Archive for May, 2014

The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

May 31, 2014

Thanos Imperative 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
August 2010
***

Actually #2 of 8, if you incl. pro- & epilogues. DnA stage another extra-universal invasion—this time, the cancerverse (where Life “won”) metastasizes into the mainstream ‘verse. This means more tentacle monsters as well as evil reflections of the Avengers & Defenders. Solid, guilt-free space opera.

continued from The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’10
The Fantastic Four #580

The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

May 30, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Ignition 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2010
***

Having lost their two series in June, Ab & Lan segue into their space opera’s final act. This prolog is epic stuff, tho’ not newbee-friendly! Worlds explode (!) to shunt a Lovecraft-universe’s Cptn Marvel into the main ‘verse, setting up a confrontation w/ Death’s avatar, Thanos resurrected.

continued from Guardians of the Galaxy #25
continued in The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579

Guardians of the Galaxy #25

May 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 25Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2010
***

Wish I could say that the final issue of GotG doesn’t disappoint, but it feels rushed and misshapen. The Guardians from the 31C worry that the timeline is frayed cuz Thanos has returned. But his resurrection—indeed, his malevolent genius—is lacking; he’s just a berserker who Star-Lord zaps down.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24
continued in The Thanos Initiative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for Jun. ’10
The Fantastic Four #578
Nova #36

Guardians of the Galaxy #24

May 28, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 24Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
May 2010
***

An electrifying issue of space opera! While the captured Guardians fight thru an army of zealots, across the galaxy their allies restore a galactic senate. But the focus of #24 is Phyla-Vell, who failed to kill Adam Magus; now she either balances or compounds that error by resurrecting Thanos!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #25

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #23

May 27, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 23Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
April 2010
****

Adam Magus has tossed half the team in a dungeon & hopes to side w/ the Old Ones from the spacetime rift at the crux of Realm of Kings. Craig returns w/ his angular, colorful style—a bit like Immonen on Nextwave, tho’ he lays out a page w/ more complexity. A happy contrast to most Marvel art!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #22
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #22

May 26, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 22Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
March 2010
***

The heroes team up w/ super-rivals to rescue Moondragon from intergalactic zealots. You’ll recall she’s “pregnant” w/ a malignant thing from the “Cancer-verse”, where “life has won.” As always, GotG offers fun space adventure w/ solid craftsmanship: characters, recaps, & a cliffhanger!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #21
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #21

May 25, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 21Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
February 2010
****

Where the other Realm of Kings stories are riffing on Alien, this ish throws Rosemary’s Baby in too. Moondragon puts a transdimensional beast into her womb to keep it from killing everyone. A rival superteam wants to put it on trial (ridiculous enough), but the Universal Church esteems it as a god!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #20
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #22

also indexed for Feb. ’10
The Fantastic Four #574
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #20

May 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 20Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
January 2010
***

A gambit: the previous arc killed off half the team! Now the mournful gang explores that hole into a nightmare dimension (the common element to the linewide Realm of Kings series). Walker does good models—his clothing is esp good—which makes the character beats stronger than the action sequences.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #19
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #21

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Nova #36

May 23, 2014

Nova 36Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
June 2010
***

Nova exits on a cliffhanger, a victim of the downsizing of Marvel’s cosmic line. #36 connects Realm of Kings to a Thanos mini, as the Human Rocket faces an evil extra-dimensional Quasar who serves Lovecraftian Old Gods. Plenty of little plot threads dangle; hopefully, DnA will get to pick them up.

last issue: Nova #35
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for Jun. ’10
The Fantastic Four #578
Guardians of the Galaxy #25

Nova #35

May 22, 2014

Nova 35Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar
May 2010
**

Nova & pals stop a sorcerer from remaking the universe w/ a pair of philosopher’s stones. Attention to craft—good dialogue & fun, superpower-derived solutions—helps this final chapter of a by-the-numbers plot be a bit more, tho’ the art gets sketchy in spots. Sadly, it’s the mag’s penultimate issue.

last issue: Nova #34
next issue: Nova #36

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Nova #34

May 21, 2014

Nova 34Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar
April 2010
**

Very old-fashioned plotting, like Roy Thomas or even Gardner Fox. A temporal magician, the Sphinx, fights his younger self by pitting champions in a contest for control of reality-altering gems. Asrar upholds the colorful tone that DiVito used in earlier issues, tho a few layouts are confusing.

last issue: Nova #33
next issue: Nova #35

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Nova #33

May 20, 2014

Nova 33Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
March 2010
**

A Kang knock-off shunts Nova & other heroes into a spacetime rift to help fight his younger self. Only in comics would that come off as conventional! But it is, and the writers add nothing new (yet) to the superhero action adventure. They find an emotional hook tho’, in Rider’s reunion w/ a dead ex.

last issue: Nova #32
next issue: Nova #34

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Nova #32

May 19, 2014

Nova 32Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
February 2010
***

Shunted onto a mystical, prismatic planet that echoes Ancient Egypt, Nova & Darkhawk team up w/ Mr. Fantastic against a time tyrant from their New Warrior days. This new arc adds mysteries to its plot in a whimsical fashion, an old-fashioned pleasure that DiVito’s flat, colorful style reinforces.

last issue: Nova #31
next issue: Nova #33

also indexed for Feb. ’10
The Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Nova #31

May 18, 2014

Nova 31Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
January 2010
***

Rider dives into the tear in spacetime left by War of Kings, where a planet’s about to explode. He faces two foes: the Lovecraftian beasties from across the rift & an ancient galactic conspiracy that’s roped in his onetime teammate, Darkhawk. The issue, impulsively non-linear, is juicy fun, no more.

last issue: Nova #30
next issue: Nova #32

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

May 17, 2014

Realm of Kings - Inhumans 5 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Pablo Raimondi & Tim Seeley
May 2010
**

The Inhuman queen w/ the prehensile hair has been manufacturing threats to consolidate her rule. It’s a cynical point about modern politics, not provocative so much as dismissable: the difference btw the Iraqi intelligence gambit &, say, 9/11-as-govt.-conspiracy. Raimondi = only 3 issues out of 5?

last issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

May 16, 2014

Realm of Kings - Inhumans 4 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Pablo Raimondi
April 2010
***

I want to enjoy this Inhumans mini more, since it’s got fine art over a just-right story. But something about DnA’s work here feels mechanical by their standards of craft. There’s no danger when Crystal and co. defend themselves from a robot attack, & the final-page twist feels predictable.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

May 15, 2014

Realm of Kings - Inhumans 3 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
March 2010
***

The mano a mano fight to War of Kings forms solid echoes in space, almost (but not quite) a symbol of how the Inhumans can’t escape their past. To wit: the heroine Crystal learns that a revanchist insurgency is backed by her slightly mad in-law, Maximus. Lovely if flat art adds to the space romance.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

May 14, 2014

Realm of Kings - Inhumans 2 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Pablo Raimondi
February 2010
**

The Mighty Avengers (that is, the team not written by BM Bendis) visit the Inhumans for some heroics & soap operatics. Raimondi’s lines produce clean faces & strong settings, matching the clear, engaging dialogue; but there’s a sense of keeping time rather than engaging momentum with this mini.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

also indexed for Feb. ’10
The Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

May 13, 2014

Realm of Kings - Inhumans 1 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Pablo Raimondi
January 2010
**

DnA open this mini w/ a review of the status quo: the Inhumans, Kirby super-aristos, rule the Kree space empire fairly responsibly, tho’ palace intrigues brew & skirmishes flare up along the interstellar borders. Raimondi (& inker Hennessy) has a lovely clean style, like an update of ’80s X-Men.

continued from Realm of Kings #1 of 1
next issue: Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5

May 12, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 5 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
May 2010
***

DnA accomplish two clever goals in unshowy fashion. They make Realm of Kings‘ Lovecraft beasts into a fearful threat, & they establish the rich potential of the Imperial Guard as a team. Sadly, as Marvel scales back their Cosmic branch, the small satisfaction of a good mini must be its own reward.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5

May 11, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 4 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
April 2010
***

The Realm of Kings maxiseries pays off, pitting the superteam of space voyageurs (clearly analogs for the Legion of Super-Heroes) against the pestiferous anti-universe’s X-Men as the Darkhawk conspiracy resurfaces. Kev Walker’s style, a mod sort of 2000AD look, gets a boost from colorist Fairbairn.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5

May 10, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 3 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
March 2010
***

A fun issue of space gothic horror—Alien, ’70s Doctor Who, or (in Marvel terms) Claremont’s Brood Saga. The heroes flee the corpse of a large interstellar organism before it’s eaten by space-maggots. Yeesh! Appealing character beats help propel the team mechanics along & add to derring-do.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5

May 9, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 2 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
February 2010
***

An uneasy team of interstellar superheroes explore a rift in spacetime that has creeping horrors on its other side. Case in point: they’re outdueled by the corpse of an organic spaceship. Kev Walker, an Englishman, draws great environments, whether cramped starship, deep space, or strange planet.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
next issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5

also indexed for Feb. ’10
The Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5

May 8, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 1 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
January 2010
***

This superhero/space opera hybrid mini kicks off w/ a battle in orbit and on the ground, plenty of collateral damage by the ostensible heroes (a ’70s X-Men analog for DC’s Legion). Their Superman knock-off rules a galactic empire that’s splitting apart. DnA add scope w/ plenty of extra subplots.

continued from Realm of Kings #1 of 1
next issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Realm of Kings #1 of 1

May 7, 2014

Realm of KingsDan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar & Leonardo Manco
January 2010
****

MU’s last cosmic metaseries was old-school space opera; this one kicks off a Lovecraftian weird tale. It’s also a Quasar adventure: the ’90s quantum hero slips into a mirror ‘verse where the Avengers bow to the Old Gods in life undying. Manco’s raw grit mimics Maleev’s, a realism that works here too.

continued from War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1
continued in Guardians of the Galaxy #20
continued in Nova #31
continued in Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5
continued in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #19

May 6, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 19Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
December 2009
****

Kang himself returns the time-tossed Guardians w/a Cosmic Cube to confront the Magus! A spectacular climax, much more satisfying than the finale to War of Kings. Partly that’s Craig’s highly cartooned style rather than the usual superhero hyper-realism. Full of suspense, drama, & mad invention!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #18
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #20

also indexed for Dec. ’09
The Fantastic Four #572
Nova #30

Guardians of the Galaxy #18

May 5, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
November 2009
***

Star-Lord’s team drifts from one alt-reality to another and aging, de-aging, or fading away at differing rates. It’s an indulgent pleasure to see a future Killraven & an aged Wonder Man fight Wellsian tripods in a ruined 31C NYC. Craig’s Immonen-like style offers plenty of setting, atmo, & color.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #19

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

Guardians of the Galaxy #17

May 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 17Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
October 2009
****

A wonderful, imaginative climax to the WoK maxiseries. The Inhumans tore a hole in spacetime that the Guardians must patch. While the giant tree builds a pseudo-tech weapon to annihilate a Lovecraft beastie (!), Warlock stitches the ‘verse to an alternate future—the one where he’s the evil Magus!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #16
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #18

also indexed for Oct. ’09
The Fantastic Four #570
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #16

May 3, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 16Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
September 2009
****

Tossed into the 31st century, the team meets Gerber’s Guardians—and learn that the War of Kings will rip a hole in time! This ish has awesome cosmic ideas, like a solar web of enslaved Celestials holding the ‘verse’s collapse at bay. Craig draws in a colorful style that uses trad rectangular panels.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #15

May 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 15Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
August 2009
***

You know who deserves plenty of credit for this mag & the entire Cosmic Marvel line? Editor Bill Roseman. He’s running a tight crossover! This issue, in which two alien superteams storm the Guardians’ space station while a prisoner escapes, could be confusing, but it’s completely clear & lotsa fun!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #16

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #14

May 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2009
***

Walker lays out his pages clearly enough to overcome his overwrought ’90s line & rectilinear ’00s paneling. Good thing, cuz this is a busy arc. In a nice balance of comedy & action, Star-Lord, Warlock & their motley gang of SF heroes completely fail to broker peace in the second Kree-Shi’ar War.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #13
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4