In war the first casualty is often turned into a martyr; an icon of the side which holds up the body of their innocent to lend a righteous justification to their cause.
Apparently Bendis thinks that Jester can be this figure.
Every summer we are treated to a comics wide event in the Marvel Universe. We have all come to expect it, start deadpools based around it, mark our calendars by it. Few events have had as much build up as Civil War II, however, and the anticipation for it has been long and drawn out. We even got a blockbuster MCU movie to wet our appetites. Will all the pent up frustration be released this week or do we have to pine away until June 1st?
Sometimes foreplay can last a little too long.
The #0 issue of this comic series contains four stories. Four different threads that will be brought together when the series actually starts. The first of these stories revolves around Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. In her most brilliant of lawyering pant suites, we see her try to sway a jury into believing that her client Jonathan Power, aka Jester, was only guilty of "talking shop" and not of... planning to commit a crime while in federal penitentiary while talking to covert federal agents. She uses the word "entrapment" and I can assume there is a counter suit levied against the US government do to her statement: "They have to answer for their time and money spent. YOUR TIME AND MONEY SPENT."
It was at this point I thought the comic was talking to me.
She-Hulk can't win them all, but is upbeat about until she finds out from a very callous Maria Hill that her client is dead; shot by a guard while in custody after two other inmates attacked him. This is supposed to appeal to the readers sense of justice and moral outrage, but I find it hard to find empathy for a figure that we barely see.
Next we jump to Latveria where Colonel Rhodes, aka War Machine, is putting down an insurrection (probably due to the fact that Dr. Doom has his face back). We flash forward to the White House "Situation Room" where the silhouetted President of the United States is having a heart to heart with Rhodey. The President asks Colonel Rhodes to be the new Secretary of Defense. A position which the Shadowy Prez thinks will be a good stepping stone to the presidency after his term in office.
Next we jump to Carol Danvers at the Triskelion continuing to have the most stressed out existence in the history of ever. This is an allusion to the Ultimates story line I reviewed last week. She gets to have a heart to heart with an unexpected visitor: Dr. Leonard Samson. Having a green haired, soft-talking shrink around lends itself to some narrative disclosure (oldest trick in the book). Seem the ole Doc might be trying to mine some info from our dear Captain Marvel.
We now jump to Columbus, Ohio. Really. Ohio State University is about to get doused in the Terrigen Mist. (That was as horrible to write as it was for you to read). Two students named Michelle and Ulysses are gonna get cocooned (and only them in a school of 65,000), but we have little to no idea of who these two are (fingers crossed he's a new Ulysses Bloodstone). He becomes sparkly; she becomes a Demona from Disney's Gargoyles. The End.
We here at the court of nerds have had a kinda love/hate/love to hate affair with Bendis. This comic bears much of his hallmarks: Stilted characters pushed to the brink, teenagers having an unbridled sense of fatalism, stoicism married to duty... it has all of it. It's not bad, nor is it unexpected. It's not original. Which we should expect because this series is a sequel... of sorts.
After all this bitching I bet you think I'm going to give this comic a bad grade. Well, guess what, I can't. It's illustrated well. The dialog is fine and even nuanced at times. The problem is that very little happens. This is a #0 comic. A set up. A means to get our heroes from Point A to Point Kicking the Shit out of Each Other. I can't blame a Ford Fiesta for being a Ford Fiesta. It does what it is meant to do. You just hope that there is Bugatti Veyron in the parking garage down the street.
Rating: 7/10 Drunk Shi-Ar Inter-Species Sex References