With the emergence of a new inhuman, Ulysses, comes a great divide in the world’s super heroes. Ulysses’ vision of Bruce Banner losing control and becoming the Hulk again has led to a horrible tragedy. Bruce Banner has been killed at the hands of Clint Barton (Hawkeye), who claims that he only did what he was instructed to do.
Evelyn Stanzler of the Justice Department has enlisted Matt Murdock (Daredevil) to assist with the federal prosecution of Barton. Upon working the case, Daredevil finds some unfair strings being pulled from within the system. Not only that, but the authorities are trying to enact the Superhuman Registration Act II, which may lead to a new Civil War. Matt Murdock uses this information not to sway the case, but to get Barton a fair trial. He isn’t sure, though, if the verdict was fair.
This issue was published as a one-shot, so for anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with the Civil War II event, fear not! You don’t have to know much about it to understand this issue.
If you’re into law, political science, or even TV dramas with these concepts, you’re going to like this issue. It focuses almost entirely on the trial and the corruption going on behind closed doors at the courthouse. This is a really interesting take for writer Marc Guggenheim to take, and it works.
Matt Murdock keeps a professional attitude throughout the entire issue, but uses Daredevil to get a bit ahead of the game. While Evelyn claims to have control over Matt, he is already plotting how to get Barton his fair trial. Ethics is a big concept in this issue, and Matt proves that he is definitely worthy of his position as an attorney as well as his justice-serving Daredevil persona.
In terms of Barton’s character, he is mostly remorseful in this issue. He doesn’t try to clear his name all too much. He is honest, and knows that he has done something wrong. When Matt suggests that his murder was premeditated, he doesn’t get mad or deny it. He simply says that he doesn’t know if he did the right thing.
This is a really well-written issue, with suspense in places that makes us change views on Barton time and time again. It’s an amazing script with a steady, natural, and beautiful flow to it.
Backs and Brown illustrate this issue with the same dramatic tone that Guggenheim uses to write it. Panels with dark backgrounds focus on characters’ faces and expressions, showing their thoughts, attitudes, and reflections to any given situation. There is a fairly wide variety of panel layouts, so there is always something for the eye to look at, examine, and move to. The entire issue moves very comfortably, clearing way for the eye to move with the script and artistic storytelling.
This is an amazing addition to Civil War II. It includes revered characters and heroes in situations that we haven’t really seen them in before. I haven’t disclosed what the verdict is, so you’ll have to see for yourself whether or not Barton walks a free man. Make sure to pick up this issue from your local comic book shop (which can be found with the Comic Shop Locator Service). Enjoy!
Written by: Marc Guggenheim
Illustrated by: Ramon Bachs & Garry Brown