Civil War II: The Oath is the closure I have been waiting for. Marvel’s Civil War II is the messiest, grandest, most blatant example of comic crossovers done right but still outrages me to this very day. With the reveal of Steve Rogers as a brainwashed Hydra agent and the world in utter chaos after a ridiculous argument of maniacal egos, this caps the crossover and introduces us to what’s in store for the readers in 2017, which hypes me to no end.
Before I discuss the beauty of Civil War II: The Oath, let me preface this with a spoiler warning. For this review to make sense, I’d need to discuss important plot points across the whole Marvel franchise. The Oath is the conclusion of the Civil War II crossover. With the Inhuman Ulysses transcending to being a cosmic entity, the war between the factions of Iron Man against Captain Marvel has ground to a halt, with a slew of AAA Marvel heroes dead or injured, most specifically The Hulk, She-Hulk, War Machine and Tony Stark in comatose.
The story revolves around Steve Rogers Captain America being inducted as S.H.I.E.L.D. executive director after America has passed a landmark law that gives them power over policing and surveillance of the entire country. The entire country has agreed to the policy, humans and superheroes alike, as Captain America’s approval soared after the failed Civil War II that painted both factions wrong and grossly incompetent. What we see after the oath taking is the best dozen or so pages of comic book monologue in my decades of reading comics thus far.
Captain America, in all his wisdom and glory in Civil War II: The Oath, spoke to a comatose Iron Man about the rights and wrongs of both factions – on how selfish and self-righteous they are and how they have forgotten about the very people they vowed to protect. He painted Tony as a high and mighty futurist who only cares about his selfish vision of the future, leaving everyone behind in the dust. He has listed Tony’s vision as “hubris more than principle.” Carol Danvers was not free from criticism either. The esteemed Captain Marvel’s psychology has been meticulously broken by Steve, calling the infinitely forward-headed Carol as “desperate for approval, to have never learned how to find it in yourself, to have to constantly seek it out on others.” On the last few pages, we see an imagined future where Hydra has taken over America and introduced to the next phase of the Marvel crossover, the Secret Empire.
I want to cry, not because I hate Civil War II: The Oath, but because this is among the strongest conclusions of a major comic event since the Death of Captain America and DC’s A Death in the Family. Rod Reis and the gang have nailed the art with every panel. The way they interpreted Steve Roger’s turmoil and suffering is fascinating. You can see his transgression from a hero of freedom to a cold-blooded executioner of iron-fisted justice. It gives me goosebumps just to look at Steve Rogers’ facial expression. His resolve has never been so strong, even if we all know as an audience that he is not in the right frame of mind.
I’ve never found myself agreeing more on the views of Steve Rogers in Civil War II: The Oath. He has aired a sentiment that most comic book fans are saying about the Civil War crossover. There hasn’t been a more fitting closure for the crossover than this. Marvel has flawlessly tied the loose ends with just a minute number of scenes, and Nick Spencer has masterfully written this opus. This is nothing short of unbelievable, and the bridge towards the new Secret Empire crossover has been set on a hard foundation.