Best Shots Review: CIVIL WAR II #8 'Limps Across The Finish Line' (3/10)

"Civil War II #8" preview
Credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)
Credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)

Civil War II #8
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by David Marquez, Adam Kubert, Leinil Francis Yu, Daniel Acuna, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Marco Rudy, Mark Bagley, John Dell, Esad Ribic and Justin Ponsor
Lettering by Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
‘Rama Rating: 3 out of 10

Credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)

Civil War II takes a weird, cosmic gasp in its long-awaited eighth issue finale. Brian Michael Bendis closes this long and bitter struggle out with an issue-long showdown between Carol Danvers and Tony Stark over the fate of Miles Morales, as the rest of the factions of heroes watch throughout the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, long delays and out-of-character storytelling have been this event’s albatross, and this finale does little to relieve the story of that weight. Though armed with some dynamite visuals by David Marquez, Civil War II #8 brings the battle to a messy and lifeless end.

But to get the good stuff out of the way - this eighth issue looks tremendous. Right from the start, David Marquez has given this series all he’s got in terms of bombast and action scene construction, and this finale is no exception. Focused on the battle between Captain Marvel and Iron Man, fitted out in a new hulking Carol-Buster armor, Marquez delivers a few truly thrilling displays of superheroism. Aided by the deep and rich colors of Justin Ponsor, Marquez’s pencils truly sell the scale and emotion of the battle, cutting from repulsor blasts to tense war rooms where Maria Hill and Alpha Flight and the Inhumans debate their next move.

Credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)

But all the flashiness in the multiverse can’t save Civil War II #8 from its inert script. By now you are all caught up on the overall story of the event, so I will spare you the recap, but this finale issue’s really major stumbling block is that its resolution will hold no lasting consequences for the overall Marvel Universe. As the two heroes fight to Tony’s eventual defeat, the Inhumans attempt to break it up with another one of Ulysses’ prophecies, and after a series of visions teasing out Marvel’s future events… Eternity shows up, states that the new Inhuman has reached a new plane of consciousness, and simply whisks him into space.

Credit: David Marquez (Marvel Comics)

That feeling you are experiencing right now is emptiness, which is exactly what this finale issue amounts to. Not only did Brian Michael Bendis take us through this long and drab story in which Rhodey got the axe, Carol was a bully, and Hawkeye killed the Hulk, but he didn’t even afford us the luxury of half an ending. Instead characters basically just go back to their day-to-day, aside from a few lip service panels which tees up the other writers taking on their respective solo titles, and we are left with a tone-deaf scene in which the President repeats his spiel to Rhodey from the opening to Carol and we fade to black.

And so, to summarize, Civil War II #8 was basically an episode of Whose Line is it Anyway?: Everything was made up and the stakes didn’t matter, which is something I’m growing weary of in my Marvel event books. Brian Michael Bendis, who has delivered some fantastic events in his long career, limps across the finish line in this eighth issue, employing a hefty bit of deus ex 'Cosmic Power of the Universe' for what can only be described as the opposite of a game changer.

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