(Image: Marvel Comics)

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.

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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.

Cover by Jim Cheung and Justin Ponsor
Variant by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire

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Variant by Phil Noto
Action figure variant by John Tyler Christopher
Baby variant by Skottie Young

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