The Accused #1 (Marvel Comics)
Civil War II may not be igniting fans’ imaginations and wallets like Marvel may want it to, but that’s not stopping them from churning out spin-off specials around the event. The first of two specials this month, The Accused finds Matt Murdock on the prosecuting side of Hawkeye’s trial shown in Civil War II #3. Marc Guggenheim and Ramon Bachs’ one shot sounds like it has the makings of a cool little side story, but like many one-shots, it doesn’t offer any real insight.
The entirety of this issue focuses on Clint Barton’s trial and Matt Murdock prosecuting him on behalf of New York City. While that sounds like it could be a pretty interesting idea, unfortunately Marc Guggenheim decided he’d rather focus more on a conspiracy against the superheroes rising out of Civil War II than showing a lot of the courtroom drama. This is probably because we already saw plenty of the trial in Civil War II #3, but at the same time, the conspiracy isn’t all that shocking or interesting really (hell, it’s even called “The Superhuman Registration Act II). Even though Accused isn’t a complete retread, it kind of feels like it is simply from the fact that the “reveal” isn’t that interesting.
Ramon Bachs’ pencils are pretty good, and suit the story well, but like the script, there’s nothing about them that makes it really stand out. This is an issue that really could’ve been drawn by anyone, from a seasoned pro to a new up and comer, and still have the same result. There’s nothing really that stands out as good or bad.
Unfortunately The Accused doesn’t really add much to the overall Civil War II event. If you were hoping for some groundbreaking revelation, insight into Hawkeye’s motivations or feelings, or even a cool little courtroom drama, you won’t get anything you didn’t already see in Civil War II #3. After the tepid response the actual Civil War II event is getting, you would’ve hoped that Marvel would’ve tried to make this book something special.