Monday, January 30, 2017

Civil War II: The Oath #1 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Darkness on the Horizon


Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Rod Reis, Phil Noto, Raffaele Ienco, Szymon Kudranski, Dono Sanches-Almara
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

We’ve finally reached the end. Civil War II has been over for about a month now but we get this final epilogue one-shot to finally bring an end to this crossover. To say that I did not enjoy Civil War II would be the biggest understatement ever. I hated the crossover and I read every single tie-in. However, we’ve finally reached the end and this last one-shot is interesting to me. This issue is going to give us a view of how the Marvel Universe is going to go forward and it’s written by Nick Spencer, probably my favorite writer out there right now. I don’t think this issue can save the Civil War II crossover but maybe it can give us some hope for the future. Let’s just jump in and find out.


Our issue begins with a helicopter landing on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier Iliad and out steps Captain America (Steve Rogers). He is greeted at the door and led to a room that has been secured privately for him. Rogers enters by himself, pulls up a chair and removes his mask. Turns out that Steve is sitting in front of the body of Tony Stark. The scene looks exactly like the one from the original Civil War crossover when Tony was sitting next to Steve’s body. Steve talks to Tony’s body and begins to reveal what he has planned for the future. He tells Tony that this was always going to happen, not because Steve engineered it but because of Tony’s personality. He never wants to give up authority and he was willing to fight to the death because of it. Captain Marvel is the same way which is why this superhero civil war happened. It all came down to ego.

This is when we get a reveal that some major changes have happened in the universe. We cut to a point earlier when Steve Rogers was sworn in to be the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and we get a lot of different opinions about the situation. Some disagree with the move but it seems like most people support Steve Rogers. He has been given a lot of power in being about to monitor and surveil the country. We cut to Hawkeye who is clearly still haunted by the death of Bruce Banner and we even visit with Spider-Man (Miles Morales). Miles is joined by the new Wasp (Nadia Pym) and the two listen to the speech that Steve Rogers delivers. Miles is staying away from the Capitol Building as he is still worried about the vision of him killing Steve.

After visiting with them Steve delivers a speech. He talks out about how the superhero community has failed the public due to their own ambitions and short-sightedness and he vows to take the steps needed in order to keep them safe. I can’t go over the entire speech because it is rather lengthy. I can only recommend reading this issue because I wouldn’t be able to do it justice with a summary. Needless to say, it’s very good and it gives the public hope in Steve Rogers. Steve continues his talk with Tony before we flash to another moment when our heroes are sharing some champagne in celebration of Steve’s new position. During this celebration we get Hulk and Sasquatch fighting for a moment before they are broken up. Amadeus is clearly still hurting from the death of Bruce Banner as well and chooses to leave. Meanwhile, Steve and Captain Marvel finally get a chance to speak in private.

Captain Marvel had been given the plan for the orbital shield from Maria Hill who seems to have gone into hiding now that she’s been removed from her position as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in favor of Steve Rogers. Captain Marvel spoke with the President in an attempt to get him to give her authority in space despite Steve Rogers being in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she plans on making sure the planet is safe with the orbital shield. Seems like the President gave her that authority and that is what Steve and Carol speak about. Despite Carol wanting to build the shield, Steve asks her not to. The two have a discussion and he tells her that they shouldn’t be isolating themselves from the galaxy. Steve leaves Carol to make her own decision but he asks her not to build it.

Steve continues his talk with Tony and this is where it is revealed that Steve has been promoting his own secret agenda the entire time. Of course, readers of Captain America Steve Rogers know all about this. We get a sense that this isn’t just because he is now a member of Hydra but rather that he disagrees with how the superhero community has been acting lately and that he plans to change all of that. Steve reveals to Tony that he is not the same man he used to be but he has all the memories and he holds them close despite being a different person now. Steve saw the future where he dies and he believes that just because it hasn’t come true yet, doesn’t mean it won’t come true soon. Finally he reveals his plans for the future of this country and we see Hydra taking control of the country and slowly, the American flag fades and turns into a Hydra flag. This is where the issue leaves us.

This issue is incredibly and really solidifies my opinion of Nick Spencer as one of the best writers in the comic industry. Spencer gives us a new look at the entire event with Steve Rogers seeming to be pulling the strings from the shadows. Granted, he had no knowledge that things would turn out this way but he certainly wasn’t surprised. Now, in the comic industry, it is rare for a company to admit their mistakes (especially Marvel). However, this book seems to come as close as possible to an apology to the reader. It’s a sentiment I appreciated but all the while, the book also shows that there is a sinister plot brewing underneath the surface and that we will be getting a lot of major events and changes this year. It honestly has me excited for what’s to come. This issue is fucking incredible and the dialogue that Spencer writes is brilliant. The art team does some really nice work too (for the most part). Mostly though, I’m excited to see Spencer taking a commanding role at Marvel for the foreseeable future.

Bits and Pieces

While it doesn’t make up for the mistakes of the past, this epilogue to the Civil War II crossover does everything it can to not only apologize to comic readers but also to set up an exciting future. The art and dialogue in this book is beyond incredible and I consider it a must read even if someone chose to skip the Civil War II crossover. I love this issue and it’s easily one of the best comics I’ve read in the past year. Everyone should read this issue!

10/10 

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4 comments:

  1. I actually want to hear your opinion on something: If it gets to the future described in this issue... Do you think theres ANYWAY to make Steve Rogers a hero again? Because try and argue all you want, the future implies Steve Rogers becomes leader to a new Nazi Party and that isn't something you can just brush off

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    1. I do agree that is a very problematic situation. I don't know if you've been reading the Captain America: Steve Rogers book, but in that book it seems like Steve, despite being a part of Hydra, wants to take the organization in a different path. So, I'm thinking we will see Steve being a major part of Hydra but ultimately we will see Red Skull or Baron Zemo leading the charge. That said, I think this will majorly effect Steve Rogers' character in a negative way for a moment but ultimately a positive change. It is my belief that we will see Steve as a true villain in the Secret Empire storyline and then he will return at some point to his former self at some point (Either through fixing his mind or dying and being brought back to life). After seeing what he has done, I think he will feel an extreme need to redeem himself and so despite his hard fall we will slowly see him pay for his crimes and fix the mistakes that he made, ultimately making himself a hero once again. It will take some time and it may be a while but if Nick Spencer is manning he helm the entire way, I think Captain America is in great hands. The fall of a character and their ultimate rise has been a classic story and I think we will see it here again. Now, I could always be wrong lol. I hope they find a way to make Captain America still a great hero but you are definitely right that Marvel has to play this perfectly if they want to keep their character's legacy intact.

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    2. While I do agree Steve wants to take it in a different direction, killing Red Ghost, attempting to kill Jack Flag twice, sets up Bruce Banners death nullifies that positive change. Granted, Nick Spencer is a pretty good writer, but it feels as if he wants to do EVERYTHING in his power to make this fall hard. The whole point of a redemption story is to add something that makes the character likable. In the first 3 issues, I believed Cap was still in there, as he was trying to save the suicide bomber on the train... Then the who Civil War II event happened. Murdering people, setting up the downfall to your closest friend, kidnapping a Chitauri Queen to have the race attack earth, and now the situation The Oath's future promises basically stomps on any sign of Steve being in there.

      With all the acts Spencer has written Steve Rogers into doing, as well as him kind of being a dick at the beginning of the Sam Wilson Captain America series, it sometimes feels as if Spencer never liked the character of Steve Rogers

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  2. This was a much needed ending/new beginning of CW2 and a new chapter in the Marvel a universe. Brian Bendis and Alex Alonso gave an ABC interview after the end of CW2 and Bendis spoke of moving toward a hopeful universe. Yes, he actually spoke of hope regarding the dark MU. And Bendis recently tweeted about "destroying childhoods" at the end of the first day of the current Marvel summit. I predict with reasonable certainty that Secret Empire will be a smash hit and it will be even more successful due to its real world analogies currently playing out in the Trump White House. Steve Rogers will be lategely successful in his quest for power but will ultimately be defeated by a younger generation of Marvel heroes led by the Champions. The actions of the Champions will inspire the old guard heroes of Captain Marvel, Iron Man and the classic Avengets in realizing their folly. And the cosmic cube that turned Rogers into a hydra agent will Alison be enlightened and repair the error done to Steve Rogers psyche. In the end, hope will triumph over cynicism and heroes infighting each other.
    Captain America's identification of the problem of the MU was spot on in The Oath, the only thing he has wrong is the solution. His solution is as wrongheaded as Trumps. You can't intimidate and use fear to establish order in a democracy and if you try to do so..... you discover that hope breeds eternal. It's not just a trait of the DCU. Steve Rogers is in for a rude awakening.... and we readers can expect an epic event and a return to Marvel greatness! Boom baby!!

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