Archive for the ‘Constrictor’ Category

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

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Thunderbolts #24

July 13, 2014

Thunderbolts 024Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
March 1999
***

The T-bolts save Kansan bystanders from their turf war w/ the Masters of Evil, who possess a Kirbytech weather device. Busiek’s focus, however, is devising a détente w/ the new Citizen V, a sort of female Batman, who gets a stern lesson in heroics from Hawkeye after her earlier work w/ Captain A.

last issue: Thunderbolts #23
next issue: Thunderbolts #25

also indexed for Mar. ’99
Avengers #14
Avengers Forever #4 of 12

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

The Fantastic Four #334

June 24, 2013

Fantastic Four 334Walt Simonson // Rich Buckler
early December 1989
***
Simonson debuts & instantly shifts the mag’s tone from lugubrious to lighthearted. As part of the Acts of Vengeance crossover, he pits the FF against D-list supervillains (who can’t even get in the building!). Buckler’s three-tier grid has a cheery flatness, but he does realistic, expressive faces.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #333]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #335]

Secret War #5 of 5

May 22, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
December 2005
***

It went semi-annual, but at least this mini got finished. And there’s a compelling tale that doesn’t quite get told: a comment on 9/11 (made clumsily explicit in one ugly, painted splash) & American foreign policy, embodied by Nick Fury. Problem is, Bendis can’t quite handle the ambiguity required to turn Fury from a heroic superspy into a spook whose activites are a form of moral blindness.

last issue: Secret War #4 of 5

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Daredevil #78
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Young Avengers #9

Secret War #4 of 5

May 21, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
May 2005
***

Whoops, that was a long delay! The payoff isn’t quite worth the wait either, esp. since #3 was low on plot. A scarred woman (the deposed PM of Latveria) activates a bomb made of supervillain tech. Bendis aims to comment on 9/11—eg suicide bomber in NYC—but the chaotic, murky art obscures his point.

last issue: Secret War #3 of 5
next issue: Secret War #5 of 5

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
The Pulse #8
Young Avengers #2

Secret War #3 of 5

May 20, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
October 2004
**

If you’re writing a 5-part quarterly, you really need shouldn’t indulge in so much action & so little plot—you kill the momentum. Peter Parker’s unconscious mind begins to recall the cover op that last issue set up. But mostly, it’s Dell’Otto drawing glowy red-eyed tech in an homage to The Matrix.

last issue: Secret War #2 of 5
next issue: Secret War #4 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517