It all starts here. Civil War II sets the stage and introduces the key characters for the story. Two new Inhumans are born and one of them has unspeakable powers.
Civil War #0 is a phenomenal place for brand new readers to jump on. You may know know a lot about these characters and their history, but writer Brian Michael Bendis does a stellar job at introducing who these characters are and what they're all about throughout this opening issue. He does so in a way that keeps regular readers engaged with the book.
Bendis opens the book with She-Hulk in the midst of a trial, defending The Jester. It's refreshing to be reminded that while she is a superhero, that isn't her only job. She's a lawyer and what seems like to be a darn good, passionate one, even if she doesn't win the case. What we get to experience here is downtime.
There's also some big moments for James Rhodes who feels like he's been on Marvel's backburner for years. Without spoiling anything, he has a huge decision to make which will alter the character in new and interesting ways.
Olivier Coipel and Justin Ponsor take on the art for this book, and it's downright beautiful. Ponsor's colors add a gritty realism to the overall issue while still making it feel like you're reading a comic book. Coipel's work feels stoic and completely fitting for an event of this size. His work is consistent and engaging. This is what you want your event books to look like.
The problem with the issue is that it feels a little jumpy. The issue tries to pack a lot into this introductory issue. The issue deals with She-Hulk, James Rhodes, Carol Danvers, and two new Inhumans. Each of these characters, mainly the well-established Marvel heroes, are dealing with some major moments, and while all of it is compelling storytelling, the endings to said scenes feel a bit abrupt at times. It's not a huge hindrance on the overall appeal of the book. It's simply a small bump in the road.
In addition, there's no Iron Man here.Considering he's a major component to this story, it's bizarre he's not included in the #0 issue.
This is a fantastic start to this Marvel event. This #0 issue does a fine job at setting up the main players for the book, except for Iron Man, and it delivers a pretty interesting story. We have some idea of where this is all headed, but we don't have all the answers, so we're hooked in. The art is completely fitting for something of this magnitude and this is a book you need to check out this week.