This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on August 15, 2016.
The jury is still out on Civil War II, one of Marvel’s most divisive summer events in years. Fans are responding in a big way to both the series’ premise and some of the big twists and deaths revealed so far. For better or worse, Civil War II is definitely getting people talking. And it appears that final judgement will have to wait a bit longer now that the series has been both delayed and extended one more issue.
That doesn’t mean that Marvel fans can only bite their nails waiting for the end of the big story. Whether you are currently in love with or skeptical about Civil War II, it has generated some of the best stories at Marvel Comics this year. That’s right, the tie-ins for Civil War II are where it’s at. While the event roars on, the diversity of talent at Marvel Comics are taking advantage of the big ideas to tell stories of their own and they are turning out great.
ComicBook.Com has collected five of our favorite Civil War II tie-ins to recommend. No matter what your opinion on the event itself may be, these stories will not disappoint. Be sure to check them out before Civil War II winds down and the next big thing begins.
Civil War: Choosing Sides
Creators: Declan Shalvey, Ming Doyle, Stephen Byrne, Jeremy Whitley, Marguerite Sauvage, and many, many more
“Choosing Sides” is taking an anthology approach to Civil War II offering short stories from a variety of creators about the many Marvel characters affected. The stories range in tone from the deathly serious to comedic. It is an excellent showcase for a wide range of talent with at least one installment in each issue bound to appeal to any given reader.
The highlight of this mini-series is “Post Prologue”, the ongoing story with one new chapter in each issue written and drawn by Declan Shalvey with colors by Jordie Bellaire. Their work on Moon Knight and Injection have already proven this team to be a killer art duo, and now Shalvey is showing off his writing chops. The result is a thrilling spy story that bounces to new locales with stunning, new action set pieces in each issue. For this story alone, “Choosing Sides” is the must buy mini-series of Civil War II.
Creators: Al Ewing, Kenneth Rocafort, Djibail Morissette, and Dan Brown
If one comic has been setting the bar for both team books and Avengers comics at Marvel, it is The Ultimates. The series has dedicated itself to tackling the biggest problems of the Marvel universe with a diverse lineup who utilize super science and punching to equal degrees. It is both a successor to Jonathan Hickman’s magnum opus and an improvement on the ideas offered in it.
Al Ewing has combined the plot of Civil War II into his own story in a surprisingly graceful fashion. The philosophical problem of predicting the future combines with the other big questions The Ultimates seek to confront. So the series has combined these plot threads along with its own fascination with big bad Thanos and greater universal forces. While it’s still not clear how Captain Marvel’s battles may affect the team, their own missions have only been enhanced by Civil War II. If you haven’t been reading this series so far, then these tie-ins provide a perfect opportunity to start before you regret it.
Creators: Tom Taylor, Ig Guara, Bob Wiacek, Victor Olazaba, and John Rauch
All-New Wolverine is the current highlight of the X-Men line and the most notable tie-in to Civil War II. It takes the adventures of three Wolverine-adjacent characters, including the eponymous Laura Kinney a.k.a. X-23 and Old Man Logan who are accompanied by an adorable younger clone of Laura – Gabby. They are a unit every bit as amusing as the best Three’s Company episodes, but often with much more stabbing.
It makes sense that predicting future misdeeds would draw this event face-to-face with three of the most violent X-characters. Confronted with what one of them may do, it adds a significant twist and some difficult choices to their already less than ideal living situation. That twist only plays up the equally hilarious and heart-wrenching character dynamics that make this series great though. Civil War II is playing right to the strengths of All-New Wolverine.
Civil War II: Kingpin
Creators: Matthew Rosenberg, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Mat Lopes, and Antonio Fabela
The Kingpin has been largely absent from the Marvel universe for some time now. Besides a last minute reveal in the finale of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil, this master gangster has been lying low. However, Civil War II has opened new opportunities in the criminal underworld and provided the perfect scenario for the comeback of Wilson Fisk. It’s only more impressive that he’s accompanied by rising comics stars like writer Matthew Rosenberg and Ricardo Lopez Ortiz.
Civil War II: Kingpin provides a fascinating perspective not seen in the event itself: How does the ability to predict crime impact criminals? Kingpin offers the perfect point of view to answer this question. He observes the failures of others while pitting his immense wits against this seemingly impossible conundrum. The result is not only an interesting take on Civil War II, but a great supercriminal story as well.
Creators: G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, and Ian Herring
Is it really any surprise that Ms. Marvel is on this list? Not only has it proven itself to be a consistently superb superhero story over the past few years, but was also a highlight amidst the tie-ins to Marvel’s last big event: Secret Wars. Last year Ms. Marvel reflected on the end of the Marvel universe providing an ending to the first volume of the series and a deeply affecting human look at world-shaking events. Now the same creative team, with the addition of artist Takeshi Miyazawa, are repeating their same feats.
The focus in this tie-in is closer to home with Ms. Marvel confronting the troubling arrest of one classmate. Not only does this plotting follow the current story being told in Ms. Marvel, but offers a smart examination of the ethics involved in the “big idea” behind Civil War II. It reduces the scale to a bunch of teens in New Jersey, but feels every bit as important as the big superhero battles occurring elsewhere. However Civil War II turns out, we can all be glad that Ms. Marvel had the chance to feature a tie-in and give us this great story.