Archive for the ‘Celestials’ Category

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 #2 of 6

June 1, 2014

Thanos Imperative 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
September 2010
**

The writers wage Marvel’s latest space opera on several fronts & still keep the subplots clear. To imply an epic scope, they even usher Kirby Gods in to defend the universe from an Eldritch incursion! But Sepulveda draws & inks cinema-aping art that some lovely digital coloring can’t save.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 of 9
The Fantastic Four #581

Guardians of the Galaxy #16

May 3, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 16Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
September 2009
****

Tossed into the 31st century, the team meets Gerber’s Guardians—and learn that the War of Kings will rip a hole in time! This ish has awesome cosmic ideas, like a solar web of enslaved Celestials holding the ‘verse’s collapse at bay. Craig draws in a colorful style that uses trad rectangular panels.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

The Fantastic Four #604

December 19, 2013

Fantastic Four 604Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

Hickman closes out his theme of fathers & sons, as Nat & Frank Richards save Reed from mad space-gods. Franklin, in the future, will turn cosmic & take Galactus as his sidekick! Sadly, he’s only given ’90s-style hand-zaps. Maybe #604 itself is only ****, but it’s a perfect climax to an ambitious run.

continued in FF #16
last issue: The Fantastic Four #603
next issue: The Fantastic Four #605

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
FF #16

FF #15

December 18, 2013

FF 15Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
April 2013
*****

#15 dovetails w/ #603, even ending on the same panel. The focus is Franklin, whose “imaginary” friend (a white silhouette) guides him thru a cataclysmic attack by science-gods, then reveals his ID as adult Franklin! Welcome back to Dragotta, whose talent for “acting” warms Hickman’s cerebral tone.

see also The Fantastic Four #603
continued in The Fantastic Four #604
last issue: FF #14
next issue: FF #16

also indexed for Apr ’12
The Fantastic Four #603

The Fantastic Four #603

December 17, 2013

Fantastic Four 603Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
April 2012
*****

Mad science-gods from an alt dimension arrive (via Hickman’s other FF mag) to pitch Galactus out of the heavens! Our heroes return fire via space-cannon powered by the sun & Kirby-energy! Visionary plotting, elaborate & epic in true SF style, tho’ Kitson doesn’t quite capture Hickman’s grandeur.

see also FF #15
last issue: The Fantastic Four #602
next issue: The Fantastic Four #604

also indexed for Apr. ’12
FF #15

FF #14

December 16, 2013

FF 14Jonathan Hickman // Juan Bobillo
March 2012
*****

Thru chrono-hero Nat Richards, Hickman explains his mag’s cosmology of time. The Kree v. the Annihilation Wave, Galactus v. Celestials: all are inevitable but they can be hastened or delayed. So Dr. Doom, full of Miltonic grandeur, will hold the bridge btw dimensions alone against Kirby Titans!

see also The Fantastic Four #602
last issue: FF #13
next issue: FF #15

also indexed for Mar. ’12
The Fantastic Four #602

The Fantastic Four #602

December 15, 2013

Fantastic Four 602Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
March 2012
*****

Hickman remixes Kirby’s original concepts into a grand work of SF, w/ novelistic complexity & cinematic scope. Alien armadas pause their orbital battle to apprehend the advent of rival cosmic gods. Kitson’s clarity, depth of focus, & attn to detail helps immensely in staging this space operatic ish.

see also FF #14
last issue: The Fantastic Four #601
next issue: The Fantastic Four #603

also indexed for Mar. ’12
FF #14

FF #13

December 14, 2013

FF 13Jonathan Hickman // Juan Bobillo
February 2012
*****

A pack of kids, incl. reality-shaper Franklin, face Kirby Gods on an interdimensional space-bridge! But the prime mover is Nat Richards, planning contingencies for potential futures in a Kirbytech harness. Bobillo’s art = elaborate cartooning, yet it has the cosmic grandeur that the tale demands.

see also The Fantastic Four #601
last issue: FF #12
next issue: FF #14

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
The Fantastic Four #601

FF #3

December 2, 2013

Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
FF 03July 2011
****

The first symposium of the Future Foundation, hosted by Dr. Doom, asks “How to defeat Mr. Fantastic?” The enemy: the Council of Reeds, trapped on Earth. Various foes pick one side or the other, as the Reeds devise an Earth-shattering gateway home using the fantastical cities of last year’s issues.

last issue: FF #2
next issue: FF #4

also indexed for Jul. ’11
FF #4

The Fantastic Four #583

November 24, 2013

Fantastic Four 583Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
November 2010
*****

When Val lets a quartet of alt-dimension Mr Fs loose on Earth, she asks for help from their worst enemy: Uncle Doom! Brilliant recasting of the hyper-intelligent toddler as equivocal, a potential bad seed. Epting’s coarse realism, tho’ v.g., isn’t the best fit for Hickman’s non-linear imagination.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #582
next issue: The Fantastic Four #584

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9

The Fantastic Four #572

November 13, 2013

Fantastic Four 572Jonathan Hickman // Dale Eaglesham
December 2009
****

To cap the debut 3-part arc & make up for last issue’s quiet, #572 stages a phenomenal battle. A corps of Kirby Gods attack the extradimensional forum & kill several Mr Fantastics! Hickman also has a lovely character moment, as Reed returns to Sue rather than abandon his family the way his pop did.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #571
next issue: The Fantastic Four #573

The Fantastic Four #571

November 12, 2013

Fantastic Four 572Jonathan Hickman // Dale Eaglesham
November 2009
***

Mr Fantastic of the main Marvel U gets a grand tour of the utopian works performed by the multiversal Council of Reeds: granary planets, battles w/ Galacti, and (a red flag) lobotomizing each ‘verse’s Dr. Doom. The SF narrative has a thrilling audacity, but it keeps one eye on his marriage.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #570
next issue: The Fantastic Four #572

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5

November 7, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 2Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
June 2009
***

As Reed runs variant simulations on Marvel’s recent events, his teammates are stuck in whimsical, ahistorical setpieces. It sounds like the Star Trek trope about holodeck malfunction, but it’s actually quite fun. Metatextually, he’s critiquing the shoddy storytelling of Civil War et al.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5

The Fantastic Four #340

June 30, 2013

Fantastic Four 340Walt Simonson
May 1990
****
Mr. F, the heroic focus of this arc, susses a Celestial plan to weaponize Galactus & tosses the Kirby God into G’s black hole! WS writes super-drama underpinned by grandiose beings & fantastic machinery, a la the King; his art, since Thor, has added a fine-lined filigree in the Art Adams manner.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #339]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #341]

The Fantastic Four #339

June 29, 2013

Fantastic Four 339Walt Simonson
April 1990
***
Delightful super-SF comics. To destroy the black-hole machinery of mighty Galactus, Reed & the gang refit a space empire’s munitions plants as interstellar depth charges! Also, Simonson pauses the space adventure to indulge in a heavyweight superhero boy: Thor v. an alien Superman analog.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #338]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #340]

The Eternals #19

July 31, 2012

Jack Kirby
January 1978
***
Kirby’s 2nd great stillborn epic (after The Fourth World) ends w/o ceremony. It went off its track after #11, more or less, as editorial had the King focus on one hero, Ikaris, & his adventures. The result, an overly trad superhero mag, does end w/ a bang as Ik faces his brother in a Lost City.
[last issue: The Eternals #18]

The Eternals #18

July 30, 2012

Jack Kirby
****
December 1977
Tho it lacks the several weaving plots of the mag’s first year, this issue helps return it to its epic form. A corrupt Eternal investigates ways to kill the space gods. His discovery: on a prior visit, Celestial fought Celestial! The double-page spread showing its disintegration is King-size superb.
[last issue: The Eternals #17]
[next issue: The Eternals #19]

The Eternals #13

July 25, 2012

Jack Kirby
July 1977
****
A self-contained episode within the larger plot, as the three subspecies—human, Deviant, Eternal—probe the Celestial starship in orbit. Kirby adds great touches, like a loner named the Forgotten One (whose face we never see) &, in a double-page spread, a locomotive-like missile that belches fire!
[continued from The Eternals Annual #1]
[last issue: The Eternals #12]
[next issue: The Eternals #14]

The Eternals #12

July 23, 2012

Jack Kirby
June 1977
****
Readers w/ the taste for Kirby’s magniloquence will boggle as the Eternals form a collective super-brain! Even better, we’ll relish a rare show of human depth, as a throwback to Kirby’s Atlas era monsters displays a philosophic mind. An action scene actually distracts from the mag’s propulsive pace.
[continued in The Eternals Annual #1]
[last issue: The Eternals #11]
[next issue: The Eternals #13]

The Eternals #11

July 21, 2012

Jack Kirby
May 1977
****
This mag follows a fractal pattern, w/ each issue expanding a plot from earlier. A global gathering of the titular superman introduces a polar clan—who, significantly, have infiltrated the Kremlin as voices of moderation. But to no avail: bellicose Russians attempt to nuke a Celestial space god.
[last issue: The Eternals #10]
[next issue: The Eternals #12]

The Eternals #10

July 20, 2012

Jack Kirby
April 1977
*****
This mag derives its power from its novelistic, big/little scope. As History occurs—space gods visit Earth—protagonists act & react in great & small ways. A leader summons his people to confer; a star-crossed couple loses another opportunity for love; a heroine shows compassion for monsters.
[last issue: The Eternals #9]
[next issue: The Eternals #11]

The Eternals #9

July 19, 2012

Jack Kirby
March 1977
****
Kirby has fallen into a rhythm w/ this book, expanding its scope w/o losing momentum. But despite adding characters to its roster, this issue feels a little thinner than others. Instead, it’s a big setpiece—arena combat btw a berserker & a monster—that delivers bone-jarring action.
[last issue: The Eternals #8]
[next issue: The Eternals #10]

The Eternals #7

July 17, 2012

Jack Kirby
January 1977
*****
Unable to apprehend the enormity of the Celestials, a trio of SHIELD agents toss an A-grenade that may seal Earth’s fate. Kirby deftly conjures true awe for these sci-fi gods via their silent enormity & faceless space armor. In this self-contained epic, he’s also created a rough proto graphic novel.
[last issue: The Eternals #6]
[next issue: The Eternals #8]

The Eternals #6

July 16, 2012

Jack Kirby
December 1976
****
A battle on NYC streets segues into a classroom debate at City College (!). Kirby continues to elaborate on his New Age mythos, constantly enlarging his cast & scope. He rations the sightings of his host of space gods, however. Fortunately, he’s got the rich chars of Gen. Kro & the spirited Sersi.
[last issue: The Eternals #5]
[next issue: The Eternals #7]

The Eternals #4

July 14, 2012

Jack Kirby
October 1976
****
A cynical worldview dominates this mag—not Stan Lee’s humanism but Kirby’s darker vision of humanity ruled by impulses. The demonic Deviants exploit this panic, sacking NYC to ignite a war btw us & the celestial titans. Even the vivacious Sersi glowers at mortal fears & zaps ’em w/ “magic.”
[last issue: The Eternals #3]
[next issue: The Eternals #5]

The Eternals #3

July 13, 2012

Jack Kirby
September 1976
****
The secret war btw supermen & mutants for the fate of Earth hits NYC. But ordinary folks, like this mag’s damsel, fear the heroes’ grandeur as much as the villains’ horror. Kirby isn’t about characters—even his plotting can feel old hat—but he delivers on monumental concepts & majestic ideas.
[last issue: The Eternals #2]
[next issue: The Eternals #4]

The Eternals #2

July 12, 2012

Jack Kirby
August 1976
*****
In a ruined Incan temple, immortals prepare for the arrival of cosmic gods & a fifty-year judgment! Kirby elaborates on a secret history of Earth, of good and evil supermen transformed into myth. Especially strong is the sense of scope—of beings, time, and actions far beyond human comprehension.
[last issue: The Eternals #1]
[next issue: The Eternals #3]

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]

Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5

September 20, 2010

Warren Ellis // Stuart Immonen
July 2006
*****
Ellis sets his mag in a bizarro Marvel, just close enough to confuse continuity whores. He riffs on Kirby & Steranko at their weirdest, w/ allusions gross & subtle to Marvel flotsam. Anger (= Fury) assaults the squad w/ an arsenal of goofball tech: broccoli-men, killer koalas, & ptera-soldiers.
[last issue: Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4]
[next issue: Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6]