Movies & TV / Columns

411 Comics Fact or Fiction: Will Marvel’s Civil War II Outdo the Original?

December 14, 2015 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Hello folks, and welcome to the another edition of 411 Comics Fact or Fiction! This week we have two new comic books experts coming up to bat as yours truly Jeremy Thomas takes the man behind the Comics 8-Ball in Anthony Kennedy! Let’s get right into it, shall we?

1.) Marvel’s Civil War II will not be more successful than the first one.

Jeremy Thomas FACT: There are a lot of measures by which that can be judged, and the answer is largely dependant that. I think that there’s virtually no chance it outsells the original Civil War arc, which helped reinvigorate Marvel when it was seriously lagging. That’s part of where my “Fact” answer comes into play. The other part is that I think it will be viewed — probably correctly — as another cheap marketing ploy to not only create another “event” (along with the Apocalypse War storyline in upcoming X-Men) but also to cash in on Captain America: Civil War hype. Hell, considering Marvel’s publishing delays, it may not even be done until well after the film is a distant memory. On the sikde of dissent, I think from a creative side this has the potential to top the first one which was polarizing, to say the least. I have to assume that Cap’s recent actions will take on a trend that will lead into this, which means they can be topical and have hopefully learned from the problems of the last film. But it won’t top the first one commercially with a near-certainty.

Anthony KennedyFACT: How Sway! How can they possibly improve upon the original storyline? As nuanced and topical as “Civil War” was, it did get a bit long in the tooth spreading through MANY titles. Not to mention the end of the conflict was wholly anticlimactic. Not to be a contrarian but this is clearly a marketing cash grab to piggyback off the upcoming MCU film of the same name, which is fine. However, if you’re going to revisit a much lauded (fanboy darling) story, they need to give us something more than teasing Cap’s replacement tangling with the billionaire, genius, playboy philanthropist. Maybe they’ll tackle police brutality or look at the anti-Muslim paranoia in thoughtful way. Anything is possible, I just have my doubts.

2.) Paul Dini’s Vertigo Batman story Dark Night: A True Batman Story is a brilliant idea.

Jeremy Thomas FACT: I think a Vertigo Batman story is a great idea, and this meta retelling of the story is a really interesting way to go about it. Paul Dini is of course one of Batman’s best writers and turning his true story into a graphic novel makes for one hell of an idea. I can imagine that there are people who won’t be a big fan of this because it isn’t a “real” Batman story, but I’m deeply excited to see what he does here.

Anthony KennedyFACT: Anything that results in Dini crafting a story that involves “The Batman”, I’m all aboard. I’m not waxing poetic or misremembering my super, awesome childhood shows but the Dini-verse is the best media adaptation of DC’s properties. Dini, with the much acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series guided world for Batman that touched upon a number of themes, Batman’s backstory, the develop of Robin and even managed to delve into the psyche of most of his rogue’s gallery. So having someone who has shown such a reverence for the character and already demonstrated his ability to craft compelling stories can only result in a win-win.

3.) Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird is something you’re willing to check out.

Jeremy ThomasFACT: This is admittedly a wacky concept, but some of the best comic book characters are. Think about it, “There’s a guy with a ring that do whatever he wants but is vulnerable to yellow” or “A mystical bird gives a telepath the power to destroy the universe” are pretty out there. I’m not saying that I’m deeply excited by this, but I will at least give it an issue or two. Margaret Atwood is a hell of a writer and I’m definitely up for at least giving her a chance to prove she can tell a compelling comic book story.

Anthony KennedyFICTION: Far be it for me to speak ill of such an accomplished writer and poet, but the premise for this book has me scratching my head in bewilderment. I know these powers will probably be an allegory of some social injustice. HOWEVER at the end of the day, it will be a book about a superhero cat/bird. This will be a pass for me.


4.) Amadeus Cho is a great choice to take on the mantle of the Hulk in Totally Awesome Hulk.

Anthony KennedyFICTION: And get off my lawn while you’re at it. I hate change, I’m still coming to grips with accepting someone else being the green behemoth. After reading the first issue, it’s a very different take on the Hulk, somewhat felt like I was reading an adaptation of the Fast & Furious with a number of their tropes. I’m nt very familiar with the brilliant Amadeus Cho, but if the first issue is an indication I won’t be going along for the ride

Jeremy ThomasFICTION:. He’s not a bad choice, but “great” is overstating it a bit much. Like Anthony I read the first issue and wasn’t blown away. There’s a lot of potential there and I like Frank Cho’s artwork along with Amadeus’ relationship with his sister; I like how the Hulk transformation is affecting Amadeus. But despite this, something just seems off. I suspect I’ll grow to like him down the line but right now I’m not entirely feeling it.

5.) DC and IDW’s Batman & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover is one you can get behind.

Anthony KennedyFICTION: I’m burnt out on the series of Batman crossover books and see this being a huge styles clash. While on the surface you have one of the best trained fighters in the world (including ninjutsu) paired with, well, ninja turtles. However I fear that the gritty, dark, brooding persona of the Dark Knight will not lend itself well to the wise cracking reptiles fro the sewers.

Jeremy ThomasFACT:. Batman crossovers are certainly DC’s go-to concept for a quick money infusion, but I’m willing to let this one stand. Both Batman and the Turtles are street-level heroes and while I haven’t been following IDW’s Turtles books, if they’re any level of the grittiness that the originals are I can absolutely see this working. Even Batman’s adventures with some of his DC universe brethren have had style differences but they’ve generally worked more than they haven’t. I’ve heard great things about this and am looking forward to reading it.

6.) You’re excited for the return of Bitch Planet in January.

Anthony KennedyFACT: Representation matters. Having more female creatives telling stories from a female perspective about, wait for it, FEMALES, can only be a good thing. Smartly lampooning the tropes from exploitation, blaxploitation and women-in-prison films of the ’70s that we loved was excellent fodder in the first six issue of the this book. The original was uncomfortably brutal and showing women capable of doing some horrific things. Knowing it was being told with a female’s perspective added greatly to the story being told. I am genuinely excited to see where they take this next: more corruption, new inmates? Count me in!

Jeremy ThomasFACT:. If Kelly Sue DeConnick is writing something, I’ll read it. There’s very little of hers that I haven’t enjoyed and Bitch Planet is no exception. It’s a sharp, subversive take on the exploitation film genre and you can really tell that DeConnick is a fan of those movies. The more of this comic series the better, as far as I’m concerned.

That wraps up this the week’s Comics Fact or Fiction. Anthony and I went three for six, splitting the difference. Thanks to Anthony for contributing! I hope your pull list gives you nothing but enjoyable reads; we’ll be back in a couple of weeks!