Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Civil War #3 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Soule makes it clear here that the actors in this drama have reached a point of no return.  After years of stalemate, they're striking at each other more directly than they previously have.

On the Blue side, Peter convinces Steve that the assassination attempt on him is the proof that they need that Stark has no intention of negotiating.  Steve (more or less) agrees and greenlights Project Bellcurve, a procedure that the Beast developed to strip metahumans of their powers.  The plan appears to be to use this procedure on all the metahumans of the Iron.  However, Peter has to lead a mission into the Iron to get the resources needed to use it on that grand of a scale.  Meanwhile, Tony has come to realize that someone is manipulating events behind the scenes and sends Jennifer into the Blue to track down the assassin to see if s/he is connected to this manipulation.

As with other "Secret Wars" tie-in series, this series is fascinating because we really see familiar characters taken to (and perhaps beyond) their limit.  Peter is spoiling for a fight, rattled by Stark bringing Mary Jane and his daughter to see him at the Divide.  Steve has fetishized freedom, making sure that Sandman (the test subject for Bellcurve) is fully cognizant of his decision to lose his powers.  However, it's unclear how he reconciles this view with the possibility of involuntarily stripping thousands of metahumans in the Iron of their powers.  Does he really believe that he has no other choice?  Although he acquiesces to Peter here, he doesn't seem all that convinced.  Finally, She-Hulk is portrayed as particularly world-weary, almost too exhausted to seek justice for her friend, Miriam Sharpe.  It's a grim place.

Like "Amazing Spider-Man:  Renew Your Vows," I feel like we're not heading for a happy ending here, and I'm anxious to see how it all unfolds.  Before I go, I also need to mention the art.  Yu is really on fire here:  his designs for the cities -- particularly Liberation, the capital of the Blue -- are stunning.  It makes me long for the day when he takes of "Amazing Spider-Man."  One day, maybe!

**** (four of five stars)

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