Civil War II: The Oath
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artists: Rod Reis, Phil Noto, Raffaele Ienco, Szymon Kudranski, and Dono Sanchez-Almara
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
A review by David Hildebrand
I think there was a lot of push back when it came down to liking Civil War II. For me, the whole event was underwhelming and the final issue really left a bad taste in my mouth with all of Ulysses’ visions coming across as advertisements for future Marvel books and story lines. A month later and Civil War II: The Oath is unleashed upon us. I wanted to be done with Civil War II, but I was willing to see if this book did justice in cleaning up a messing ending to what was supposed to be an epic Marvel event. I am very pleased to say that Nick Spencer not only did an outstanding job with this book, he also managed to lighten up my feelings overall on how the event ended. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ABOUT CIVIL WAR II, AS ALWAYS, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Last week, we had the inauguration of Donald Trump. This week, we sorta get the same as Steve Rogers gets appointed the new head of SHIELD. But don’t let this SHIELD fool you. Captain America will always have the best shield. You will never see any other shield like this, its the most tremendous shield you will ever see. OK, let me stop. But what isn’t stopping is Cap’s own plans to make America great again. Along with his new position are the powers within. SHIELD gets more funding and, in case of a national emergency, SHIELD obtains full command of police, emergency services, and armed forces. The original plan was to have Sharon Carter take over at SHIELD after Maria Hill was relieved of her duties. Cap’s intention was to manipulate Carter once she became the head of SHIELD, but Carter came to the conclusion with all these new powers being granted, there needed to be a more trusting figure. Enter Captain America. Now the symbol of freedom and, most importantly America, is also a Hydra agent that possesses unimaginable powers to do as he pleases. Starting to sound like this is being ripped straight from the headlines, eh folks???
If you follow Nick Spencer on Twitter, then you know he is very much involved in the politics that are happening around us today. He isn’t afraid to voice his opinion and as I have mentioned in the past, will make no apologies for the story he has spun with Captain America. I greatly admire and respect him for sticking to his guns. Poor Cap has been through a lot over the past year, but it has been an incredible run to read.
Civil War II: The Oath has a numerous amount of nods to what America is dealing with today with our newly elected President. But to see Captain America get spun like he is Donald Trump was something I wasn’t expecting to see, but Spencer is so on point with his scripting. The issue also shows Rogers having a long conversation with a comatose Tony Stark. Stark is still encapsulated as we saw him at the end of Civil War II. Rogers gets nasty with Stark as he stands over his body telling him what he did was wrong, fighting with the other heroes as the public the heroes were there to protect had enough and started to look for answers elsewhere. The trust is gone. Rogers’ speech to Stark throughout the book is very strong and some of my favorite writing that Spencer has ever put to paper.
The artwork in the book is outstanding! Unlike Civil War II, it has an equally outstanding story to compliment it. Reis tackles the majority of the art duties and also does a fantastic job of illustrating the scenes with Rogers and Stark. Stark isn’t dead but the colors set such a dark mood and tone, that you almost feel that he is deceased. The somber colors of Rogers’ inauguration captures that desperate feeling as you know what is happening in front of you. Noto, Ienco, Kudranski, and Sanchez-Almara deliver the same results. This is a dynamic set of artists put together for this one book!
BUY IT! Civil War: The Oath is an amazing book! I didn’t expect to have all these feelings when I picked it up. If you are like me and read all of Civil War II, just to be scratching your head at how it all ended, then you need to pick up this book. Spencer took madness and created magic. I told myself, and if you listen to The Comics Agenda podcast, I told you listeners that I was DONE and RETIRED from ALL Marvel events. Damn you, Nick Spencer, you magnificent bastard, you are going to make me go back on my word with Secret Empire!