Captain America #34

August 28, 2015

Captain America 34Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2008
*****

This 21C Cap is the type of hero who kneecaps foes w/ a gun: an update for our era of mass shootings? But what’s unequivocally brilliant is the Red Skull’s latest plan. Dressed in Brooks Brothers, he profits by collapsing the US economy & directs his suborned SHIELD riot-cops to open fire on a protest!

last issue: Captain America #33
next issue: Captain America #35

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #24
Daredevil #104
Nova #10

Captain America #33

August 27, 2015

Captain America 33Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
February 2008
*****

Bucky escapes from custody &, in enemy territory, fights Iron Man to a draw. The kinetic, well-staged action setpiece that this epic arc has needed: superbly staged (aside from a generic setting), each page a storytelling beat. It finally shows how superbad this new character is, a Cap for the 21C.

last issue: Captain America #32
next issue: Captain America #34

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
Daredevil #103
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9
Thunderbolts #118

Captain America #32

August 26, 2015

Captain America 32Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2008
****

A rare chase-in-a-base sequence that’s gripping, due less to Bucky Barnes’ badass escape than to Sharon Carter’s opaque motives. Via captions, her psyche struggles to free itself from mind control. Even her heroic actions have a sinister gloss: to save Buck, she shoves him out a cargo plane!

last issue: Captain America #31
next issue: Captain America #33

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #8

Captain America #31

August 25, 2015

Captain America 31Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
December 2007
****

Agent 13 has fallen to the mesmerist w/ a glorious beard, but the Winter Soldier resists the memory manipulation. The tough-guy torture has a sour taste (despite Epting’s homage to a classic Steranko splash), & so does the damsel-in-distress, despite 13’s subconscious refusal to kill again.

last issue: Captain America #30
next issue: Captain America #32

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord
 #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith
 #4 of 4
Daredevil #102
Daredevil Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Runaways #28
Thunderbolts #117

Captain America #30

August 24, 2015

Captain America 30Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
November 2007
****

Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD, is portrayed adroitly as a grey suit of dubious motives. He’s part of a great ensemble cast, most of whom are now mind-controlled or captured by the Skull’s hypno-henchman! In a nice break from mid-’00s structuring, part 6 of 6 is a cliffhanger & not a TBP’s climax.

last issue: Captain America #29
next issue: Captain America #31

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
Daredevil #101
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
Nova #6

Captain America #29

August 23, 2015

Captain America 29Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
October 2007
****

Bru’s Cap has a lurid sense of psychology: the Soviet’s mindscape is a battlefield, & the psycho lovers share a clinch as they escape prison, & Agent 13 has morning sickness! But the art begins to flag. Epting stages phony movie ultraviolence; Perkins renders the astral plane in dull hyper-realism.

last issue: Captain America #28
next issue: Captain America #30

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
Daredevil #100
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5
Thunderbolts #116

Captain America #28

August 22, 2015

Captain America 28Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2007
****

The Skull’s kid & a squad of snake goons wreck the Asian stock market—a timely nod to the slow, fraud-based financial collapse of ’07-’08. But generally the elaborate plotting, ever-expanding cast, & intrusion of the Marvel-wide status quo conspire to sap momentum from this excellent mag.

last issue: Captain America #27
next issue: Captain America #29

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
Daredevil #99
Nova #4

Captain America #27

August 21, 2015

Captain America 27Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
August 2007
****

The mag starts to set Bucky up as its heir by having him steal the mighty shield from Tony Stark’s operative, the Black Widow. In a twist, they have a history as trysting trainees in the Cold War KGB! Marvel’s a small world. I’ll take a wait-n-see attitude to this romantic development.

last issue: Captain America #26
next issue: Captain America #28

also indexed for Aug.  ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #98
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Runaways #27
Thunderbolts #115

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Captain America #25

August 19, 2015

Captain America 25Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
April 2007
*****

Out of nowhere but built up perfectly, Cap gets killed (by his GF, unwitting agent of the Skull)! #25 provides a finale to the ignominious Civil War, & resonates w/ current events as the act of terror is staged in Lower Manhattan, where he’s arraigned for civil trial rather than military tribunal.

continued from Civil War #7 of 7
continued from Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #24
next issue: Captain America #26

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
Daredevil #94
Dr. Strange: The Oath #5 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #4
Thunderbolts #111

Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1

August 18, 2015

Winter Soldier 1 of 1Ed Brubaker // Stefano Gaudiano, Rick Hoberg & Lee Weeks
February 2007
****

W/ Civil War delaying Cap, Bru & a bullpen provide a quality stopgap. At X-mastime, Bucky Barnes tutors fan fave Gal Hawkeye & her croneys in youthful superheroics. He also visits the graves of past sidekicks &, best of all, reunites w/ fellow Invader Namor. Brubaker makes a great pitch for his resurrected hero as a lead character, w/ a solid plot engine (missions for Nick F) & dated idioms.

continued from Captain America #24
continued in Captain America #25

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Annihilation #5 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #20
Daredevil #92
Dr. Strange: The Oath #3 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11
Runaways #23

Captain America #24

August 17, 2015

Captain America 24Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
January 2006
***

Cap, on the run from SHIELD, busts a terrorist ring on a tip from Col. Fury; meanwhile the Red Skull recruits another ally in his mad vendetta. Some of the best superspy comics that Marvel’s produced since the gadget-happy heyday of Kirby & Steranko, even factoring in the hackwork fill-in art.

continued in Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #23
next issue: Captain America #25

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Daredevil #91
Dr. Strange: The Oath #2 of 5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10
Runaways #22

Captain America #23

August 16, 2015

Captain America 23Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
December 2006
***

Bucky, Nick Fury’s new recruit, runs ops against SHIELD during the Civil War brouhaha. The fracas also provides time for the Red Skull to make an unlikely alliance with Dr. Doom! CA‘s fill-in artist has a stiffness that’s common to cinematic realists, & pencils some awkward bodies to boot.

last issue: Captain America #22
next issue: Captain America #24

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Annihilation #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
Daredevil #90
Dr. Strange: The Oath #1 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9
Runaways #21

Captain America #22

August 15, 2015

Captain America 22Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
November 2006
****

As the morass of Civil War spreads, the mag keeps itself clean. For one thing, it turns the bad politics of that mini into a commentary on the Bush Admin, with Cap acting as Brubaker’s mouthpiece. #22 also adds a headcase to the files: Sharon Carter has been co-opted by the Red Skull’s shrink!

last issue: Captain America #21
next issue: Captain America #23

also indexed for Nov. ’06
Annihilation #2 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
Daredevil #89
The Immortal Iron Fist #1
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #8
Runaways #20

Captain America #21

August 14, 2015

Captain America 21Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
October 2006
*****

What more do you want from a Captain America comic? An epic battle for the skies of London involves a Nazi supersoldier, a crashing blimp, a giant robot, & the Red Skull vs. 21C Invaders… including Bucky! This fraternal bond threatens to trump Cap’s reignited romance with Kirby creation Agent 13.

last issue: Captain America #20
next issue: Captain America #22

also indexed for Oct. ’06
Annihilation #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #16
Civil War #4 of 7
Daredevil #88
Runaways #19

Captain America #20

August 13, 2015

Captain America 20Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2006
****

A three-tiered grid of exceptional widescreen comics over the skies of London! While the ex-KGB oligarch helps stage a giant robot attack at his own corporate event, his psychic lodger (the Red Skull) aims a blimp at Parliament & his proteges pilot a light aircraft into the Soviet’s skyscraper HQ!

last issue: Captain America #19
next issue: Captain America #21

also indexed for Sept. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4
Civil War #3 of 7
Daredevil #87
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #7
Runaways #18

Captain America #19

August 12, 2015

Captain America 19Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
August 2006
****

The super-skullduggery gets a film of Londontown grime, w/ MI-5 butting heads w/ SHIELD, & seedy arms dealers, and dockland smugglers from Hamburg who turn out to be super-Nazis! Weirdest of all, the corporate spymaster spends teh ish in a mask of Cap’s archenemy (Epting draws an A+ Red Skull!).

last issue: Captain America #18
next issue: Captain America #20

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Daredevil #86
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Runaways #17
Young Avengers #12

Captain America #18

August 11, 2015

Captain America 18Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2006
****

Cap returns to London (nice fusion of pencil & photo) on the trail of Bucky & his target. Neither hero knows that the ex-Soviet oil magnate has a voice in his skull: our favorite Nazi supervillain! The implication is that modern Russia’s oligarchy is a thin disguise for the same old totalitarianism.

last issue: Captain America #17
next issue: Captain America #19

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Daredevil #85
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5
Runaways #16
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

Captain America #17

August 10, 2015

Captain America 17Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
June 2006
***

Back to Cap’s visit to the heartland, where folksy Iowa hides a beekeeper terrorist cell! Terribly violent, lots of gunplay. With Epting on vacation & Lark on Brubaker’s Daredevil, the bullpen calls Perkins, who practices the hyperrealistic widescreen that’s Marvel’s in-house style at the moment.

continued from Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #16
next issue: Captain America #18

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Daredevil #84
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4
Runaways #15
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 of 1

August 9, 2015

Captain America 65th Anniversary Special 1 of 1Ed Brubaker // Marcos Martin & Javier Pulido with Mike Perkins
May 2006
****

An anniversary cash-grab doubles as flashback for the mag’s current 2-parter. Late in the war, 19-year-old Bucky falls for a Resistance gamine while he, Cap & the Howling Commandos stop the Red Skull from exhuming a giant medieval robot (built, it seems, by a time-traveling Dr. Doom!). Brubaker fails to sell the romance’s importance, but Martin & Pulido’s matching 2D styles are sublime.

continued from Captain America #16
continued in Captain America #18

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #83
Iron Man #6
Captain America #16
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Runaways #14
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5
Young Avengers #11

Captain America #16

August 8, 2015

Captain America 16Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
May 2006
***

Cap & Agent 13 follow a lead to Iowa, where a drifter saw Bucky destroy a giant robot! Turns out he’s exposed a company town for those beekeeper science terrorists. Last issue’s outlaw couple are in town too! The seamy underside of Middle America reflects the run’s weary take on the American Dream

continued in Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #15
next issue: Captain America #17

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 of 1
Daredevil #83
Iron Man #6
The Pulse #14
Runaways #14
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5
Young Avengers #11

Captain America #15

August 7, 2015

Captain America 15Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
late April 2006
****

An interlude w/ two minor ’80s villains: an American Nazi tortures the Skull’s teenaged daughter to restore her erased ID. It continues this run’s psychological focus, & creates a foil for Bucky. There’s also a political undercurrent: the baddie may use torture, but SHIELD brainwashed the gal!

last issue: Captain America #14
next issue: Captain America #16

also indexed for Apr. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #13
Captain America #14
Daredevil #82
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #2
Runaways #13
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5

Captain America #14

August 6, 2015

Captain America 14Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
early April 2006
****

Cap restores Bucky’s memory w/ the arc’s cosmic widget. Brubaker accomplishes a radical addition to Cap‘s mythos, but he doesn’t lend its inevitability a sense of urgency or risk—it’s just a bit too pat, too predictable. And the displays of manly emo are also ham-handed. Still, amazing!

last issue: Captain America #13
next issue: Captain America #15

also indexed for Apr. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #13
Captain America #15
Daredevil #82
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #2
Runaways #13
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5

Captain America #13

August 5, 2015

Captain America 13Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2006
****

Iron Man helps Cap track the ‘energy signature’ of the plot’s maguffin. SHIELD was supposed to do that back in #2! At any rate, it provides a combat scene w/ a big robot & goons. The core of #13, however, is a heart-to-heart w/ sidekick Falcon, who simply asks Cap what he wants to do. Save Bucky!

last issue: Captain America #12
next issue: Captain America #14

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Daredevil #79
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4
The Pulse #12
Runaways #10

Captain America #12

August 4, 2015

Captain America 12Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
December 2005
*****

This retcon works, partly cuz Bucky’s survival is plausible mad science (simple even!) & partly cuz it’s all potentially a ‘false’ reality, a plot imposed by the original Kirby widget, the Cosmic Cube. But it’s anchored by Cap’s moral angst, as his friends tell him his WW2 partner is a zombie drone.

last issue: Captain America #11
next issue: Captain America #13

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Daredevil #78
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
House of M #8 of 8
Runaways #9
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Captain America #11

August 3, 2015

Captain America 11Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
November 2005
*****

A great cover shows Epting’s design for the revived Bucky: a rather ’90s look, w/ grungy hair, a cybernetic arm, & paramilitary gear. Inside, #11 offers a collage of the KGB dossier on the Winter Soldier: a black-ops Manchurian Candidate w/ killer instincts & no memory, stored in a cryo-tube.

last issue: Captain America #10
next issue: Captain America #12

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Daredevil #77
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
House of M #7 of 8
The Pulse #11
Runaways #8
Young Avengers #8

Captain America #10

August 2, 2015

Captain America 10Ed Brubaker // Lee Weeks
October 2005
***

Week’s fill-in art adds little to the long-perspective reminisce that provides backstory for the alt-timeline that’s swept across Marvel’s comics. In one early fork, Cap & Bucky kill Baron Zemo then capture Hitler! But Cap makes enemies in the ’50s “Mutant Scare”—& walks on the moon in ’55!

last issue: Captain America #9
next issue: Captain America #11

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Daredevil #76
House of M #5 of 8
House of M #6 of 8
Iron Man #4
Runaways #7
Young Avengers #7

Captain America #9

August 1, 2015

Captain America 09Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
September 2005
****

The Winter Soldier arc digressed in #7 & gets hijacked by an X-over in #10. So the sense of padding in #9 is hard to forgive. Despite that, it’s a great showcase for Brubaker’s approach to Cap: tech-heavy, realistic spy-fi & hard-boiled emotion.

last issue: Captain America #8
next issue: Captain America #10

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Daredevil #75
House of M #3 of 8
House of M #4 of 8
The Pulse #10
Runaways #6
Young Avengers #6

Captain America #8

July 31, 2015

Captain America 08Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
August 2005
*****

Bucky Barnes, back from the dead! A Soviet sub recovered the sidekick’s comatose body in WW2, & brainwashed him to be a literal sleeper agent, years in cold storage adding to his life! As Brubaker reminded us last ish, Englehart used a similar Rip van Winkle device to revive the 1950s Cap & Buck.

last issue: Captain America #7
next issue: Captain America #9

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Daredevil #74
House of M #1 of 8
House of M #2 of 8
Runaways #5
Young Avengers #5

Captain America #7

July 30, 2015

Captain America 07Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2005
****

An interlude backtracks to #3’s surprise death of Nomad. Once the 1950s Bucky, retconned into a mess, & abandoned by the mid-’90s, he’s repurposed here into a lost soul, as hard-boiled & insane as any Jim Thompson protag, haunted by the ghost of the man he once replaced—who returns to kill him!

last issue: Captain America #6
next issue: Captain America #8

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
Daredevil #73
The Pulse #9
Runaways #4
Young Avengers #4

Captain America #6

July 29, 2015

Captain America 06Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
June 2005
*****

Brubaker executes an impossibly risky twist: he resurrects Bucky! The original Kirby/Simon sidekick, now a still-youthful espionage agent, takes orders from an industrialist (ex-Soviet military), who bombs Philly to power his Kirby widget! Question is, can Bru justify this bold storytelling move?

last issue: Captain America #5
next issue: Captain America #7

also indexed for Jun. ’05
Daredevil #72
Runaways #3
Young Avengers #3

Captain America #5

July 28, 2015

Captain America 05Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Steve Epting
May 2005
*****

Lark takes the main art duty for this extended flashback of Cap’s rare visit to WW2’s eastern front. The US has the Invaders, & the Nazis their Axis counterparts, but Russia has only brutality & cunning. That’s echoed in a radical retcon that recasts Bucky as a black-ops commando w/ a Bowie knife!

last issue: Captain America #4
next issue: Captain America #6

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
Fantastic Four #524
The Pulse #8
Runaways #2
Secret War
#4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Captain America #4

July 27, 2015

Captain America 04Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
April 2005
****

Someone is getting into Cap’s head by sending a patsy after him, by killing his protégés or defacing their Arlington gravesites, & by sticking a psychic thumb in his WW2 memories. Bru gives the superspy adventure plot a hard-boiled urgency, its style succeeding where Bendis’ Secret War failed.

last issue: Captain America #3
next issue: Captain America #5

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Daredevil #70
Fantastic Four #523
Runaways #1
Young Avengers #1

Captain America #3

July 26, 2015

Captain America 03Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
March 2005
*****

After mopping up an abortive terror attack, Cap & Agent 13 earn some R&R in Paris. The city elicits nostalgia from the WW2 vet, whose collab w/ the Fr. Resistance (Lark’s pencils) lets the reader into the title char’s psyche & lets Ed B snub the idiotic “A for France” line in The Ultimates.

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Daredevil #69
Fantastic Four #522
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Captain America #2

July 25, 2015

Captain America 02Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
February 2005
****

Cap & the SHIELD team investigate the death of the Red Skull by first ending his WMD attack on NYC’s sewers. Tight & dramatic stuff, v. contempo as it modernizes superspy for post-9/11 readers. Brubaker seems esp to enjoy PTSD flashbacks to 1940s battles, w/ Gotham C collab Lark on nightmare duty.

last issue: Captain America #2
next issue: Captain America #4

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Daredevil #68
Fantastic Four #521
Iron Man #2

Captain America #1

July 24, 2015

Captain America 01Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2005
*****

Cap’s new volume inaugurates Ed Brubaker’s monumental run. He’s all cloak-&-dagger, as an ex-Soviet general “sanctions” the Red Skull (mid-monologue!) for his Kirby widget! Epting does career-high work in a tense, silent-action setpiece btw Cap & AIM agents atop a BK-bound B-train refitted as a WMD!

continued from Captain America #32
next issue: Captain America #2

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Daredevil #67
Fantastic Four #520
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Dr. Strange: The Oath #5 of 5

July 23, 2015

Dr. Strange The Oath 5 of 5Brian K. Vaughan // Marcos Martin
April 2007
****

Only one drop left of panacea, so only Wong gets cured & not the world. Unlike Whedon & Bendis (other major writers of Marvel’s ’00s style) BKV gets comics structure; but here he leans hard on melodrama & sentiment. And no resolution with the anti-magic pharma corp’s board either? Ah well.

last issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #4 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
Daredevil #94
The Immortal Iron Fist #4
Thunderbolts #111

Dr. Strange: The Oath #4 of 5

July 22, 2015

Dr. Strange The Oath 4 of 5Brian K. Vaughan // Marcos Martin
March 2007
*****

This mini should earn the creative team an ongoing! #4 alone has Doc S killing an eldritch beast w/ Hitler’s suicide pistol! Cast includes a nurse from a 1970s romance mag & a doc whose sorcery couldn’t cure his patients. The last addresses a good Q: why hadn’t our hero applied mystic arts to medicine?

last issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #3 of 5
next issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #5 of 5

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Daredevil #93
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12
New Avengers: Illuminati #2 of 5
Thunderbolts #110

Dr. Strange: The Oath #3 of 5

July 21, 2015

Dr. Strange The Oath 3 of 5Brian K. Vaughan // Marcos Martin
February 2007
*****

Dr S dives into a merc’s psyche to learn his boss’s ID. The man behind the murders & theft of a cancer cure isn’t just a super-baddie, he’s another mystic medic—backed by a pharma conspiracy! Let’s take a sec to applaud Martin, a tyro who channels Ditko’s nervous lines & angles into a mod idiom.

last issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #2 of 5
next issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #4 of 5

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Annihilation #5 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #20
Daredevil #92
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
New Avengers: Illuminati #1 of 5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11
Runaways #23

Dr. Strange: The Oath #2 of 5

July 20, 2015

Dr. Strange The Oath 2 of 5Brian K. Vaughan // Marcos Martin
January 2007
*****

Vaughan , a talent in the Whedon/Bendis mold, shows the latter influence in this unexpected comic. It’s a mystic detective mini, with cartoon-cool art (part of the growing School of Mazz), as the Doc, his man Friday, & GP Night Nurse head into the NY night for mysticism, medicine, & murder!

last issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #1 of 5
next issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #3 of 5

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Daredevil #91
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10
Runaways #22

Dr. Strange: The Oath #1 of 5

July 19, 2015

Dr. Strange The Oath 1 of 5Brian K. Vaughan // Marcos Martin
December 2006
*****

“Oath” cleverly refers not to a hoary host but to Hippocrates. It’s how Vaughan grounds his mini in the Doc’s medical past. He also builds the conflict around servant Wong’s inoperable cancer, & even casts Night Nurse (romance heroine/vigilante medic). Martin echoes Dragotta’s recent Doc work.

next issue: Dr. Strange: The Oath #2 of 5

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Annihilation #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
Daredevil #90
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9
Runaways #21

Runaways #30

July 18, 2015

Runaways 2-30Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
August 2008
****

Whedon has astonishing delays—his AX-M is also overdue, but he finally concludes both runs. His Runaways proves to be a belated, time-tossed statement on Civil War‘s inane conflict, & finds a third way by walking away from a superbrawl. Nico gets a power-up & self-insight, Molly gets a new pal & Vic a broken heart.

last issue: Runaways #29
continued in Runaways #1

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Daredevil #108
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14
Secret Invasion #3 of 8
Thunderbolts #121

Runaways #29

July 17, 2015

Runaways 2-29Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
April 2008
***

A Marvel take—’Gangs of New York as super-hooligans’—face off on the LES, 1907. Whedon shows a strong G. Morrison influence here: sketching a bevy of new characters, a rich new setting, even a plot for each protagonist! Ryan, the run’s dead weight, lacks the creativity that all this demands.

last issue: Runaways #28
next issue: Runaways #30

also indexed for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
Daredevil #105
Nova Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1

Runaways #28

July 16, 2015

Runaways 2-28Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
December 2007
***

In 1907 NYC, the kids face two members of their rival team! Specifically it’s the steampunk chrononauts, parents to the late Gertrude. Our heroes also meet a married pre-teen, help striking workers, and find that the era’s superteams are either punitive Victorian officers or street criminals.

last issue: Runaways #27
next issue: Runaways #29

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord
#4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
Daredevil #102
Daredevil Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Thunderbolts #117

Runaways #27

July 15, 2015

Runaways 2-27Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
August 2007
***

Pre-WW1 is a classic era in NYC history, so I’m surprised Marvelites don’t visit much. #27 mostly invents the setting. So the kids save garment workers from a sweatshop fire, then get drafted for a super-gangland war by an Artful Dodger type! Wish Ryan could provide the designs that Whedon asks for.

last issue: Runaways #26
next issue: Runaways #28

also indexed for Aug. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #98
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Thunderbolts #115

Runaways #26

July 14, 2015

Runaways 2-26Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
July 2007
**

The kids banter their way over NYC rooftops in a maguffin plot that intersects with street-crime Marvelites Kingpin & Punisher. The latter gets treated as a joke (Molly punches his junk) which I’m okay with, but it suggests that Whedon also thinks poorly of him. So why write him into the ish?

last issue: Runaways #25
next issue: Runaways #27

also indexed for Jul. ’07
Daredevil #97
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
New Avengers: Illuminati #3 of 5
Nova #2
Thunderbolts #114

Runaways #25

July 13, 2015

Runaways 2-25Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
June 2007
***

Replacing Vaughan with this mag’s highest-profile fan & strongest influence is a no-brainer. But Whedon’s start is inauspicious. Partly it’s the only-okay art, a real comedown after Alphona. A return visit to NYC, as Nico’s self-doubt leads the team into a criminal alliance w/ the Kingpin!

last issue: Runaways #24
next issue: Runaways #26

also indexed by Jun. ’07
Daredevil #96
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1
Thunderbolts #113

Runaways #24

July 12, 2015

Runaways 2-24Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2007
*****

The final (for now) battle with the mag’s trio of titans ends in victory, distrust, romance—all the emo sentiment this mag is beloved for, topped by a fan-boy nod to classic Claremont. This arc feels like the climax to an abbreviated third ‘season’, esp since it’s the creators’ last issue.

last issue: Runaways #23
next issue: Runaways #25

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Daredevil #93
New Avengers: Illuminati #2 of 5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12
Thunderbolts #110

Runaways #23

July 11, 2015

Runaways 2-23Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2007
*****

It’s a telling, maybe deliberate irony that this arc’s villain is the team’s token white male in a heel/face turn. He (too?) quickly outwits them all, even crashing the cyborg’s mainframe! But typical of this mag, the emo heart is a bound Nico telling him it’s all a suicidal cry for help.

last issue: Runaways #22
next issue: Runaways #24

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Annihilation #5 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #20
Daredevil #92
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
New Avengers: Illuminati #1 of 5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

Runaways #22

July 10, 2015

Runaways 2-22Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2007
*****

The mag’s distrust of adults gets a new wrinkle with this arc, which recasts Chase—now 18 & ethically devastated by his GF’s death—as a villain. But note how several of his teammates are also wrestling with maturity: sexual identity, hopes for the future, burdens of leadership, survivors’ guilt… heavy!

last issue: Runaways #21
next issue: Runaways #23

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Daredevil #91
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10


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