I was, and still am, a little skeptical that Marvel’s latest company-wide mega-event can equal the heights reached by its predecessor. The original CIVIL WAR was so steeped in political metaphor, so evocative of what was going on in the mundane “real” world in which we all live. It’s kinda like Woodstock, and why there will never be another one. (They tried, you may recall, but ended up with nothing of the sort akin to the 1969 event.) Woodstock can’t exist outside the late 60s, sans the Hippie counterculture, sans Vietnam. Likewise, CIVIL WAR would not and could not resonate so strongly without the post 9-11 fears of government overreach, without the Patriot Act. Even the readers who were children at the time couldn’t miss the symbolism of that story. CIVIL WAR II lacks that kind of gravitas and real-world impetus. Such things cannot be created, only capitalized upon.
This being said, there is no reason why CIVIL WAR II can’t be a damn fine comic story all on its own, a distinct animal, yes, but still raising some legitimate, thought-provoking questions. While the first issue of the miniseries lacked the visceral stomach-punch power it could have had due to the reveal in the FCBD release that the two characters being killed off were War Machine and She-Hulk (Why didn’t Marvel either wait until the first issue of the series to show this, or else, and this would have been a more successful strategy, I think, make the entire first issue of the series the FCBD offering? This last would SURELY have brought new readers back for the successive issues.) it still managed to be emotionally charged and profound. Credit to writer Brian Michael Bendis for stoking the fires. Bring on issue #2!