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Comic Book / Civil War II

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Civil War II is a 2016 crisis crossover event published by Marvel Comics, and a sequel to the Civil War arc that happened a decade earlier. Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez (the creative team behind 2015's Invincible Iron Man) tackle the story's dedicated title, which debuted around the time Captain America: Civil War — a pragmatic adaptation of the original event — hit theaters.

When a Terrigen Mist cloud covers a gathering of students, one young man, Ulysses, is revealed to be an Inhuman. His ability, to see into the future, is seen to be a boon to some and a worry to others, with this rift being most evident between Tony Stark, who worries that they could overstep certain boundaries, and Carol Danvers, who feels that they can use him to stop disasters before they start. However, when a vision of the Mad Titan Thanos leads to casualties, battle lines are drawn — both Tony and Carol refuse to allow others to be harmed, but while Carol sees Ulysses as a boon and being able to prevent more lives lost, Tony feels he is a threat and must be taken away from others before someone else dies trying to stop the future.


In August 2016 the series was given another issue and a complete overhaul in the second half to wrap things up, as Bendis was dissatisfied with the originally planned ending.

    The Factions 

Similar to the original, a faction of heroes including Ms Marvel and Nova turned or remained neutral in the event, either due to disagreements with fighting fellow heroes, or after seeing the worst of the side they initially backed.

Like other crossover events, this story will encompass the entire Marvel Universe in one way or another:

    Comics Involved in Civil War II 


  • Invincible Iron Man (#6 — #8) note 

Main story

  • Civil War II (limited series; #0 — #8)



  • Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man (limited series; #1 — #4)
  • Civil War II: Choosing Sides (limited series; TBA)
  • Civil War II: Gods of War (limited series; #1 — #4) note 
  • Civil War II: Kingpin (limited series; #1 — #4)
  • Civil War II: X-Men (limited series; #1 — #5)
  • Civil War II: The Fallen (one-shot)
  • Civil War II: The Accused (one-shot)
  • Civil War II: Ulysses (limited series; #1 — #3)


Civil War II provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra:
    • She-Hulk is displayed prominently on the cover as being on Team Captain Marvel. She's severely injured by Thanos in the Free Comic Book Day issue, and spends much of the event in a coma. She's much more prominent in issue #0.
    • War Machine is also shown siding with Carol in promo materials, only to likewise get killed off.
    • Spider-Man (Peter Parker) appears on most covers battling on Captain Marvel's side, but in the main series itself he remained neutral throughout the entire story, only appearing in a few background panels.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Phil Coulson, from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., defied Hill's authority, goes rogue and works for the "Protect the future" faction. Hill's best idea is to take the captured villain Grant Ward, give him a Shock Collar to ensure that he obeys orders, and send him to work alongside the good guys. Because that worked out so well the last time she tried. Or even in the TV series, for that matter.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In parts 1 and 2 it's not actually clear if She-Hulk died. All we see is her flatline and doctors converge on her. In part two it's never brought up if she died, even after Tony uses the fact that she was badly injured as a way to convince Carol he is in the right. Issue 4 reveals that she's alive and awake now.
    • Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #8 confirms that she is in a coma and alive despite flatlining at the end of Civil War II #1.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Magneto recruits Rachel Grey in Civil War: X-Men #3 by asking if the Inhumans ever raised a finger to save her people in her timeline.
  • Artistic License - Law: The plot requires this, for much the same reason Minority Report does: While preventing disasters would be permissible under law, pre-empting crime isn't. Innocent Until Proven Guilty isn't a legal nicety, but in a great many countries a right. (Even the UN holds it as such in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically Article 11.) This isn't even getting into the legal tangle regarding lack of evidence or what actively attacking crooks before they've committed crimes would be like. Dazzler calls out Captain Marvel on this in A-Force #8 by stating that She-Hulk, a defense attorney, would never agree to her best friend doing this.
    • Lampshaded with the major push in Hawkeye's trial in Civil War II: The Accused as people in the US Government was essentially trying to push everything forward to get the trial running just so they can try to pass a second Super Registration Act. Daredevil ends up becoming a Spanner in the Works for it.
    • Turned into a Take That! in Choosing Sides #5 when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tells Alpha Flight that using Ulysses like they are has so many holes in it, the 1984 Toronto Maple Leafs could get past it.
    • Thunderbolts #9 reveals that Hawkeye's acquittal caused using any and all of Ulysses' visions to be a legal quagmire.
  • Art Shift: Thanks to a wild vision in issue #7, Ulysses ends up in the world of Old Man Logan, the art work changing to match it.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Unbeknownst to everyone, Ulysses' powers have been evolving the entire time until he can perceive all potential futures and is welcomed by Eternity themself into the pantheon of cosmic powers at the end of it all.
  • Ascended Extra: Unlike the previous Civil War, the X-Men will have a bigger focus this go-round, with Magneto deciding to take the fate of the mysterious Inhuman in his hands. The cover to the first issue shows that both Magneto's team and Storm's team being involved.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Ulysses is a bigtime fan of superheroes, and his precognition powers make him the center of their attention.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Doc Samson, who was last seen a withered up husk after partnering up with the Intellegencia. It is lampshaded, though.
    • The end of the Kingpin miniseries sees the return of the Gentleman from the Sinister Six Trilogy.
  • Badass Boast: In the Captain Marvel tie-in, Magneto "returns" a drone that Carol had been using to spy on him. He's willing to let it go for the moment, but warns her that he'll consider another attempt to spy on him as an act of war and, should she attack him right then, he'll gladly sink her entire base into the ocean. Carol then asks how he was able to detect the supposedly undetectable drone:
    Magneto: I am Magneto. That is explanation enough.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Early promotional art featured Iron Man and Sam-as-Captain-America facing off. However, it was later revealed that they're both on the same side, and Iron Man's main opponent is Captain Marvel. Shortly after the event was unveiled in full, it was explained that the initial image of the two fighting was to pay homage to the original event.
    • The cover for Issue #3 shows the Hulk standing over the dead bodies of some heroes, holding Iron Man's torso. In the issue itself, the Hulk never appears, and Bruce Banner is the one who is killed.
  • Berserk Button: Rhodey's death for both Tony and Carol. The conflict keeps escalating in part because they both mash it against the other pretty much every time they talk.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ulysses shows one last vision in the mist of Carol and Tony's battle of future events before Eternity offers to allow him to become something greater in the universe. Ulysses accepts and thanks the heroes before joining him. But despite finally finding his place, the damage from the war was done. Everyone is shook up by the visions and deals with it in their own ways, but mostly splintered from the events. Bruce is dead and Clint leaves the superhero community. While Carol's reputation with most of the superheroes is shot. Tony is put into a coma from his fight with Carol and, due to his biology having changed from self-experimentation, there's no known way to treat him. Thus he's sealed away in a casket until they can find a way to wake him. And from all of this, no one suspects that Steve is working with Hydra, allowing him to keep his cover as a hailed superhero.
  • Bookends: The event begins with Thanos punching a hole into War Machine/Rhodes. It ends with Carol punching a hole into Tony. He is even using a heavily armed grey model to boot.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Captain Marvel wants to use Ulysses' power to predict and stop threats before they happen, in order to save lives. However, Iron Man is right in stating that such a power cannot be trusted, as Ulysses' visions only predict possible futures, demonstrated by his seeing a Celestial destroy Earth, which the Avengers and Inhumans stopped. On a personal level, Captain Marvel's attempt to ambush Thanos - while probably saving more lives than if they had to wait to find out about him - also got War Machine killed and (unbeknownst to Iron Man) left She-Hulk in a coma.
    • Tony's point is further proven when, after they all experience a vision in which Bruce Banner kills them all, they go to confront him, resulting in Banner's death when Hawkeye thinks he is going to hulk out. Tony points out that, even if Banner were actually going to hulk out, he wouldn't have had they not all gone to confront him about becoming the Hulk and killing them all.
    • This is even discussed in Squadron Supreme and Thundra mentions the futures she, Cable and Old Man Logan came from and that if you stopped one future, three more spring up. However, Hyperion counters that while what Ulysses does is essentially predicting a possible future, it's a future that can and should be stopped to save people. Spider-Man 2099 also discusses this with Peter boiling it down to Miguel as there being "wiggle room".
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. inverts the trope with Coulson declaring that Tony and Carol are both wrong.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: The Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in ends this way; Carol was holding Thanos on Earth, and had only told Star-Lord, who neglected to tell any of his team other than Kitty Pryde. The team, Gamora in particular, is disgusted that their leader kept the information from them, and go their separate ways.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The fight against Thanos was not the typical super hero brawl for She-Hulk and War Machine.
  • Broken Pedestal: Promo pics include Kamala / Ms Marvel tearing a photo of her former idol in half. She ultimately reaches this point in Ms. Marvel #11 when Carol refuses to stop when she is shown how flawed Ulysses' power is and Kamala following her has cost her her friendship with Bruno.
  • The Bus Came Back: Mendel Stromm, Norman Osborn's former partner and the supervillain Gaunt, makes his return since the end of The Clone Saga twenty years prior.
  • Call-Back:
    • In Scarlet Witch's tie-in, Wanda tells Pietro that the reason why she's siding with Carol is because she's been in the same situation Ulysses is in - when Tony used her for his Chaos Computer during the Force Works run.
    • In Gods of War #3, Spider-Man confronts Ire, who asks him if he's a spider who dreamt of being a man or a man who dreamt of being a spider, something Ezekiel Sims asked him during J. Michael Strayzenski's run of Amazing Spider-Man.
    • When fighting Venom, Miles Morales tells Flash that he really doesn't like symbiotes before zapping him - a reference to when Ultimate Venom II killed his mother in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #22.
    • The Oath has a panel-to-panel reference to a scene in Civil War: The Confession, only it's Steve sitting over Tony's body instead of vice-versa.
    • Several to the previous Civil War, specifically with Tony and Steve noting that them taking opposite stands on a moral issue tends not to go well.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Ultimates #8 introduces Philip Nelson Vogt to the Marvel Universe.
  • Civil War: Again, taking the idea of a civil war and applying it to superheroes.
  • C-List Fodder: Averted. Rhodey and Bruce's death are actually quite high in the rankings, with Bruce being an A-lister and Rhodey usually high-B to low-A.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Both the Civil War: Amazing Spider-Man and the Miles Morales Spider-Man titles deal with this, though while it seems that Miles', having Nova and Kamala Khan as guest stars, deals with the fact that their inspirations are on the other side of this conflict, Peter's dealing with problems inside his company. Again.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover to issue #3 features a rampaging Hulk standing atop the dead bodies of the Avengers. The Hulk never appears in the issue, and nobody is killed but Banner.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Carol indefinitely imprisons an innocent woman on trumped up charges with completely lax evidence. After being saved by Nightcrawler, that woman goes on to become an actual criminal to get revenge in Jessica Jones.
  • Crisis Crossover: Keeping in tradition with Marvel's annual summer events.
  • Debate and Switch: The question of whether or not it's right to use prophecy to try and change possible futures is rendered rather moot by the revelation in All-New Wolverine and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that trying to prevent a future can actually cause it. Before, it was assumed that Ulysses' visions were based on information that excluded the visions themselves. But now, because the visions are including results based on what the visions themselves set in motion, that means that acting on a vision is now just as much allowing a prediction to happen as doing nothing at all. This removes a large chunk of Captain Marvel's justifications.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Between the different stories and writers, the characters flip-flop between characterization. For example, in one issues Medusa may be the one hesitant in acting on Ulysses' vision and Carol may be the one who takes the initiative, but in another the opposite is true.
      • Carol's characterization takes a major hit with these. Some stories show her trying to do the right thing and having something of a counterbalance with other heroes who are trying to help her go down the right path. A good majority, however, tend to paint her as an authoritarian Jerkass who'd happily detain anyone who even idly dreams of a crime. This tends to make Carol's reasoning for this story less of a way to prevent tragedies from happening and more of a morality-based dick measuring contest with Tony.
    • Ulysses' power is shown in the main series to be him suddenly being mentally pulled into the future, getting a quick flash of some horrible event that will leave many dead, before returning, during which he claims to feel everything that's going on there as if he's actually experiencing it. Several of the tie-ins however claim his power is actually based on profiling, taking information known already and predicting an outcome. This of course helps to make it more morally questionable, especially when compared to real-life profiling, but it does lead to a big inconsistency between that and the main book where Tony's anti-precog stance is built mostly on paranoia and him going through a nervous breakdown following Rhodey's death.
      • Subverted as of issue 4 as Ulysses abilities are shown to be similar to profiling, even if they still work differently, as well as giving Tony a solid reason for his Anti-Precog stance
    • Similarly, how much Ulysses knows about the context of the visions varies. In the main series, Ulysses sees an event, but has no idea where or when it will occur unless an obvious landmark is visible. In some tie in series like Ms. Marvel, Ulysses can pinpoint down to the second when a disaster will happen, as well as it’s precise location.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Did the Ultimates simply defeat, capture and jail Thanos?
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Carol cradles Rhodey's body as he dies.
  • Disappointed in You:
    • In Captain Marvel tie-in, Magneto said this to Aurora for working with Carol in Alpha Flight rather than protecting fellow mutants on Earth.
    • In Ms. Marvel tie-in, Carol said this to Kamala after the latter helped a criminal staging a crime and sabotaging the Cadets to prove the wrongness of predictive justice.
    • In the aftermath, Carol and Steve Rogers have a heart to heart.
      Carol: You're angry with me.
      Steve: No, I'm not angry. I'm disappointed.
      Carol: Oh, God, please give me angry.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Iron Man kidnaps Ulysses to figure out how he works. The Inhumans respond by stealing his money, destroying his cars and revealing his nude pics. Then Maximus and Triton take it even farther by bombing Stark Tower. Interestingly, Tony considers this perfectly proportionate: the Inhumans are targeting him, punishing him, leaving his company and employees out of it. He calmly takes his lumps, figuring he deserves them, which prompts Triton to take things too far, since he feels Tony isn't really getting the message.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Sam Wilson and Kamala Khan's attitudes towards Ulysses' powers echo the debate on racial profiling.
    • Similarly, Hawkeye's killing of Bruce Banner has been compared to the high-profile spate of incidents involving unarmed black people being gunned down by police officers. This is particularly evident in the way Clint defends his actions by saying that he took the shot because he thought he saw Banner's eyes flash green, which is similar to the way many of the cops in question claimed they opened fire because they thought they saw the suspect reaching for a weapon.
    • Captain Marvel's indefinite detainment of someone said to be part of Hydra on data that may not be acccurate reeks of the anti-terrorism movement.
    • A consistent number of the convicted confess to not even planning the actions they're seen to carry out in visions, they were just thinking about them intensely in moments of desperation. Given it can be demonstrated that visions can be entirely falsified through enough strong thinking, it colors a lot of charges as thoughtcrimes.
  • Dramatic Irony: During Deadpool's tie-in issue, Black Panther openly questions Steve Roger's decision to have the Merc with a Mouth on an Avengers team, even stating that he must have been "horribly brainwashed". Steve has been brainwashed, but into thinking he's a HYDRA agent, and that was after he already recruited Deadpool.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Inhuman named Mosaic is introduced in the Uncanny Inhumans tie-in before getting his own solo title.
  • Easily-Overheard Conversation: After the first main battle, the SHIELD agents are ordering thing around a bit. One of them asked for a status report about Thanos... and Gamora, a pair of meters away, heard it.
  • Expy: Carol and Kamala's partnership and the younger Marvel's reservations over it all easily mirror what happened with Tony and Peter during the original Civil War.
  • Eye Colour Change: Ulysses the Inhuman seer gains black sclerae and red irises when he has visions.
  • False Flag Operation: Bruce's death was this — HYDRA Cap realized that Ulysses could discover that he's The Mole and, when he couldn't kill him, decides to set everyone towards the Hulk.
  • Fan Disservice: Thanos is kept completely naked in his prison.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist:
    • When the Inhumans first announce the existence of Ulysses and his ability to see the future, She-Hulk is skeptical, despite the existence of other supers with precognitive powers in the Marvel Universe. This includes Spider-Man with his “Spidey-Sense”, who is standing in that very room!
    • Even worse is that Carol Danvers is astonished that such a precognitive ability could exist. This despite the fact that she herself could foresee disasters with her “Seventh Sense” in her early days as Ms. Marvel.
    • Tony Stark repeatedly insists that the future can’t be known before it happens. And yet he has personally time traveled to the future on multiple occasions and altered the present based on the foreknowledge received.
  • Foregone Conclusion: In Choosing Sides #3, Cindy Moon and J. Jonah Jameson discuss the trial of Hawkeye and its verdict and Jonah points out that this is going to end with heroes fighting heroes again. He, then, says that he wants his reporters out there taking footage and pictures of it.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Marvel heavily played up the Invincible Iron Man storyline "The War Machines" as a big clue towards Civil War II's cause. This is because the story heavily uses Rhodey.
    • Likewise, the two issues of Totally Awesome Hulk just prior to Civil War II #3 (both of which were billed as being relevant to the event) were Day in the Limelight stories about Bruce Banner adjusting to his new life without superpowers. This was largely to build up some pathos for Banner before he was killed off.
    • After Rhodey's death but before the situation has escalated into a full-on superhuman conflict, Brother Voodoo says that Rhodey's soul feels sorry for the hell his friends are about to go through.
    • In Spider-Man #8, a heartbroken Tony angrily asks "Who's next?" after Bruce is killed, and the issue ends with Miles repeating that phrase. Civil War II #5 then ends with Captain Marvel preparing to take Miles into custody for a future crime.
    • Issue 8 shows previews of various possible/actual events, including Monsters Unleashed, Inhumans vs. X-Men, Killraven's future, a future with another victorious Ultron and more.
  • Frame-Up: The precog app that Preemptive Strike uses to pick their targets is actually an app that hacks databases to falsify criminal records and charges, tricking them into targeting people. Its origins are unknown and it is mystically firewalled.
  • Freudian Excuse: In The Oath, Steve Rogers surmises that the reason why Carol kept fighting despite the fact that she was heavily in the wrong here was that she wanted to be respected like the other heroes and she wanted to prove she was better than Tony Stark. Steve says he wouldn't have minded had it not been the collateral.
  • Friendly Enemy: Much like the original, the idea behind this story is Hero vs. Hero. Iron Man and Captain Marvel.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Celestial Destructor; Imposing, mysterious, foreseen destroying the world and only around as something all available heroes have to come together to stop and kick-start plot. Lampshaded by Wiccan in the New Avengers tie-in, who theorizes it's a living Platonic Ideal of a bad guy.
  • George Jetson Job Security: María Hill supports Carol. Phil Coulson does not, he thinks that she's wrong, and refuses to be a party of that. Phil Coulson, you are fired!
  • The Gods Must Be Lazy: The Gods of War mini seeks to avert this with Herc leading other Gods in battling a mysterious threat.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Carol ends up calling in the Guardians of the Galaxy to help deal with her Iron Man problem. This also allows Peter and Flash to meet for the first time since the whole Superior Spider-Man debacle.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Red Skull, due to having rewritten Steve Rogers's memories to make him believe he's a HYDRA agent, is indirectly responsible for Bruce's death and everything else HYDRA!Cap has orchestrated.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Maria Hill is convinced that all villains will never turn good and that they'll always go back to being villains. It's this way of thinking that gets her to decide to attack Roberto DaCosta's A.I.M. as she's convinced that they'll go back to being the dopey-hatted supervillains and Roberto would just go mad with power.
  • Heroic BSoD: Spider-Man #8 has both Kamala and Tony suffering from one due to the death of Bruce Banner.
  • How We Got Here: Issue 2 ends with Captain Marvel paying a visit to Bruce Banner. Issue 3 starts with Carol Danvers, in colonel uniform, during a trial. Then we find out what has happened, and which is the case under trial.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • While many characters have a nice firm grip on the ball, Carol has hers so tightly, you can see teeth marks. Most of the incidents she causes could have been solved by either talking it over and finding out what's going on, but she takes the visions at face value that she comes charging in ready to slap cuffs on someone so fast that their heads spin.
    • Tony Stark is no better. He insists that the fact Ulysses’ predictions aren’t 100% accurate means they shouldn’t be used at all, even when it’s clear that there’s a huge risk to ignore them. Particularly evident when Ulysses predicts that Thanos will invade to search for a Cosmic Cube. The heroes prepare for his arrival and successfully drive off Thanos, but Rhodey dies and Tony blames Ulysses. If they ignored the prediction, Thanos still invades (and for all we know may even locate the Cosmic Cube), Rhodey still fights, and he still might have died. Besides, the worst case is that Ulysses is wrong and Thanos doesn’t show up so they just stand around awkwardly for a while.
  • Ignored Epiphany: In Ms. Marvel #11, Kamala is able to show to Carol that Ulysses' precog powers are inherently flawed when she's able to get Hijinx to fake a crime and shows that Basic Becky is completely unhinged in her thinking. Instead, Carol sees it as Kamala betraying her trust to ally with a criminal and Tony Stark when he shows up. Do note that it didn't help Hijinx also undermined Kamala's position by technically fulfilling the "fake" crime the vision predicted without actually telling Kamala.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: When Hercules is possessed by a god-like entity and goes on a rampage, Gilgamesh convinces Steve to call out to him. It doesn't work until he shouts out "AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE!"
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die:
    • Rhodey dies to motivate the faction leaders. The writers even admitted that Rhodey died specifically because he was the one character with that kind of personal connection to both Tony and Carol.
    • There is also the death of Bruce Banner at the hands of Hawkeye that ultimately makes the push.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: In #4, Tony tells a group of gathered heroes that he has successfully mapped out the process that allows Ulysses to predict the future, the data proving that the process is flawed. Carol refuses to take this at face value, saying that she will only trust the information if Hank McCoy takes a look at it first. When Hank tells her that he has already seen it, and it's not wrong, Carol still stubbornly believes that the predictions are completely reliable.
  • Immune to Fate:
    • Unsurprisingly, Deadpool is immune to Ulysses' powers as he explains that even he doesn't know what he's going to do next.
    • The Kingpin tie-in has Fisk discover a Nuhuman that appears to be undetected by prediction.
  • Irrational Hatred: Night Thrasher's story in the "Choosing Sides" mini shows him to have unexplained and undeserved disdain of Iron Man.
  • It's Personal:
    • The entire thing for both Tony and Carol: Jim Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine dies right off the bat. While the world loses a soldier and a hero, Tony Stark loses his best friend and Carol Danvers loses her lover.
    • This is the prime limitation of the Inhumans' response to Tony kidnapping Ulysses from their protection. Medusa wants to avoid spectacle that would lose them public sympathy and get innocents in the crossfire so she's making sure it's only Tony and his assets being destroyed. Unfortunately Triton disagrees and proceeds to enlist Maximus in bombing Stark Tower.
  • I've Come Too Far: This appears to be Carol's stance during the second half of the series - having been given the go-ahead from the committee to keep using Ulysses to solve problems and her desire to not get Kamala double-guessing herself in the whole thing, she feels that she has to keep going with using Ulysses. This is shown when Kamala demands that the holding cell in Jersey be shut down after Bruno is put in a coma trying to break a friend out and Carol refuses. It also makes it sounds like she's still going just to spite Tony and not let him win.
  • Karma Houdini: Hawkeye is found to be not guilty of killing Bruce Banner. It's implied a lot of this is because civilians see it as Hawkeye finally putting down the Hulk, despite Banner not being the Hulk anymore.
  • Kick the Dog: Carol gets a huge one in one of her tie-ins when she compares Magneto, a freaking Holocaust survivor to an internet troll invoking Godwin's Law.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: Similar to the first Civil War, even though both sides are supposed to have a point, most people agree that Carol's side does way too many outright cruel things to be considered heroic. And it's kinda ironic, since Tony is now on the lighter side, while during the first Civil war, he was on the darker side.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Like Avengers Standoff, many titles are actually not participating in the storyline, unlike the first Civil War, which hogtied virtually every possible title they could into it. Most notable exceptions are The Amazing Spider-Man, Web Warriors, all X-Men titles (save for All-New Wolverine and Civil War II: X-Men) and more comedic titles such as Howard the Duck and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: People figured that Ulysses would become a Living Macguffin from the point that the series was announced. The Inhuman Royal Family personally takes him in, meaning that any attempts at abusing him or his powers are basically an act of war against a sovereign nation. This is especially serious in the X-Men tie in, in which Magneto fears the many ways in which Ulysses could be used against Mutants and arranges his kidnapping. Meanwhile, Mutants who don't want to piss off the Inhumans do everything they can to keep him out of Magneto's hands.
  • Mercy Kill Arrangement: Bruce Banner has an arrangement with Hawkeye where the archer would kill Bruce before he could transform into the Hulk. Hawkeye could see a flash of gamma green in Banner's eye, prompting him to fire a special arrow.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Hoo boy, David Marquez knows how to draw some pretty men who all seem to prefer to sleep half naked—at the most.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Spider-Woman infiltrates Alpha Flight HQ by mugging an Alpha Flight recruit for his uniform. The real recruit is shown stumbling half-naked out of a closet with a confused expression.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The solicits for the second Choosing Sides issue indicated that one of the short stories would be about War Machine. The story is actually about several of Marvel's black heroes reacting to War Machine's death.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Uncanny Avengers #15 and 16 deal with the disbanded Unity Squad trying to rescue Bruce Banner's body from the Hand. They botch it big time and now they're dealing with a resurrected, mind-controlled Hulk.
  • Non-Answer: During the discussion about Ulysses in Issue 1, Tony asks Carol if she would be okay with being locked up if Ulysses predicted her to be a threat. Carol only responds that it "depends," to which Tony asks "On what?" Notably, Carol changes the subject instead of answering.
  • The Only One: In Gods of War, Hercules decides he can't call on the Avengers to help them with their godly threat because they cannot see them.
  • Only Sane Man: Jigsaw (of all people) is the only member of The Kingpin's entourage to note the glaring hole in Fisk's scaremongering New Era Speech; while what the heroes are now doing is somewhat dubious, he and everyone else attending the meeting (Fisk included) at the beginning of Civil War II: Kingpin #1 are all already "hitmen and killers" so in their case it's less that the white hats are using Ulysses to punish them for thought crimes, and more that they are simply using him to pinpoint their locations so that they can swoop in and arrest them for the things that they've already done.
  • Opt Out: Power Man and Iron Fist decide to do this in their tie in, with both of them sick of fighting their friends and both torn up by Rhodey's death and Jen's coma. It's shown by the time of Civil War #4 that Luke has joined Tony's side. Iron Fist and Power Man #8 reveals it's because Ulysses "saw" Luke breaking Danny out of prison.
    • Spider-Woman TRIES this, but since her best friend is leading one of the sides this proves impossible, though Carol only brings her in as a consultant to vet Ulysses's visions.
    • Really, a common thread in the tie-ins is characters attempting to do this until something involving pre-cog affects them, generally in the negative.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: In CWII #8, Miles holds Tony's comatose body this way after Tony is defeated.
  • Precrime Arrest: The major central conflict - Captain Marvel wants to use a new powered character to stop potential crimes and attacks from occurring while Iron Man refuses to allow the punishment to come before the crime.
    • The Power Man and Iron Fist tie-in introduces Preemptive Strike, a vigilante group that somehow acquired a precog app that's assaulting former villains.
  • President Superhero: In issue #0, James Rhodes meets with the President for what he thinks is a standard briefing, but which turns out to be an appeal for Rhodey to hang up the War Machine suit and run for President himself, in order to head off a rumored campaign by Tony Stark.
  • Profiling: Some of those on the side against using Ulysses argue the, as it's repeatedly stated he's predicting most probable outcomes.
    • A very uneasy Ms Marvel compares Ulysses' abilities to this in her tie-in issue. While Carol insists that profiling is bad science and these predictions actually work, it doesn't take for long for Kamala to start doubting again.
    • Tony doesn't believe Ulysses is predicting the future so much as extrapolating trends on a level beyond even quantum supercomputers. He argues that if there's a chance he's being influenced by anything, then supporting this is tantamount to endorsing profiling. Issue #4 proves him right.
    • Sam Wilson agrees after both sides explain it to him, but becomes preoccupied with defusing a powder keg of a new militant police force and a victimized populace on the verge of mobilizing.
    • The vigilante group Preemptive Strike are apparently following a precog app to stop incidents before they occur but so far it appears to just identify villains out of costume.
  • Prophecy Twist: Along with the trope below, many of the visions can come true not in a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy manner. In A-Force, Nico was predicted to "kill Alice". Alice was transformed into a mantis-like creature and she's begging Nico to Mercy Kill her.. In issue 3 of the main title, Ulysses warns that "the Hulk will kill everyone". The Hand captures his dead body and turns him into an engine of destruction. The side stories in Choosing Sides starring Nick Fury, Jr. talk about the idea that "for S.H.I.E.L.D. to live, Fury must die". Turns out, there was an LMD of the original Fury who took that literally and attempted to kill Fury, Jr. The heroic Fury ended up putting him down instead, though he's quite angry at the fact that Maria Hill didn't fill him in on everything.
  • Prophetic Fallacy: The biggest problem with Ulysses' is that they're completely incomplete - they do not show everything and, instead, just enough to make vague guesses. Both Steve Rogers and Kamala Khan use this to their advantage as they both pull a False Flag Operation as distractions — though, while the latter was to prove they were fallible, the former did it to prevent anyone from finding out he's HYDRA.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: In the epilogue issue Civil War II: The Oath, Captain America gives a private one to the superhero community on being too busy fighting each other to protect the people.
    Steve: You call yourselves "heroes" while you waste most of your time infighting and settling petty grudges. You call yourselves leaders while you jockey around for authority and pecking rights, trying to make yourselves look good-while the truth is you've completely divorced yourself from the people you claim to protect. You have no understanding of what they want or need from you anymore.
  • Recycled In Space: Minority Report WITH SUPERHEROES!
  • Recycled Premise: While this story's central conflict is apparently different from the original's, it's depicting a rift between Iron Man and a Captain (although he and Captain America are on the same side this go-around).
  • Red Skies Crossover:
    • When originally solicited in March, International Iron Man #4 wasn't part of the Civil War II tie-ins list. When it came out in June, the cover promoted the issue as such thing. The issue's involvement with the event consists of a single page, where Tony Stark is drowsing in his lab, and his computer screens feature different media outlet's coverage on the adverted cosmic-level threat.
    • Many of the short stories in the Choosing Sides anthology don't really have anything to do with the overarching plot, and mostly show what other characters are doing during the events of the main series.
    • Many of the tie-ins are superficial to the actual event itself, with only a page or two at most tying it in with either the invasion by Thanos, the death of Bruce Banner and the trial of Clint Barton or Carol sending someone to deal with another vision problem.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Done heartbreakingly in All-New, All-Different Avengers #14. Nadia Pym attempts to build a device that, when she can compact it into something better, can help Ulysses with his visions and stop the Civil War. Sadly, the device blows up on her and she only gets out because Janet Van Dyne saves her. Nadia can only despair at the fact that her heroes are at each other's throats and she can't science things back to normal.
  • Retirony: The President of the United States suggests to Rhodey that he should run for President, afraid someone like Tony Stark might try to run for president and buy his way through everything, an easy Take That! towards Donald Trump's campaign. Or it might just be a nod towards the Vote Loki series scheduled to come out in the same months as the event. Or both.
  • The Reveal:
    • Issue #4 has Tony discovering how Ulysses' powers work. Ulysses is not a true precognitive seer who sees the actual future. His brain somehow 'samples' every aspect of the universe around him — data, energy, etc. — and then he projects a theoretical vision of the future based on all of the data gathered. One that is a very likely future true, but it's not the future.
    • Captain America: Steve Rogers #5: Steve Rogers has purposefully been escalating the conflict to keep Ulysses from discovering that he's a mole working for HYDRA. The vision Ulysses had of the Hulk going on a rampage, which ultimately led to Banner's death at the hands of Hawkeye? Steve purposefully orchestrated all of that.
      • Another in this issue, when the issue mentions the arrest of Alison Green, according to the predictions a HYDRA agent working towards a strike at the US economy, it's confimed that not only is she not a HYDRA agent, the entire operation she's supposed to be working towards for them doesn't exist. It confirms that the predictions can be completely wrong, meaning that there is no confirmation that any of them were right.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Bleeding Cool has compared the death of Banner at Hawkeye's hands and its fallout to the "Black Lives Matter" movement.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Amadeus does this in his tie-in.
  • Screw Destiny: Three of the teaser pictures "Protect the Future Change the Future" showcase three notable people who have done or trying to do this in the recent past - the female Thor, Black Panther, and Teen Jean Grey. Teen Jean's promo pic is quite noticeable as it has her biting her thumb in worry with the Phoenix Force rising behind her.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • In the Civil War: X-Men storyline, Nightcrawler joins Magneto's team as he feels that Magneto's worries are justified, but Psylocke leaves when Magneto's plans go just a little too far for her tastes. Nightcrawler follows suit when the two X-Teams duke it out.
    • Wolverine does this at the end of her tie-in, grabbing Gabby and getting the hell out of there, tired of the in-fighting.
    • T'Challa ultimately does this in issue 6, telling Carol that he should have trusted Captain America from the beginning and not her.
  • Selective Obliviousness: The President and the majority of the American government simply turned a blind eye to the methods and moral implications of Precrime Arrest, caring only for the idea that the American public can live without fear for even a single day. In this way, when the initiative inevitably falls apart with Ulysses' departure, the government simply washes their hands off the whole affair and carry on as though nothing happened.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • Peter gripes about this when one of his co-workers, who was a former villain, decides to up and quit after being accused.
    • The premise of the A-Force tie-in. Captain Marvel learns that Nico is going to kill a young girl named Alice, and tries to arrest her to prevent this from happening. Nico pleads her innocence and goes on the run, and accidentally ends up at the home where Alice lives. Nico realizes this just as Carol shows up at the house to take her into custody. The implication is that what Ulysses saw was actually the result of Alice getting caught in the crossfire of Nico and Carol's battle.
    • Something similar happens in the All New Wolverine tie-in. When Carol learns that Old Man Logan is going to kill Gabby, Captain America is sent to Wolverine's apartment to arrest him. A fight breaks out between him and Wolverine as Logan and Gabby attempt to make their escape but they destroy his jetpack and pump Logan with so much tranquilizers that he goes berserk and impales Gabby.
    • Happens again in the Captain Marvel tie-in. Ulysses has a vision of Carol fighting Aurora, leading Carol to then confront Aurora and the rest of Alpha Flight about it. Aurora (who had just stood up to Magneto to defend Carol's actions and motivations) is insulted, but is willing to try to reason out what will happen…until Carol suggests that Aurora's Split Personality has betrayed her and is working with Tony. Aurora is outraged and strikes Carol, leading to a fight breaking out between Carol and Alpha Flight. However, in the next issue, Carol reveals she intentionally did this to draw out the real traitor inside Alpha Flight (who isn't Aurora).
    • In the New Avengers tie-in, Ulysses has a vision of Songbird weeping at Bobby da Costa's funeral. John Garrett captures her to interrogate her, and she seizes the opportunity to get S.H.I.E.L.D. to attack W.H.I.S.P.E.R. Bobby enacts his plan, catches the Maker attacking the President, and then turns W.H.I.S.P.E.R. in to the U.S. Government. He then allies with the Government, and they set up a fake funeral to lure the rogue A.I.M. cells into a trap. Naturally, Songbird cries while giving the eulogy.
    • Basically this is how most of Ulysses's visions work. When they try to stop it they end up causing the events that lead up to it.
  • Sequel Hook: The Oath has Steve Rogers, having just been made Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. after Maria Hill was kicked out, approaching where Tony Stark is hidden away and begging him to wake up and save the day, because HYDRA is set to take over, setting the stage to Secret Empire.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Miles vs. Sam promo is a Call-Back to Spider-Man stealing Cap's shield in Captain America: Civil War.
    • Another shout out is seen in issue 5 with the Vision shooting down something by accident. In this case, it's the Guardians of the Galaxy's ship, blasted when Kitty Pryde phases through the Vision's energy shot, not realizing their ship was behind her.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Daredevil is this towards the a conspiracy to revive the Superhuman Registration Act, getting Hawkeye acquitted for Bruce's murder.
    • Tony ended up being this towards Steve, as Steve sought to kill Ulysses the night Tony snuck in and kidnapped him.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Captain Marvel and Gamora discussed about keeping Thanos prisoner on Earth, and some random dude filmed it it his cell phone and shared it. Somehow, Anihilus intercepted that (despite being some galaxies away), and started to make related plans with the Brood queen.
  • Take a Third Option:
    • Phil Coulson ends up quitting S.H.I.E.L.D. to form his own little faction to keep the organization out of the Civil War.
  • Take That!: The Oath is essentially one long one towards the Let's You and Him Fight idea.
  • Tempting Fate: During one of the Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in issues, Rocket is unimpressed by the heroes on Tony's side, thinking the Guardians can easily take them. The fight proves to be tougher than he thinks, even resulting in the destruction of the Guardians' ship, leaving them stranded on Earth.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The thing that kicks off the event is the death of a major hero at the hands of another. The cover to Captain America: Sam Wilson #10 suggests the fallen hero is a military man. The FCBD issue reveals that the fallen hero is War Machine, taking a pulverizing punch to the chest by Thanos.
    • Another character is set to die in issue three, which Marvel has especially been hyping up; they're even publishing two tie-in comics called The Fallen and The Accused to address the death.
    • Between two announced Iron Man titles with other characters taking up the title and various previews making it clear Carol wins a Pyrrhic victory, Tony Stark surviving the event looks less and less likely. Invincible Iron Man #14 ends all but stating it.
    • This is averted with Tony: he is actually in a coma due to experiments that he had done on himself beforehand.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Or rather, "Comic Book Covers Always Spoil". In a strange case, the Skottie Young cover to Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1 had the kid Hulk with an arrow stuck to his head with kid Hawkeye looking worried at it. No one caught on until it was pointed out once Civil War II #3 was released.
    • There were actually a shocking number of hints in hindsight, such as a variant cover for #4 showing Hawkeye vs. the Hulk and the solicit for a future Totally Awesome Hulk issue showing Amadeus crushing Hawkeye's quiver in anger.
      • Speaking of that issue, the previews for that issue reveal that Hawkeye was actually found not guilty for his actions.
    • The cover for issue #6 shows Miles Morales fighting Steve Rogers, with Miles about to bring Steve's shield down on his head. The Reveal at the end of issue #5 is that sometime in the near future, Miles is going to kill Steve.
    • Infamous Iron Man #1 reveals that Tony Stark might actually be dead.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Hank's observation at the end of the series is that Tony always respected Carol's ability to act responsibly but, seeing as she won't be around forever, this trope would inevitably happen if she made precrime enforcement a fixture in society. Seeing as her organization was almost infiltrated to sow chaos for an easy takeover, some of her underlings overzealous actions and a parallel universe Miss America showed her where Doctor Doom accomplished this, he wasn't wrong. He just underestimated her conviction in fighting him.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: A major problem that stems from Ulysses' powers - he can tell you what will happen, but not all of the specifics and it puts people into something of a paranoid state of mind. Kamala finding out the person who will destroy her school is a football player she knows personally and Peter being warned that Clayton Cole will "put on a costume and fight you" easily show that. This is also what gets Bruce Banner killed.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again
    • Tony Stark acknowledges that the escalation of his conflict with Captain America in the first Civil War made things worse. This time around, he asks for his advise, and says that he would stop it all if he said he was wrong.
    • It was revealed in The Accused that there is a conspiracy to establish a "Superhuman Registration Act II". Daredevil discovered it, and blew it by helping Hawkeye to be acquitted
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Carol. She wants to protect the world and prevent what happened to Rhodey and She-Hulk from happening again. She believes using Ulysses is a boon and should be pushed in some way. However, as the story progresses, Carol's attitude goes sideways as she's been told that Ulysses's powers don't work the way they should and quickly accuses anyone of consorting with Tony in some way.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Issue 4 ends when Nightcrawler rescues a woman that is held prisoner by SHIELD, with no evidence of any wrongdoing from her part other than Ulysses' vision, which leads to a full-out fight between both sides. Issue 5 is completely about that fight, and ends because of a completely unrelated event. The woman is not mentioned in all the issue.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Tony finds out about Rhodey's death, he chews out Carol for even allowing Rhodey to even participate in fighting Thanos.
    • He calls her out again when Carol bringing a large amount of heroes to confront Bruce, as well as letting Beast hack his files, leads to Bruce's death.
    • Tony does it yet AGAIN when Carol refuses to back down despite proof that Ulysses ability isn't 100% accurate and instead is an approximation of the future.
    • Dazzler tears into Carol as well due to the fact that her reasoning for doing this doesn't make sense because she had no idea what She-Hulk actually meant when she said it.
      She-Hulk: It's our future, not his. Fight for it. (Who's "he?" Tony? Thanos? Ulysses?)
    • The Ultimates #10 has T'Challa chew out Carol for the arrest at the end of issue 4. America Chavez one ups that by smashing Carol with a chair and a table.
    • Kamala does this to Carol at the end of Ms. Marvel #11, telling her that doing this won't bring back Rhodey.
    • After learning her actions got Bruce killed, Jessica breaks her friendship with Carol after hitting and chewing her out because she had grown close to him and Hulk during their time on the Avengers
  • With Us or Against Us: Carol takes up this stance as the story progresses, effectively considering anyone who does something sensible that might stop her from using Ulysses to be some sort of traitor.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Hawkeye quits being a superhero out of guilt after the American public showers him with praise for killing the Hulk, who was long held as the source of countless accidental deaths and immeasurable property damage.