Civil War Comic Review – “Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways”

This miniseries just wrapped up this week. Next week will see Civil War #5 hit shelves, along with the last issue of the New Avengers crossover and the first issue of the Iron Man crossover.

General Information

Title: Civil War: Young Avengers and Runaways #1-4

Author: Zeb Wells

Illustrator(s): Stephano Caselli on pencils and inks, and Daniele Rudoni on colours

Original Publication Date: These issues cover dated September-December 2006.

Cover Price: Issues are $2.99 US. The first issue was $4.25 Canadian, and the other three are $3.75 Canadian.

Past comic reviews can be found here.


The Young Avengers notice that government agents are closing in on the Runaways, and decide to pitch in an recruit them for Captain America’s resistance.

High Point

“Wait, you guys have a future murderous despot on your team, too?”

Low Point

Captain America’s reaction. It doesn’t seem to fit with the character, and seems to be there to justify only having the Young Avengers present.

The Scores

This doesn’t feel very original, due to the standard “first crossover” structure, where two teams of heroes fight each other at first, recognize that there was a misunderstanding, and then band together to fight the real enemy. Add in the miniseries aspect, meaning that there will not necessarily be a need to reference this in either main story in the future, and you’ve got a pretty stock structure. It’s well handled, certainly, but it’s nothing unexpected. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is nice, with art that is consistent with what I’ve seen in Runaways. (I haven’t read any Young Avengers yet, but I think I’m going to change that.) The colour pallettes tend to use dominant colours for different locations, which is a practice I generally like, but here it’s so dominant that it can overwhelm. (The aircraft, for example, doesn’t just have lots of red, but is coloured only using shades of red.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is a collection of new details hung on a standard structure. That doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of fun, though. These two teams are a natural fit for a crossover, which helps things combine smoothly, and the overreaching arc makes good use of the similarities of the teams to bridge them together nicely. It’s not original, but that doesn’t make it bad. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is well done. My only previous exposure to the Young Avengers is in the main Civil War title, and this does a nice job of introducing me to that team’s characters and relationships. Similarly, as I follow Runaways in the digests (which I’m behind on reading as it is) it did a nice job of letting me know who the newest team members are and how they all fit together. It’s a large cast to cover in four issues, but it does the job. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is good. It may lack originality, but it’s still a lot of fun, with a final panel that could turn into a significant event for either team. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is smooth, with action moving nicely from panel to panel, and a sufficiently compressed time frame to prevent any major issues with scene and timeline changes. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, though it probably won’t have any real effect on the rest of Civil War, it’s a fun little series that’s worth reading if you’re interested in either team. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, receives 34 out of 42.

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