Archive for the ‘Ant-Man (S. Lang)’ Category

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

April 22, 2015

Dead Girl 5 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
July 2006
****

A charming conclusion to the X-Statix title, lacking teeth but giving the protags closure (except Doop!). It also reveals a love for Ditko, slipping several of his characters in. Allred pencils the hell out of them, esp. Dr. Strange in a fabulous duel of magic with his late mentor.

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

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

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

April 21, 2015

Dead Girl 4 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
June 2006
***

Dr. Strange & Dead Girl carry a nice flirtation on as they lead a team of dead superheroes into hell. It contrasts well with the too-wimpy Mr. Sensitive getting on U-Go Girl’s nerves. Moments like these show Milligan’s fondness for his characters as he gives them a real ending instead of satire.

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

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

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5

April 20, 2015

Dead Girl 3 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
May 2006
****

Hard to say why Dead Girl’s in the title—it’s more like “The X-Statix reunion tour featuring Dr. Strange”. Romance buds in the nether realms, as 1940s heroine Miss America gets over her racial prejudices with Tike Alicar. Also cleverly, some of Marvel’s late women are happiest in a man-free heaven!

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #83
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5

April 19, 2015

Dead Girl 2 of 5Peter Milligan // Nick Dragotta & Mike Allred
April 2006
****

First the late Dead Girl visits the mortal plane by possessing a host made of deli meat; then she takes Dr. Strange to heaven to recruit a team that will, in turn, storm hell. The cosmology is full of unhinged dead characters & surreal deep-focus perspectives on all three planes of existence.

last issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5
next issue: X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’06
Daredevil #82
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #2

X-Statix #25

April 16, 2015

X-Statix 25Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
September 2004
***

The Avengers/X-Statix War ends in détente before a bigger enemy (of course it does). Milligan’s heart isn’t in this arc, whose guest stars smack of editorial edict. Even if not, the last-minute acceptance of X-Statix by the Avs feels rushed. Anyone else disappointed that Doop can speak English?

last issue: X-Statix #24
next issue: X-Statix #26

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
Daredevil #62
Fantastic Four #516
The Pulse #4
Thanos #12

X-Statix #23

April 14, 2015

X-Statix 23Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
July 2004
***

Milligan rips off the Avengers/Defenders War, pitting two teams of heroes in a race to collect maguffins. This ish pairs Hawkeye & Vivisector in a post-colonial Africa, and Venus DM v. Ant-Man in Antarctica. Pairing #1 displays a Silver Age charm but #2 can’t suss out the heroine’s Kirbydot anatomy.

last issue: X-Statix #22
next issue: X-Statix #24

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 #21

April 12, 2015

X-Statix 21Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
early June 2004
****

When Doop’s lobotomized brain gets weaponized, our heroes must ask the Avengers for help with its recovery. Rather than contrast our super-celebs with a team of noble heroes, this ish shows a classic roster that’s just as venal & arrogant. Plus it hints that Doop is the product of Cold War science!

last issue: X-Statix #20
next issue: X-Statix #22

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

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

November 5, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 9Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2011
****

A:TCC‘s strongest issue, prob’ly cuz it plays to Heinb’s strengths: character & dialog, and his core team of Young Avs. Some closure as Iron Lad, by killing Vision 2.0, accepts his destiny as Kang the Conqueror. The catastrophe gets treated w/ emotional weight, as the team drifts apart over months.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for May ’11
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

November 4, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 8Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
March 2012
****

There’s no good way to retcon a bad story, so A:TCC provides multiple ones for Wanda M’s haywire episodes, incl. the possibility that Doom was behind it all. Now he’s got cosmic powers, unluckily for Cassie Lang. The storytellers play fairly, trading her life for her father’s resurrection.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

also indexed for Mar. ’12
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

November 3, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 7Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
November 2011
***

With 4 superteams in this ish, it’s no surprise that characters get lost in the melée. The mag’s real point is a retcon of Av Disassembled & reversal of House of M. Offpage, the Scarlet Witch had allied with Dr. Doom to tap into a “life-force” that gave her reality-altering powers.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for Nov. ’11
FF #9

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

November 2, 2013

Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
Avengers Children's Crusade 6August 2011
****

The Scarlet Witch confirms that, yes, she is Wiccan’s mother, metaphysically at least. It’s earnest comic sturm und drang that makes A:TCC the best “essential” Marvel U. tale of the terrible Bendis Era. To underscore this mini’s central status, X-teams (incl. David’s X-Fac) make strong cameos.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

also indexed for Aug. ’11
FF #5

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9

November 1, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 5Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
June 2011
****

Kid Kang, AKA Iron Lad, returns from the future; if Young Avs had been Heinberg & Cheung all along, this would be a thrilling development. Anyway, his time travel allows for this maxiseries remit: to “correct” the catastrophic plot of Disassembled, such as a broken Scarlet Witch & dead Scott Lang.

continued from Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

also indexed for Jun. ’11
FF #2

Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

October 7, 2013

Avengers.JLA 4 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
December 2003
***

The crossover ends as it must: in an enormous brawl of punching & zapping. Still, the mag’s creative duo amazingly avoid even a whiff of the corporate avarice that must underpin this mini. The grand scope & casual confidence prove a good capstone to the super-teamwork dynamic that defines the Avengers run of Busiek & Pérez et al. Think of it as a victory lap AWA an impressive work of fan-service.

last issue: JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
New X-Men #148

JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

October 6, 2013

Avengers.JLA 3 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
November 2003
****

JLA/Av retcons annual super-teamups btw Marvel & DC, a late-era Crisis (in DC terminology) complete w/ overlapping Earths. The art of mature Pérez is even better than in his ’80s Crisis. Busiek writes a tighter plot, tho it suffers from self-reference & (surprisingly for KB) a lack of central protag. For superhero lovers rather than casual readers, but those fanboys will be truly satisfied.

last issue: Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
next issue: Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Avengers #27

August 25, 2013

Avengers 27Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
April 2000
****

Just two years in, KB shuffles his roster. He’s deliberately made the Avs less A-list & more motley, indirectly addressing issues of race & gender w/o taking sides politically. He also implies that the Triune cult is conspiring to weaken the Avengers, having planted their own superhero on the team.

last issue: Avengers #26
next issue: Avengers #28

Avengers #26

August 24, 2013

Avengers 26Kurt Busiek // Stuart Immonen
March 2000
****

Like a late-period ish from Claremont’s X-run, #26 lacks a single member of the mag’s cast yet it’s pivotal. A phony Cap recruits super-patsies for the Triune Cult’s smear campaign against the team. Lovely pencils from returning guest Immonen, whose dynamism balances shadow w/ 4-color buoyancy.

last issue: Avengers #25
next issue: Avengers #27

Avengers Annual 1999

August 10, 2013

Avengers Annual 1999Kurt Busiek & John Francis Moore // Leonardo Manco
July 1999
**

This action-adventure pits the Avengers against a squad of Sentinels repurposed to replace the once-MIA superheroes. The concept has Busiek’s fingerprints: adoration for the title team & its inspiring effect on everyday citizens. For it’s Jarvis who shuts the robots down, & a support technician who’d programmed them. Standard annual fare, tho’ Manco does good cyber-horror a la Barry Windsor-Smith.

last issue: Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998
next issue: Avengers Annual 2000

also indexed for Jul. ’99
Avengers #18
Avengers #0
Avengers Forever #8 of 12

Alias #28

August 7, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
January 2004
*****
Alias, unlike most comics, actually has an ending (tho’ Jess Jones’ story continues in a new mag, The Pulse). Okay, the showdown w/ her nemesis is old-fashioned. But what follows! Jess takes the mature step of having a kid, telling the father (Luke Cage), & living her life. A great superhero comic.
[continued in The Pulse #1]
[last issue: Alias #27]

Alias #27

August 5, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
December 2003
****

Jones’ Silence of the Lambs interview w/ her archenemy, the Purple Man, has an obtrusive metatextual element. I guess she plays at roles (superheroine, PI) so she won’t have to face reality? Still, the tension ratchets up till it climaxes w/ an icky splash of Scott Lang (dead?) swarmed by ants.

last issue: Alias #26
next issue: Alias #28

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
New X-Men #148

Alias #24

August 2, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
September 2003
****

We’ve seen Jessica Jones lash out before, but not like this—vomiting (morning sickness?) & literally flying off. All cuz of a case involving the Purple Man, an old DD villain w/ the power to control minds. The prior Spider-Woman arc beautifully foreshadowed this theme of Jess as exploited victim.

last issue: Alias #23
next issue: Alias #25

also indexed for Sept. ’03
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men
 #144

Alias #21

July 30, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos & Mark Bagley
June 2003
****
Bendis’ trafficking arc (kinda partners to his Owl arc in DD) wraps up w/ a burst of action—Speedball bubbles!—& Kid Spider-Woman’s rescue. It also teases at Jones’ traumatic history by alluding to a similar victimization & a dream-fight w/ the Defenders. Gaydos gets trad w/ a 3×3 grid on 1 page!
[last issue: Alias #20]
[next issue: Alias #22]

Alias #15

July 21, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
December 2002
*****
Between arcs, this issue cleaves nicely into two convos w/ sexual partners, showcasing BMB’s skill at badinage. First, Jess Jones has teamed up w/ Luke Cage to guard Matt Murdock (see DD #36), & hashes out their hook-up on duty. Then Jess lets her guard down on a date w/ former Ant-Man Scott Lang.
[last issue: Alias #14]
[next issue: Alias #16]