Archive for April, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy #13

April 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2009
****

The huge cast reunites to play diplomat in the War of Kings maxiseries, sending a delegation to each side (an echo of Galactic Storm). To the writers’ credit, they pack a lot of action into one issue—starting w/ a bar brawl—and they give nearly every character a particular voice and perspective.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #12
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

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Nova #30

April 29, 2014

Nova 30Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kevin Sharpe
December 2009
***

Despite the art (Sharpe has a 180° problem & lackluster action sequences), yet another issue of solid SF fun. While fighting off a horde of numbskull bruisers, the Nova Corps abandons Ego the Living Planet for a new base. Note also how easily DnA revamp Monark Starstalker into a viable character.

last issue: Nova #29
next issue: Nova #31

also indexed for Dec. ’09
The Fantastic Four #572
Guardians of the Galaxy #19

Nova #29

April 28, 2014

Nova 29Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kevin Sharpe
November 2009
**

Well sub-par of Nova‘s usual quality, mainly cuz Sharpe has a few off panels atop his generally dull style. A rift in space has shunted a derelict station in from another ‘verse. It holds, among other beings, bruisers from a Ditko Dimension & a rare ’70s Chaykin antihero named Monark Starstalker!

last issue: Nova #28
next issue: Nova #30

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

Nova #28

April 27, 2014

Nova 28Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
October 2009
***

All the Ts get crossed & Is dotted in this ish, which ends both the larger Corps Rebooted arc & the War of Kings subplot. Rider arrests a team of alien supersoldiers w/ smart tactics & the help of two recruits, then establishes diplomatic relations w/ an old Kirby heavy from the antimatter ‘verse.

last issue: Nova #27
next issue: Nova #29

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Nova #27

April 26, 2014

Nova 27Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
September 2009
***

Nova #26 goes heavy on adrenaline, thrills, and suspense (and splash pages) but light on character and twists. In the middle of the Kree-Shi’ar War (which, incidentally, has a third front along the Negative Zone), Richard Rider attempts to rescue his brother from an evil Supergirl stand-in.

last issue: Nova #26
next issue: Nova #28

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Nova #26

April 25, 2014

Nova 26Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
August 2009
***

DnA seem more confident using interstellar war (Marvel’s third in recent years) as a backdrop than they do in the main mini. In their strongest title, their hero jumps from planet to planet along the front lines, investigating victims of Shi’ar warcrimes, including Nova Corpsmen like his bro.

last issue: Nova #25
next issue: Nova #27

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: Savage Son of Skaar #1 of 1

Nova #25

April 24, 2014

Nova 25Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kevin Sharpe
July 2009
***

Back to a more conventional artist (temporarily) & a more conventional tale. Rider lobotomizes that planetary being (also temporary) to save his AI mentor & resume leadership of the Nova Corps. Still, Nova #25 is solid comics, w/ a bubbling subplot, a cliffhanger, & a sense of epic space adventure.

last issue: Nova #24
next issue: Nova #26

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Nova #24

April 23, 2014

Nova 24Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
June 2009
****

Always good when an artist inks his own work. Two strands here: Rich Rider, empowered by cosmic energy, storms the Living Planet, co-opter of the Nova Force. But the real storytelling follows a Nova peacekeeper into a brutal battle in War of Kings, from battle’s chaos to the slaughter of POWs.

last issue: Nova #23
next issue: Nova #25

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

Nova #23

April 22, 2014

Nova 23Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
May 2009
****

Prob’ly one of the top ten works in the main Marvel U! DiVito returns to the SF line; his style’s still stiff but better inking retains his use of negative space. Plotwise, DnA twist & turn: the Nova Corps mobilizes for the War of Kings, while protag Rider gets Cptn. Marvel’s old 1970s power bracers!

last issue: Nova #22
next issue: Nova #24

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

April 21, 2014

War of Kings - Warriors 2 of 2A-story: Jay Faerber // Adriana Melo
B-story: Jay Faerber // Ramon Perez
October 2009
A-story: * // B-story: *

Another anthology of tossed-out filler to supplement the latest Marvel space opera. Plot A, starring a former Avenger, offers an insultingly pat solution to topical US quandaries like terrorist attacks by civilians & occupation by “good guys”. Plot B is generic backstory of an already-dead empress.

last issue: War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6

War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

April 20, 2014

War of Kings - Warriors 1 of 2A-story: Christos Gage // Mahmud Asrar
B-story: Christos Gage // Carlos Magno
September 2009
A-story: ** // B-story: *

This two-fer-one means to add characterization to the SF maxiseries, but it’s undercooked. The A-tale, at least, hinges on the powers & motives of a pivotal Imperial guardian, & undercuts the honor of combat with irony. The B-story is merely the roaring of barbarian warriors in peripheral battle.

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

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

April 19, 2014

War of Kings - Savage World of Skaar 1 of 1Christos Gage // Graham Nolan & Reilly Brown
August 2009
*

If you’re curious to learn about Planet Hulk & Skaar, Son of Hulk, read elsewhere. This one-shot, a pro forma SF tale, expands WoK‘s scope & nothing more. Opposing warriors in a space war crash on a remote planet & must cooperate to survive the harsh elements, strange monsters, & hostile population.

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: Ascension #3 of 4

War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

April 18, 2014

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

DnA revitalize a minor ’90s hero by intertwining his mini with their big WoK maxiseries. The mission is an echo of their fine revival of Nova: a young hero is the last member of an intergalactic force. But Darkhawk’s fellows were a malevolent conspiracy & he must clear his reputation w/ heroics.

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

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

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