Civil War: Confessions
By Al Kratina
March 29, 2007 - 20:23
Civil War: Confessions
Brian Michael Bendis is a great writer. Alex Maleev is a talented, beautiful artist. Which makes them a fine choice for Civil War: Confessions, because they’re probably one of the only creative teams that could make a couple of 14-page monologues interesting to readers without having a nude woman standing in the background of every panel. If this had been left in the hands of Rob Liefeld or, God forbid, Chris Claremont, it would have been a disaster, a fumbled high school soliloquy, likely featuring at least one vampire gunfight. As it stands, however, it’s Spaulding Gray with costumes, devoid of action but not of drama.
Civil War: Confessions contains two stories, both dealing with the aftermath of the Civil War from the point of view of its two opposing leaders. In the first, Iron Man, the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. , has a remorseful heart to heart discussion with Captain America’s corpse, which ends up being quite moving despite the fact that speaking to dead bodies is usually the step that comes between juvenile pyromania and making a belt out of nipples. Bendis’ dialogue is sharp and realistic as usual, and Maleev’s layouts and angles manage to keep the visuals interesting, surprising considering much of the story takes place in a single room. It’s a captivating read regardless of its simplicity, like My Dinner With Andre only in comic book form, and Andre is slowly decomposing on a morgue slab.
The second story deals with the same themes, but from Captain America’s point of view. Thankfully, it takes place before his assassination; otherwise much of the dialogue would be gas escaping from decaying bowels and the sounds of blowflies hatching. What’s interesting here is that although the sympathies of Bendis clearly lie with Captain America’s anti-registration forces, he shows Cap as somewhat prideful, and still consumed with rage despite his surrender. It’s a good choice, and injects some life into a book that may have been bogged down in Tony Stark’s depression. Maleev provides some interesting layouts and panels in this story, again keeping things moving visually despite the confined setting. As a team, Bendis and Maleev have worked together before, most notably on Daredevil, but here they show that they can handle other characters and situations equally well. Or at least, better than Rob Liefeld and Chris Claremont would have.
Rating: 7 on 10
Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45
Join the discussion: