Archive for the ‘Blastaar’ Category

The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

June 6, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Devastation 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
March 2011
**

An epilogue to Marvel’s most recent space opera and a prologue for their next mini. It’s a conventional exercise in superhero team-gathering. While Ab & Lan write good dialogue, they fail to tell who these heroes are (personality, superpower, or history). Plus, the line-up’s testosterone-heavy.

continued from The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6
continued in Annihilators #1 of 4

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

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The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

June 4, 2014

Thanos Imperative 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
December 2010
***

A busy issue, as Nova preps for a noble sacrifice. Meanwhile, surprise conversations juice the plot. First, the evil Scarlet Witch is really a mole, motivated by love for the Vision (nice to see someone gets her character this decade!). Then Thanos pulls a heel turn, literally begging for a final death.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584

The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

June 2, 2014

Thanos Imperative 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
October 2010
***

The fourth (?) space war in recent years gets a strong dose of metaphysics. In the parallel universe ruled by Cthulu gods, Captain Marvel became Life’s avatar rather than dying. Then, to extinguish Death utterly, he sacrificed his opposite, Thanos, in an arcane ritual that unbalanced his cosmos!

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582

The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

May 30, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Ignition 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2010
***

Having lost their two series in June, Ab & Lan segue into their space opera’s final act. This prolog is epic stuff, tho’ not newbee-friendly! Worlds explode (!) to shunt a Lovecraft-universe’s Cptn Marvel into the main ‘verse, setting up a confrontation w/ Death’s avatar, Thanos resurrected.

continued from Guardians of the Galaxy #25
continued in The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579

Guardians of the Galaxy #24

May 28, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 24Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
May 2010
***

An electrifying issue of space opera! While the captured Guardians fight thru an army of zealots, across the galaxy their allies restore a galactic senate. But the focus of #24 is Phyla-Vell, who failed to kill Adam Magus; now she either balances or compounds that error by resurrecting Thanos!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #25

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #23

May 27, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 23Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
April 2010
****

Adam Magus has tossed half the team in a dungeon & hopes to side w/ the Old Ones from the spacetime rift at the crux of Realm of Kings. Craig returns w/ his angular, colorful style—a bit like Immonen on Nextwave, tho’ he lays out a page w/ more complexity. A happy contrast to most Marvel art!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #22
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Nova #28

April 27, 2014

Nova 28Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
October 2009
***

All the Ts get crossed & Is dotted in this ish, which ends both the larger Corps Rebooted arc & the War of Kings subplot. Rider arrests a team of alien supersoldiers w/ smart tactics & the help of two recruits, then establishes diplomatic relations w/ an old Kirby heavy from the antimatter ‘verse.

last issue: Nova #27
next issue: Nova #29

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Nova #27

April 26, 2014

Nova 27Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
September 2009
***

Nova #26 goes heavy on adrenaline, thrills, and suspense (and splash pages) but light on character and twists. In the middle of the Kree-Shi’ar War (which, incidentally, has a third front along the Negative Zone), Richard Rider attempts to rescue his brother from an evil Supergirl stand-in.

last issue: Nova #26
next issue: Nova #28

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

April 20, 2014

War of Kings - Warriors 1 of 2A-story: Christos Gage // Mahmud Asrar
B-story: Christos Gage // Carlos Magno
September 2009
A-story: ** // B-story: *

This two-fer-one means to add characterization to the SF maxiseries, but it’s undercooked. The A-tale, at least, hinges on the powers & motives of a pivotal Imperial guardian, & undercuts the honor of combat with irony. The B-story is merely the roaring of barbarian warriors in peripheral battle.

next issue: War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

April 17, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 3 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2009
***

Solid momentum & adequate art adds to the ’80s style retcon for Darkhawk. Sentient armor has trapped generic protag Chris Powell in a weird limbo while it assassinates the Shi’ar Empress over in WoK #4. Can Chris take control before he’s captured? Or will his armor lead the galaxy into tyranny?

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
see also War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

April 16, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 2 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
July 2009
***

This adjunct mini may have a stronger plot arc than the main WoK series, but its dull art only emphasizes the most conventional elements. Darkhawk learns that his sentient armor is part of an intergalactic Knights Templar w/ nefarious aims, & that his ’90s backstory was mostly misinformation.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6

War of Kings #4 of 6

April 9, 2014

War of Kings 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2009
**

Civil unrest and factionalism tears apart the Shi’ar Empire, culminating in the assassination of its Empress, an old Claremont creation. As w/ many Marvel “events”, WoK is less coherent w/o its supplemental minis. The lack of time for character beats reinforces the bombast of space opera too.

last issue: War of Kings #3 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
see also War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #10

April 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 10Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
April 2009
***

The mag concludes its 3-part excursion into the Negative Zone by adding yet another discarded Marvel hero (Jack Flag, a minor char from Gruenwald’s Cap run). The pace has picked back up, & so has the charm. Warlock fans can look forward to the resumption of his role as an intergalactic messiah.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #11

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #9

March 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker & Carlos Magno
March 2009
***

That Negative Zone prison from Civil War, abandoned by writers & in-story heroes both, offers easy entry into our ‘verse. Into that breach steps the Guardians! Tho’ Walker’s realism fits the SF adventure better than Pelletier did, a muddy palate atop busy pencils leaves the action a little confused.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #10

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Nova #21
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #8

March 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
February 2009
**

Peter Quill, Star-Lord, gets booted into the Negative Zone, where he must stop a Kirby Konqueror from invading Earth. The writers aim to add depth to the central character on their team title, but they’re better off when they focus on the SF adventure & let the characters take care of themselves.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Nova #20

Guardians of the Galaxy #7

March 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 07Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
January 2009
**

With its team split after only half a year, this mag has four plotlines in #7 alone! In the main thread, a flaw in spacetime threatens the 31st century Guardians (IE Steve Gerber’s ’70s SF team). Mostly it stages a fight w/ Frankenstein aliens, which doesn’t leave room for character or suspense.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Nova #19

Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

March 10, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
April 2008
****

Despite the widescreen paneling, A:C has more of a televisual feel. A lot of that’s the cycling from plot to plot, which keeps the momentum boiling & juggles the dozen or so major & minor characters deftly. Ronan finds an army, while in a nicely quiet beat, Adam Warlock counsels a grieving Quasar.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6

also indexed for Apr. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
Nova Annual #1

Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

March 8, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
February 2008
****

A novelistic structure, elegantly stepping btw 3 plots. Two minor ones follow the resistance against the Phalanx (thrilling espionage) & a diplomatic alliance w/ the Annihilation bugs. The major plot has a grand cosmic conceit: a science god & his savior-son v. the robot devil Ultron & his hordes!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9

Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

March 7, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
January 2008
***

Slick, breathless space melodrama with by-the-numbers hyper-heroic art. Atypically, A&L focus more on plot than personality and more on action than arc. To bring you up to speed: the technoviral Phalanx has annexed the Kree Galaxy under the leadership of… Ultron! Quasar & her dragon fly into the heart of a sun w/ Adam Warlock, cosmic savior!

continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #8

Annihilation #6 of 6

February 6, 2014

Annihilation 6 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
March 2007
**

Galactus vaporizes the insectoid fleet, Nova goes mano a mano with the Big Bug, & Giffen delivers an epilogue. Annihil never quite delivered on its epic promise, mostly cuz it took itself too seriously. But more, the uninspired realism of DiVito’s art muffled the core mini’s sense of scope.

last issue: Annihilation #5 of 6
continued in Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12

Annihilation #5 of 6

February 5, 2014

Annihilation 5 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
February 2007
***

Ronan (a Kirby creation, one of several here) overturns a Kree-insect alliance & assumes control of an empire! Last ish’s killing of Thanos may’ve been Ann‘s climax; w/ Galactus now free, the heroes should clean up, no problem. I only wish it felt more fun—the realistic tone & art is kind of a drag.

last issue: Annihilation #4 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #6 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #20
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

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