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REVIEW: ‘Civil War: Warzones!’ is a great sequel after Mark Millar’s Civil War

 
Civil War Warzone
Civil War Warzone
Civil War Warzone

 
Overview
 

Story by: Charles Soule
 
Art by: Leinil Francis Yu & Gerry Alanguilan
 
Colors by: Sunny Gho
 
Publisher:
 
FG RATING
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


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To sum it all up..

WAR. WAR IS STUPID! If there is one mega-comic event tie-in that can be read independently, if not autonomously, outside the Secret Wars main event itself, it’s Civil War: Warzones! Written by rising star comic phenomenon Charles Soule and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu and Gerry Alanguilan, this trade paperback collects Civil War #1-5, clocking […]

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Posted January 29, 2016 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Civil War WarzoneWAR. WAR IS STUPID!

If there is one mega-comic event tie-in that can be read independently, if not autonomously, outside the Secret Wars main event itself, it’s Civil War: Warzones! Written by rising star comic phenomenon Charles Soule and illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu and Gerry Alanguilan, this trade paperback collects Civil War #1-5, clocking a solid 120 pages. This is as straightforward as you get!

[CHECK OUT… LEINIL YU & GERRY ALANGUILAN strike back for Star Wars comic]

The premise is basically hits the head of the nail: what happens if the fight between Captain America and Iron Man rages on? In short, this is a “What If?” scenario. The catch here is it happens in one of the domains/regions/territories of Battleworld (the world Lord Emperor God Doom created after the former Marvel Multiverse was destroyed in the main event –  Secret Wars); and the name is WARZONE. Since the conflict rages on between two main forces, so does the creation of two nations. Captain America leads the BLUE, while Tony Stark handles the IRON. If one knows his/her American history, the conflict prolonged is a conflict needed to be resolved. Charles Soule is aware of that and he wisely puts subtle references of the dire consequences of unresolved differences. Steve Roger’s territory maybe larger but its natural resources are depleting sharply; while Iron Man’s lead contributed to the prosperity of the IRON, but overpopulation and its relatively small geographical space countered the former. However, there is division among the superheroes’ respective families and friends, as clearly illustrated in Peter Parker’s case. Soule’s knowledge of the brutal and dire long-term ramifications of any war is simply magnified in this one of the best “spiritual” continuations of the Civil War series. Not only that, Soule is knowledgeable on the ways of politics (war is one of many faces of politics, by the way); and he shows the audience how this kind of struggle prolongs, unresolved, and even intensifies as the story progresses. Every side needs to outwit, outsmart, outdo, and outperform its enemy; and the writer demonstrates his capability as a dark and suspense thriller comic scribe that admittedly grabs our throats until the middle of the penultimate chapter, where the big reveal emerges and the big superhero smack down takes place as intense as ever. Plot-wise, Soule centers on the search of the alleged culprit who wants to keep the flames of war intact, while delving little on the characterizations of the casts since this is a mini-series and the writer needs to maximize the story on what limited characters and pacing possessed. But nevertheless, Civil War: Warzones! reads remarkably well, though one needs to reread the story if he/she is unfamiliar with anything suspense-thriller and a flair of noir storytelling.

On the other hand, main illustrator and Filipino comic book artist Leinil Francis Yu delivers his one-of-the-kind kinetic and dynamic illustration yet. Since his role as one of the main artists of the Infinity maxi-comic event, he has shown the readers once again how he improves his artistic skills in the sequential and angular perspectives, alongside his consistent artwork that is neither repetitive nor smudgy all throughout. He demonstrates further his passion for intricate details, particularly when there are close-ups and splash pages. He draws Spider-Man’s winged armaments, Iron Man’s Extremis armor, and some vehicular with the precision for minute details. Furthermore, he even puts some shades, shadows and ink placements, in which fellow compatriot Gerry Alanguilan applies his patented heavy inks on those designated areas. After the Filipinos’ respective artistic responsibilities, colorist Sunny Gho colors this Secret Wars tie-in series. As the observer attests, the overall tone of this story grows darker, so goes with the inking and the coloring departments as well. Even the ultimate chapter has its share of some heavy shading to illustrate the gravity of the situation, and the uncertainty and suspense building-up to fulfill Soule’s initial trajectory plan of a rather bittersweet outcome of this said mini-event. Thus, Yu, Alanguilan and Gho accomplish the scribe’s directives and synchronize their respective artistic skills in realizing the encapsulation of the Civil War series, especially the concept of being civil during the war (of course, that statement is both ironic and sarcastic).

Naturally, It is a disappointing that this trade paperback possesses neither additional features nor notes from the creative team. Also, the paper quality this time around is not something to be admired with. Additionally, some of the illustrative team’s artworks in the later chapters are felt rushed and a bit scrawny, particularly in far perspectives. This is the case when the series was originally scheduled on a monthly basis, which actually affected a little of Yu’s overall illustrating rhythm. But in fairness with the artist, he maintains his consistency in having a decent artwork from start to finish. And on the personal note, why Marvel did not intend to release this good series in hardcover edition first?

Regardless, Civil War: Warzones! deserves our attention because it can read independently, unlike majority of the Secret Wars tie-ins series around. And second, it can be said that this is a great “sequel” in “What If?” of Mark Millar’s and Steve McNiven’s Civil War. Of course, Soule’s narrative skills are top-notched yet, as well as some of Yu’s and Alanguilan’s respective illustrative artworks. Well played, guys!


Norby Ela

 
FlipGeeks Operations Editor, Managing Editor of Comics, Komiks, Manga, atbp.


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