Archive for the ‘Cannonball’ Category

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

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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

X-Force #117

March 8, 2015

X-Force 117Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
June 2001
*****

Having killed off the whole team, Milligan gives a new set of mutants the reality-star treatment. The focus is on Mr. Sensitive, so hyper-delicate he’s got super-senses & an emo attitude! In a twist on an old Marvel formula, the former New Mutants challenge the team over the trademark for “X-Force”!

last issue: X-Force #116
next issue: X-Force #118

also indexed for Jun. ’01
Avengers #41
Daredevil #17

Factor X #4 of 4

January 28, 2015

Factor X 4 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
June 1995
***

Factor X lucks into significance, due mainly to a focus on Cyclops. His arc of redemption, facilitated by Jean Grey, ends w/ him leading a mutant prison to freedom! But the mini’s also had finer ideas than most of the second-tier AoA, like a Mengele “dark” Beast & the happy-go-lucky Bedlam Brothers.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Factor X #3 of 4

January 27, 2015

Factor X 3 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
May 1995
**

Jean Grey arrives from Weapon X to help Cyclops w/ his redemption. The elaborate interlacing of this Days of Future Past homage is its best part, tho’ even Factor X can feel like a set of plot points. Plus the ’90s focus on Scott S & Jean G means cornball dreck about their romantic destiny.

last issue: Factor X #2 of 4
next issue: Factor X #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

Factor X #2 of 4

January 26, 2015

Factor X 2 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
April 1995
***

While rival Havok scowls, Cyclops plays the antihero, smuggling a mad Polaris from NYC’s mutant dungeons. Epting, who marries Mazzucchelli’s grit to ’90s over-lineated posing, may be a strong Marvel artist of the Image Era, but oy! his dystopic redesign of Cyke: long, ‘badass’ hair & a motorcycle!

last issue: Factor X #1 of 4
next issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Factor X #1 of 4

January 25, 2015

Factor X 1 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
March 1995
***

Given the weakness of X-Factor, this revision is one of the happier surprises of the AoA metaseries. The mag reverts to the original X-team, mutant aristos in this dystopic alt-NYC & acolytes of Mr. Sinister, whose eugenic intrigues provide the catalyst for change among mutant siblings & rivals.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Factor X #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

Thunderbolts #25

July 14, 2014

Thunderbolts 025Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
April 1999
***

The second anniversary ish serves as climax to T-bolts‘ second act: a brawl w/ 25 super-goons! Moonstone has been the mag’s protag, & ever since her regicide, she’s provided it w/ plenty of character. #25 fills in her backstory (a childhood of class resentment & manipulation) as she weighs betraying her team to usurp the megalomaniac plan of Crimson Cowl, femme leader of the Masters of Evil.

last issue: Thunderbolts #25
next issue: Thunderbolts #26

also indexed for Apr. ’99
Avengers #15
Avengers Forever #5 of 12

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

January 4, 2013

Astonishing X-Men Giant SizeJoss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2008
***
A double-sized ish caps the space adventure, but the extra pages merely add scope, not clarity. While a guest cast of Marvelites gets mind-zapped, Kitty Pryde sacrifices her life by somehow bonding herself to a space bullet fired at the Earth. With that, Joss & Cass wrap their X-run, a solid set of comics. But in this arc as in the previous ones, poor pacing drags on the snazzy art & peppy script.
[continued from Astonishing X-Men #24]
[continued in Astonishing X-Men #25]

New X-Men #131

November 16, 2012

Grant Morrison // John Paul Leon
late October 2002
****
GM writes an artful variation on the usual X-soap, contrasting a domestic drama with a comedic underplot. Cyclops initiates a psychic affair w/ bad girl Emma. JPL’s scratchy style doesn’t quite mine the surreal potential. Also, two unglamorous X-students, outcasts of the new mutants, hook up.
[last issue: New X-Men #130]
[next issue: New X-Men #132]

New X-Men #130

November 15, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
early October 2002
***
Kordey finally hits the right tone, a murky horrorshow. The Prof faces a fractal consciousness that infects by touch (Claremont-like psi-villainy!); Jean gets exposition from a mystery man. This super-conscientious objector is  Fantomex, AKA Weapon XIII—which makes Logan’s “Weapon X” the number 10!
[last issue: New X-Men #129]
[next issue: New X-Men #131]

New X-Men #128

November 13, 2012

Grant Morrison // Igor Kordey
late August 2002
***

NXM double-ships this month! But #128 is much worse than #127. That’s due to Kordey, whose hideous chunky lines undercut the arc’s cosmopolitan tone & subtle psychology. Jean’s Phoenix & Scott’s inhibitions threaten the marriage. And in Europe, X-mutants stage a rescue op in the Channel Tunnel.

last issue: New X-Men #127
next issue: New X-Men #129

also indexed for Aug. ’02
Alias #10
Avengers #55
New X-Men #127

The Avengers #27

June 28, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
April 1966
***
The mag’s on an upswing. As Lee supplies dialogue w/ his usual brio, Heck finally delivers a plot to match. It’s an undersea adventure, complete w/ giant octopus, crashing subs, & plenty of swashbuckling. #27 isn’t revolutionary, but its scope & stakes feel worthy of Avengers, even this b-grade cast.
[last issue: The Avengers #26]
[next issue: The Avengers #28]

Secret Wars II #9 of 9

February 22, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
March 1986
*
The series takes a truly weird twist as its protag invents a Kirbytech “birthing module” that allows him to be reborn as an omnipotent mortal (the turn echoes Shooter’s similar, infamous “Rape of Ms. Marvel” plotline). Every superhero in Marvel Comics wants to stop the cosmic being, leading some to propose infanticide! Instead, the nebbishy Molecule Man & his homely g’friend save the universe.
[continued from The Fantastic Four #288]
[continued in The Avengers #266]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #8 of 9]

Secret Wars II #8 of 9

February 21, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
February 1986
*
The Beyonder, annoyed w/ the enigma of existence, contemplates destroying it. #8 epitomizes what’s wrong w/ SW2. Shooter, having imagined godlike beings such as Korvac, wants to draw an omnipotent Hamlet—all introspection & inaction—but he’s no Shakespeare. The ersatz philosophy is fun to read.
[continued from The Defenders #152]
[see also The New Mutants #37]
[see also The Amazing Spider-Man #274]
[continued in The Avengers #265]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #7 of 9]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #9 of 9]

Secret Wars II #7 of 9

February 20, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
January 1986
*
The Marvel U’s version of Satan aims to destroy the Beyonder w/ Kirbytech & a battalion of supervillains. Luckily, the Thing has Big B’s back. Since last ish, the godling has gotten lost in meditation. His passivity & fiendish temptation could be holy, but in Shooter’s hands it’s just dull & inert.
[continued from Power Man & Iron Fist #121]
[continued in The New Mutants #36]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #6 of 9]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #8 of 9]

Secret Wars II #5 of 9

February 18, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
November 1985
**
The Beyonder picks a fight w/ Kirby space-gods, a good concept wasted by dull fight choreography. The protag does have an emotional arc—unable to return to his home dimension, he’s now sulking w/ a mutant teen runaway—but his moods are impossible to follow if you don’t get every crossover issue.
[continued from The Avengers #261]
[continued in The Thing #30]
[last issue: Secret Wars II #4 of 9]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #6 of 9]

Secret Wars II #1 of 9

February 14, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
July 1985
**
Despite its plodding pace, bad characterization, & awful action, Secret Wars sold comics so it earns a sequel. Luckily, SW2 seems to have a smarter concept than  “good v. bad”. Its blank-slate protagonist, a godlike entity called the Beyonder, seeks experience & wisdom on Earth—& finds superhero violence.
[continued in The New Mutants #30]
[continued in Captain America #308]
[continued in Iron Man #197]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #2 of 9]

X-Factor #85

August 24, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
December 1992
**
The title team gets ignored by a hugger-mugger crossover, & PAD’s talent is wasted in dialoguing chaotic fights. At least Jae Lee’s shadowy, splattery style fits the subject matter. Razor-winged Archangel decapitates one evil mutant; another hamstrings Quicksilver; Wolvie steps btw. Bishop & Cable.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #285]
[continued in X-Men #15]
[last issue: X-Factor #84]
[next issue: X-Factor #86]

X-Factor #84

August 23, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
November 1992
***
Jae Lee has a Sienkowicz-but-brutal style that would prob’ly fit X-Force better than -Fac. Luckily, #84 is also #2 of an x-over that sees this title’s g-men outfight the aggro X-Force while hunting for Cable (who shot Prof. X in Central Park). David finds the issue’s hook in Rahne, caught. btw. teams.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #284]
[continued in X-Men #14]
[last issue: X-Factor #83]
[next issue: X-Factor #85]

X-Factor #77

August 15, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
April 1992
****
A recharged Stroman pencils some lovely layouts, esp. around Rahne. And David carries Claremont’s X-torch w/ deft character beats, a seamless take on the mutant world (#77 guests Cannonball & terrorist foes from X-Force) & even poli-philo like due process for super-criminals & fetal DNA tests.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #76]
[next issue: X-Factor #78]