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Marvel Comics just wrapped up their big event in Civil War 2. Just like the original, it had dire consequences for the entire Marvel Comic book Universe. While not a direct sequel to the original, it does make references to its predecessor within it. In addition, it follows the same formula almost to a T. There is nothing wrong with that, as the first Civil War storyline was very enthralling and changed the dynamic of the Marvel Universe at the time. If it ain't broke, then no need to fix it. Time to compare the two.
**SPOILERS AHEAD FOR CIVIL WAR AND CIVIL WAR 2**
Origin of Conflict
For those who never read the original Civil War Storyline, it all started with a battle. The New Warriors needed bigger villains to go up against for their show, and they didn’t care who those villains were. They only cared about their ratings. Unfortunately, they were in way over their heads, and their loss resulted in the death of close to nine hundred people, and Stamford Connecticut became the central point in the discussion of superhero registration and regulation.
While not in the same scale, Civil War 2 also starts with a battle. The Ultimates learn of an attack by Thanos, thanks to the powers of a new Inhuman. Without proper battle plans and without thinking it through, The Ultimates attack Thanos, and although they capture the Mad Titan, it is not without loss. Along with the hospitalization of She-Hulk, Colonel James Rhodes, also known as War Machine, is killed in battle. It is this battle, that drives the heroes into conflict.
In all wars, there are two sides, and there is a reason for the war. In Civil War, that is the Superhero Registration Act (SRA). The Act requires all Heroes to register their identities and their powers with the government, and undergo strict training to make sure that the (battle of origin) never happens again. Iron Man is the champion of the act, claiming it will make the world a safer place. Against him is Captain America, who argues that the mask is supposed to keep yourself a secret, and that you shouldn’t have to be government sanctioned (look up wording).
In Civil War 2, there is a new Inhuman in town named Ulysses. Ulysses has the ability to get glimpses into the future to see how certain events play out. He has no control over these ”visions” whether it be who he sees in them, or what time period he witnesses. It is his vision that leads The Ultimates to go after Thanos in the first place. Captain Marvel (who is the leader of The Ultimates) thinks that they should utilize Ulysses’ power to stop crimes before they happen, and apprehend the criminals who would be responsible. Iron Man on the other hand thinks that it is not their place to mess with potential futures, and that they should let those events play out as they should happen. He argues that arresting someone before they even do something is on level with profiling.
Death is naturally an aspect of every war. You would not think that heroes have the capacity to kill one of their own. Unfortunately, this is present in both stories. In Civil War, Team Iron man leads Team Captain America into a trap in order to capture them. Team Iron Man has a secret weapon though. A cyborg clone of Thor, who has disappeared from the Earth at this time. Unfortunately, the Thor clone does not have the restraints of his source, and ends up killing the Avenger; Goliath (Can grow to a giant). This was made even more tragic by the fact that he was in his giant state when he was killed, so he was stuck as a giant in death. It took thirty eight burial plots to accommodate his size, and it was the least Tony Stark could do to pay for them.
Civil War 2 has a more significant death. Ulysses has a vision of The Incredible Hulk going on a rampage, and killing many heroes. Naturally, they assume that Bruce Banner is responsible. What they do not know however, is that Banner had been cured of being the Hulk, and that the new Hulk was named Amadeus Cho. Captain Marvel, along with a host of other heroes, confront the Hulk about the vision. One thing leads to another, and Hawkeye shoots a specially made arrow through Banner, killing him instantly. Nobody is expecting that, and it leads to everyone questioning themselves, as well as the trial of the century, in which Hawkeye is acquitted of all charges. This does not however change Captain Marvel's opinion of how to utilize Ulysses' visions, but draws Iron Man further away from being able to make a compromise with her.
Spider-Man is one of the most recognized characters in Marvel comics. Its only natural that he would be a central part of both Civil War stories. In the first Civil War, Spider-Man started out on Team Iron Man. To show how dedicated he was to supporting the SRA, he went on live TV and unmasked himself to the world, revealing his secret identity. He then realizes his mistake, and while attempting to switch to Captain America’s team, he is attacked by numerous super villains, all of whom threaten his family and friends.
In Civil War 2, Spider-Man plays a key role, but it isn’t Peter Parker, rather the new Spider-Man; Miles Morales who takes center stage this time. Him, along with Captain America, are the stars of Ulysses’ most dramatic vision yet. In it, we see Spider-Man standing over a dead Captain America, who he just killed. This leads to Captain Marvel wanting to arrest him, even going so far as to tracking his whereabouts and following him. Unbeknownst to her, Iron Man is following him too, with the sole purpose of stopping Captain Marvel.
The final battle of any comic book event usually has lasting effects on the current events of the comic book universe. In the final battle of Civil War, both teams go all out against each other. Realizing that they are no longer fighting for the people, and that “they are just fighting”, Captain America commands his team to stand down, and turns himself into authorities, thus ending the Civil War. While there are still those opposed to the SRA, they no longer have a figurehead to rally behind. As a result of turning himself in, and on the way to the courthouse for trial, Captain America is shot and killed.
The final battle of Civil War 2 is a much smaller one than its predecessor. It takes place between Captain Marvel and Iron Man, over whether or not to arrest Spider-Man. Both heroes going all out for what they believe is right. Captain Marvel ends up defeating Iron Man, but not without a cost. Iron Man is on the brink of death, but thanks to self experimenting, he is being kept alive by mysterious means. That leaves the Marvel Universe without Tony Stark as Iron Man for the time being.
Every story has a structure. It has a beginning that can be the cause of whatever is going to happen. It has a middle, which are the main events of said story. And it has an ending, or aftermath which shows what happens in the end of the story, and how said events affect the norm of the universe at hand. Marvel decided that their first Civil War story was such a success, that Civil War 2 should follow the same structure as the first. While Civil War 2 was a great story (highly recommend), who knows what would have happened if Marvel decided to break the mold. I for one am excited to see how the Marvel Comic Universe continues after the events of its most recent event.