Okay, I *have* read this one, I wasn't sure. So basically, this is another set of pretty good stories that are confusing if you haven't read the Event tie-ins (since basically all of Civil War
happens in the interstices of the issues) and that in several cases are ruined by terrible art.
#21 - Art by Howard Chaykin, whose work I hate. (I gather he is a Big Deal in comics art, and I don't care. I hate his character designs. I hate looking at their chunky faces.) Cap is on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D., bitter and broken up by the betrayal of Tony Stark and several of his friends, and increasingly paranoid and resentful -- this is where the arc of him losing it so badly he ultimtely ends up bringing the fight to a civilian area starts. (The arc is clearly supposed to convince us that both sides are equally wrong, and -- you know, I will write up my massive eye-roll over the Civil War plotline elsewhere.) I like this because I like Cap being distressed over Tony. It's too bad that I can't stand to look at the art.
#22 - Art by Leinil Yu, whose work I also hate. He has done most of New Avengers and it makes me want to cry. I see he has an upcoming project with Mark Millar, which is almost the best of all worlds because it pairs an artist I hate with a writer I hate and means I don't have to be tempted to take a look at it. If only they would stick to characters I hate, it would be perfect. Of course, Mark Millar specializes in making all characters hateful, so. Anyway, Leinil Yu. What is up
with all those extraneous scratchy little lines on all the faces? I think he is trying to be Mike Gaydos, but when Gaydos extra facial lines they are actually expressing emotion
. Yu just makes everyone look kind of exhausted and freaked-out all the time. That is actually appropriate for this issue, but at other moments, not so much. Tony Stark and Carol Danvers try to sign Jessica Jones and Luke Cage up for the pro-Registration side. Jessica takes off for Canada with baby Jessica and Luke joins Captain America's resistance. This might work better for me now that I've read Alias
-- a lot of New Avengers
suffered for me because I felt like I was supposed to have a preexisting attachment to Jessica and Luke, and without it a lot of the squabbling distressed me. I also have Major Issues with the gender politics and, well, the politics
politics of this entire storyline, the way Jessica ends up being nothing but mother-and-wife and the way it's assumed that children and revolutionary politics don't mix. I mean, it's plausible, a lot of people who could escape the Vietnam War draft by running to Canada did it, but I feel like there are a lot of fairly privileged assumptions being made about what families do and how they interact with the state. It might bug me less if the only other plotline about a woman, kids, and the Civil War I've seen is Sue Storm's, and she actually leaves her children with the enemy
aka her cold and neglectful husband with a demonstrated history of ignoring the kids
because apparently a stable address and bodyguards are more important than emotional stability or morality.
#23 -Olivier Coipel! I don't hate his art! Also, this focuses on Spider-Woman, whom I love. Sadly during this issue [spoiler for Secret Invasion
that mitigates my enjoyment of the story].
#24 - Art by Pascal Ferry, again not hateful. Story explains how the Sentry takes sides, which would probably affect me more if I gave a fuck about the Sentry. Or his plot device wife.
#25 - Art by Jim Cheung. The Civil War is over. A disgruntled ex-employee attempts to assassinate Tony Stark because Stark has been using his designs to hunt down Captain America. It is nice to see Tony getting called on some of his actions, although I feel like the deck is stacked by having the attempted assassin willing to take out innocent bystanders. Also, I have only limited sympathy for weapons designers who are shocked their weapons are used by people they disapprove of (this means you, too, Tony Stark). Maria Hill is smart and furious about being put in a position where she can't do anything but fail, and I feel so vindicated in my love for her. She makes some bad choices, but she's a hardass, and I appreciate that. Women don't often get to play that role.