Archive for the ‘Cosmo’ Category

Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4

June 14, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 4 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
February 2012
A-story: ** // B-story: **

Avengers & Annihilators (terrible name) foil an invasion of Earth by linking alien tech somehow. The vague plot & fumbling art brings to a sad end this v.g. six-year run. At least the ‘coon & the tree, holdovers from the run’s brighter era, get to blast off into the sunset.

last issue: Annihilation: Earthfall #3 of 4

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

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Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4

June 11, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 1 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
September 2011
A-story: ** // B-story: ***

DnA phone in their swansong on Marvel’s SF renaissance. The galactic super-squad discovers a fundamentalist space-sect’s outpost on Earth. Huat draws an awkward, rubber-faced variation on Marvel house style. Worse, RR & Groot, demoted to true back-up status, get only a few pages for a bar brawl.

continued from Annihilators #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4

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

Annihilators #4 of 4

June 10, 2014

Annihilators 4 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
August 2011
A-story: *** // B-story: ***

A team of forest animals stop a disembodied telepath from escaping from their biotech lunatic asylum! The idea’s treated just tongue-in-cheek enough, while the art nails the absurdity w/ a smart, contempo style. The title team, meanwhile, brokers a peace btw longtime Marvel antags the Spaceknights & the Dire Wraiths, in a quality demo of cosmic compassion triumphing over violent solutions.

last issue: Annihilators #3 of 4
continued in Annilators: Earthfall #1 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
FF #5

Annihilators #1 of 4

June 7, 2014

Annihilators 1 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
May 2011
A-story: ** // B-story: ***

Sadly, a coda to Marvel’s SF ’00s renaissance rather than a renewal. The A-tale has a fembot lampshade the flaw in this mag’s mission: a galactic supersquad is too uniform in style & strength to be truly compelling. The back-up balances the read by focusing on oddballs cut from the main team. Offering two full-length comics, this mag should really be printed back-to-back, like the old Ace Doubles!

continued from The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilators #2 of 4

also indexed for May ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
FF #1

The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

June 6, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Devastation 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
March 2011
**

An epilogue to Marvel’s most recent space opera and a prologue for their next mini. It’s a conventional exercise in superhero team-gathering. While Ab & Lan write good dialogue, they fail to tell who these heroes are (personality, superpower, or history). Plus, the line-up’s testosterone-heavy.

continued from The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6
continued in Annihilators #1 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
The Fantastic Four #587

The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

June 5, 2014

Thanos Imperative 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
January 2011
***

Thanos resurrects Death in a universe where Undying Gods have reigned. To stop his return to our ‘verse, Nova & Star-Lord (the leads in this era’s SF revival) halt the Mad Titan like Butch & Sundance. Tho’ this finale satisfies, it replaces the characters & twists of the lead-in mags w/ super-movie bombast.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
The Fantastic Four #585

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 #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

The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

June 2, 2014

Thanos Imperative 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
October 2010
***

The fourth (?) space war in recent years gets a strong dose of metaphysics. In the parallel universe ruled by Cthulu gods, Captain Marvel became Life’s avatar rather than dying. Then, to extinguish Death utterly, he sacrificed his opposite, Thanos, in an arcane ritual that unbalanced his cosmos!

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582

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

The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

May 31, 2014

Thanos Imperative 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
August 2010
***

Actually #2 of 8, if you incl. pro- & epilogues. DnA stage another extra-universal invasion—this time, the cancerverse (where Life “won”) metastasizes into the mainstream ‘verse. This means more tentacle monsters as well as evil reflections of the Avengers & Defenders. Solid, guilt-free space opera.

continued from The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’10
The Fantastic Four #580

The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

May 30, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Ignition 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2010
***

Having lost their two series in June, Ab & Lan segue into their space opera’s final act. This prolog is epic stuff, tho’ not newbee-friendly! Worlds explode (!) to shunt a Lovecraft-universe’s Cptn Marvel into the main ‘verse, setting up a confrontation w/ Death’s avatar, Thanos resurrected.

continued from Guardians of the Galaxy #25
continued in The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579

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

Guardians of the Galaxy #24

May 28, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 24Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
May 2010
***

An electrifying issue of space opera! While the captured Guardians fight thru an army of zealots, across the galaxy their allies restore a galactic senate. But the focus of #24 is Phyla-Vell, who failed to kill Adam Magus; now she either balances or compounds that error by resurrecting Thanos!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #25

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #23

May 27, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 23Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
April 2010
****

Adam Magus has tossed half the team in a dungeon & hopes to side w/ the Old Ones from the spacetime rift at the crux of Realm of Kings. Craig returns w/ his angular, colorful style—a bit like Immonen on Nextwave, tho’ he lays out a page w/ more complexity. A happy contrast to most Marvel art!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #22
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #22

May 26, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 22Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
March 2010
***

The heroes team up w/ super-rivals to rescue Moondragon from intergalactic zealots. You’ll recall she’s “pregnant” w/ a malignant thing from the “Cancer-verse”, where “life has won.” As always, GotG offers fun space adventure w/ solid craftsmanship: characters, recaps, & a cliffhanger!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #21
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #19

May 6, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 19Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
December 2009
****

Kang himself returns the time-tossed Guardians w/a Cosmic Cube to confront the Magus! A spectacular climax, much more satisfying than the finale to War of Kings. Partly that’s Craig’s highly cartooned style rather than the usual superhero hyper-realism. Full of suspense, drama, & mad invention!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #18
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #20

also indexed for Dec. ’09
The Fantastic Four #572
Nova #30

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

Guardians of the Galaxy #15

May 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 15Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
August 2009
***

You know who deserves plenty of credit for this mag & the entire Cosmic Marvel line? Editor Bill Roseman. He’s running a tight crossover! This issue, in which two alien superteams storm the Guardians’ space station while a prisoner escapes, could be confusing, but it’s completely clear & lotsa fun!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #16

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #14

May 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2009
***

Walker lays out his pages clearly enough to overcome his overwrought ’90s line & rectilinear ’00s paneling. Good thing, cuz this is a busy arc. In a nice balance of comedy & action, Star-Lord, Warlock & their motley gang of SF heroes completely fail to broker peace in the second Kree-Shi’ar War.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #13
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Guardians of the Galaxy #13

April 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2009
****

The huge cast reunites to play diplomat in the War of Kings maxiseries, sending a delegation to each side (an echo of Galactic Storm). To the writers’ credit, they pack a lot of action into one issue—starting w/ a bar brawl—and they give nearly every character a particular voice and perspective.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #12
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

Guardians of the Galaxy #10

April 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 10Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
April 2009
***

The mag concludes its 3-part excursion into the Negative Zone by adding yet another discarded Marvel hero (Jack Flag, a minor char from Gruenwald’s Cap run). The pace has picked back up, & so has the charm. Warlock fans can look forward to the resumption of his role as an intergalactic messiah.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #11

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #9

March 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker & Carlos Magno
March 2009
***

That Negative Zone prison from Civil War, abandoned by writers & in-story heroes both, offers easy entry into our ‘verse. Into that breach steps the Guardians! Tho’ Walker’s realism fits the SF adventure better than Pelletier did, a muddy palate atop busy pencils leaves the action a little confused.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #10

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Nova #21
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #7

March 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 07Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
January 2009
**

With its team split after only half a year, this mag has four plotlines in #7 alone! In the main thread, a flaw in spacetime threatens the 31st century Guardians (IE Steve Gerber’s ’70s SF team). Mostly it stages a fight w/ Frankenstein aliens, which doesn’t leave room for character or suspense.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Nova #19

Guardians of the Galaxy #6

March 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 06Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
December 2008
***

Cosmo the hyperintelligent dog teaches the Guardians & their super-rivals not to jump to conclusions about the Skrull invasion. DnA smartly invert the poorly-conceived idea of Skrull jihad, showing readers that not all “aliens” are terrorists. And set-up: oracular Mantis can’t see the team’s future!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Nova #18

Guardians of the Galaxy #5

March 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 05Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2008
****

The further a mag is from Secret Invasion, the smarter it handles the conceit. At the universe’s edge, the cosmonaut canine protects a litter of Skrulls. The team, meanwhile, is torquing apart over distrust (look! it shows/not tells). Plus Guardians from the future are attacking the current roster!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Nova #17

Guardians of the Galaxy #4

March 22, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 04Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2008
***

Guardians gets into the Marvel-wide Skrull Invasion act. Despite the mag’s partition from the MU, it makes sense w/ the intergalactic operatics. The paranoia fits nicely w/in the team’s newness, & spreads to the civilians nearby (who don’t appreciate having a paramilitary org onsite!).

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Nova #16

Guardians of the Galaxy #3

March 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 03Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2008
***

SF fun as the team faces a biomass of fused humans & an interstellar cult fueled by prayer-power—aboard a Dyson sphere! Meanwhile on their base at the edge of the universe, two members of the original ’70s Guardians tussle. Colorful literally as well as figuratively, this is comics at its sturdiest.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #2
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Nova #15

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

March 17, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 02Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2008
***

High marks for the mag: engaging space adventure supported by clear, Maduriera-like art. GotG are a sort of cosmic Avengers, protecting the galaxy from crazy scifi threats. The parallel’s made explicit w/ the discover of Vance Astro, adrift in frozen spacetime like Cptn. America back in ’64.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #1
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3

also indexed for Aug. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

March 16, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 01Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
July 2008
***

One pleasure of DnA’s SF series has been their integration of Marvel’s patchwork cosmos into a seamless universe. GotG is now the spine to that work. #1 states the thesis: a team of cosmic heroes & alien misfits aim to protect all creation from, for instance, Starlin’s ’70s space zealots.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #2

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Nova #13

Nova #9

March 2, 2014

Nova 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
February 2008
****

This clever SF mag gets better every month. On a haunted space station at the end of the universe, Nova uses his techno-viral infection to exorcise the archenemy of an alien JLA. But the arc’s real find is the station’s security chief, a winsome hyper-intelligent canine cosmonaut (a la Laika).

last issue: Nova #8
next issue: Nova #10

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #12

Nova #8

March 1, 2014

Nova 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
January 2008
****

The same month they launch a comic mini flagship, DnA take their regular gig to audacious new places. Nova meets an alien superteam, a horrific zombie virus, & a hyper-intelligent Soviet dog (!) aboard a Kirby space-god’s head (!!) floating at the edge of the universe (!!!). Yet these freaky ideas flow smoothly.

last issue: Nova #7
next issue: Nova #9

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11