Archive for January, 2014

Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4

January 31, 2014

Annihilation - Ronan 4 of 4Simon Furman // Jorge Lucas
September 2006
***

An aspirant to godhead burns himself out by using his world-shaping energy to destroy the swarm of space bugs. So Ronan fails to clear his rep but vows to warn the Kree Empire anyway. The strongest mini in the metaseries, Ronan feeds its drive & suspense into next month’s Annihilation series.

last issue: Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation #1 of 6

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

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Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4

January 30, 2014

Annihilation - Ronan 3 of 4Simon Furman // Jorge Lucas
August 2006
***

In battle w/ Gamora (a ’70s Marvel babe), Ronan’s gavel throws off so much energy, it reshapes a scruffy desert planet! At least, that’s a godlike terraformer’s plan—but a cloud of space locusts intervenes. Btw the stakes & the bravado, this mini recalls the mad, mythic epics of Kirby & Starlin.

last issue: Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4

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

Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4

January 29, 2014

Annihilation - Ronan 2 of 4Simon Furman // Jorge Lucas
July 2006
***

Tho’ far off, the interstellar war draws closer. The titular antihero, meanwhile, clashes w/ space amazons (mostly ’90s Marvelettes). Ronan is hardcore scifi: honor-driven outlaws on a backwater planet & a cosmic puppet-master w/ his ulterior agenda. Tho’ confusing, it’s rich in atmosphere.

last issue: Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5

Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4

January 28, 2014

Annihilation - Ronan 1 of 4Simon Furman // Jorge Lucas
June 2006
***

The Kree strand of an intergalactic crossover. The protag—a blue-skinned Kirby heavy w/ a Thor-like gavel—has been exiled by his empire. It’s grand space opera, engaging & a bit confusing (races, empires, factions, all with weird names), but the Metal Hurlant-style art is gloriously detailed.

continued from Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. 06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4

January 27, 2014

Annihilation - Super-Skrull 4 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Greg Titus
September 2006
*

With the US at war, w/ GIs guilty of torturing prisoners, to tell a story that lionizes a brutal soldier for his “ultimate sacrifice”—after killing a sidekick who rejected his methods? after losing his entire regiment in battle? after torturing his foes for pleasure? This is ethically mendacious BS.

last issue: Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation #1 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4
Civil War #3 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #7

Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4

January 26, 2014

Annihilation - Super-Skrull 3 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Greg Titus
August 2006
*

Dull, clichéd junk. The Super-Skrull inspires a cadre of superpowered aliens thru sadomasochism. That makes it sound kinky but it’s just ugly & perverse—the hypermasculine “John Wayne” soldier ethic presented without irony. Unlike the other minis in Annihilation, Super-Skrull feels superfluous.

last issue: Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4

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

Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4

January 25, 2014

Annihilation - Super-Skrull 2 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Greg Titus
July 2006
*

A young Skrull becomes disillusioned w/ his hero, Super-Skrull, as they hunt down the inventor of a planet-destroying weapon. The issue has lots of fighting, if that’s what you like. But the antihero’s personality is that unreflective, motive-free sadism that passes for evil in way too many comics.

last issue: Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5

Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4

January 24, 2014

Annihilation - Super-Skrull 1 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Gregory Titus
June 2006
**

Part of a metaseries: insectoids from beyond the universe are consuming planets, using a Death Star-like “harvester”. The original Super-Skrull mounts a counter-offensive to defend his fragmented empire. It’s high space opera (rare in comics nowadays), which clashes w/ ’90s American manga art.

continued from Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4

January 23, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 4 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
September 2006
**

The herald/hunter plot ends a dud: once more the Herald of Galactus, the Surfer steers his master clear of the war. Giffen obv finds the Thanos subplot more compelling, as the Mad Titan allies himself w/ primeval beings against the Kirby God. It’s just talk, yet the scene has tension & drive.

continued in Annihilation #1 of 4
last issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4

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

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4

January 22, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 3 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
August 2006
***

In Annihil‘s spine, Giffen stages intrigues among the big bads. Annihilus dissects cosmic beings & arranges an alliance w/ Thanos! And the Surfer moves in narrative retrograde, pledging fealty to Galactus in return for more power. If only Arlem didn’t photoref classic scifi images (BSGStar Wars)…

last issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4

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

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4

January 21, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 2 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
July 2006
**

The space war feels far away. Here cosmic titans negotiate alliances: the hunted heralds of Galactus band together, Thanos parlays w/ Annihilus, & far away, Galactus detects a cosmic disturbance. Almost incidentally, Annihilus exposits his motivation—our expanding ‘verse has encroached on his own.

last issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4

January 20, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 1 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
June 2006
***

The spine to a cosmic metaseries about an antimatter Kirby-tyrant invading the universe. The stakes are personal: Annihilus’ dogs are hunting Galactus’ heralds, to steal their cosmic power. Giffen toys nicely w/ the Surfer’s introversion, tho’ there’s no question the hero will pitch in.

continued from Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4

January 19, 2014

Annihilation - Nova 4 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
September 2006
***

Nice to see the titular hero’s headstrong frontal assault has ramifications: the villain, a Kirby-era insect tyrant from an antimatter universe, kills an ally & siphons his power! Moody art adds a mythic sensibility to this mini, turning the climax into a face-off btw cosmic knights & a space dragon.

last issue: Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation #1 of 6

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

Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4

January 18, 2014

Annihilation - Nova 3 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
August 2006
***

Nova’s still unsure of his newfound cosmic powers, which have drawn the attn of the Big Bad, Annihilus. Wind tussles the hair of Quasar, ’90s SF hero, as he & the cast debate the best way to evacuate a planet! Each protag’s POV stems from his personality. Good craft, authentically epic.

last issue: Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’06
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
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4

January 17, 2014

Annihilation - Nova 2 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
July 2006
**

Possessing new powers & a new uni to match, Richard Rider, Last of the Nova Corps, can propel a spaceship to warp speed! He throws his lot in w/ a Starlin space-thug & sidekick, fellow refugees from the “Annihilation Wave”. It’s honest scifi, formulaic but a rare enough pleasure in ’00s comics.

last issue: Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Civil War #1 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4

Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4

January 16, 2014

Annihilation - Nova 1 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
June 2006
**

Space-opera comics, part of a metaseries. A swarm of alien termites has annihilated the intergalactic police force (AKA Nova Corps). As w/ the ’90s Green Lantern, one human takes the baton: Richard Ryder, who uploads a supercomputer AI into his brain. Now he’s a stubborn cuss w/ near-cosmic powers.

continued from Annihilation: Prologue
next issue: Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1

January 15, 2014

Annihilation PrologueKeith Giffen // Scott Kolins
May 2006
***

Using plenty of technobabble, Giffen designs a space-opera spectacle. A wave of insectoids from beyond the universe wipes out the Nova Corps (intergalactic cops). The grandiosity makes the cosmic scope plausible (you could easily miss a genocide in the ol’ Kree-Skrull War) while the art is clear yet full of detail & activity. This prologue intros a SF revival for Marvel.

continued in Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4

also indexed for May ’06
Iron Man #6
Nextwave: Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

January 14, 2014

Drax the Destroyer 4 of 4Keith Giffen // Mitch Breitweiser
February 2006
***

Fitted w/ hunting knives & a lean purple body, Drax saves an Alaska town from aliens. Well, not really: with no way offworld, the Skrull turns himself in to the intergalactic authorities. Anyhow, no longer a Hulk ripoff & w/ a bratty sidekick, this revamped Drax isn’t all that inspiring.

last issue: Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

January 13, 2014

Drax the Destroyer 3 of 4Keith Giffen // Mitch Breitweiser
January 2006
***

Under this crime tale of on-the-run criminals who take over a small town, there’s a cynical whimsy that’s unrelated the the scifi twist. Maybe it’s Giffen’s fondness for his POV char, a punk pre-teen who skips school & treats a lean, mean Drax—resurrected & no longer a grey brute—like he’s a pet dog.

last issue: Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
next issue: Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

also indexed for Jan. ’06
The Pulse #12

Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4

January 12, 2014

Drax the Destroyer 2 of 4Keith Giffen // Mitch Breitweiser
December 2005
***

Brisk scifi w/ a twist: the aliens who enslave a small US town aren’t conquerors, they’re shipwrecked cons on the run. Giffen kills the title char; his protag’s a rotten pre-teen into ultra-violence. The artist has a touch of Cassaday’s expressive faces but can’t stage all the hand-to-hand combat.

last issue: Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
next issue: Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4

January 11, 2014

Drax the Destroyer 1 of 4Keith Giffen // Mitch Breitweiser
November 2005
**

A prison starship crashes in Alaska, stranding a grabbag of alien convicts. No superheroics, just solid scifi—tho’ a muddy palate undercuts Breitweiser’s art. Giffen shows intellect thru dialog & notes the notoriety of Earth’s heroes. The revamp of a minor Starlin heavy links to Giff’s ’04 Thanos arc.

next issue: Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’05
The Pulse #11
Young Avengers #8

Thanos #12

January 10, 2014

Thanos 12Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
September 2004
***

Thanos tames a Herald of Galactus by collapsing a Jovian-sized planet around it. Epic stuff, exactly what the Mad Titan should be doing. Tho unevenly paced & indifferently drawn (at best), this arc redeems itself by resurrecting the SF corner of Marvel continuity, which Giffen revisits in a year.

last issue: Thanos #11

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
The Pulse #4

Thanos #11

January 9, 2014

Thanos 11Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
August 2004
**

The Titan hunts a cosmic sadist powered by dark energy or some such. In turn, it seeks to murder its Kirby-God creator, Galactus. The Miltonic echo is apt for a comic about Thanos seeking redemption. But Lim fails to add the requisite stellar scope; compare KG’s simple yet epic covers for #8-11.

last issue: Thanos #10
next issue: Thanos #12

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2

Thanos #10

January 8, 2014

Thanos 10Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
July 2004
**

Giffen proves he has a handle on Thanos’ character (a rarity) by showing him in control of the sitch even when his adversary is a mad cosmic being in a mortal shell. But Lim’s confusing art really hampers the writing, which is already burdened by heavy use of quirky, character-specific idioms.

last issue: Thanos #9
next issue: Thanos #11

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
Daredevil
#60
Fantastic Four #513
Fantastic Four #514
The Pulse #3
Secret War #2 of 5

Thanos #9

January 7, 2014

Thanos 09Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
June 2004
*

The infamous Beyonder (who swapped genders in the ’90s?) has somehow caused a riot in an intergalactic prison. The creative team’s really fumbling: Lim draws generic physiques in a dated style, while Giffen masks essential bits of exposition under SF-boiled dialogue & slow-burn subplots.

last issue: Thanos #8
next issue: Thanos #10

Thanos #8

January 6, 2014

Thanos 08Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
late May 2004
**

In a rioting intergalactic megaprison, Thanos owes allegiance to no one but himself, like a ronin or cowboy. Lim, since his heyday, has adopted a ’90s Ameri-manga style, but his stolid SF imagination doesn’t cover the cosmic. He whiffs the grandeur that Giffen, like Starlin, inherited from Kirby.

last issue: Thanos #7
next issue: Thanos #9

also indexed for May ’04
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #7

Thanos #7

January 5, 2014

Thanos 07 Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
early May 2004
***

Thanos has made a private pilgrimage to the edge of the universe, where he’s visited by his ex-GF, Death itself! Giffen establishes an immediate contrast w/ Starlin’s vague cosmic plots by adding hard-boiled SF & Kirby-esque scope. But Lim (once an early-’90s light) is no better than Starlin on art.

last issue: Thanos #6
next issue: Thanos #8

also indexed for May ’04
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #8

FF #23

January 4, 2014

FF 23Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
December 2012
****

In a sense, Hickman’s Four was Mr. F, his dad, & the time-tossed kids. #611 bade goodbye to Reed, Nat, & Val; #23 focuses on Franklin. In this coda, he tutors his child-self in imagination, their superpower. It’s a bit sentimental, but it values creativity over intellect—in comics & in life.

last issue: FF #22
continued in The Fantastic Four #1
continued in FF #1

also indexed for Dec. ’12
The Fantastic Four #611

The Fantastic Four #611

January 3, 2014

Fantastic Four 611Jonathan Hickman // Ryan Stegman
December 2012
****

Hickman condenses his third act into one too-brief ish, couched in a biblical 3rd-person style. Doom has resurrected a dead ‘verse in his image & been unthroned by his own creation. Stegman has a compelling, rough stroke but lacks the psychedelic imagination to draw a tale of comic-book divinity.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #610
continued in The Fantastic Four #1

also indexed for Dec. ’12
FF #23

FF #22

January 2, 2014

FF 22Jonathan Hickman // André Araújo
November 2012
****

#22 varies Hickman’s wonky non-linear plotting by recounting the events of #610 from Bentley 23’s standpoint. Bentley, the Wizard’s clone-kid, confronts his “father” (tapping into the run’s father/son themes). Araújo’s superfine line is a different look for this mag, a prettier Dalrymple type of pencil.

see also The Fantastic Four #610
last issue: FF #21
next issue: FF #23

also indexed for Nov. ’12
The Fantastic Four #610

The Fantastic Four #610

January 1, 2014

Fantastic Four 610Jonathan Hickman // Ryan Stegman
November 2012
****

Hickman supplies the Marvel Universe with yet another immensely clever concept. This ish, the Kirby science-terrorists at AIM buy a Caribbean isle for a research base. Rather than fight, they extradite the Wizard & negotiate with Mr F, appointed as the US envoy. For another perspec, read FF #22.

see also FF #22
last issue: The Fantastic Four #609
next issue: The Fantastic Four #611

also indexed for Nov. ’12
FF #22