Johnny Bullet
Marvel Comics
Civil War #7
By Jason Mott

March 1, 2007 - 23:59

Publisher(s): Marvel Comics
Writer(s): Mark Millar
Penciller(s): Steve McNiven

Here it is, True Believers, the conclusion to Marvel’s biggest (and, arguably, one of their best) storyline’s in a long, long while. In case you’ve been in a coma for the past few months, here’s a brief recap: several wanna be heroes accidentally blow up Stamford, Conneticut; the government demands that all costumed, heroic types formally reveal their secret identities and become catalogued by the U.S. government; some heroes agree, others don’t; the two factions battle and before you know it, you’ve got a storyline destined to be talked about for years to come. So, here in the final issue, we get to see the last battle between the pro-registration and anti-registration factions and the aftereffects of the turmoil. (But don’t worry, I’m offering no spoilers here. I’ll leave that to another reviewer somewhere out there.)

As with most of this series, Mark Miller has done a great job of making things as complex and intelligent as always. He does his best at juggling the multitude of characters that show up in this issue. Of course, trying to pack so many characters into a single issue results in an issue where dozens of characters appear as mere flashes on the radar. They’re seen in the background throwing a punch, zapping someone with an energy blast, or kicking someone through a building. At times, it can become a “Where’s Waldo” of Marvel characters, but such are the difficulties of the massive crossover story. Also, with this issue, Mark Miller seems to make a little bit of a nod to Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come series of the mid nineties as, at one point, the heroes look around and notice the destruction they’ve caused. For Kingdom Come fans, this is a chance to ride along as “battle” turns to “mayhem.” The ending of Civil War leaves the Marvel universe drastically changed. Expect the unexpected by the end and expect to have a few “Are you kidding me?” moments.

Overall, Steve McNiven does a great job with the artwork here. However, much like the writing, the art does tend to become inundated with excessive numbers of characters punching, kicking, smashing and zapping one another. You can spend a lot of time here just staring at pages and panels trying to figure out exactly which of your favorite characters is getting knocked through the nearest wall or drop kicked by the nearest costumed foot. Outside of that, McNiven does manage moments of solitude and quiet in the midst of the Civil War fight fest (particularly with Captain America’s “epiphany moment). And, after the energy blasts subside, the last building falls, the heavy hands of heroes hang quietly at their sides, McNiven slows the pace of the panels and allows the latest Marvel epic to change the Marvel universe with a gentle whisper rather than a blood-curdling shout.

Overall: 8/10. A must-have issue. Marvel’s been changed (again).

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