War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

April 17, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 3 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2009
***

Solid momentum & adequate art adds to the ’80s style retcon for Darkhawk. Sentient armor has trapped generic protag Chris Powell in a weird limbo while it assassinates the Shi’ar Empress over in WoK #4. Can Chris take control before he’s captured? Or will his armor lead the galaxy into tyranny?

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
see also War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

April 16, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 2 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
July 2009
***

This adjunct mini may have a stronger plot arc than the main WoK series, but its dull art only emphasizes the most conventional elements. Darkhawk learns that his sentient armor is part of an intergalactic Knights Templar w/ nefarious aims, & that his ’90s backstory was mostly misinformation.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6

War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

April 15, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 1 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
June 2009
**

At first, this sequel to the Darkhawk mini seems to riff on Star Wars tropes of an ancient galactic society now nearly extinct, & of a young hero following his destiny. But DnA throw a nice set of curveballs: the society is actually a Machiavellian cabal & the hero’s power-armor overwrites his body!

continued from War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6

War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

April 14, 2014

War of Kings - Darkhawk 2 of 2C.B. Cebulski // Bong Dazo & Harvey Tolibao
May 2009
**

A clumsy revision of ’90s superhero Darkhawk. Once a teen in a shazam scenario w/ a robot, D learns he’s part of a galactic cabal hunted nearly to extinction. Now he’s off to another dimension to set the future aright! An entire team of artists can’t draw a simple aerial hand-to-hand fight.

last issue: War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2
continued in War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6

War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

April 13, 2014

War of Kings - Darkhawk 1 of 2C.B. Cebulski // Bong Dazo & Harvey Tolibao
April 2009
*

It was fun to see ’90s superhero Darkhawk pop up in Nova as the security guard for a supertech research facility. But this two-issue miniseries adds nothing, offering instead a clumsy bit of portraiture around rage issues & superhero recovery. There’s not one description of the char’s superpowers!

next issue: War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Nova #22

War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

April 12, 2014

War of Kings - Who Will Rule 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2009
****

The Kree-Shi’ar War has left a glowing tear in spacetime & a crisis of leadership in both empires. The former suggests a new plot direction for Marvel’s line of space epics; the latter adds much-needed dramatic thickener. But what leaps out from this epilogue is the chaos of an occupied territory.

continued from War of Kings #6 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
Nova #29

War of Kings #6 of 6

April 11, 2014

War of Kings 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2009
***

The mini, mostly a by-the-numbers space opera, ends in a disappointing bout of super-fisticuffs that tears a rift in spacetime. But Pelletier has done yeoman’s work: he tells a story okay, & the rubbery quality of his late ’90s superhero style undercuts the preposterous hypertrophied bodies.

last issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
continued in War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

also indexed for Oct. ’09
The Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

War of Kings #5 of 6

April 10, 2014

War of Kings 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2009
****

The Shi’ar despot confronts the Kree monarch aboard a superweapon that will turn the galaxy Inhuman. This wooly space opera reaches its climax, but its best moments are in the hurly burly: a princess’s horror at the doomsday device, a super-alien’s war-fury, an X-Man’s hollow vengeance.

last issue: War of Kings #4 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #6 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

War of Kings #4 of 6

April 9, 2014

War of Kings 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2009
**

Civil unrest and factionalism tears apart the Shi’ar Empire, culminating in the assassination of its Empress, an old Claremont creation. As w/ many Marvel “events”, WoK is less coherent w/o its supplemental minis. The lack of time for character beats reinforces the bombast of space opera too.

last issue: War of Kings #3 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
see also War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

War of Kings #3 of 6

April 8, 2014

War of Kings 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
July 2009
***

Good storytellers like Abnett & Lanning know to plot for the endgame, not the opening. In #3, they start to twist this mini in interesting ways. Romance buds in an arranged marriage; the Inhuman aristocracy hatches sinister plans for their subjects; & that mohawked Shi’ar superman turns renegade.

last issue: War of Kings #2 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

War of Kings #2 of 6

April 7, 2014

War of Kings 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
June 2009
**

As the title indicates, royal houses go to war: two galactic empires who fight with starships, zero-g shock-troops & planet-annihilating bombs. Yet, unlike this crew’s other current SF comics, WoK feels padded out. Only a show of compassion by a princess demos their typical richness of character.

last issue: War of Kings #1 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #3 of 6

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

War of Kings #1 of 6

April 6, 2014

War of Kings 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
May 2009
***

Context is all. Taken alone, WoK works through the hoary plot of a thousand space operas: a clash of galactic empires. And this issue simply shows an alien army attack a wedding arranged to consolidate two races. But w/ Marvel’s cosmic line behind it, this colorful super-battle feels momentous.

continued from Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1
next issue: War of Kings #2 of 6

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

April 5, 2014

Secret Invasion War of Kings 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier & Bong Dazo
March 2009
***

Like DnA’s previous Marvel SF prologues, this one-shot is effectively #1 of an upcoming mini; the expectation is all. It serves as a bridge btw their own space operas, last year’s Skrull Invasion of Earth, & a coup in the alien empire from X-Men. After generations of seclusion, the Inhumans (a once-pacific Kirby clan) launch their futuristic lunar techno-city into space & conquer the Kree Empire.

continued in War of Kings #1 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Nova #21

Guardians of the Galaxy #12

April 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 12Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
late May 2009
****

The second issue of May ’09 forms a diptych of gamesmanship on a cosmic chessboard. A scheming villain fights Quasar (passing thru from Nova #22 to 23), but he really aims to corrupt Phyla-Vell w/ the power of the Moon Dragon. Weird, obscure stuff—not a good place to jump in, despite lovely art.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #11
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #13

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #11

April 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 11Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
early May 2009
****

This issue gets cosmic as if follows Phyla-Vell & Drax into a limbo where Moondragon’s dragon slumbers. Funky, angular art reinforces the odd tone, supplementing Phyla’s POV confusion at the explication of allegorical beings like Death. #11 demos how complex Marvel’s resurgent cosmic line can be.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #10
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #12

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #10

April 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 10Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
April 2009
***

The mag concludes its 3-part excursion into the Negative Zone by adding yet another discarded Marvel hero (Jack Flag, a minor char from Gruenwald’s Cap run). The pace has picked back up, & so has the charm. Warlock fans can look forward to the resumption of his role as an intergalactic messiah.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #11

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #9

March 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker & Carlos Magno
March 2009
***

That Negative Zone prison from Civil War, abandoned by writers & in-story heroes both, offers easy entry into our ‘verse. Into that breach steps the Guardians! Tho’ Walker’s realism fits the SF adventure better than Pelletier did, a muddy palate atop busy pencils leaves the action a little confused.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #10

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Nova #21
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #8

March 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
February 2009
**

Peter Quill, Star-Lord, gets booted into the Negative Zone, where he must stop a Kirby Konqueror from invading Earth. The writers aim to add depth to the central character on their team title, but they’re better off when they focus on the SF adventure & let the characters take care of themselves.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Nova #20
Secret Invasion: Dark Reign #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #7

March 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 07Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
January 2009
**

With its team split after only half a year, this mag has four plotlines in #7 alone! In the main thread, a flaw in spacetime threatens the 31st century Guardians (IE Steve Gerber’s ’70s SF team). Mostly it stages a fight w/ Frankenstein aliens, which doesn’t leave room for character or suspense.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Nova #19
Secret Invasion #8 of 8

Nova #22

March 28, 2014

Nova 22Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
April 2009
****

Not only do DnA follow thru cleverly on their basic scenario, they twist the plot in surprising ways! Storing a super-AI in his head didn’t drive Rich Rider mad, it drove the AI mad! It did affect RR’s body tho’, and now, powerless, he’s got two days to live! Plus, dig the Constructivist cover!

last issue: Nova #21
next issue: Nova #23

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Nova #21

March 27, 2014

Nova 21Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
March 2009
****

Worldmind, the cosmic AI that Rider has shared a skull with, downloads itself into Ego the Living Planet, one of King Kirby’s kraziest koncepts! But the maneuver smells fishy, esp. when Rider gets booted from the Corps! This is a brilliant turn of events, grand super-SF, a twist on A. Moore’s GL Mogo.

last issue: Nova #20
next issue: Nova #22

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Nova #20

March 26, 2014

Nova 20Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
February 2009
***

Another reflective issue of Nova. Richard Rider touches base w/ old friends from the New Warriors, his anxiety stimulated by the Nova Corps’ restoration. Or is he just worried about his younger brother, now a fellow Centurian? If only editorial would get more unique, imaginative artists on this mag!

last issue: Nova #19
next issue: Nova #21

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #8
Secret Invasion: Dark Reign #1 of 1

Nova #19

March 25, 2014

Nova 19Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
January 2009
****

The re-established Nova Corps helps keep the peace on Earth, post-Skrull Invasion. The slower pace lets DnA develop character w/ smart dialogue. Esp good: a friendly convo btw Rider’s bro & bush-league ’90s hero Darkhawk. The artist duo are unobtrusive, aside from bewildering angles in fights.

last issue: Nova #18
next issue: Nova #20

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #7
Secret Invasion #8 of 8

Guardians of the Galaxy #6

March 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 06Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
December 2008
***

Cosmo the hyperintelligent dog teaches the Guardians & their super-rivals not to jump to conclusions about the Skrull invasion. DnA smartly invert the poorly-conceived idea of Skrull jihad, showing readers that not all “aliens” are terrorists. And set-up: oracular Mantis can’t see the team’s future!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Nova #18
Secret Invasion #7 of 8

Guardians of the Galaxy #5

March 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 05Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2008
****

The further a mag is from Secret Invasion, the smarter it handles the conceit. At the universe’s edge, the cosmonaut canine protects a litter of Skrulls. The team, meanwhile, is torquing apart over distrust (look! it shows/not tells). Plus Guardians from the future are attacking the current roster!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4
next issue:: Guardians of the Galaxy #6

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Nova #17
Secret Invasion #6 of 8

Guardians of the Galaxy #4

March 22, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 04Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2008
***

Guardians gets into the Marvel-wide Skrull Invasion act. Despite the mag’s partition from the MU, it makes sense w/ the intergalactic operatics. The paranoia fits nicely w/in the team’s newness, & spreads to the civilians nearby (who don’t appreciate having a paramilitary org onsite!).

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Nova #16
Secret Invasion #5 of 8

Nova #18

March 21, 2014

Nova 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
December 2008
***

Nova, w/ a growing support staff, defends an upstate super-facility from Skrull invaders. Human scientists have rebooted the Nova AI, w/ the side-effect of conjuring the late Quasar out of “solid energy”. Cavalry comes in the form of a root army &, in a surprise twist, a reconstituted Nova Corps!

last issue: Nova #17
next issue: Nova #19

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #6
Secret Invasion #7 of 8

Nova #17

March 20, 2014

Nova 17Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
November 2008
***

When the Skrulls invade Earth, galactic cop Nova returns to his old ‘hood. Shapeshifters have besieged a super-research facility in upstate NY, where Ryder’s bro & a fellow ex-New Warrior both work. The creative team bring claustrophobic tension into the action as well as a cliffhanging twist.

last issue: Nova #16
next issue: Nova #18

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #5
Secret Invasion #6 of 8

Nova #16

March 19, 2014

Nova 16Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
October 2008
**

What begins with Ryder in another gee-whiz adventure on an alien world segues smoothly to the space cop comprising an entire front of his own in the Skrull Invasion of Earth. And it stands to reason that his sometime ally, the original Super-Skrull, would be the one to draw him into the fray.

last issue: Nova #15
next issue: Nova #17

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #4
Secret Invasion #5 of 8

Guardians of the Galaxy #3

March 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 03Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2008
***

SF fun as the team faces a biomass of fused humans & an interstellar cult fueled by prayer-power—aboard a Dyson sphere! Meanwhile on their base at the edge of the universe, two members of the original ’70s Guardians tussle. Colorful literally as well as figuratively, this is comics at its sturdiest.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #2
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Nova #15
Secret Invasion #4 of 8

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

March 17, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 02Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2008
***

High marks for the mag: engaging space adventure supported by clear, Maduriera-like art. GotG are a sort of cosmic Avengers, protecting the galaxy from crazy scifi threats. The parallel’s made explicit w/ the discover of Vance Astro, adrift in frozen spacetime life Cptn. America back in ’64.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #1
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3

also indexed for Aug. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14
Secret Invasion #3 of 8

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

March 16, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 01Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
July 2008
***

One pleasure of DnA’s SF series has been their integration of Marvel’s patchwork cosmos into a seamless universe. GotG is now the spine to that work. #1 states the thesis: a team of cosmic heroes & alien misfits aim to protect all creation from, for instance, Starlin’s ’70s space zealots.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #2

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Nova #13
Secret Invasion #2 of 8

Nova #15

March 15, 2014

Nova 15Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2008
***

The climax to this three-issue arc is a deus ex machina. That’s not a criticism, yet in execution, Nova’s sacrifice (he loses the Worldmind AI) fails to stand as payment for his salvation. Plus Alves slacks in staging a world’s destruction (c.f. Byrne) & Nova’s thrilling escape via G’s energy shunt.

last issue: Nova #14
next issue: Nova #16

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #3
Secret Invasion #4 of 8

Nova #14

March 14, 2014

Nova 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2008
***

A neat divide runs thru this ish, w/ each plot cleanly embodying its conflict in a pair of mano a mano scifi combat scenes. The first part’s stronger, showing the thin line that the Silver Surfer walks (surfs?) btw respecting his boss & saving lives. Part 2 is angry fisticuffs w/ a crazy psi-being.

last issue: Nova #13
next issue: Nova #15

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Secret Invasion #3 of 8

Nova #13

March 13, 2014

Nova 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
July 2008
****

Back to TCB as Nova evacuates a world beset by Galactus (an echo of Katrina is subtle but unmistakeable). Impressively, the ish works on three distinct levels: a fight w/ a body-hopping psi-psycho; awe at the natural force of Big G; & a liberal critique of a feudal civ that puts the aristos first.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
last issue: Nova #12
next issue: Nova #14

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of #1 
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Secret Invasion #2 of 8

Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6

March 12, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
June 2008
****

A suitably epic finale. DnA weave their several plot strands into a taut rope, w/ everyone (except the ignominious Ronan) contributing to the defeat of Ultron. No deus ex machina, no forcing of twists or compromises of personality: read A:C to see how solid craft works. I’m sold on both spinoffs.

continued from Nova #12
last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
continued in Guardians of the Galaxy #1
continued in Nova #13

also indexed for Jun. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Nova #12
Secret Invasion #1 of 8

Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6

March 11, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
May 2008
***

The Big Bad’s motive is that old standby, megalomania; he aims to download himself into Adam Warlock’s superbody. The tide turns in the other plots (Ronan’s robot army; Mantis & co.). It’s essential set-up & exposition told zestily, giving breath to space operatic conventions; if only the art set it apart.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6

also indexed for May ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11

Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

March 10, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
April 2008
****

Despite the widescreen paneling, A:C has more of a televisual feel. A lot of that’s the cycling from plot to plot, which keeps the momentum boiling & juggles the dozen or so major & minor characters deftly. Ronan finds an army, while in a nicely quiet beat, Adam Warlock counsels a grieving Quasar.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6

also indexed for Apr. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
Nova Annual #1

Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

March 9, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
March 2008
****

This galactic adventure is peripheral to the Marvel ‘verse, yet the stakes feel higher than, say, this month’s Avengers. For one thing, DnA can & do kill heroes—here Moondragon—as Phalanx-Ultron takes the upper hand. A nova can’t stop him! Can Kree Emperor Ronan’s secret weapon? What a thrill!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #24
Nova #10

Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

March 8, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
February 2008
****

A novelistic structure, elegantly stepping btw 3 plots. Two minor ones follow the resistance against the Phalanx (thrilling espionage) & a diplomatic alliance w/ the Annihilation bugs. The major plot has a grand cosmic conceit: a science god & his savior-son v. the robot devil Ultron & his hordes!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9

Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

March 7, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
January 2008
***

Slick, breathless space melodrama with by-the-numbers hyper-heroic art. Atypically, A&L focus more on plot than personality and more on action than arc. To bring you up to speed: the technoviral Phalanx has annexed the Kree Galaxy under the leadership of… Ultron! Quasar & her dragon fly into the heart of a sun w/ Adam Warlock, cosmic savior!

continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
New Avengers: The Illuminati #5 of 5
Nova #8

Nova #12

March 6, 2014

Nova 12Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
June 2008
****

If you enjoy the trope of ‘snatching victory from defeat’ (& you read comics, so you prob’ly do), check out Nova #12. Warlock sacrifices himself to cure Rider’s technovirus, but gets revived when his progeny defeats a robomorph as big as a building. Then they’re off to Annihilation: Conquest #6.

continued in Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
last issue: Nova #11
next issue: Nova #13

also indexed for Jun. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Secret Invasion #1 of 8

Nova #11

March 5, 2014

Nova 11Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
May 2008
****

Of course Warlock shows up! The erstwhile New Mutant’s homeworld is the source of the sentient technovirus consuming the Kree Galaxy; Nova arrives, hunting for a cure. It’s wondrous how, in a few brisk strokes, A&L fully revive a minor Claremont concept, w/ Pelletier doing a passable Sienkowicz.

continued from Nova Annual #1
last issue: Nova #10
next issue: Nova #12

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #13

Nova Annual #1

March 4, 2014

Nova Annual 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar, Klubs, & Wellinton Alves
April 2008
***

Rider’s unstuck in time, hopping btw his first mission as Nova & his last (the restored Nova Corps battles the Phalanx technovirus in Earth orbit). Duplicating the plot of Nova #7, it’s all a psychomachia as his body fights the infection. The seams don’t show much btw the 3 artists (“Klubs”?). An okay issue to pick up if you’ve been following  Annihilation: Conquest but not Nova.

continued from Nova #10
continued in Nova #11

also indexed for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1

Nova #10

March 3, 2014

Nova 10Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
March 2008
****

In transit to a techno-organism’s home planet, Nova gets pulled into the birth canal of a transdimensional being to serve as food! Also present: former squeeze Gamora, who’s succumbed to the same technovirus that’s infected our hero. Thrilling space adventure w/ character-driven subtext.

continued in Nova Annual #1
last issue: Nova #9
next issue: Nova #11

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23

Nova #9

March 2, 2014

Nova 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
February 2008
****

This clever SF mag gets better every month. On a haunted space station at the end of the universe, Nova uses his techno-viral infection to exorcise the archenemy of an alien JLA. But the arc’s real find is the station’s security chief, a winsome hyper-intelligent canine cosmonaut (a la Laika).

last issue: Nova #8
next issue: Nova #10

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #12

Nova #8

March 1, 2014

Nova 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
January 2008
****

The same month they launch a comic mini flagship, DnA take their regular gig to audacious new places. Nova meets an alien superteam, a horrific zombie virus, & a hyper-intelligent Soviet dog (!) aboard a Kirby space-god’s head (!!) floating at the edge of the universe (!!!). Yet these freaky ideas flow smoothly.

last issue: Nova #7
next issue: Nova #9

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
New Avengers: The Illuminati #5 of 5

Nova #7

February 28, 2014

Nova 07Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen & Brian Denham
December 2007
****

Naturally, Rider shrugs off the sentient techno-virus’ infection; it’s how the turn is executed (an astral psychomachia) that works. His escape from the Phalanx dominion adds a dash of hard SF that, in a twist, shunts him away from the Annihilation: Conquest series.

last issue: Nova #6
next issue: Nova #8

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #10

Nova #6

February 27, 2014

Nova 06Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen & Brian Denham
November 2007
***

The centerpiece of this arc is an aerial battle btw Novas (Novae?), as the Kree rookie dogfights Richard Rider over control of the Worldmind AI. A dialog on individuality w/r/t the Phalanx hivemind offers food for thought. And a few overly boob-centric panels don’t detract from the action too much.

last issue: Nova #5
next issue: Nova #7

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1

Nova #5

February 26, 2014

Nova 05Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen
October 2007
***

If Chen’s art were more than simply clear & readable, Nova would be fantastic. As it is the art’s serviceable, while the script springs surprises & draws new chars w/ a few deft strokes. A Kree medic is tasked by the Nova AI to protect her crew & Rider from the Phalanx techno-infection—& she fails!

last issue: Nova #4
next issue: Nova #6

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
The Immortal Iron Fist #8


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