Marvel crossovers are a mixed bag, but some of the most consistently appealing titles of these events are the tie-in anthologies that spotlight characters who don’t have their own titles. Books like Fear Itself: The Home Front, Original Sins, and Secret Wars: Battleworld are often a testing ground for creators that want to break in at Marvel, giving them the opportunity to prove themselves with short stories about lower-profile figures in the Marvel Universe. It makes these anthologies exciting and unpredictable, and even if the crossover is a bust, at least it’s giving fresh voices a chance to be heard.
The main story across all issues of Civil War II: Choosing Sides is a Nick Fury feature written and drawn by Declan Shalvey with colors by Jordie Bellaire, and while Shalvey is a veteran Marvel artist with runs on Thunderbolts, Deadpool, and Moon Knight, this is his first time stepping into the writer’s role. These preview pages of next week’s Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1 show that Shalvey is continuing to let his art drive his storytelling, and he does excellent work building and releasing tension through his panel layouts.
This first issue also features two self-contained shorts: a Night Thrasher story written by Marvel newcomer Brandon Easton with art by Paul Davidson and colorist Andrew Crossley, and a Damage Control tale written by Chad Bowers and Chris Sims with art by Marvel newcomer Leonardo Romero and colorist Miroslav Mrva. It’s a good mix of talent working with an interesting assortment of characters, and if the rest of the series continues that trend, Choosing Sides could be another winning tie-in anthology for Marvel.