Civil War II Special Edition Digital Exclusive is a first for the Marvel digital brand. A comic book exclusively released in the digital format, this deconstruction of the first issue of the series reveals step-by-step the process behind bringing a book like this to life and into your hands (or screens). From sketches to inks to color the art process is broken down. Not to be outdone, the script is attached at the end so you can read not only the words on the page but the direction given to David Marquez by writer Brian Michael Bendis. It’s funny because when Bendis uses a swear word to emphasize his point, it’s blacked out (but you can guess what it says).
Marquez is a great subject to do this type of deconstruction. His final art is incredibly beautiful and Justin Ponsor is a talented colorist who adds layers and dimensions to Marquez’ work. It is really interesting to see the page progress from rough sketches to full realized design. The one drawback to this is that the work is not done side-by-side. Perhaps it isn’t yet technologically feasible, but it would be amazing for there to be some sort of layering effect to actually watch the artwork in progression. But unfortunately the book isn’t laid out that way. Instead you have to go through the entire book in sketch format, then the entire book in finished ink format, then the entire book in full color format.
Which leads us to the next deficiency. No words. The script is included at the very end with notes by Bendis to the artists. It’s kind of funny, too. Bendis apparently likes to use swear words to emphasize a point. Where that happens, the script is blacked out, but it isn’t generally hard to tell what Bendis had written. But nowhere is there a way to view the final page with words and art together unless you open up the regular 1st issue of the series. It doesn’t make sense not to include it. No one who buys this copy at nearly twice the amount ($7.99) hasn’t already bought the original issue. Might as well include it so the reader can see the finished product.
On the plus side is a gallery of every variant cover for this first issue. Some of these covers were hard to obtain so getting to see them all is a treat. And of course, if you’re a dedicated Maquez, Ponsor, or Bendis fan (and I admire all three), this is definitely worth it. But if you just want to read a great story, you can hold off and read the regular issue. Recommended for Marvel super fans, but not for the casual reader.
- See what we have to say about the Totally Incredible Hulk and Doctor Strange!
- You can read about the previous Secret Wars: Civil War series on Disney Nerds, too.
- Issue #1 wasn’t the first issue. Read our review of Civil War II #0.