Archive for February, 2016

Captain Marvel #1

February 29, 2016

Captain Marvel 3.01Kelly Sue DeConnick // David López
May 2014
****

Carol volunteers (off-panel) to do a ‘year-long’ tour of duty in space for the Avengers. If KSDC is up for space opera, I can’t say no! But what’s great is how briskly she sets up an interim status quo btw vol. 1 #17 and this mag’s new setting. So long to the new digs in the Statue of Liberty!

continued from Captain Marvel #17
next issue: Captain Marvel #2

also indexed for May ’14
Avengers Assemble #25
Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #18
Moon Knight #1

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Avengers Assemble #25

February 28, 2016

Avengers Assemble 25Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni with Neil Edwards & Raffaele Ienco
May 2014
**

Sometimes a character-focused arc doesn’t need a flashy climax, but this one’s too generic. The dialogue suddenly seems phoned in, & the art lacks a cogent sense of space or urgency. But the bigger problem is that Spider-Girl never snaps into focus as an individual, she’s just a girl sidekick with pluck.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #24

also indexed for May ’14
Captain Marvel #1
Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #18
Moon Knight #1

Avengers Assemble #24

February 27, 2016

Avengers Assemble 24Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
April 2014
***

Anya Corazon isn’t exactly a moribund character—she’s popped up in Spidey books & a Junior Avengers mag—but she’s esp. well-suited for an Avengers internship. Here she’s teamed w/ Iron Man & then Captain America, but neither writer quite gets the mens’ tones right, a small misstep in a fun arc.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #23
next issue: Avengers Assemble #25

also indexed for Apr. ’14
Hawkeye #15

Avengers Assemble #23

February 26, 2016

Avengers Assemble 23Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
March 2014
****

The Education of Anya Corazon continues with Wolverine’s classic girl-sidekick seminar. It helps immensely that Ellis & DeConnick have impressive chemistry as well. I also like KSDC’s depiction of the Avengers as a sort of super-NGO. And Buffagni’s showing issue-by-issue improvement!

last issue: Avengers Assemble #22
next issue: Avengers Assemble #24

Avengers Assemble #22

February 25, 2016

Avengers Assemble 22Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
February 2014
***

An unexpected visit from Uncle Warren! Evidently he’s scripting the villain’s dialogue, based on the genetic technobabble of the female Dr. Moreau. She’s a KSDC creation who had a regular gig in the Evil Avengers spin-off mag. FYI the artist has a good hand for facial expressions & not much else.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #21
next issue: Avengers Assemble #23

also indexed for Feb. ’14
Hawkeye #16

Avengers Assemble #21

February 24, 2016

Avengers Assemble 21Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni
January 2014
***

Once again strip-mining Kirby for content, Marvel editorial replaces mutants with Inhumans. But DeConnick refreshes new properties, ones w/ double-X chromosomes, by pulling out a few ’00s supervillains. But her focus is Spider-Girl (AKA Araña) on a team-up with Black Widow & Spider-Woman.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #20
next issue: Avengers Assemble #22

also indexed for Jan. ’14
Captain Marvel #17
Hawkeye #14

Captain Marvel #17

February 23, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.17Kelly Sue DeConnick // Filipe Andrade
January 2014
****

CM returns from its digression into crossover-limbo, happily with Andrade in tow. Carol is given the key to the NYC, an apartment in the Statue of Liberty (!), even a new nemesis! A drone attack plays out in Times Sq, with Cap saved by a ‘Spartacus’ twist. It’s a nice topper to this run’s feminism, which links to the inspirational idealism of pure superheroics.

continued in Captain Marvel #1
last issue: Captain Marvel #16

also indexed for Jan. ’14
Avengers Assemble #21
Hawkeye #14

Captain Marvel #16

February 22, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.16Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Pat Olliffe
November 2013
***

Like last ish, #16 proceeds in parallel with the month’s Avengers Assemble. Captain Marvel, temporarily leveled up by a black hole, leads Avengers POWs on an escape mission from a space armada’s flagship. Squeezed by event plotting, DeCo manages to get character beats in for an amnesiac Carol.

see also Avengers Assemble #19
continued in Infinity #4 of 6
last issue: Captain Marvel #15
next issue: Captain Marvel #17

also indexed for Nov. ’13
Avengers Assemble #19

Avengers Assemble #19

February 21, 2016

Avengers Assemble 19Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Barry Kitson
November 2013
**

Spider-Woman and Black Widow rescue Captain Marvel from robo-aliens; a few guys are involved too, incl. Spidey’s BF. The gender reversal is good enough to make this issue of space opera serviceable. But it’s also Event Sprawl, scenes too small for the three mags (!) telling the central story.

see also Captain Marvel #16
last issue: Avengers Assemble #18
next issue: Avengers Assemble #20

also indexed for Nov. ’13
Captain Marvel #16

Captain Marvel #15

February 20, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.15Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Pat Olliffe
October 2013
**

The Avengers fly two starships into a space battle: one for each of KSDC’s mags. It’s a crossover that requires a non-CM issue for context, which is terribly alienating to newer readers. The amnesia of last issue is backburnered too. KSDC does what she can, & it’s passable fun.

continued from Avengers #18
see also Avengers Assemble #18
last issue: Captain Marvel #14
next issue: Captain Marvel #16

also indexed for Oct. ’13
Avengers Assemble #18

Avengers Assemble #18

February 19, 2016

Avengers Assemble 18Kelly Sue DeConnick // Barry Kitson
October 2013
**

AA gets pulled into Marvel’s latest Event; all you need to know is, it’s a space opera. Epic battle among the stars, pew pew pew, our POV heroine is nearly KIA. Happily that character is Jessica Drew, a neurotic who KSDC has been writing really well—better even than Carol Danvers, in my opinion.

continued from Avengers #18
see also Captain Marvel #15
last issue: Avengers Assemble #17
next issue: Avengers Assemble #19

also indexed for Oct. ’13
Captain Marvel #15

Captain Marvel #14

February 18, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.14Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn with Gerardo Sandoval
September 2013
***

Carol’s nemesis isn’t just a resurrected Kree villain, he somehow is the Kirbytech that gave her superpowers; to stop him, Cap gives herself brain damage. It’s comic-book science, not totally clear, but otherwise KSDC executes her finale ably, following the Buffy template of heroic sacrifice.

continued from Avengers Assemble #17
continued in Infinity #1 of 6
last issue: Captain Marvel #13
last issue: Captain Marvel #15

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Avengers Assemble #17
Hawkeye #12
Hawkeye Annual #1

Avengers Assemble #17

February 17, 2016

Avengers Assemble 17Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni with Pepe Larraz
September 2013
***

The Avs fail to stop a superbaddie from focusing energy on NYC using Kirbybots. The art’s fine (a ‘clean’ style that I think of as late ’00s Superman) & so’s the plot. But see how often the minor characters are women, like a guest turn by Sersi? It’s just that easy to write feminist comics, boys!

continued from Captain Marvel #13
continued in Captain Marvel #14

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Captain Marvel #14
Hawkeye #12
Hawkeye Annual #1

Captain Marvel #13

February 16, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.13Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn with Gerardo Sandoval
August 2013
***

Marvel & her avenging friends fight a squadron of reactivated Kirbybots while deducing her attacker’s ID. The pacing’s a little slow (maybe this crossover didn’t need the opening one-shot) but otherwise the writing is tight—wonder how long DeCon will stay in comics before genre TV tempts her away?

continued from Avengers Assemble #16
continued from Avengers Assemble #18
last issue: Captain Marvel #12
next issue: Captain Marvel #14

also indexed for Aug. ’13
Avengers Assemble #16
Hawkeye #11

Avengers Assemble #16

February 15, 2016

Avengers Assemble 16Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni
August 2013
***

Now that the dark days of Bendis are done, quality Avengers comics are everywhere! This crossover with CM sets up a solid threat in a resurrected Kree warrior: the original Cap’s first nemesis, merged with the Kirbytech engine that empowered our heroine. Love how the Kree Empire hangs up on him!

continued from Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1
continued in Captain Marvel #13
last issue: Avengers Assemble #15AU
next issue: Avengers Assemble #17

also indexed for Aug. ’13
Captain Marvel #13
Hawkeye #11

Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1

February 14, 2016

Avengers - The Enemy Within 1 of 1Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn
July 2013
***

Marvel holds a crossover to cash in on DeConnick. The focus is, natch, is on her marquee hero, Captain Marvel, who’s the target of a plot; Spider-Woman is in sidekick role. The big peril, a brain lesion, sits oddly next to the hijinx of the gals fighting female super-wrestlers in Wash Square Park.

continued from Captain Marvel #12
continued in Avengers Assemble #16

also indexed for Jul. ’13
Hawkeye #10

Captain Marvel #12

February 13, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.12Kelly Sue DeConnick with Christopher Sebela // Filipe Andrade
June 2013
***

While Carol spends her time fighting a winged goon, her doctors learn that her powers will fry her memories. The drama’s in her flaw, a telling trait: she’s too willful not to fly & fight, and damns the consequences. Also note the only male this arc is its villain, the Kree Cap’s original nemesis.

continued in Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1
last issue: Captain Marvel #10
next issue: Captain Marvel #12

also indexed for Jun. ’13
Hawkeye #9

Captain Marvel #11

February 12, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.11Kelly Sue DeConnick with Christopher Sebela // Filipe Andrade
May 2013
****

The script’s in that breezy contempo mode, but closer to S&tC than Buffy. It helps that she stocks her cast with women while delivering pure superhero comics. How pure? Carol’s always had the classic Superman power set, but now unable to fly, she’s leaping tall buildings instead!

last issue: Captain Marvel #10
next issue: Captain Marvel #12

also indexed for May ’13
Avengers Assemble #13

Avengers Assemble #13

February 11, 2016

Avengers Assemble 13Kelly Sue DeConnick // Pete Woods
May 2013
***

The Widow pays some karmic debt by helping a gal kick an addiction to reptile serum. It’s formulaic stuff, but Woods does a passable Alan Davis in drawing a sewer gang of croco-mutants. And DeConnick slips some hilarious asides in, like a villain’s marriage proposal & Jess Drew’s flippancy.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #12
next issue: Avengers Assemble #14

also indexed for May ’13
Captain Marvel #11

Captain Marvel #10

February 10, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.10Kelly Sue DeConnick with Christopher Sebela // Filipe Andrade
April 2013
***

Cap lifts a subway & fights a foe on the rooftops. It’s straight-up super-comics, which contrasts well w/ the loose, flowing art that’s way off from Marvel’s current house style. I’m not sure about a twist that has Carol grounded due to a brain lesion, tho’ it forces her into interesting decisions.

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

also indexed for Apr. ’13
Avengers Assemble #12
Hawkeye #8

Avengers Assemble #12

February 9, 2016

Avengers Assemble 12Kelly Sue DeConnick // Pete Woods
April 2013
***

In this era of the Avengers movie, Assemble has the trad remit of satisfying longtime fans. The art’s nothing to remember, but the writing shows a sense of colorful superheroics, attention to craft, & a deep bench that recalls the Busiek run. This one’s a Black Widow mission, but J. Drew steals the show.

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

also indexed for Apr. ’13
Captain Marvel #10
Hawkeye #8

Captain Marvel #9

February 8, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.09Kelly Sue DeConnick // Filipe Andrade
March 2013
****

Carol runs errands, helps people & gets help in return. It’s refreshing to read a hero with a social network, instead of superman-as-loner angst (sadly, that arrives on the last page). But the real story is Andrade, whose loopy line & stylized figures give CM‘s art some real personality.

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

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Avengers Assemble #11
Hawkeye #7
Winter Soldier #14

Avengers Assemble #11

February 7, 2016

Avengers Assemble 11Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
March 2013
***

KSDC proves her knack for writing super-comics, both solo & team mags. This arc may be formulaic—a megalomaniac aims to conquer the world with mad science—but she injects just enough humor to make it a fun read & her dialogue doesn’t fall prey to Bendis-like vamping as it shows personality.

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

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Captain Marvel #9
Hawkeye #7
Winter Soldier #14

Captain Marvel #8

February 6, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.08Kelly Sue DeConnick with Christopher Sebela // Dexter Soy
February 2013
***

Soy wastes an opportunity to impress in a giant robot battle, tho’ his manga influence makes the romantic lead (a castmate from Carol’s Claremont era) suitably dreamy. When the plot has Danvers literally absorb Rambeau, it’s awesomely campy, making ‘self-aware’ comments superfluous.

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

also indexed for Feb. ’13
Avengers Assemble #10
Hawkeye #5
Hawkeye #6
Winter Soldier #13

Avengers Assemble #10

February 5, 2016

Avengers Assemble 10Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
February 2013
***

Caselli, whose realism is closer to Kitson than Hitch, executes a fun action sequence: Captains A & M in aerial combat. Their foe’s a monster-man threatening the world (& the Hulk) with 20M-year-old bacteria. He’s Chinese, but w/o the Yellow Peril baggage—a standard megalomaniac supervillain.

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

also indexed for Feb. ’13
Captain Marvel #8
Hawkeye #5
Hawkeye #6
Winter Soldier #13

Captain Marvel #7

February 4, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.07Kelly Sue DeConnick with Christopher Sebela // Dexter Soy
January 2013
***

Having adopted an Avengers mag, KSDC gets a scripter for the required team-up btw current & former Captain Ms! Danvers helps Rambeau (of the Avengers & Nextwave) solve a deep-sea mystery. It’s astonishing how a conventional superhero comic can be feminist just by having women converse!

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

also indexed for Jan. ’13
Avengers Assemble #9
Hawkeye #4
Winter Soldier #12

Avengers Assemble #9

February 3, 2016

Avengers Assemble 09Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
January 2013
***

With Capt. Marvel in tow, Kelly Sue DeConnick instantly improves one of the dozen Avengers books. Her secret is low stakes for the top-tier. Team Stark races Team Banner to a monster mission in Antarctica. It’s broad fun in the spirit of JLI (e.g. Hulk stirring organic PB for a sammich).

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

also indexed for Jan. ’13
Captain Marvel #7
Hawkeye #4
Winter Soldier #12

Captain Marvel #6

February 2, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.06Kelly Sue DeConnick // Emma Rios
late December 2012
****

Danvers, time-tossed, finally ends up at her Secret Origin, where she must compete with a rival for her superpowers. The challenger is her idol, the late pilot from #1, but the arc doesn’t actually deal with Carol’s grief. Instead, the theme is female camaraderie, in life & in work.

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

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #18
Captain America #19
Captain Marvel #5
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23
Hawkeye #3
Winter Soldier #11

Captain Marvel #5

February 1, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.05Kelly Sue DeConnick // Emma Rios
early December 2012
****

Carol’s cross-time caper places her in an all-women NASA program back in the Mad Men era. This 6-issue arc gets its fourth artist, but it’s Emma Rios, who complements DeConnick perfectly. Her languid line balances her urgent pacing & layout, and her style adds indie cred to a straight super-comic.

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

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #18
Captain America #19
Captain Marvel #6
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23
Hawkeye #3
Winter Soldier #11