Civil War II #3 comes with the hype of the death of a classic Silver Age characters. But, of course. Because it is not a “big event” without some pointless and artificially constructed “death” of a longtime characters. Rhodey has already been killed off. So, I would guess that it will be a white male character who bites it in this issue. Odds are it is Bruce Banner. The reason I say that is that Marvel already has Cho as the Hulk. I can see the logic in Axel Alonso okaying the death of Bruce Banner in order to eliminate any resistance long time readers have in accepting Cho as the Hulk. All right, let’s go ahead and hit this review.
Words: Brian Bendis
Art: David Marquez (Olivier Copiel handles the Hawkeye/Bruce Banner scene)
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin in the Manhattan Federal Courthouse. (Which does not exist. I believe that Bendis is referring to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.) Matt Murdock calls his first witness for the State: Carol Danvers. (No! The State cannot bring charges in Federal Court. The Federal Government brings charges against criminals in Federal Court. The State brings charges against criminals in the State Court. Really?) Carol takes the stand. Matt asks her if she recalls the events of July 14th of this year. (Yes! We are going to tell this issue in the passive form of a flashback! More brilliance by Bendis. Robbing the story of any immediacy and tension of watching it unfold in real-time is such a winning formula.)
We flashback to Carol meeting with Bruce Banner. We get some inane and pointless banter between the two in order to burn some panel space. Carol asks what Bruce has been up to lately. Bruce says that he has been running some genetic calculations.
Suddenly, Tony appears on the scene. (Wearing a black leotard like a basic backup dancer in a ballet might wear. Totally not weird at all.) Bruce says that he has not had a Hulk incident in a year. Tony asks Bruce to come outside. Tony says for Bruce to stay calm. Tony says he believes in Bruce.
The three head outside and we see the assembled forces of the Avengers, Ultimates, X-Men, Inhumans and SHIELD outside waiting. Bruce asks “What did I do?” (Uh, well, you have a penis and are white. And were created before Axel Alonso became EIC of Marvel so….you do the math.)
Tony says that Bruce has not done anything…yet. (BUM BUM BUUUUUUUMMMMM!!!!! Feel that tension and suspense?! No? Ah, that’s okay. You aren’t the only one who doesn’t.)
We cut back to the present with Matt Murdock calling Tony Stark to the stand. Matt asks Tony what Bruce’s initial reaction was. Tony replied “Utter bafflement.”
We flashback to the heroes confronting Bruce. Carol introduces Ulysses to Bruce. (We get that obligatory Bendis “witty” banter that is utterly inappropriate for the type of scene that Bendis is trying to create here.) Carol and Tony explain Ulysses’ powers. (For like the millionth time during this big event.)
We cut back to the present with Carol on the stand. (Jesus, this is a mess from a technical standpoint. Now we are cutting back and forth between the flashback and two different times in the present. Brilliant way to make the story even more muddled.)
Carol says that they explained to Bruce the vision that Ulysses had about the Hulk. But, Tony voiced his dissent in how to best handle Ulysses’ visions. Carol and Tony explain their moral differences about using Ulysses’ visions. (Also for the millionth time during this big event.)
During this talk, the Beast hacks into Bruce’s work servers and discovered that Bruce has been experimenting on himself. That Bruce has been injecting himself with dead gamma cells. Bruce explains that his new work has kept the Hulk away.
Mariah Hill then says that she is placing Bruce under arrest and that they have to detain him. (Uh, what? This is still the United States of America, right? I get what Carol wants to do, but that does not change the fact that SHIELD has to operate under the criminal laws of America. Has Bendis ever bothered to research anything about criminal law before writing this incredibly unintelligent scene?)
Bruce starts to get upset about the accusations being leveled at him. Tony tells Bruce to calm down. Suddenly, a green tipped arrow flies out of a nearby tree and nails Bruce in the head. Another arrow flies into Bruce’s chest. (Told ya.)
Lady Thor, Captain Falcon and Spider-Man all zip over to the tree. Tony yells at Carol that he was here to help and to stop Carol from doing something like this. We see a bow drop from the tree. Hawkeye comes down from the tree with his arms out in front of him ready to be handcuffed.
We cut back to the present. We see Hawkeye in prison clothes and handcuffed. (No!! A criminal defendant is never at his trial in prison clothes and in handcuffs while at his defense attorney’s table. I think the only time the trial court would allow that is if the defendant was an insane maniac who refused to sit still during the trial and tried to attack everyone. C’mon, Bendis. Just the tiniest bit of research. It is what even the most low rent writers in the industry do. And hold up a minute. The murder took place in Utah. So, why is this murder case being tried in New York? The murder occurred in Utah. The murder trial should be tried in a Utah state court. WTF?!)
Carol points to Hawkeye as Bruce Banner’s killer. We cut back to the past. Hawkeye is placed under arrest by SHIELD. Captain Nazi asks why Hawkeye killed Bruce. Hawkeye just cries.
We zip back to the present with Hawkeye on the stand. Hawkeye says he killed Bruce because Bruce Banner asked him to do so. We cut to Nova and Miles Morales watching Hawkeye’s testimony on a small TV. (Jesus, Bendis. Do you just not desire to have any credibility as a real writer? No, Federal Court does not allow cameras in the court room. Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 53 states, “Except as otherwise provided by a statute or these rules, the court must not permit the taking of photographs in the courtroom during judicial proceedings or the broadcasting of judicial proceedings from the courtroom.” Seriously. Real writers do at least bare bones research in order to not rip the reader out of the story or ruin the credibility of the story.)
We cut to a few months ago with Bruce meeting with Hawkeye. Bruce says that it has almost been a year since he turned into the Hulk. Bruce gives Hawkeye a green arrow that is capable of killing Bruce. Bruce says that if he ever Hulks out again that he wants Hawkeye to use it to kill him.
Hawkeye says that he is not going to kill Bruce. Bruce says that Hawkeye will. That Hawkeye is one of the few people Bruce knows that is capable of doing this and able to live with the choice. Bruce asks Hawkeye to promise him that he will do this.
We see even more people across the Marvel Universe watching the trial on television. Hawkeye testifies that no one else was present at the meeting. Matt Murdock then engages in arguing with the witness rather than questioning him. (Hawkeye’s defense attorney really is doing a shitty job by not objecting at this point. Who is Hawkeye’s defense attorney, anyway? You know what would have been cool? Having She-Hulk be Hawkeye’s defense attorney.)
We cut to the defense attorney calling the Beast to the stand. The Beast testifies that the arrow Hawkeye used was an invention of Bruce Banner and that the Beast found it on Bruce’s work server.
We then cut to a video being played of Bruce saying that he has asked Clint to do the world a favor. We then cut to Matt questioning Hawkeye about how Bruce had not hulked out, yet. Hawkeye said that Bruce was about to. We cut to Tony testifying that he was standing right next to Bruce and that he did not see the Hulk. That he saw a man betrayed by his friends. We cut back to Hawkeye testifying that he is such a good shot that he can see things better than other people. That Bruce’s eyes flickered green. We cut to Bruce in the past yelling at the heroes for coming to his lab and accusing him of bringing about Ulysses vision. (I am getting sick from the constant whipping around of these random scene cuts in such a fashion. This is worse that riding the spinning tea cups at the Magic Kingdom.)
We cut to the trial being broadcast over a massive screen in Times Square. We see Carol testifying that Bruce’s own wishes were granted. That lives were saved. That Ulysses’ vision has now been averted. Carol then testifies to all of the previous occasions where Ulysses’ visions have been used to great success to prevent horrible events. Carol testifies that nobody else has ever died in preventing these visions from occurring. (Well, I mean, other than Rhodey dying on a mission to prevent one of Ulysses’ vision. But, yeah, other than that big death just two issues ago, sure, no one has died at all. Bendis logic. Dude cannot even keep the internal logic of his own stories straight.)
We then see Tony on the stand. Tony gets angry and testifies that Matt is not asking the right questions. That this is not what they are supposed to be doing. We cut back to the past with the heroes standing around Bruce’s body. Tony rants that they are supposed to be guarding and protecting. Carol yells that this is all about accountability. Tony says that Carol made this happen. That Carol chased this. That she could not leave it alone and now another one of them is dead. Tony asks who is next on Carol’s hit list. (Carol is a full heel at this point. I have no idea who would like this character anymore or want to buy her comic. What a weird decision by Marvel.)
Carol doesn’t answer Tony. Carol asks Medusa to get Ulysses out of here. Tony yells that this is not Carol’s call to get Ulysses out of here. Ms. Marvel, Nova and Miles all side with Tony on this issue. (Whew! Well, thank God! I feel so much better knowing how these three feel about the situation versus all of the other characters on the scene who actually, you know, have a long history and relationship with Bruce. But, focusing on them doesn’t fit Axel Alonso’s agenda even if it would make for a better, more interesting and more logical story.)
Tony says that Carol cannot come back from this.
We cut back to the courthouse. The jury returns their verdict. The judge is about the read the verdict when we conveniently cut away from that interesting scene to a scene with Tony moping in his lab. (Fantastic. Thank you for robbing the reader of the powerful moment where the characters in the court room react in real-time to the jury’s verdict. I would much rather learn about this after the fact in a more passive manner. More brilliant technical writing.)
MJ approaches Tony. (Gross. This still makes me throw up a bit in my mouth.) MJ asks if Tony wants to hear the verdict. Tony says that he knows the verdict. MJ asks if Tony wants to see it just in case he is not as smart as he thinks. (Of course not! We gotta have a lame hook ending so the reader will want to come back to for the next issue of this shit show.)
Friday then appears and says that it has figured out how Ulysses’ visions work. Tony says “Show me.” Tony looks at a video screen and says “Oh. My. God.” MJ asks “What is that?” Tony replies “It’s…It’s our future.” End of issue.
The Good: Thank God for the talent of David Marquez and Justin Ponsor. Without these two gentlemen there would be no way I could satisfy The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity. Marquez and Ponsor deliver another quality professional looking comic book. And this is despite the fact that Bendis gave Marquez absolutely nothing at all to work with in this script. Bendis delivered one slow talking heads scene after another with Civil War II #3. Poor Marquez was like a man crawling through the desert frantically looking for a glass of water as Bendis proceed to serve him glass after glass of nothing but sand. Bendis did not write any scenes that allowed Marquez to show off his talents or give him anything grand or exciting to draw. However, to his credit, Marquez took Bendis’ chicken shit and made some attractive chicken salad out of it.
Marquez injects as much emotion as possible into a rather limp, shallow and superficial script. I love how Marquez draws the various characters’ facial expressions. They are simply fantastic. Bendis’ weak dialogue and lack of character work leaves Marquez with having to do all the heavy lifting of trying to pump some life into the various characters. Marquez is able to do that through the well done facial expressions and giving each character a nice unique face.
I love how Marquez drew the two page splash shot where Hawkeye kills Bruce Banner. Marquez deserves credit for not going ridiculously over the top like Aries’ death in Siege. Gratuitous gore has become so commonplace that readers no longer react to it. It no longer shocks anyone. What it does do is make the moment seem too campy and ham-fisted. It also makes comics inappropriate for younger readers. Luckily, Marquez chooses restraint and shows just enough to the reader without going overboard. The scene becomes more powerful by leaving something to the reader’s imagination. The reader will always imagine the worst and scare themselves more than the writer or artist can. This scene was brilliantly played by Marquez.
The Bad: Civil War II #3 was just an awful read. In fact, this issue is so poorly written that it is hard to believe that it came from one of the two largest professional comic book companies. Bendis’ writing has deteriorated rapidly after the conclusion of Civil War II #1. Bendis’ writing in Civil War II #3 is far below what is expected of a writer who claims to be a professional. Young writers take heart. If Marvel can find the writing in Civil War II #2 and #3 to be acceptable enough for their premier big event then you too can work for Marvel. Honestly, it does not even seem like Bendis is even trying at this point. This issue seems like Bendis put forth zero effort at all.
There are times in critiquing an issue that the critic must realize the difference between a style of writing that they prefer and what is simply poor writing. There are plenty of comics that are a miss for me, but I fully recognize that those comics are well done. They are simply targeting a different audience than me or are delivered in a style that is not my particular preference. But, even still, it is clear when a comic is still done professionally and in a talented manner. Even if it is not my personal cup of tea.
Then you have comic books that are the product of bad writing pure and simple. And I am talking about bad writing from a purely technical standpoint. Poor pacing and plotting. Lack of properly written dialogue. No character work. No research. No internal logic. Poor scene cuts. A lack of a proper flow. That would be the case with Civil War II #3. From a technical standpoint, Civil War #3 is chock full of just weak writing.
The amount of technical defects to the writing in Civil War II #3 are so numerous that it is hard to pick a proper starting point. Let’s begin with Bendis’ terrible research before writing this issue. Lack of proper research has been a weakness in Bendis’ writing for a long time. What is so shocking is that writers usually work hard at honing and improving their craft over the years. Bendis certainly has not done that.
There are numerous moments where Bendis has not done the basic research about the legal system and how a murder trial is conducted. This research should have been an absolute requite once Bendis decided to base the entirety of Civil War II #3 around a murder trial. It is stunning that this did not cross Bendis’ mind at all. It is the height of lazy and sloppy writing. The problem with a writer not performing some basic research before writing a story is that it makes the story less credible.
Why is a murder outside of Alpine, Utah being tried in New York? And on top of that, a Federal Court in New York? Why is the State of New York bringing murder charges in a Federal Court instead of a State Court? This is making mistakes on multiple levels. Such basic mistakes immediately pull the reader out of the story. This continues with Bendis having the trial in a Federal Court being televised despite the fact that Federal Courts do not allow that to happen. And then we get the moment where Maria Hill goes to arrest Bruce Banner before he has committed a crime. Again, Carol is using Ulysses’s visions to operate outside of the law. However, SHIELD, has to operate within the law. Therefore, Bruce Banner could not be arrested by SHIELD prior to committing a crime.
Now, the writer can compensate for incongruent moments by explaining to the reader why a particular moment or scene is inconsistent with reality. Then the reader can accept the derivation and stay within the imaginary world of the story. However, Bendis never does that. There is no logical explanation why the murder case is being tried in a New York. Never mind the silliness of the State of New York prosecutor bringing charges in a Federal Court instead of a State Court. So, we will move past those mistakes.
Let’s move to the murder trial being televised. Bendis never takes the time to have a character comment how due to the nature of Bruce Banner’s murder that SHIELD somehow convinced the US Federal Court to make a special one time exception to their rule of no camera in the court room during a trial. It really is as simple as that. Instead, the reader is ripped out of the story when seeing the murder trial broadcast all across the country because it is inconsistent with reality.
The same applies for the scene where Maria Hill arrests Bruce. Bendis could have simply solved this problem by having one of the characters state how the federal government has passed some special authority for SHIELD to arrest people in advance of crimes based upon Ulysses’ visions. But, again, this was not done. At least, it was not done within the pages of the main title of Civil War II.
The moments of the story that lack credibility or seem incongruent with reality only serve to pull the reader out of the story. The lack of research or the lack of any explanations for actions that run contrary to basic and fundamental aspects of the American judicial system serve to rip the reader out of the story each time one of these moments occur. It makes for an unpleasant reading experience. This is the result of lazy and sloppy writing by Bendis.
Civil War II #3 also suffers from a lack of internal logic. This is another recurring weakness with Bendis’ writing. Again, it appears Bendis still has not worked on his craft to improve upon this constant weakness. Bendis has Carol testify that nobody has died before when using Ulysses’ visions to stop future catastrophic events. Except that is wrong. Rhodey died in Civil War II #1 trying to use one of Ulysses’ visions to stop a future catastrophic event. This type of lack of internal logic is more proof of sloppy and lazy writing by Bendis. If a writer cannot take the time and effort to make sure their own story possesses internal logic then there is no reason for the reader to remain invested in the story.
Bendis also falls victim to his recurring mistake of inserting “humorous” and “witty” banter at the most inappropriate times. Just before the supposedly “powerful” and “shocking” death of Bruce Banner we get some pointless witty banter between Carol and Ulysses. Bendis had been playing this scene as something serious and important. And then he breaks out this oddly jarring witty banter before shifting back into serious mode and delivering the death of Bruce Banner.
The inappropriate use of witty banter that is awkwardly shoved into serious scenes only serves to pull the reader out of the story. The witty dialogue sounds tone-deaf and ruins the tone and the impact of a serious and scene. With this ill-timed witty banter the author is signaling to the reader that they do not take this moment seriously so the reader should not take this moment seriously, either. All in all, it is just poor technical writing that does nothing to build up what is supposed to be the big climactic and dramatic moment in Civil War II #3.
Civil War II #3 is a poorly constructed story. The basic framework for this story is poorly crafted. The scenes randomly and awkwardly crash into each other. The scene transitions were atrocious. They were sloppy and gave the story a herky jerky vibe. The reader is uncomfortable wrenched between different periods in time and between different characters in the same period of time from panel to panel. There are some pages that jerk between two time periods and different locations with each single panel on a page.
The worst example of this is on page 23. The first panel is the Beast testifying as a defense witness. The second panel is a video of Bruce Banner. We don’t know who is playing it. We don’t know where it is being played. It is assumed that the defense attorney is playing it at the trial. The third panel is Hawkeye testifying on the stand. The fourth panel is Tony testifying on the stand. The fifth panel is Hawkeye testifying on the stand. The sixth panel is a flashback to Bruce yelling before he got killed.
This type of awkward and random scene cuts and shifts between points of view, locations and time period is rife throughout the issue. This serves to disorient in the reader in an unpleasant fashion. This is not a deliberate attempt by Bendis to be avant-garde and to break traditional rules of writing and deliver something original. This was just sloppy writing that felt rushed and hurried. The way the issue felt assembled made the reader feel like Bendis slapped this issue out in 15 minutes with little thought, planning or effort. It certainly served to make this issue feel like a rough draft rather than a polished finished product.
Another defect with the construction of the story is starting in the present day during the murder trial and then flashing back to the scene where Bruce is killed. A flashback scene is a passive literary tool. The reader already knows that the world is not destroyed by the Hulk because everything appears fine in the opening scene set during the present day. The reader also knows that both Carol and Tony survive. This robs the reader of wondering if either two characters were going to be the character who gets killed off. This made it even more obvious at the beginning that Bruce Banner was the character market for death. The reader also knows that since the issue begins with a murder trial that another hero must have killed the character fated for death in this issue. If the character who died simply died in combat then there would not have been a need for a murder trial.
Therefore, by delivering the main scene that is hands down the most important and pivotal scene for this issue in a flashback robs the reader of so many experiences. If this main scene had been told in real-time the reader would not have already been told that it was one hero killing another in cold-blooded murder. The reader would not have known that certain characters definitely survive the encounter. The reader would not have already known that Banner does not Hulk out and cause massive destruction pursuant to Ulysses’ vision. If this main scene had been delivered in real-time there would have been so many more options and possibilities running through the reader’s mind while reading the scene.
Another defect with delivering the main screen in the form of a flashback is that it robs the moment of some of its immediacy and intensity. Scenes that unfold in real-time normally pack more of a punch than scenes delivered after the fact and in flashback format.
Civil War II #3 is a terribly shallow issue. It is shocking how anemic this story has turned out to be. This is supposed to be a big event. Big events should deliver an epic story on a grand scale that juggles a large roster and offers numerous complex and engaging plot lines. Instead, Bendis is mailing it in with Civil War II. The story is stunningly shallow with next to no substance at all. Bendis continues to focus mainly on just Tony and Carol. All of the other characters are nothing more than window dressing that serve no important or meaningful role. Even Bruce Banner and Hawkeye are simple plot devices to illustrate the differences between Tony and Carol’s moral debate.
We are now four issues into this big event and Bendis has still only delivered two plot lines. How do Ulysses’ visions work. How do Carol and Tony resolve their moral dispute on how to use Ulysses’ visions. That’s it. Four issues into a big event and all we have are two plot lines. And neither plot line is particularly creative or innovative. Neither plot line is that compelling or complex.
Making matters worse is that all Bendis has done over the course of Civil War II #1, #2 and #3 is simply rehash and recycle the exact same dialogue concerning Ulysses’ visions and Carol and Tony’s moral debate. I feel like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day at this moment. I just keep reading the same thing over and over and over.
Civil War II #3 is a poorly paced issue. Bendis is usually synonymous with rampant decompression. That is definitely the case with this issue. Bendis takes his shallow story and stretches it as thin as possible to fill up this entire issue. Bendis burns ten pages on getting Banner out of his lab and telling him that Ulysses had a vision of Hulk destroying everyone. 10 pages! Bendis then gives us 2 pages of Banner being killed. We then 11 pages of Hawkeye presenting his defense. Then the 1 page final scene of Tony in his lab with the two hook endings. The reader ends up getting about 5 pages of actual substance in this issue.
Bendis delivers zero plot progression in this issue. The reader gets the cheap and pointless death of Bruce and…that’s it. Bendis gives the reader nothing new on the plot line involving the moral debate between Tony and Carol. Bendis gives the reader nothing new about Ulysses’ visions and how they work. The reader does not even get the jury verdict from the trail. Bendis also introduces no new plot lines. Readers can completely skip Civil War #3 and could pick up Civil War II #4 and the main two plot lines would be in the exact same position as they were before.
Bendis fails to deliver much in the way of character work. As usual, the dialogue is bland as all of the characters talk in the same generic Bendis voice. There also continues to be a complete lack of chemistry between characters. Bendis continues to focus only on Carol and Tony. Hawkeye and Bruce are the supporting characters. Everyone else? Mere window dressing. The rest of the characters serve as mere physical props to fill out the various scenes.
Carol continues to be written as a one-dimensional hard ass. Ask this point, I have no idea why any reader would like Carol’s character. Bendis has delivered her as a pure heel so far. Tony continues to come across as morally correct but ineffectual and weak. No other characters outside of Carol and Tony get any character work at all. Hawkeye and Bruce are just plot devices to juice up Tony and Carol’s moral debate. Hawkeye is one-dimensional and lacks any emotion or personality. He is just the stoic trigger man who does what has to be done. Bruce has no personality at all. He is merely the “shocking” death used to highlight Tony and Carol’s differences and to try to inject more fire into their moral debate.
Tony and Carol’s moral debate continues to fail to engage the reader’s interest. There is nothing compelling about this moral debate. The reason is that Bendis has handled it in such a juvenile and one-sided manner. Tony is clearly presented as being in the right. Bendis has not given the reader any reason to think that Carol is doing the right thing with her approach to Ulysses’ vision. So far, Carol’s actions have gotten people’s privacy rights stomped on and gotten Rhodey and Bruce killed. I am unsure what reader would ever be on Carol’s side of the debate at this point in the story. A quality moral debate only works as a successful plot line if the reader is conflicted about which side is correct.
Bruce’s death felt as shallow and flat as possible. The death had little impact on the reader. The reason for that is that Bruce’s death serves no real purpose at all in this story. Rhodey’s death already provided all of the necessary emotion and fuel to power Tony’s rage against Carol and to keep this moral debate white-hot for the entire big event. Rhodey was Tony’s best friend. Rhodey’s death was all that was needed to power this massive rift between Tony and Carol. Bruce’s death is akin to throwing a few more pieces of coal on an already raging inferno that is the moral debate between Carol and Tony. Rhodey’s death far outstripped and put to shame this Bruce’s lame death which appears just to be done to clear the way for Cho and no other reason.
Even worse, Bruce’s death had little impact on any of the characters in the story. Hawkeyes reaction is muted. Carol comes across completely nonplussed. All of the assembled heroes who knew Bruce and fought along his side in the past? The reader does not get to see their reactions to Bruce’s death at all. Bruce’s death appears to have little impact on any character outside of Tony. And even Tony seems more angry at Carol than upset over Bruce’s death. The lack of reaction to Bruce’s death and the lack of purpose to Bruce’s death impacts how the reader views the death. When a death does not seem to have a real purpose and the characters do not really react to the death then the readers follow their cues and do not react that much to the death, either. Sadly, Bruce’s death came across like nothing more than an editorially mandated pedestrian plot device rather than a meaningful, emotional and purposeful death.
Civil War II #3 also delivers zero action. Readers who actually like some action and fighting in their super hero comics will be disappointed. Bendis delivers an issue that is dry and boring from cover to cover.
Overall: Civil War II #3 was another shallow, dull and repetitious read. There is very little in the way of actual substance for the reader to chew on with this issue. Civil War II continues to be a small and subdued big event. Honestly, readers can simply skip this issue and get Civil War II #4 and not miss any true plot progression at all. Nothing new was introduced in this issue. And the two existing plot lines were left in stasis during Civil War II #3. I would only recommend Civil War II #3 to die-hard Bendis fans. For everyone else? I have no idea why any other readers would want to spend $5 of their hard-earned money on Civil War II #3. A $5 cover price is extraordinary. And for such a steep price of admission I firmly expect plenty of quality substance. That is not the case with this issue. Civil War II #3 delivers the smallest bang for the buck that I have seen from a comic book in a long time.