Monday, August 22, 2016

Civil War II: The Accused #1 One-Shot Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Monday

Cue the Law & Order Theme Song

Written By: Marc Guggenheim
Art By: Ramon Bachs, Garry Brown, Ruth Redmond
Cover Price: $4.99
Released Date: August 10, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Honestly, after Civil War II #3 there was little that I was excited for when it came to this crossover. It was clear that Marvel was going to completely ignore continuity and do whatever they wanted and I didn’t consider it to be very good. If the story was incredible, that would be one thing but it isn’t and it has now been given an extra issue and I’m going a little insane. That said, there was one thing this month that I was particularly excited for this month from Marvel and that was The Accused and The Fallen one-shots that were announced. I can’t really explain why I have been so excited for it, but I really am. Will I be pleasantly surprised or will I be majorly let down? Let’s find out.

The issue begins with Clint Barton being arrested after he fired the arrow that killed Bruce Banner. Immediately the comic moves forward a month and we see Daredevil fighting off some goons when he gets a call on his cell phone. It is a member of the Justice Department named Evelyn Stanzler and she wants Matt Murdock to be on the Hawkeye case. He meets up with her and they go into a holding cell in which Clint Barton resides. He is offered a plea deal but he refuses. Barton clearly feels very guilty for what he has done and wants the case to go to trial. Murdock turns to him and explains that the courtroom will not help him determine if he did the right thing and Murdock ends the conversation by saying that his job is to make sure the Clint Barton’s life ends at the point of a needle.

The trial finally gets underway and Carol Danvers takes the stand and they discuss what happened on the day Bruce Banner died. The defense raises some objections and they are overruled. As the trial continues for weeks, every objection raised by the defense is overruled by the judge. After a meeting in the judge’s chamber, the defense counselor talks with Matt Murdock and accuses the trial of being rigged. Secretly, Murdock agrees that something is a bit fishy and he decides to investigate as Daredevil. After sneaking in, Murdock overhears a conversation between several people, including Evelyn Stanzler, General Strakofsky, and others. They are talking about a new law that is being considered by Congress. The S.R.A. II, also known as the Superhero Registration Act II is being considered but the government officials need political cover. They need a conviction for Clint Barton and the people in this room are putting pressure on the judge to make sure it happens.

Back in the trial, Matt Murdock retracks a previous objection and allows the defense to enter Bruce Banner’s video diary into evidence. Evelyn is furious but Matt Murdock has ensured that Barton will receive a fair trial. Evelyn vows to ruin Murdock’s career over this but he isn’t fazed. Barton finally takes the stand and gives his side of the story. Murdock attempts to find out whether Barton’s actions were premeditated or not as it would be one of the biggest factors into determining his guilt. The comic then changes to news coverage getting opinions from various people about the state of the trial. Finally we arrive at the final arguments from both the defense and the prosecution. Near the end of the trial we get a scene where Daredevil pays a visit to the judge. He tells her that he knows she is being pressured to affect the trial. Daredevil ensures that she will not tamper with the jury in any way with her positon of authority. The issue ends with Matt Murdock meeting Clint Barton once again in the correctional facility. He tells him about the plans for the S.R.A. II and that he made sure that Barton received a fair trial. Barton asks him if he thinks the verdict was fair to which Murdock simply responds “I don’t know” as Barton walks away a free man. This is where the issue ends.

There have been a few very special issues of this crossover so far. I think that the funeral for James Rhodes was incredibly well done, Patsy Walker’s tie-in issue really struck an emotional chord with me, and watching Kingpin thrive despite desperate times has stuck in the front of my mind. As good as all of those are, none compare to this issue. I’ve been very vocal about my dislike for the event after issue #3 in which Bruce Banner was killed. It didn’t make sense and felt like a blatant manipulation of a comic book audience. That said, this one-shot is incredible. I voiced my praises for the Amazing Spider-Man miniseries as the best part of the crossover a couple weeks ago but there is a new champion. This issue gives us gripping drama, beautiful dialogue, amazing art, and everything else in between. I loved everything about this issue and I’m simply blown away by it. If the crossover was more like this, we would all be talking about Marvel entering a new golden age. It’s that good. I cannot praise this issue enough.

Bits and Pieces

This issue is perfect. This is the story that we all wanted from this crossover. It’s a damn shame that it is only around for a one-shot. The rest of Civil War II has left a bad taste in my mouth but this issue shows that there were truly amazing stories that writers wanted to tell in this crossover. This one-shot gives us some of the best storytelling that I’ve read in years and the dialogue is incredibly sharp. I cannot sing the praises of this one-shot enough.


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