Archive for the ‘Centaurians’ Category

Guardians of the Galaxy #25

May 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 25Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2010
***

Wish I could say that the final issue of GotG doesn’t disappoint, but it feels rushed and misshapen. The Guardians from the 31C worry that the timeline is frayed cuz Thanos has returned. But his resurrection—indeed, his malevolent genius—is lacking; he’s just a berserker who Star-Lord zaps down.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24
continued in The Thanos Initiative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for Jun. ’10
The Fantastic Four #578
Nova #36

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Guardians of the Galaxy #18

May 5, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
November 2009
***

Star-Lord’s team drifts from one alt-reality to another and aging, de-aging, or fading away at differing rates. It’s an indulgent pleasure to see a future Killraven & an aged Wonder Man fight Wellsian tripods in a ruined 31C NYC. Craig’s Immonen-like style offers plenty of setting, atmo, & color.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #19

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Nova #29

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

Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

February 7, 2014

Annihilation - Heralds of Galactus 1 of 2A-story: Christos Gage // Giuseppe Camuncoli
B-story: Stuart Moore // Mike McKone
April 2007
A-story: ** // B-story: **

A coda to the recent space opera (a sleeper success), these old-fashioned shorts are simple yet effective. A cosmic being, disgusted by the servility of a species he’s liberated, destroys their civilization. Another ancient scifi demigod  extinguishes his own race to feed Galactus.

continued from Annihilation #6 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2

also indexed for Apr. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #4

Annihilation #3 of 6

February 3, 2014

Annihilation 3 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
December 2006
***

W/ this mini, the creators aim to write a war comic in space, with this ish staging an intergalactic Dunkirk. They ought to focus on the mystical weirdness instead: Super-Skrull reborn, but also Thanos’ mad speech on cosmic energy, its effect on bio-auras, & its practical application as a weapon.

last issue: Annihilation #2 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #4 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9

Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1

January 15, 2014

Annihilation PrologueKeith Giffen // Scott Kolins
May 2006
***

Using plenty of technobabble, Giffen designs a space-opera spectacle. A wave of insectoids from beyond the universe wipes out the Nova Corps (intergalactic cops). The grandiosity makes the cosmic scope plausible (you could easily miss a genocide in the ol’ Kree-Skrull War) while the art is clear yet full of detail & activity. This prologue intros a SF revival for Marvel.

continued in Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4

also indexed for May ’06
Iron Man #6
Nextwave: Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

FF #21

December 31, 2013

FF 21Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
October 2012
*****

The epitome of a Hickman FF issue, w/ smart nonlinear storytelling & epic SF political melodrama. The Kree & Inhumans broker a peace, built upon undoing a space-opera Romeo/Juliet romance! Check how Dragotta not only nails the Kirby costumes, he makes the title team’s b/w costumes look cool!

last issue: FF #20
next issue: FF #22

also indexed for Oct. ’12
The Fantastic Four #609

FF #18

December 25, 2013

FF 18Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
July 2012
*****

Less manic than last ish but equally superb, #18 sees Johnny & the kids learn a lesson in foreign politics. The malevolent bug civ from the Neg Zone requests a free election, then writes votes in for the local Kirby tyrant! You don’t expect Marvel to deliver a sly commentary on American naïvity!

last issue: FF #17
next issue: FF #19

also indexed for Jul. 12
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606

FF #17

December 22, 2013

FF 17Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
June 2012
*****

Spider-Man has been underused as a member of FF, a flaw that’s finally rectified by this A+ issue. The creative team write the nerdiest Parker since Ditko’s. Johnny Storm makes a terrible roommate (no surprise), then drags Pete out to party w/ MJ & his alien pals. The final straw is truly hilarious.

last issue: FF #16
next issue: FF #18

also indexed for Jun. ’12
The Fantastic Four #605

FF #16

December 20, 2013

FF 16Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta & Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

If all of John H’s FF run had Nick D on art, it’d be second only to Kirby/Lee! See a heavenly moment of adult Franklin & Galactus viewing sunrise from orbit. This ish, post-grand finale, centers on Hick’s best char: supersmart toddler Val. Even her adult self mistrusts her! And in a coda, Doom.

continued from The Fantastic Four #604
last issue: FF #15
next issue: FF #17

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
The Fantastic Four #604

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

The Fantastic Four #600

December 11, 2013

Fantastic Four 600A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Carmine Di Giandomenico
C-story: Jonathan Hickman // Ming Doyle
D-story: Jonathan Hickman // Leinil Yu
E-story: Jonathan Hickman // Farel Dalrymple
January 2012
A-story: **** // B-story: ***** // C-story: *****
D-story: **** // E-story: *****

A king-size #600. The A-story picks up the threads of FF, pitting every NYC superhero against a pair of alien invasions; a surprise twist has the late Johnny Storm break the Annihilation Wave! Then Hickman shows that Torch did die in #587, only to be resurrected in a gladiator scenario. That piece has a Euro look that meshes w/ the bug-‘verse setting; like all the back-up pencilers, it puts Epting to shame. Much of the art is “ugly” yet lovely, accentuating how creative JH’s whole run is.

continued from FF #11
continued in FF #12
next issue: The Fantastic Four #601

also indexed for Jan’ 12
FF #12

FF #9

December 8, 2013

FF 09Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
November 2011
****

Epting’s in his element as he draws a massive, chaotic battle btw Inhumans & Moloids. On the field of combat, Hickman’s characters act like chesspieces, as Black Bolt captures a pair of Mr F’s duplicates (& Reed himself) while the fourth Richards takes Dr. Doom hostage & flees to Latveria! Awesome.

last issue: FF #8
next issue: FF #10

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

FF #8

December 7, 2013

FF 08Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
October 2011
***

Back down to Earth, literally & figuratively, after the cool flashback of #6-7. Epting’s Hollywood realism can’t encompass Hickman’s imagination; it’s just bland, confusing—maybe rushed? Less plot than usual too, as the Future Foundation’s villain-allies fight the Reed-doubles & Inhumans in a melée.

last issue: FF #7
next issue: FF #9

FF #7

December 6, 2013

FF 07Jonathan Hickman // Greg Tocchini
late September 2011
*****

Half a million years ago, the Kree AI-superbrain massacred its weaponized mutates, Herod-like, to prevent its own prophesied downfall. But he missed a few, which makes Black Bolt, Inhuman king, a cosmic messiah! So resurrection’ll be no problem. Tocchini’s lovely art is light-years from convention.

last issue: FF #6
next issue: FF #8

also indexed for Sept. ’11
FF #6

FF #6

December 5, 2013

FF 06Jonathan Hickman // Greg Tocchini
early September 2011
*****

Tocchini’s liquid style adds just the unconventional beauty that Hickman’s needed all along. Sadly, he’s only drawing this 2-issue arc, which showcases the grand scope of Hick’s run. He entwines the fate of the mag’s Kirby clan of superhumans w/ the Kree AI—by flashing back half a million years!

last issue: FF #5
next issue: FF #7

also indexed for Sept. ’11
FF #7

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 #578

November 19, 2013

Fantastic Four 578Jonathan Hickman // Dale Eaglesham
June 2010
****

The hot girl Johnny met at a nihilistic club bursts open w/ bugs & scurries into the Negative Zone! Then the New Inhumans send warriors into that dimension’s new city, igniting the war prophesied by future Franklin! Meaty plot, but the gravy is the slump in Storm’s shoulders as Reed chews him out.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #577
next issue: The Fantastic Four #579

also indexed for Jun. ’10

The Fantastic Four #577

November 18, 2013

Fantastic Four 577Jonathan Hickman // Dale Eaglesham
May 2010
****

An easy test of any FF penciler is his Mr. F; Eaglesham has Reed stretch & arc even when relaxing—good! Hickman, meanwhile, adds another fantastic concept to his run: a new city of Inhumans, engineered from other alien races, awaiting their king’s return to prepare an invasion of Earth.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #576
next issue: The Fantastic Four #578

also indexed for May ’10

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

Avengers Forever #1 of 12

July 27, 2013

Avengers Forever 01Kurt Busiek // Carlos Pacheco
December 1998
****

Busiek spins a mini out of last summer’s Kree crossover assisted by Pacheco, whose style is a mod ’90s update of Pérez’ image density. A classic Kirby AI-monster conspires to hyper-evolve perennial sidekick Rick Jones, a gambit that gets noticed by a sinister time guardian & his younger self—Kang!

next issue: Avengers Forever #2 of 12

also indexed for Dec. ’98
Avengers #11