The Not So Royal RumbleWritten by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: David Marquez, Sean Izaakse, and Justin Ponsor
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Review by: Branden Murray
Well, after a two month delay we're finally continuing Civil War II with issue number five. If you’re just joining us, I suggest you rethink your purchasing decisions, everything Civil War had going for it the first time around is missing in this second iteration. Exciting premise? Nope. Issues consisting of equal parts narrative, reasoning, and action? Missing. Twists and turns that feel earned and not forced? Look elsewhere. What we have been treated to is the same old tired Ulysses visions since the beginning, which have led to needless death and destruction. All while Captain Marvel fights for the crown of Marvel’s biggest B-I-T-C-H. Is that your cup of tea? Not sure? Well let’s find out together.
If you’ve been picking up this book wondering when the Civil War would actually get started fear no more because that’s all about all we’re treated to here in this issue. Thankfully we have the pencils of mostly David Marquez, with assists from Sean Izaakse, and the colors of Justin Ponsor to help us enjoy what little progress we do actually get this issue. Since not much actually happens besides punching, kicking, and super powers on display lets go over who’s at whose throat exactly.
- Obviously Captain Marvel and Iron Man kick things off going back and forth, energy blasting each other into oblivion.
- Dr. Strange, using magic powers that he should not have access to currently, takes on the Extraordinary X-Men, inexplicably on the same side of the Inhumans. The same Inhumans who’s Terrigan Mist have been killing mutants across the globe. Someone explain how any of this works to me … I’m waiting.
- Blue Marvel takes on Luke Cage, who has stated he was staying out of this fight between heroes just last week in another Bendis written title, Spider-Man #7. Nova takes the opportunity to cheap shot Blue Marvel who’s distracted, then takes off running … possibly to hide behind his mother’s legs.
- Magik (from the X-Men) takes on Sam Wilson transporting him to Hollywood and out of the fight, again with magic that shouldn’t currently exist in the Marvel timeline (see the Dr. Strange books).
- Rocket Raccoon gets lambasted by Miles Morales before Agent Venom comes running to his aid.
- Guardian leader, Star Lord, sizes up Steve Rogers and gives the reason of, the Guardians are better friends with Carol than Tony. I guess that’s their reasoning and their sticking to it. They just really want to punch fellow heroes their familiar and friendly with.
- Vision, in an almost identical moment to Civil War the movie, misses a shot with his mind gem and destroys something (instead of someone this time) he shouldn’t …. the Guardians spaceship. Stranding the crew on Earth.
- Finally, the Inhumans, the reason this entire fight is happening decide to show up at the end bringing along another unnecessary Ulysses vision to the party with them.
At this point, we get our only actual progression in this story. ANOTHER vision of Ulysses, which is conveniently broadcast to anyone fighting each other, foretells a future where Miles Morales kills Steve Rodgers with little other context given to the heroes seeing this or the reader. This is more than enough proof for Captain Marvel if you’ve been reading this story and she says to Miles “Kid … I'm sorry … but you’re under arrest”. With that single statement Captain Marvel hits an over the plate home run securing the crown of the Marvel Universe’s biggest bitch, no I'm not taking votes, its final.
Didn’t Captain Marvel just arrest someone and be proven 100% wrong? Why is anyone allowing her to have a say in anything at this moment in time, none the less arrest an innocent person again? Marvel has backed themselves into a corner with these events two years in a row because their new line of NOW books is dropping in October. This will most likely begin to spoil the ending to this event, along with future solicits, before it even gets near its continually delayed conclusion. A Marvel Now line of books, might I add, that leaves a whole lot to be desired to many longtime Marvel readers, including myself.
The bottom line is this is not a well written or constructed comic event in any way shape or form and now that’s it's hit delays, has become utterly pointless. Continuity is loose as a goose and not followed, resurrection, killing, and now destruction is abound just because the author demands it, so save your money. Go buy a large coffee and donut instead...at least you’ll have some satisfaction from spending five dollars on something worthwhile. Bendis has turned Ulysses into nothing more than an uninteresting plot device, taking down heroes left and right, while the only death I’m interested in going forward from the author is Ulysses’ himself.
Bits and Pieces:
Marvel needs to do better because, other than Spider-Man, I'm losing interest in the future of their comics at a rapid pace.