Archive for the ‘Colossus’ Category

X-Men: Omega #1 of 1

February 18, 2015

X-Men Omega 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
June 1995
****

Magneto sends a time-tossed hero into a cosmic crystal to restore the true X-universe. Waid’s tense, dramatic script masks Cruz’s errors (an unoriginal Ameri-manga artist, he’s the weak link here). Lobdell, the crossover’s mastermind, has done commendable work. Tho’ individual minis may’ve faltered, his cumulative plot & vision makes AoA  the pinnacle of mutant mags between Claremont and Morrison.

continued from The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from Factor X #4 of 4
continued from Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
continued from Generation Next #4 of 4
continued from Weapon X #4 of 4
continued from X-Calibre #4 of 4
continued from X-Man #4 of 4
continued from X-Universe #4 of 4
continued in X-Men Prime #1 of 1

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X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

February 15, 2015

X-Man Chronicles 2 of 2Howard Mackie // Ian Churchill
June 1995
*

Generally, Age of Apocalypse is best when it implies a backstory as intricate as the actual X-books; X-M:C negates that feature by filling those gaps. #2 plays out the love triangle of Gambit, Rogue, & Magneto while their team fights a brute with ill-defined powers. The hammy script makes it impossible to care about these emotional adolescents; the era-standard art is awful settings and hypertrophied bodies with tribal tattoos & bad hair. This low point for the AoA doesn’t justify its existence.

last issue: X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #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: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

February 14, 2015

X-Men Chronicles 1 of 2Howard Mackie // Terry Dodson
March 1995
**

Chronicles replaces the quarterly X-mag for the Age of Apocalypse, a sort of What If…? riff on Days of Future Past, w/ a remit to provide backstory. The first mission of Magneto’s team: to prevent an evil mutant, Apocalypse, from stealing US nukes. Mackie, a hack, writes flat characterization & generic bombast. He fumbles the death of Scarlet Witch, meant to be a pivotal sacrifice & the end of innocence. Dodson, however, draws in a buoyant style that owes a quite a bit to ‘good girl’ art.

next issue: X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #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

Generation Next #4 of 4

January 24, 2015

Generation Next #4 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
June 1995
****

The only AoA mini to exploit fully the opportunity of a darker alt ‘verse. Colossus (& by extension Magneto) sacrifices his whole student team to rescue his long-lost sister. Bachalo’s layouts allow Lobdell plenty of character beats—another reason it’s the strongest mini—tho’ his combat’s less clear.

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

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #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

Generation Next #3 of 4

January 23, 2015

Generation Next #3 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
May 1995
****

Maybe the strongest title of the AoA X-over, partly cuz Lobdell shows-not-tells how, in this alt-dystopia, even the heroes are ethical failures. As the teen team infiltrates a geothermal plant, one kills a guard to save a kid, while another boffs her mission partner in reaction to her stress.

last issue: Generation Next #2 of 4
next issue: Generation Next #4 of 4

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

Generation Next #2 of 4

January 22, 2015

Generation Next #2 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
April 1995
****

Rage-filled Colossus sends his X-students on a suicide run to rescue his sis from a human work prison; even hard-boiled wife K. Pryde has moral qualms. Lobdell’s love for his pet title shows: w/ Bachalo’s help, his strong script limns a Dickensian world of class exploitation and humid atmospherics.

last issue: Generation Next #1 of 4
next issue: Generation Next #3 of 4

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

Generation Next #1 of 4

January 21, 2015

Generation Next #1 of 4Scott Lobdell // Chris Bachalo
March 1995
***

The Gen X analog feels fresher than most of the Age of Apocalypse‘s pocket reboot. Some cast members return powered up (ex: M, a Supergirl type, is now a supercomputer!), while new mutants imply Gen X tales to come. Bachalo’s action can be hard to parse, but his idiosyncratic style adds character.

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

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

The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4

January 20, 2015

Amazing X-Men 4 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
June 1995
**

Read all the other issues first: the penultimate issue of AoA ties the various minis’ plots together. The ish also takes the time to moot a few moral choices. Unlike last ish, however, the noble sacrifices (Banshee & Madrox both kamikaze) are over-melodramatic & executed by supporting characters.

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

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #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

The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

June 3, 2014

Thanos Imperative 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
November 2010
***

Thanos, Avatar of Death, cannot die, tho’ it’s all he wishes for; ironically, he must reintroduce Death to a mirror universe. Less compelling are the heroic aliens who fly thru a space station ripping monsters apart—standard super-stuff, w/o even the space-opera scope that most of TI offers.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four
 #583

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

Maximum Security #3 of 3

September 10, 2013

Maximum Security 3Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
January 2001
**

Superheroes stop an alien intelligence from turning Earth into an interstellar bio-electrical WMD. A confusing climax to a conventional crossover, whose potential rarely came into focus. Ordway’s flat art lends the feeling that Max Sec is a ’80s DC tale bloated by minor plots & lapsed characters.

continued from Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #2 of 3

also indexed for Jan. ’01
Avengers #36

Avengers #10

July 25, 2013

Avengers 10Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
November 1998
***

Wanda gets in touch w/ her magic. More importantly, a parade for the team. It’s for 35 years of issues (& for the Heroes Return concept), yet it’s a throwback to Roy Thomas’ naïve adulation of superhero comics. Still, Busiek lurves them too, & his nuts-n-bolts approach is what The Avengers needs.

last issue: Avengers #9
next issue: Avengers #11

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]

Astonishing X-Men #24

January 3, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 24Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
March 2008
***
As one strike team infiltrates the alien planet’s power core, the other attempts to defuse the moon-sized bullet aimed at Earth. #24 is a cinematic work of action SF w/ plenty of old-fashioned world-wrecking. But as well-made as the issue is, it’s a shuffle to put pieces into place for the climax.
[continued in Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1]
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #23]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #23

January 2, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 23Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2008
****
A great issue for Scott Summers. Last issue left him dead in space; here he’s resurrected & repowered (by the same tech that revived Colossus—nicely plotted, Joss), leading the team from a torture chamber! A flashback to #22 repeats a page to show his orders via Emma’s ESP beneath the spoken dialog.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #22]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #24]

Astonishing X-Men #22

January 1, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 22Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2007
****
Despite a long delay btw issues, AXM‘s finale arc, a super-SF adventure, continues to thrill. The plot reunites the team to storm an alien gun the size of a moon & aimed at Earth! Cassaday’s locales give the tale a strong context, while Whedon focuses on M/F duos, esp. Scott & Emma, Kitty & Piotr.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #21]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #23]

Astonishing X-Men #21

December 31, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 21Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2007
****
This space adventure has a cinematic pace & scope that’s much stronger than Whedon’s previous 2 arcs. Half a dozen thrilling subplots simmer on an alien world where Social Darwinists view compassion as a mutation. The weakest link, sadly, is a convo btw Scott & Emma meant to redefine their romance.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #20]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #22]

Astonishing X-Men #20

December 30, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 20Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2007
****
Exploding starships, plummeting planetfalls, alien temples: this arc delivers old-school scifi pleasures! Cassaday seems inspired by the shift spaceward, imagining alien environments with Mobius-level detail. Whedon, incidentally, has turned X-student Armor into Logan’s latest protegé.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men#19]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #21]

Astonishing X-Men #19

December 29, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 19Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2007
****
Colossus has been prophesied to destroy a bellicose species on a hellscape planet. So the superheroes head into space to prevent it! The sense of adventure energizes AXM, returning it to its first arc’s form. It also lets SWORD Agent Brand exposit, a nice breather after the last arc’s confusion.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #18]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #20]

Astonishing X-Men #18

December 28, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 18Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
December 2006
****
The psychic cuckoo gets revealed: Cassandra Nova, hijacking Emma to escape her alien body-prison. But editorial should’ve told Whedon (2+ years ago!) that she’d been rehabilitated as a “special” student! This arc, like the last, should’ve been tighter, but a sudden leap into space opera augers well.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #17]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #19]

Astonishing X-Men #17

December 27, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 17Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
November 2006
***
Whedon delivers a stunning misdirection—SWORD’s mole is Lockheed—and indulges in a favorite maneuver: revealing action is a dream (or in this case, a psychic drama). Kitty P thinks she’s lived 3 years & had a kid w/ Colossus. But it’s actually the slug that holds Cassandra Nova’s consciousness!
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #16]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #18]

Astonishing X-Men #16

December 25, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 16Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2006
***
A solo Kitty Pryde kicks the asses of a revamped Hellfire Club—or half of them, at least. Small pleasures add up, like Wolverine’s Fontelroy persona (from his lame “Origins” mini). As good as the character work is, this arc frustrates w/ its slow drip of action. To be fair, it reads briskly in TPB.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #15]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #17]

Astonishing X-Men #15

December 24, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 15Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2006
****

Emma & her gang of villains defeat the X-Men easily—mostly via psychic control, tho’ Sebastian Shaw kayos Colossus. Once again, AXM suffers from slow pacing. Each arc is a TV episode, each ish a segment btw commercials. And like the last arc, it pits the team against an enemy w/in at the mansion.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #14
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #16

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Astonishing X-Men #14

December 23, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 14Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
June 2006
****
While Kitty & Piotr consummate their romance, Emma destroys hers. It’s a strong piece of super-soap: Emma, in her psi-therapist persona, bullies Scott brutally. Sadly, it’s not to strengthen their relationship but to subvert him & help an enemy. Too bad, as they had such interesting chemistry!
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #13]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #15]

Astonishing X-Men #13

December 22, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 13Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
April 2006
***
After 8 months on hiatus, AXM resumes its run. Emma Frost, it turns out, is in league w/ arch-psychic Cassandra Nova, Prof X’s evil twin. How disappointing: her rehab was one of ’90s X-comics rare good ideas & so’s her love for Cyclops. But ‘shippers can enjoy Kitty & Colossus reigniting their affair.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #12]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #14]

Astonishing X-Men #12

December 21, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 12Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2005
***

There’s still a lot to enjoy (like a remorseful Sentinel), but AXM has lost its momentum. If this arc had 3 issues & not 6, its reveal—that Prof X had known for years that the Danger Room was sentient—would’ve been stronger. As it is, the outcome simply exiles him from a mag he’s not in anyhow.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #11
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #13

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Young Avengers #5

Astonishing X-Men #11

December 20, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 11Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2005
****

Cassaday takes the baton in #11, penciling a few layouts atop computer-generated backgrounds to depict the astral interview btw Prof X & the sentient Danger Room. The approach underscores how JC’s style is slightly abstracted, a throwback to Romita in a way. His robot design is wonderfully rococo.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #10
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #12

also indexed for Jul. ’05
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Astonishing X-Men #10

December 19, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 10Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2005
***

Oops, the mag missed a month! A fight issue: staged well, a few surprises even, but still just a fight. The Danger Room monologues as she cleans the team’s clock. #10 also nudges the mag’s subplots along (Ord/SWORD, Emma’s secret), but clearly its arc could be half the length at no loss of content.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #9
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #11

also indexed for May ’05
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Astonishing X-Men #9

December 18, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 09Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
March 2005
****

Due to a paradox in its programming, the Danger Room has become self-aware. A fine idea, but I’m surprised no one’s done it before. What gives it juice is how its “birth” (it turns robotic at the finale) is a sacred event, in the dramatic sense. Whedon & Cass make AXM a pleasure to read.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #8
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #10

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Astonishing X-Men #8

December 17, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 08Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
February 2005
****

Somehow a suicide acts as a blood sacrifice, demon-like, freeing the Danger Room AI from its protocols. And a half-scrap Sentinel worships it as a mother goddess! An okay ish made v.g. by Cassaday. His art epitomizes the era—highly realistic, cinematic—but its colorful clarity trumps the convention.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #7
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #9

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Iron Man #2

Astonishing X-Men #7

December 16, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 07Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2005
*****

Back to superhero adventure for another strong issue. As the X-Men help the FF fend off a mole monster in midtown NYC, their internal monologues add a touch of wit. Darker plots perk tho’: SWORD Agent Brand visits a shadow council, while a de-powered student commits suicide in the Danger Room.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #6
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #8

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Astonishing X-Men #6

December 15, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 06Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
December 2004
*****
Whedon intros Marvel Earth’s ET counterpart to SHIELD: SWORD (duh), a truly clever addition. Its agent exposits a dose of space opera, predicting the X-Men will wreck a world! But #6’s heart is its chars, & esp. Beast, still unsteady yet reliable. But Emma, unfortch for ‘shippers, may turn heel…
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #5]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #7]

Astonishing X-Men #5

December 14, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 05Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
November 2004
****
Despite the first issue’s claim to be plain superheroics, under Whedon the mag is more of a return to the “world that hates & fears” theme. A raid on the corp that’s funded a mutant cure solves nothing (except the rescue of Colossus), while the cure itself raises troubling issues for the subspecies.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #4]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #6]

Astonishing X-Men #4

December 13, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 04Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2004
****
You could cavil at the bait/switch of a resurrected Colossus after #3 implied Jean. Or w/ the slow pacing undercutting suspense, tho’ tension does come w/ the new alien heavy zapping students w/ that mutant cure. And the clever use of superpowers & teamwork is the best homage to Claremont.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #3]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #5]

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]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 of 12

February 13, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
April 1985
**
An anonymous roster of artists, betrayed by a diversity of styles, help Zeck complete issue #12 on time. The motives of the Beyonder (such a terrible name!) again get teased but remain obscure. Doom’s final battle w/ the entity is a sound-&-light show, while the heroes get resurrected offstage then return home via Kirbytech. And so the Wars wrap up patly, tying up ends left dangling since #1.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12

February 13, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
March 1985
**
Rule #1: never show Doom’s face! Tho’ the now divine Doc has removed his mask, he hasn’t quite left behind his human desires. Presumably that’s why the heroes, chatting at a conference table <yawn>, get zapped by lightning. Plus, Colossus gets busy w/ an alien chick, to the fury of Pryde fans.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12

February 12, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
February 1985
***
Shooter’s flaws (bad dialogue, brute combat) haven’t vanished, but he pulls a twist! While the heroes cower, Dr. Doom wins the Secret War! With Miltonic self-regard, he syphons off the cosmic power of Galactus then challenges the godlike “Beyonder”. Finally, the series’ scope equals its remit.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12

February 11, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
January 1985
**
Mr F asks what a godlike entity could hope to gain from arena sport. Shooter almost breaks thru the banality, but <sigh> having no answer, he falls back on his plot of Galactus Rising. Anyway, Zeck submits his best work of the series: his panels smooth & unfussy, his pacing tight but not hurried.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12

February 10, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
December 1984
*
Finally, something happens! The good guys storm the citadel of the bad guys. It’s a bash-’em-up battle, which is ironic as Shooter made his youthful rep on DC’s Legion by inventing non-strength & -energy superpowers. The cover tells the real story of this ish: Spidey gets a new black costume.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12

February 9, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
November 1984
*
A new Spider-Woman in a black leotard walks out of the shadows. “I’m Spider-Woman!” she announces. The next panel: “Hello everyone! I’m Spider-Woman!” Then she wanders off for the rest of the issue. To think, Shooter is Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer! Another low point: She-Hulk gets a beatdown.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12

February 8, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
October 1984
*
Colossus moons over an alien chick; the Wasp gets killed; Galactus constructs his enigmatic Kirbytech; combat resembles schoolyard tussling. Thankfully, Zeck has returned with his delicate line. His long shots of tiny figures, each carefully rendered & colored, are the only entertainment on view.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12

February 7, 2012

Jim Shooter // Bob Layton
September 1984
*
In the latest wrinkle to this slow-moving mag, Galactus plans to eat the artificial world out from under the superhumans. But it’s a case of telling, not showing. Layton’s fill-in work shows him to be a fine match for Shooter, w/ dull pencils & conventional layouts contributing a lack of urgency.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12]