War is never pleasant. War can lead to friends fighting friends. It can lead to a switching of ideas. It could lead to people doing things that they normally would never do. It could lead to people never being able to see their loved ones again. It could lead to massive destruction that will never be undone. It could also lead to a final battle that will forever change both parties involved. But, what happens when the war is started by a lie and both parties are being played by an unseen enemy? Well, this is the concept that happens in this, the penultimate issue of Civil War.
Charles Soule captures the essence of the original Civil War – the fear, mistrust, and bitter anger – but shows how that essence becomes shrouded in political sabotage and shadow manipulations. This cold war between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark is more than it seems, and Soule is purposely pacing the reveal of information to make each hit count that much more. Adding elements from a future that could have been – introducing Queen Veranke and her Skrull army from Secret Invasion – makes Soule’s Civil War that much more palpable and one of the best Secret Wars tie-ins of the bunch. None of this is to mention Leinil Francis Yu’s phenomenal artwork that perfectly captures the war-torn tension of a nation divided and friends who barely recognize one another. Some of the biggest ideas that come from this issue is the bravery that Steve Rogers must display, even though he knows that he should not be the leader of the Blue. He knows that people are only looking up to him and following his word because of his symbol and status. Even Peter Parker, who has donned the Falcon costume and has abandoned his wife and child shows such character development that we are amazed at how this war has effected him. But, the biggest shock comes from Tony Stark as we learn with him that the entire war has been based on a lie and is only meant to get the world ready for what is coming next. Very enjoyable issue and again shows that this is one of the better of the Secret Wars crossovers that has come out. I give this issue a 8 out of 10.