Archive for October, 2015

Captain America #616

October 31, 2015

Captain America 616A-story: Ed Brubaker // Ed McGuinness
B-story: Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
C-story: Howard Chaykin
D-story: Cullen Bunn // Jason Latour
E-story: Mike Benson // Paul Grist
F-story: Frank Tieri // Paul Azaceta
G-Story: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel // Pepe Larraz
May 2011
A-story: ***
B-story: ***
C-story: ****
D-story: ****
E-story: **
F-story: ***
G-Story: ***

Double-sized to celebrate Cap’s debut in May ’41. True Cap gets the A-plot, New Cap gets the B. Narrative gravity starts to pull Rogers back into action, Bru’s chance to indulge a Batman brood. The tone clashes w/ McGuinness’ helium style. Deodato’s noirish shadows fit Bucky’s tale better, tho’ his he-man physiques grate. The non-Brubaker back-ups are good too, esp. a Chaykin period piece!

last issue: Captain America #615.1
next issue: Captain America #617

also indexed for May ’11
Annihilators #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
Captain America #615.1
FF #1
Secret Avengers #10

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Captain America #615.1

October 30, 2015

Captain America 615.1Ed Brubaker // Mitch Breitweiser
May 2011
****

The strongest single issue of Steve Rogers, Director of SHIELD, delivering superspy adventure w/ high SF concepts. A rookie nearly dies trying to be Captain America; the twist is, he & the real Cap have been set up by Nick Fury. The plot echoes Englehart’s classic run, but its soul is ’60s cool.

last issue: Captain America #615
next issue: Captain America #616

also indexed for May ’11
Annihilators #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
Captain America #616
FF #1
Secret Avengers #10

Secret Avengers #11

October 29, 2015

Secret Avengers 11Ed Brubaker // Will Conrad
May 2011
**

It’s not the first time Steve Rogers has gone spelunking in minds & memories, even in this run. But here the psychic terrain’s too literal—not warped, surprising, or surreal. An influence, perhaps of Inception‘s dull dreamscapes? The target is John Steele, a pulp character with a Lovecraft secret.

last issue: Secret Avengers #10
next issue: Secret Avengers #12

also indexed for May ’11
Annihilators #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
Captain America #615.1
Captain America #616
FF #1

Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes

October 28, 2015

Captain America 615A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
April 2011
A-story: ****

The Red Skull’s heir gives the Statue of Liberty a black eye; Bucky pleads guilty for his Manchurian Candidate crimes but gets a lenient judge. The mag has taken a while to get its rhythm back, but it does sound like the story Brubaker wanted to tell. And a few of Guice’s layouts channel Steranko!

last issue: Captain America #614
next issue: Captain America #615.1

also indexed for Apr. ’11
The Fantastic Four #588
Secret Avengers #9

Secret Avengers #10

October 27, 2015

Secret Avengers 10Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
April 2011
**

In this arc’s climax, Steve & co foil the resurrection of Fu Manchu. Somehow this manages to be a dull outcome. Avengers, Agents of SHIELD reads like it’s a chore for Brubaker to write. He’s fine with Bucky (& this John Steele), but maybe he has no more stories to tell about Steve Rogers.

last issue: Secret Avengers #9
next issue: Secret Avengers #11

also indexed for Apr. ’11
Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #588

Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes

October 26, 2015

Captain America 614A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
March 2011
A-story: ****

Brubaker revives Buck’s brainwashed backstory, a link to the early heyday of this run. #614 combines ‘street-level’ tropes (violence in the courtroom!) & supervillainy (rants & bombs), & offers a good perf by the manipulative Dr. Faustus. And many inkers on hand, which improves Guice’s pencils!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #613
next issue: Captain America #615

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
The Fantastic Four #587
Secret Avengers #9
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation
#1 of 1

Secret Avengers #9

October 25, 2015

Secret Avengers 09Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
March 2011
**

Hostage exchanges & nighttime meetings lead to a fight scene. Deo isn’t bad per se, but his ’90s testosterone & photoref settings gild the mag’s over-serious tone. Bru’s phoning it in, aside from his ‘original supersoldier.’ With Superman’s 1938 powers, John Steele functions as a father figure for Cap.

last issue: Secret Avengers #8
next issue: Secret Avengers #10

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #587
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

Captain America #613: Bucky Barnes

October 24, 2015

Captain America 613A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
February 2011
A-story: ***

Sin (her burn-scarred skull matches Dad’s) sets a bomb on Liberty Island & sabotages the trial of Bucky Barnes w/ media leaks! As legacy characters go, she’s okay: her taste for hunky musclemen is vaguely kinky, while her sociopathy has matured from Natural Born Killers into real supervillainy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #612
next issue: Captain America #614

also indexed for Feb. ’11
The Fantastic Four #586
Secret Avengers #8

Secret Avengers #8

October 23, 2015

Secret Avengers 08Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
February 2011
**

To resurrect Fu Manchu (who’s never called that, oddly), the cabal in the shadows must capture his son Shang-Chi. So they take Agent 13 hostage. Really, a damsel-in-distress plot? The widescreen art complements the ossified plotting; Brubaker must think poorly of Hollywood-style superheroics.

last issue: Secret Avengers #7
next issue: Secret Avengers #9

also indexed for Feb. ’11
Captain America #613: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #586

Captain America #612: Bucky Barnes

October 22, 2015

Captain America 612A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2011
A-story: ***

Bucky, on trial for his un-American activity under mind control, realizes he likes being Captain America. ‘Cap in jail’ is a conflict w/ potential, as he’s a state-sanctioned masked man & not an urban vigilante. But JG’s art is abnormally sloppy: his Bernie Rosenthal looks like a man in drag!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #611
next issu: Captain America #613

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
The Fantastic Four #585
Secret Avengers #7
The Thanos Imperative
#6 of 6

Secret Avengers #7

October 21, 2015

Secret Avengers 07Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
January 2011
**

Brubaker weaves dangling threads from his other mags into his Steve Rogers epic. He adds Marvel Project’s ‘original super-soldier’ and an Immortal Weapon from his Iron Fist collab. But all eyes are on Fu Manchu, right? Mostly tho, #7 is more told-not-shown characters & poses-as-panels.

last issue: Secret Avengers #6
next issue: Secret Avengers #8

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
Captain America #612: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #585
The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4

October 20, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 4 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
December 2010
***

Dale E, inking himself, flubs the mini’s climax—basically an old-school Danger Room—w/ no sense of space & relative positions. The mini’s plot to weaponize & auction off the superserum (= a Western fear of rogue nukes etc.) is revealed as a deception staged by a shadow cabal to experiment on Cap.

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #3

also indexed for Dec. ’10
Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #584
Secret Avengers #6
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes

October 19, 2015

Captain America 611A-story: Ed Brubaker // Daniel Acuña
December 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky’s past makes his role as Cptn. A untenable from a political POV. For this talky issue, Brubaker’s Cap ventures into the corporate/celebrity mode of Bendis’ Avengers (which I think Acuña then did?). He’s got a great style, tho’ he’s more glossy & cool than the run’s standard gritty melodrama.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #610
next issue: Captain America #612

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584
Secret Avengers #6
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

Secret Avengers #6

October 18, 2015

Secret Avengers 06Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
December 2010
**

Deodato is proving a terrible fit for poor Brubaker—too much machismo! It augers badly that Mike D does such clumsy work on the martial arts, since this arc looks to focus on the kung-fu of Shang-Chi. It gives Cap the chance face the original supervillain: the Yellow Peril, Fu Manchu himself!

last issue: Secret Avengers #5
next issue: Secret Avengers #7

also indexed for Dec. ’10
Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #584
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4

October 17, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 3 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
November 2010
***

Cap kicks ass & escapes to renew his neutralized super-strength. The bad guy has his gloating monologue, & captions deliver 1st-person narration on bullies & What Makes Our Hero Different. Eaglesham’s never impressed me before, but he labors over faces, varies physiques, & stages good hand-to-hand.

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Solder #2 of 4
next issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Solder #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #583
Secret Avengers #5
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes

October 16, 2015

Captain America 610A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
November 2010
A-story: ****

Amid castle ruins on the fatal North Sea isle, Zemo tests Bucky to see if the haunted hero will choose death after all. He doesn’t, natch. But there’s a weird level on which the villain, stage-managing an episode of psychological torture for the protag’s benefit, is Brubaker’s in-story deputy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #609
next issue: Captain America #611

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four #583
Secret Avengers #5
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Secret Avengers #5

October 15, 2015

Secret Avengers 05Ed Brubaker // David Aja & Michael Lark
November 2010
***

Bru reunites with his art partner on Gotham CentralDD, the underrated Michael Lark—whose realism classes up the joint. Aja also contributes a touch of Steranko to this spy-fi origin story. One of Nicky Fury’s robot duplicates had gained sentience, & now works for a shadowy anti-SHIELD conspiracy.

last issue: Secret Avengers #4
next issue: Secret Avengers #6

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #583
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4

October 14, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 2 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
October 2010
****

Moving at a nice clip, Bru unveils his villain: Machinesmith, a personal fave in Cap’s rogues gallery. He’s staged an awfully complex gambit just to sap Cap of his powers, involving a phony corp, Cap’s origin, & a robot who thinks she’s human. If only this were ongoing & Secret Av was the mini!

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1 of 4
next issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Secret Avengers #4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes

October 13, 2015

Captain America 609A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
October 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky gets himself captured by Baron Zemo. I like the character’s impulsive stupidity, which gives this match-up some juice: Barnes’ muscle is outclassed by Zemo’s mind. I also enjoy Guice’s retro art, which reminds me of ’70s Sal Buscema, w/ stronger layouts amid Kirby-isms & anatomic mishaps.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
next issue: Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582
Secret Avengers #4
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Secret Avengers #4

October 12, 2015

Secret Avengers 04Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
October 2010
*

There’s the germ of a cool Brubaker story here, with Cap & co investigating the Martian scheme of a Halliburton-type corp. But that’s lost as Deo draws the super-fisticuffs exceptionally poorly (when he’s not photo-reffing). Btw this & his X-run, should EB steer clear of super-team SF?

last issue: Secret Avengers #3
next issue: Secret Avengers #5

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1 of 4

October 11, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 1 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
September 2010
***

Simon & Kirby’s supersoldier has been promoted to direct America’s secret ops, a role w/ roots in his ’60s Lee/Kirby superspy revamp. For this mini, he’s an international man of mystery, scaling skyscrapers to mingle in a tux. A pulp climax echoes Cap’s origin, as a scientist dies in his arms!

next issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Solder #2 of 4

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 of 9
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #581
Secret Avengers #3
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6

Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes

October 10, 2015

Captain America 608A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
September 2010
A-story: ****

Bucky’s caught in a media storm when his secret ID as Cap & his history as the Winter Soldier get leaked. The defamation is by Baron Zemo, a clever supervillain w/ several classic schemes already. He’s a worthy foe for Bucky, and this rivalry could be stretched from an arc into an epic.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #607
next issue: Captain America #609

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #3

October 9, 2015

Secret Avengers 03Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
September 2010
***

Those expecting more spy-fi from Brubaker will get wrongfooted by his b-mag. Instead he sends his ‘proactive Avengers’ to a Barsoom-like Mars, a onetime battleground to elder gods and Kirby bashers. The swerve could work except that Deodato, a ’90 veteran, can’t break from his cinematic style.

last issue: Secret Avengers #2
next issue: Secret Avengers #4

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes

October 8, 2015

Captain America 607A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
August 2010
A-story: ***

A standard plot—supervillain manipulates the hero via sneak attack & defamation—that the creators lift #607 above convention. Bucky has a two-fisted personality: brave but dumb. More interesting is the artwork, which merges Mazzucchelli realism w/ a Kirby homage, a good baseline look for this mag.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #606
next issue: Captain America #608

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Fantastic Four #580
Secret Avengers #2
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Secret Avengers #2

October 7, 2015

Secret Avengers 02Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
August 2010
**

Spelunking on Mars, the team uncover a dig excavated by mind-controlled humans & directed by Lovecraft aliens. Sadly, the fashionable creative team plays to their weaknesses: a cast of spandex physiques all speak in the same square-jawed monotone as they hustle around generic hi-tech bases.

last issue: Secret Avengers #1
next issue: Secret Avengers #3

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #580
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Captain America #606: Bucky Barnes

October 6, 2015

Captain America 606A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2010
A-story: ***

I like this hero’s twisted psyche: less a deathwish than a pain-as-penance hang-up. But the arc’s elsewhere: Baron Zemo learns Cap’s secret ID! As the hooded son of the Nazi who’d “killed” Bucky in WW2, he’s a natural enemy to test our hero’s mettle. This has potential to revive the flagging run.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #605
next issue: Captain America #607

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579
The Marvels Project #8 of 8
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Secret Avengers #1

October 5, 2015

Secret Avengers 01Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
July 2010
***

Marvel effectively gives Brubaker a Cap team title. Steve Rogers, now head of SHIELD & in a Kirby-inspired uni, foils super-terrorism w/ a ’90s-style strikeforce. There’s just enough plot to bait the hook: the Roxxon Corp, owning the mining rights to Mars, has exhumed a Lovecraftian serpent crown!

continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
next issue: Secret Avengers #2

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

The Marvels Project #8 of 8

October 4, 2015

Marvels Project 8 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2010
***

Like much of Brubaker’s Cap run, his WW2-era mini is haunted by the ’01 attacks. His cinematic finale has the H. Torch & sidekick dogfight at Pearl Harbor while the other Invaders prevent an Atlantean assassination of Churchill. A subsequent montage of super-GI mobilization is anti-climactic.

last issue: The Marvels Project #7 of 8

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Captain America #605: Bucky Barnes

October 3, 2015

Captain America 605A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
June 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky stops the nutso Cap by plugging him; the Falcon pitches a goon into a ravine. Bru’s 21C Cap is a liberal hawk, his enemy a revanchist döppel-Cap threatening the homeland with a militia bomb atop the Hoover Dam! But Ross stages the fight poorly—he never shows us the Wonder of the West.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #604
next issue: Captain America #606

also indexed for Jun. ’10
Fantastic Four #578
Guardians of the Galaxy #25
Nova #36

Captain America #604: Bucky Barnes

October 2, 2015

Captain America 604A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
May 2010
A-story: ***

Most of #604 has Sam Wilson fight cyber-armored goons on a bomb-laden train bound for the Hoover Dam; echoes of 2001 are implicit. But I’m impressed that Brubaker would draw a link btw Tea Partiers & Al Qaeda! Picking up on #603’s homoeroticism, Bad Cap demands that Bucky cosplay in his old uni.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #603
next issue: Captain America #605

also indexed for May ’10
Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
The Marvels Project #7 of 8
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

The Marvels Project #7 of 8

October 1, 2015

Marvels Project 7 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
May 2010
****

The Marvel U’s supersoldiers contribute intel for American readiness, helping Cap stop an Atlantean attack on DC—part of the Axis plans for Dec. 7, 1941! Tho’ it arcs over a year of action, TMP might work better collected. It’s paced like a Le Carré novel, all its threads knotted in conspiracy.

last issue: The Marvels Project #6 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #8 of 8

also indexed for May ’10
Captain America #604
Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5