Archive for June, 2015

Runaways #12

June 30, 2015

Runaways 2-12Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2006
****

Molly pounds the New Avengers, who do little to help rescue damsel Dagger from a fan-boy rapist on superdrugs. This is a fine baseline arc, with guests Cloak, Dagger & Spidey adding an ’80s Marvel tone that’s amplified by the story length (4 issues), a charitable churchman, & NYC snowfall.

last issue: Runaways #11
next issue: Runaways #13

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Daredevil #81
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5
Young Avengers #10

Advertisements

Runaways #11

June 29, 2015

Runaways 2-11Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2006
****

#11 reverses convention by having the kids chat with Spider-Man first & then fight him. What’s more notable is how, tho’ he’s the poster boy for Marvel’s teen heroes, Spidey is set up as a contrast to the Runaways: a lonely kid but a solid home life. Plus Chase bluffs info from a drug-dealing pimp!

last issue: Runaways #10
next issue: Runaways #12

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Daredevil #80
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Runaways #10

June 28, 2015

Runaways 2-10Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2006
***

BKV leads his charges into the center of the contempo Marvel U.: BMB’s New Avengers in NYC. The guest cast should goose sales but the mag stays focused on its own superheroes, in that chat-heavy/plot-lite style that’s so fashionable. Alph has fun with the change of climate & cityscape tho.

last issue: Runaways #9
next issue: Runaways #11

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

Runaways #9

June 27, 2015

Runaways 2-09Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
December 2005
****

Cloak, the ’80s super-runaway, avoids a ‘New’ Avengers manhunt after his GF Dagger ends up hospitalized. It’s up to our plucky LA outsiders to clear his name! On art, Alphona uses computers to draw (not photoref!) his fine lines. His comic timing also adds to the Buffy vibe.

last issue: Runaways #8
next issue: Runaways #10

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

Runaways #8

June 26, 2015

Runaways 2-08Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
November 2005
****

Evil alien parents had betrayed their homeworld & betrothed their daughter to the Skrulls. Now it’s time for Karolina’s arranged marriage to an aristo—& since she’s a lesbian, the Skrull is game for adopting female characteristics! Coince, Young Avengers also has romance w/ an alien princeling.

last issue: Runaways #7
next issue: Runaways #9

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

Runaways #7

June 25, 2015

Runaways 2-07Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
October 2005
****

With status quo established & relief artist Miyazawa on hand, BKV restarts some of the mag’s soap elements. Psychedelic Supergirl makes a pass at Nico M. in a no-big-deal coming-out scene, then learns she’s affianced to a Skrull! Plus the newbie defeats a local LA villain: a mad Nazi made of bees!

last issue: Runaways #6
next issue: Runaways #8

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Iron Man #4
Daredevil #76
Young Avengers #7

Runaways #6

June 24, 2015

Runaways 2-06Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2005
*****

My misgiving that Ultron was too far above our kids’ weight class is finessed by the post-teen cavalry saving their hides. Turns out Vaughan has written a backdoor pilot (to use an LA term) for a team of New New Warriors (AKA Excelsior—nice name!), financed by Marvel’s original c-lister, Rick Jones!

last issue: Runaways #5
next issue: Runaways #7

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Daredevil #75
The Pulse #10
Young Avengers #6

Runaways #5

June 23, 2015

Runaways 2-05Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2005
****

The kids face the secret father of a new superfriend: Dr. Doom! or maybe a Doombot! …nope, it’s Ultron! I’d usually call foul on this bait-n-switch reveal, esp. as facing a rogue Doombot would be perilous enough, plus BKV nails Doom’s voice. But AA draws the fight exceptionally well, which earns a few points!

last issue: Runaways #4
next issue: Runaways #6

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Daredevil #74
Young Avengers #5

Runaways #4

June 22, 2015

Runaways 2-04Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
July 2005
****

A ’90s d-lister is suffering PTSD from his darkling powers, while a new castmember (Hispanic son of a single mom!) learns pop is a supervillain! Tho the mag is slowing back down, it’s got enough plots & characters—and sketches them out well enough—that the decompression isn’t a drag on momentum.

last issue: Runaways #3
next issue: Runaways #5

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

Runaways #3

June 21, 2015

Runaways 2-03Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
June 2005
****

The story of teens & 20-somethings reaches the trad Marvel beat of heroes pounding on each other w/o talking first. But w/ the rebooted numbering, Alphona has upped his game. His art has taken on a supple quality, his physiques & faces moving further from figuration to lovely expressionistic forms.

last issue: Runaways #2
next issue: Runaways #4

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

Runaways #2

June 20, 2015

Runaways 2-02Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
May 2005
****

BKV plays an interesting game with the margins of the Marvel U. A team of washed-up ’90s heroes suggest one prospect for this mag’s protags; an Avenger from the future—Gert, all grown up—points toward more successful careers. The time twist has them out to reform a kid before he turns supervillain.

last issue: Runaways #1
next issue: Runaways #3

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

Runaways #1

June 19, 2015

Runaways 2-01Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
April 2005
*****

After half a year hiatus, Runaways returns reinvigorated! The remit is evidently not only to speed up the action (hurray!) but to tie the mag more tightly to the Marvel fabric. So the kids foil a heist by post-Kirby bruisers while a support group of ex-superteens hint at life after caped heroics.

continued from Runaways #18
next issue: Runaways #2

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

Runaways #18

June 18, 2015

Runaways 1.18Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
November 2004
****

Hey, Vaughan can write normal-paced comics! The kids slip out of their foster homes for a sentimental reunion, then break into an Avengers warehouse to liberate their stuff. Not only is it a done-in-one coda to Runaways‘ first ‘season’, it sets up a new status quo for a renumbered mag.

last issue: Runaways #17
continued in Runaways #1

other issues indexed for Nov.  ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5
Daredevil #64
Daredevil #65
Fantastic Four #518
The Pulse #5

Runaways #17

June 17, 2015

Runaways 1.17Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
October 2004
****

Even in the first arc, Alex Wilder drew interest for his braininess and tactical ability; plus he was a comics nerd, an obv ID figure for the reader. Here he sides w/ faux-Kirby Gods over humanity! It prefigures Cabin in the Woods, but does his reasoning convince? No, so he gets zapped by the gods!

last issue: Runaways #16
next issue: Runaways #18

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517
Secret War #3 of 5
X-Statix #26

Runaways #16

June 16, 2015

Runaways 1.16Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2004
****

Last month, as Whedon himself began his Runaways-influenced X-run, Vaughan set up his Whedonesque climax. In #16 the kids finally fight their parents, but they’re betrayed by their nerdy leader! He seemed the obv choice for a mole, but it’s still disappointing since he’s the cast’s best character.

last issue: Runaways #15
next issue: Runaways #17

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Daredevil #61
Fantastic Four #515
Thanos #11
X-Statix #24

Runaways #15

June 15, 2015

Runaways 1.15Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
July 2004
***

Vaughan continues to maneuver his pieces into place for the endgame. The teens follow their parents into an underwater superbase, hoping to stop a black ritual. Alphona does his best work in this art nouveau lair, part of his infusion of mainstream comics with a steampunk style that’s very trendy.

last issue: Runaways #14
next issue: Runaways #16

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 #10
X-Statix #23

Runaways #14

June 14, 2015

Runaways 1.14Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
June 2004
***

The decompressed pace is the Achilles Heel of Runaways, but it looks like the momentum is shifting. The teen not-a-team (a la the Defenders) take the initiative and head off to spoil their parents’ next magic ceremony. Fortunately for them, the cabal has begun to show signs of discord.

last issue: Runaways #13
next issue: Runaways #15

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Daredevil #59
Fantastic Four #512
Thanos #9
X-Statix #21
X-Statix #22

Runaways #13

June 13, 2015

Runaways 1.13Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
May 2004
****

A(n original) pantheon of six-fingered elder gods plan to restore utopia by exterminating humanity. Their servants on Earth, the mag’s supercabal, arrange to save their children (the superteens). One year in, the creative team comes through with fun backstory. And Alph does astonishing Kirby gods.

last issue: Runaways #12
next issue: Runaways #14

also indexed for May ’04
Daredevil #58
Fantastic Four #511
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #7
Thanos #8
X-Statix #20

Runaways #12

June 12, 2015

Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
late April 2004
***

After visiting the hellscape of Cloak’s cloak, the team convinces him & Dagger that they’re innocent. I actually enjoy this short arc more than the previous ones, simply for its pacing! But calling foul on C&D’s mind-wipe by the evil parents. In post-Buffy comics, events oughta have ramifications!

last issue: Runaways #11
next issue: Runaways #13

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
Fantastic Four #510
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Runaways #11
Secret War #1 of 5
X-Statix #19

Runaways #11

June 11, 2015

Runaways 1.11Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
early April 2004
****

Guest art by Canadian Miyazawa, who outdoes Alphona in manga influences. Other guests: Cloak & Dagger the original superteen runaways-turned-vigilantes! A corrupt cop has asked them to find our team, which leads to the ol’ Marvel scenario of having the superheroes fight before cooperating.

last issue: Runaways #10
next issue: Runaways #12

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
Fantastic Four #510
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Runaways #12
Secret War #1 of 5
X-Statix #19

Runaways #10

June 10, 2015

Runaways 1.10Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2004
****

The new kid reveals he’s a vampire; when he preys on Psychedelic Supergirl, her solar-fueled blood dusts him. A nice twist: her strategy is actually a death-wish! Glad to see BKV pays his debt to Buffy so early in his run! Alphona’s line is lovely, physiques too, but his layouts frankly are dull.

last issue: Runaways #9
next issue: Runaways #11

also indexed for Mar. ’04
Daredevil #56
Fantastic Four #509
New X-Men #151
New X-Men #152
X-Statix #18

Runaways #9

June 9, 2015

Runaways 1.09Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2004
***

A newcomer upsets the (recently-established) status quo by creating a love triangle with Nico & Alex. The psychedelic alien also kisses him for good measure. Soap opera is especially fun in teen super-teams, and Alphona uses his characters’ faces & postures to provide great ‘acting’.

last issue: Runaways #8
next issue: Runaways #10

also indexed for Feb. ’04
Daredevil #55
Fantastic Four #508
New X-Men #150
X-Statix #17

Runaways #8

June 8, 2015

Runaways 1.08Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2004
****

The son of supercriminals quickly insinuates himself into the gang. But BKV glances at teen issues as he & Nico talk about self-mutilation—you see, the goth girl must cut herself to activate her magic staff. Runaways ticks the boxes on the superteen checklist, tho it moves at a snail’s pace.

last issue: Runaways #7
next issue: Runaways #9

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28
Daredevil #54
Fantastic Four #506
Fantastic Four #507
New X-Men #149
X-Statix #16

Runaways #7

June 7, 2015

Runaways 1.07Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
December 2003
****

This team is unique in concept, multi-culti cast, & superpowers. In #7, they finally fight crime, a hold-up at a convenience store—the sort of petty crime that Ditko’s teen would stop every ish or two. Similarly these thin-lined bodies look like actual kids, not steroidal superheroes.

last issue: Runaways #6
next issue: Runaways #8

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
Daredevil #53
Fantastic Four #504
Fantastic Four #505
New X-Men
#148
X-Statix #15

Runaways #6

June 6, 2015

Runaways 1.06Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
November 2003
***

BKV & AA do yeoman’s work setting up a status quo after one arc. The titular non-team has been framed for the murder they saw their parents commit. Now they’ve holed up in one of Cali’s, um, hotels buried in an earthquake…? The influence of Buffy/Angel is strong, but not in plotting or momentum.

last issue: Runaways #5
next issue: Runaways #7

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52
Fantastic Four #502
Fantastic Four #503
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147
Runaways #5
X-Statix #14

Runaways #5

June 5, 2015

Runaways 1.05Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
November 2003
****

Although little continues to happen in this decompressed arc, the character do continue to reveal shades (if not surprises) to their personalities. In an update of ’80s Marvel style, one good bit has the runt of the Runaways develop mutant powers after she’d asked the gals about her period.

last issue: Runaways #4
next issue: Runaways #6

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52
Fantastic Four #502
Fantastic Four #503
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147
Runaways #6
X-Statix #14

Runaways #4

June 4, 2015

Runaways 1.04Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
October 2003
***

BKV finally gets to a fight scene: the grown-ups attack the kids in a super-tech backyard shed. Not sure why they shot first rather than acting like parents, and god this mag moves slow. The sense of LA is great tho. So are the characters—I esp. like Alex Wilder, an ordinary boy w/ a knack for tactics.

last issue: Runaways #3
next issue: Runaways #5

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
Daredevil #50
Fantastic Four #501
New X-Men #145
X-Statix #13

Runaways #3

June 3, 2015

Runaways 1.03Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2003
****

The mag starts to play its cards and finally takes a few tricks. The Pretty Girl learns that she’s a Supergirl type; the Smart Girl finds she’s mentally linked to a robo-dino (!), courtesy of her steampunk chrono-criminal parents! Note also how casually Runaways adds diversity to Marvel comics.

last issue: Runaways #2
next issue: Runaways #4

also indexed for Sept. ’03
Alias #24
Daredevil #49
Fantastic Four #500
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men #144
X-Statix #12

Runaways #2

June 2, 2015

Runaways 1.02Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2003
***

A team book with a new hook: teens learn that their parents are a low-profile cabal of successful supervillains! Vaughan writes dialogue in the trendy Bendis style—all bratty attitude. It works as well here as in Ult. Spidey; the decompressed storytelling less so since we don’t know these kids yet.

last issue: Runaways #1
next issue: Runaways #3

also indexed for Aug. ’03
Alias #23
Daredevil #48
Fantastic Four #70
New X-Men #142
New X-Men #143
X-Statix #11

Runaways #1

June 1, 2015

Runaways 1.01Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
July 2003
****

I’m a sucker for superteens, so I already like this book about kids who can’t appeal to authority for help against their supervillainous parents. But IMO Alphona’s under-hatched style is better read in digest form, which accentuates his manga-influenced use of open space and emo directness.

next issue: Runaways #2

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
Daredevil #47
Fantastic Four #69
New X-Men #141
Wolverine/Doop #1 of 2
Wolverine/Doop #2 of 2