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Continuing this week’s theme of Free Comic Book Day 2016, today’s entry is a review of one of Marvel’s offerings. Free Comic Book Day 2016 (Civil War II) #1.

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FIRST: !!!SPOILERS, SPOILERS, SPOILERS!!!  If you picked up this book and haven’t read it, don’t read this yet.

This comic is a lead in to Marvel’s Civil War II event. Now, I haven’t been reading Marvel comics regularly for a while now, outside of Marvel Unlimited, so I’m not really up on the month-to-month of Marvel continuity right now. However, this is a book engineered to attract new readers to pick up the series, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

The story starts with Captain Marvel and War Machine meeting the Inhumans at the Triskelion. The Inhumans have brought along Ulysses in an effort to help him master his precognitive abilities. He can predict future events, but cannot control it. I’m not familiar with this character, and he seems new in this story. I assume he was a part of the Inhumanity crossover, but I could be wrong.

Suddenly, Ulysses is overcome by a vision of Thanos. Following this, the heroes travel to Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. and are prepared for Thanos when he arrives.

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Now, this appearance of Thanos is confusing. Historically, Thanos has been preoccupied with powerful, exotic weapons. The Infinity Gauntlet for instance. It even turns out that Thanos has come to the Project to obtain the Cosmic Cube. So to see him here with a bunch of gigantic guns is disappointing. It seems like this could have been a good opportunity for an easter egg of some forgotten, lesser Marvel object of power. Instead it looks like the guy who killed half the universe, just finished watching I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. One can only hope that his next appearance features heels with goldfish in them. Unless the implication here is that he has been time traveling and went back to steal all the guns from the 90’s, this seems out-of-place. Oh yeah, he fires the one gun once before the heroes are upon him.

The heroes then hog pile on Thanos. War Machine is killed(?). Captain Marvel, enraged, lays out Thanos. The story ends abruptly with Captain Marvel weeping over War Machine.

This story feels like the first few pages of the first issue of Civil War II, not setup. Whatever the conflict is that leads to a new superhero civil war, is never brought up in these pages. From this, one would assume Thanos has something to do with it, but he was defeated after 11 pages. So what part would he play in it? The first Civil War hung its hat on a pretty solid concept of superhero registration and how it divided the community. As to what the conflict will be about here is a mystery. This leads to this comic book coming off as a concoction created merely to tie-in to a new movie. Featuring Thanos as the villain in this plays into that as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is setting him up to be the big villain of the next 2 Avengers films. Ultimately, this does not spark my interest in the upcoming Civil War II series. Eventually, I’ll probably read it on Marvel Unlimited, if for no other reason than to see how this special sets anything up for it.

The second story in this issue “Buzzed” and features a new Wasp. The protagonist here is an admirer of Henry Pym’s work who has come to see him at his home on the day he dies. Upon hearing of Pym’s fate, she presumes what his wishes would be and breaks into his lab and steals his gear. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be endearing, but it plays off as self-centered and almost villainous. She then steals his “life’s work” and creates a new Wasp suit for herself.

Over the course of the story it cuts back to the present where she has been destroying some mechanical defenses. At the end of the story it is revealed that she has been inside, and attacking, the Vision. The story is promised to be continued in All-New All-Different Avengers #9. (On Sale Now!)

Going back to the movie inspired theme from the first story. Most of this Wasp story seems to be attempting to line up with what viewers have seen from the Ant-Man movie.

DSCN0157Yeah, she looks nothing like Evangeline Lilly in Ant-Man.

Even the Wasp suit in this looks similar to the one featured in the after credits scene of Ant-Man. It’s no secret that Marvel coordinates their books with their movies. They’re not the only ones, DC will do it too. However, after a while, the question becomes why do you need to read their comics if you can see the same thing in their movies?  These missteps in this issue lead to a pretty disappointing experience. Nothing in these tales makes me interested in picking up the books this is promoting.

The Civil War II intro is written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Jim Cheung and John Dell. The Wasp story is written by Mark Waid and drawn by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer. I’m a fan of pretty much everyone involved in the creation of this comic, but I’m not nearly as excited about it as I should be. For being the gold level book that Marvel gave away this year, I’m left feeling pretty “eh” towards the whole experience.

Tomorrow: another review of a comic given away as part of this year’s Free Comic Book Day 2016!

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