Archive for August, 2015

Captain America #37

August 31, 2015

Captain America 37Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Mike Perkins
June 2008
*****

The debt to Manchurian Candidate grows as the Skull’s pet pol announces a third-party bid for Prez. Epting supplies his co-creation Bucky with visits from Cap’s other ‘sons’ & a Freudian nightmare about replacing Steve Rogers. Also nice is the ’44 Lib of Paris from the Skull’s perspec.

last issue: Captain America #36
next issue: Captain America #38

also indexed for Jun. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Nova #12

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Captain America #36

August 30, 2015

Captain America 36Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Mike Perkins
May 2008
****

A Halliburton-type firm owned by the Red Skull takes credit for Bucky Cap’s first big gig: stopping the Serpent Squad from assassinating a senator. Our hero also fails to calm Wash DC’s fear-gassed rioters, unlike his predecessor. Epting’s still MIA, but JG & MP do solid realistic fill-in work.

last issue: Captain America #35
next issue: Captain America #37

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
Daredevil #106
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11
Thunderbolts #119

Captain America #35

August 29, 2015

Captain America 35Ed Brubaker // Butch Guice
April 2008
****

Kirby & Simon’s Nazi supervillain is camouflaged as Dick Cheney! He’s untouchable as an oligarch, secretly profiting off a crashing economy, & as backroom chief of a private security firm, firing on protesters! Guice, an art-n-ink man since the ’80s, has a style more illustrative & less cinematic.

last issue: Captain America #34
next issue: Captain America #36

also index 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 #29

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
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
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
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 & got 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
The Pulse #10
Runaways #6
Young Avengers #6