND CIVIL WAR One of the best things happen in the mega-event Secret Wars is the revisiting of some of Marvel’s best comic stories or events. Sure, we have Planet Hulk, Old Man Logan, Inferno, Age of Apocalypse, House of M, and Infinity Gauntlet to name a few. Right now, upcoming superstar comic scribe Charles […]

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Posted July 9, 2015 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Civil-War-1-1-600x911

BEYOND CIVIL WAR

One of the best things happen in the mega-event Secret Wars is the revisiting of some of Marvel’s best comic stories or events. Sure, we have Planet Hulk, Old Man Logan, Inferno, Age of Apocalypse, House of M, and Infinity Gauntlet to name a few. Right now, upcoming superstar comic scribe Charles Soule and our very own superstar dynamic tandem Leinil Yu and Gerry Alanguilan (with Sunny Gho as colorist) reinterpret another Marvel mega-event, CIVIL WAR, in the premier issue that bears the subtitle: WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Story wise, Soule provides us the appetizer what we need to expect from this mini-series. It starts with the monumental heroes versus heroes in the Negative Zone to have new readers familiarize the background, and ends a rather sour note that could possibly wrap up everything else. But this is a superhero comic first and foremost. The drama that makes the original Civil War memorable (or dragging to some naysayers out there) should play again the biggest role. That is fair enough in this premier chapter: both Iron Man and Steve Rogers are still bickering; their respective allies are either hoping to end the conflict or wanting to continue to fight on; and the mysterious third party (or groups?) is lurking behind the scenes to further escalate the already costly, emotionally draining and a seeming lost cause war.

Unlike most tie-ins right now, this Civil War has no clear villains here, but two unresolved ideological differences in spandex and costumes that is similar to a blurred line of the “good” and the “bad” morality play. Soule cleverly maintains the Mark Millar-esque taste of having two sides fighting a long-drought out without almost a glimmer of hope seen, despite things or factors try to do the opposite. Naturally, a war is a diminishing factor of resources, and Soule clearly knows this one by presenting how to sustain or replenish these: new recruits, especially young and superpower types. Also, there is the “calm before the storm” or the “lull” in-between since the territories governed is strategically sliced as The Iron (East side under Pres. Tony Stark) and the Blue (West part under Gen. Steve Rogers) which presents further beyond ideological differences but socio-economic-geopolitical situations.

I see the leaps and bounds of Leinil Yu’s illustrations that started in his Superior moments. Highly detailed in close-up and grasping the sequential linear storytelling that continues to gather praises from creators alike, including Soule himself. His cover art oozes with the same kind of intensity he consistently displays since his Wolverine years, but his art puts the readers in the story itself, which is another improvement in itself. Personally, the most gorgeous artistic moment the artist draws is the appearance of Mary Jane and her daughter. And, his illustration of the new tech Peter Parker possesses, in which it is almost akin to the mecha illustration we are familiar with. Yu really never leaves his anime love on that one. Gerry Alanguilan’s inks are properly placed most of the time in this issue. Some moments see less inks which are appropriately suited but his trademark heavy tones are visible whenever shadows are needed or depending on the angular perspectives. Nevertheless, this issue is less inked yet in the Yu-Alanguilan tandem. Gho’s colors are obviously a league of his own that he can distinguish what palettes necessary in the setting, ambiance and the characters as well. Basically, this is a well-oiled artistic execution.

Soule’s script is straightforward, but there are some panels that dialogues are deemed verbose. Yu’s illustrations are improving as the years pass by, particularly women, though the teeth are somewhat distracting to view. He becomes a sort of minimalist but fused with his hyper-kinetic brand of his yesteryears. Alanguilan’s inks are toned down for the better since the setting is, well, daytime, so goes to Gho’s colors that blend well with the surroundings. Overall, “Civil War #1: Whose Side Are You on?” is a good start of the possibilities on a long protracted warfare on ideologies and the actual costs for both parties in superhero fashion. There are more to explore here, and Soule, Yu and Alanguilan will offer us more to come….


Paul Ramos

 


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