Archive for November, 2015

Winter Soldier #5

November 30, 2015

Winter Soldier 05Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2012
*****

A two-fisted showdown in a rocket silo! Dr. Doom vs. Super-Apes! Not only does this arc give great spyfi action, it turns the villainess into the kind of super-terrorist Latveria would spawn, & a foe worthy of Doom. Guice draws great hand-to-hand, w/ surprising angles & distances adding kineticism.

last issue: Winter Soldier #4
next issue: Winter Soldier #6

also indexed for Jul. ’12
Captain America #11
Captain America #12
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606
FF #18

Advertisements

Captain America #11

November 29, 2015

Captain America 5.11Ed Brubaker // Patrick Zircher
early July 2012
***

Someone’s hunting informants and exposing terrorist agents. It’s an ’80s vigilante, nicknamed Scourge, getting a ’10s update from Ed B! The violent spyfi art marks a return to form after slicksters McNiven & Davis. The bullpen’s sent out Zircher, a journeyman drawing in the Bat-mode of Michael Lark.

last issue: Captain America #11
next issue: Captain America #13

also indexed for Jul. ’12
Captain America #12
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606
FF #18
Winter Soldier #5

Winter Soldier #4

November 28, 2015

Winter Soldier 04Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
June 2012
****

An odd team-up of Kirby creations: Bucky Barnes & Dr. Doom prevent a terrorist bombing at the UN! Effectively Bucky Barnes, Agent of SHIELD, this mag is as good as Brubaker has been since Cap Reborn. It looks great too, as Guice has added Steranko layouts & Adams figures to his arsenal.

last issue: Winter Soldier #3
next issue: Winter Soldier #5

also indexed for Jun. ’12
Captain America #10
The Fantastic Four #605
FF #17

Captain America #10

November 27, 2015

Captain America 5.10Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
June 2012
**

Riots in Harlem, stoked by terrorists & led by a mind-zapped Falcon. Is Brubaker taking up the old (white) American fear of race war? It’s an allusion to Kirby but still smells dodgy. Best to set that aside; enjoy Davis’ skill with facial expressions & the way Agent 13 outwits Machinesmith.

last issue: Captain America #9
next issue: Captain America #11

also indexed for Jun. ’12
The Fantastic Four #605
FF #17
Winter Soldier #4

Captain America & Bucky #628

November 26, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 628Ed Brubaker with James Asmus // Francisco Francavilla
May 2012
***

Androids amuck! #628 reads like a fill-in, a waste of Francavilla’s manifest talents. Moody, rough art & three-tone color lends #625-9 a pulpy atmosphere—imagine if he’d done Marvels Project! He does the glowing-ember physique of the Human Torch better than anyone since its inventor, C. Burgos.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #627
next issue: Captain America & Hawkeye #629

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America #9
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16
Winter Soldier #3

Winter Soldier #3

November 25, 2015

Winter Soldier 03Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
May 2012
****

A great match-up: Widow & the Winter Soldier vs. Dr. Doom! Doom wins on his home turf, the Latverian Embassy in NYC. It’s all a sequel to Bendis’ misfire Secret War, a mini that helped pioneer the Marvel vogue for post-9/11 superheroic espionage, a subgenre that this run epitomizes.

last issue: Winter Soldier #2
next issue: Winter Soldier #4

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America #9
Captain America & Bucky #628
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Captain America #9

November 24, 2015

Captain America 5.09Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
May 2012
***

Agent 13 negotiates with Machinesmith, a devious AI w/ intel on her BF’s power loss, & she proves how badass she is. Davis pencils an acrobatic laser battle, tho’ SF isn’t his best mode. In fact, great as he is, tonally he’s a huge deviation from this 100+ issue run of hard, cinematic spy-fi.

last issue: Captain America #8
next issue: Captain America #10

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America & Bucky #628
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16
Winter Soldier #3

Captain America & Bucky #627

November 23, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 627Ed Brubaker with James Asmus // Francisco Francavilla
April 2012
****

An old trope of this Cap run resurfaces: the Manchurian Candidate, here a sleeper cell of unwitting androids in the DoD itself! The puppeteer is an Ultron knockoff who killed a post-war double of Cap. It’s frightfully generic but Francav draws a great face-off btw the robot & its ‘brother’, the WW2 Torch.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #626
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #628

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America #8
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1
Winter Soldier #2

Winter Soldier #2

November 22, 2015

Winter Soldier 02Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
late April 2012
****

Not content to continue the run’s Bourne-like action, this first arc pits our hero against a Commie gorilla with a jetpack & AK-47! It’s a ’60s Soviet hench-ape! But #2’s real story is Guice, adding maturity of layout to the Maleev photoref style. It’s gorgeous (except for his rubber-limbed Widow).

last issue: Winter Soldier #1
next issue: Winter Soldier #3

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America #8
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1

Captain America #8

November 21, 2015

Captain America 5.08Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
April 2012
***

Cap’s super-physique keeps reverting to 98-lb. weakling. Behind the change is a murderer’s row of enemies: a HYDRA Queen of Dreams & her WW2 supersoldier flame (Bru’s recent creations), archenemy Baron Zemo, a late-Kirby WMD, Gruenwald’s Serpent Squad, even an AI created by Byrne/Stern!

last issue: Captain America #7
next issue: Captain America #9

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1
Winter Soldier #2

Winter Soldier #1

November 20, 2015

Winter Soldier 01Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
early April 2012
****

Bucky finally gets his solo mag, hunting Soviet cryotube killers w/ GF Black Widow. I wouldn’t want to delete Buck’s tenure as Cap but this is what the character’s meant for: a throwback to Cold War superspy stuff rather than the watered-down War on Terror espionage of the concurrent Cap run.

continued from Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
next issue: Winter Soldier #2

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America #8
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #15
Winter Soldier #2

Captain America & Bucky #626

November 19, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 626Ed Brubaker with James Asmus // Francisco Francavilla
March 2012
***

A killer android, ‘brother’ to the 1940s Torch, reactivates to attack Cap. It reiterates this run’s theme of the living past & legacy, but the writing (Asmus gets co-credit) is formulaic. And oh, Francavilla! Shaky, hand-drawn lines & a unique aesthetic make him unlike any other artist on the run.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #625
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #627

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America #7
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Captain America #7

November 18, 2015

Captain America 5.07Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
March 2012
***

Brubaker has fashioned a new ongoing arc for his A-title, scotching the conspiracy plot of Secret Avs. Fans of Gruenwald’s era will love it; I’m happy to see a classic bit of Kirbytech that causes riots. But it’s all super-plot, less compelling than the political spy-fi of 7 (!) years ago.

last issue: Captain America #6
next issue: Captain America #8

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #626
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Captain America #6

November 17, 2015

Captain America 5.06Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
late February 2012
***

Editorial trades up on artists, ditching McNiven for master Davis. His cartoon-like variation on Neal Adams fits the mag’s mission, which is to take a neo-classical (hackneyed?) approach. The continuing plot—a new HYDRA cell wants to depower Cap—develops as background to some costumed superheroics.

last issue: Captain America #5
next issue: Captain America #7

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain America #5
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Captain America & Bucky #625

November 16, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 625Ed Brubaker with James Asmus // Francisco Francavilla
February 2012
***

Cap visits the ‘second’ Bucky, which reopens an old case from the Truman era. Brubaker seems to be emptying his notebook, here revisiting a (very) minor set of Roy Thomas retcons. It’d be perfectly forgettable except for Francavilla—who may steal ‘best artist of the run’ from last arc’s Samnee.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #624
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #626

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain America #5
Captain America #6
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Captain America #5

November 15, 2015

Captain America 5.05Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven & Guiseppe Camuncoli
early February 2012
***

There’s a good concept here (a revived New Dealer accuses Cap of failing their ideals) but the point gets obscured. Partly that’s McN’s fault—he turns the foe into a ranter. He can’t even go 5 issues without a delay & assist! But frankly this arc’s longer on 4-color action than ideas or craft.

last issue: Captain America #4
next issue: Captain America #6

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain
America #6
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Captain America #4

November 14, 2015

Captain America 5.04Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
January 2012
***

Cap’s trapped in a dreamscape while his pals fight the terrorists who put him there. I do like the idealistic scheme of a fellow man-out-of-time to replace 21C America with the ’38 World’s Fair. Otherwise it’s standard stuff for both the run & the title generally, & McN’s art is pretty but plastic.

last issue: Captain America #3
next issue: Captain America #5

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America & Bucky #624
The Fantastic Four #600
Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
FF #12

Captain America & Bucky #624

November 13, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 624Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
January 2012
***

Cold War espionage rounds out The Secret Origin of Bucky Barnes. Plus a bit of sentiment as he visits his elderly sister in a nursing home. So let’s applaud this creative crew! Andr. has nailed the period’s idiom (he’s better than Bru), & Samnee does it all: A+ layout, acting, drama, pacing, & atmo.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #623
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #625

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
The Fantastic Four #600
Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
FF #12

Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1

November 12, 2015

Fear Itself 7.1 Captain AmericaEd Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2012
****

EB got to conclude Civil War in his mag, & here’s the trade-off: another event mini, Fear Itself, hosts the fatal confrontation btw his creations Bucky & Sin. Fair? Maybe, but it’s bad storytelling. So Bru plays a trump: a dose of SHIELD’s secret serum revives Buck (again).

continued from Fear Itself #7 of 7
continued in Winter Soldier #1

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
Captain America & Bucky #624
Fantastic Four #600
FF #12

Captain America & Bucky #623

November 11, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 623Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
December 2011
*****

Sidekicks Bucky & Toro discover the awful fact of the Nazi death camps. The creators produce a bona fide war comic for mainstream Marvel. Nothing profound, just bearing witness to the human horror of war. But it’s a problem beyond the superheroes’ range, so #624 ends w/ Cap & Buck’s exit from WW2.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #622
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #624

also indexed for Dec. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4
FF #10
FF #11

Captain America & Bucky #622

November 10, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 622Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
November 2011
****

The monthly flashback to WW2 continues with an Invaders mission. But what’s clever is how it doubles as Brubaker’s Bucky: Year One. The parallel is esp acute due to Samnee’s aesthetic: a post-Mazzucchelli one, like M. Lark’s but with more elan, perfect for what’s effectively an all-ages comic (shh!).

last issue: Captain America & Bucky  #621
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #623

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Captain America #3
FF #9

Captain America #3

November 9, 2015

Captain America 5.03Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
November 2011
***

One of my favorite facets of Brubaker’s run has been Cap & co Cap & co sparring with giant robots. Here he fights a house-sized double (AKA Ameridroid)! McNiven never quite gives readers the payoff shot (Steve Rogers as Fay Wray) but he’s adopted a cartoony note since CW, paralleling Marvel’s house style.

last issue: Captain America #2
next issue: Captain America #4

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Captain America & Bucky #622
FF #9

Captain America & Bucky #621

November 8, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 621Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
October 2011
****

Eager to enter the war, Bucky helps Cap fight a circus train of Nazi terrorists! The creators have ample precedent for WW2 adventures, but Cap/Buck is more Kirby/Simon than Kirby/Lee. The circus is a classic Golden Age setting, & a WMD threat updates ’40s evildoers for post-9/11 readers.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #620
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #622

also indexed for Oct. ’11
Captain America #2
FF #8

Captain America #2

November 7, 2015

Captain America 5.02Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
October 2011
****

A WW2 platoon, long MIA in dreamspace, resurfaces as a HYDRA terrorist cell! As a variation on Cap‘s man-out-of-time archetype it’s fairly mind-blowing. And it has the bonus of Bru’s theme of mind & neurosis. Unexpectedly, McNiv integrates the surrealism with his cinematic realism quite well.

last issue: Captain America #1
next issue: Captain America #3

also indexed for Oct. ’11
Captain America & Bucky #621
FF #8

Captain America & Bucky #620

November 6, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 620Ed Brubaker with Marc Andreyko // Chris Samnee
September 2011
****

As Disney revises its IP to match its hit movie, it re-assigns Bucky for team-up assignment back in WW2. The first ish is Brubaker’s chance to lay out his creation’s retconned origin as a GI orphan & roustabout who’s combat-trained as Cap’s sidekick. Worth it for Samnee’s evocation of the era.

last issue: Captain America #619
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #621

also indexed for Sept. ’11
Captain America #1
FF #6
FF #7

Captain America #1

November 5, 2015

Captain America 5.01Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
September 2011
****

Marvel gives Cap a new #1 for his red-carpet rollout, & snaps his status quo back 5 years—pre-Civil War! Brubaker doesn’t break stride, writing an ish that could’ve been v. 5 #22. The funeral of Cap’s WW2 flame produces yet another retconned superspy from the Nazi era: Peggy Carter’s jilted lover.

continued from Captain America #619
next issue: Captain America #2

also indexed for Sept. ’11
Captain America & Bucky #620
FF #6
FF #7

Captain America #619

November 4, 2015

Captain America 619Ed Brubaker // Mitch Breitweiser, Jackson Guice, & Chris Samnee
August 2011
***

Proving a worse spymaster than Nick Fury, Cap edges back towards status quo ante. Bucky, however, gets a new mission, going rogue to catch KGB sleeper agents. And Black Widow brazenly rescues him from a gulag—behavior that finally proves (to me) that she’s a romantically plausible partner for Bucky.

continued in Captain America #1
continued in Fear Itself #1 of 7
last issue: Captain America #618
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #620

also indexed for Aug. ’11
Annihilators #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
FF #5

Captain America #618

November 3, 2015

Captain America 619Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Chris Samnee
July 2011
****

Bucky continues to dominate this run, even as he’s shifted back to sidekick. Guilt-soaked dream montages delve into his Winter Soldier psyche & hint at KGB backstory. Samnee pencil-&-inks a dynamic spies-in-catsuits subplot. He’s in the retro school, w/ simple lines & expressive faces.

last issue: Captain America #617
next issue: Captain America #619

also indexed for Jul. ’11
Annihilators #3 of 4
FF #3
FF #4

Captain America #617

November 2, 2015

Captain America 617Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato, Jackson Guice, & Chris Samnee
June 2011
***

A triptych of plots to spring Bucky from a gulag, where he’s pitted against ex-Soviet super-agents in death matches. Guice gives his plot a superb sense of place & atmo, while Samnee’s pages look snazzy. In that, Steve Rogers works w/ DC pols in a realistic cloak’n’dagger plot—till robots attack!

also indexed for Jun. ’11
Annihilators #2 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
FF #2
Secret Avengers #12

Secret Avengers #12

November 1, 2015

Secret Avengers 12Ed Brubaker // Will Conrad with Mike Deodato
June 2011
**

Bru, foreshadowing his Fatale in 2012, unmasks the mag’s villains as a Lovecraft cult. He also links them to John Steele, a creation in the same pulp mode as his Iron Fist. But #12 will be his Secret Av swansong. No great loss, but it’s notable how he abandons it mid-plot. Editorial conflicts?

last issue: Secret Avengers #11
next issue: Secret Avengers #13

also indexed for Jun. ’11
Annihilators #2 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
Captain America #617
FF #2