The Accused #1
Written by: Marc Guggenheim
Art by: Ramon Bachs & Garry Brown
Colors: Ruth Redmond
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Gregory Brothers
Marvel’s Civil War II continues it march through the Marvel universe this week with the addition of The Accused #1, which is a stand alone one-shot that follows the trial of Clint Barton after his actions in the main Civil War II series.
The Accused #1 starts exactly as Clint Barton has surrendered and Captain Marvel is placing him under arrest, with a stunning visual that gives no doubt to the fact that Bruce Banner is now dead. Seeing as there are superheroes involved it makes perfect sense that we would see one of the resident superhero lawyers be involved thus enters Daredevil. It is interesting because even is his solo series up until now Daredevil has not been apart of the Civil War event, which is touched upon briefly. Matt Murdock has just recently moved over to being a prosecuting attorney, so to find him being chosen lead the federal prosecution of Clint Barton seems to be an interesting one. It is obvious that even though they are both vigilantes, despite the fact that no one knows of Matt Murdock’s secret identity, that he will not be doing any favors for Barton and in fact has very serious opinion on how seriously Barton should be punished. Of course being the Marvel universe nothing is as clear as it seems in the beginning and Murdock must bring his Daredevil persona to investigate the motives of some of the other people who are involved in this high profile case and what they hope to get out of the verdict. Since the verdict of the trial had already been revealed in the main Civil War II series it is the revelation of some of those motives that make this comic a must read for someone following the event. Guggenheim does an excellent job making you understand the regret that Hawkeye is feeling without making it seems like he is completely guilty. Throughout it is obvious that he does not care if he is found guilty or not guilty but instead he wants to be assured that he did the right thing, and you can feel the anguish within him when through a conversation with Matt Murdock that no matter the results of the trial his actions have set forth a series of events that is going to have a major impact on the superhero community as a whole.
Before becoming a comic book writer Marc Guggenheim was a lawyer for quite a few years, so his experience lends to some reality as far as many of the proceedings of a court case. He even makes sure to explain how the case went from arrest to trial within a month when in reality the case would have been tied up in pre-trial motions for at least a year. The trial itself felt very glossed over, which is somewhat understandable as we already knew the verdict. However, showing specifically more of the testimony could have lead to some interesting interactions down the line both between Clint and others who testified both on his behalf and against him. The colors throughout are muted and fit the feel of the comic throughout. In several of the panels where greys, blacks, and browns dominate the contrast of Matt Murdock’s red glasses almost act as a beacon for the justice and truth that he is seeking out.
Buy It! If you are following the Civil War II event then The Accused #1 will help to fill in some of the blanks between Barton’s arrest and the end of the trial. It also gives a very valuable piece of information that is going to more than likely become a major plot point at some time. Guggenheim’s experience as a lawyer allows for a sense of reality that may have been missed by other writers and helps keep the story grounded. However, the actual trial could have been fleshed out a bit more allowing for the readers to see further how the trial was effecting the heroes around it.