Archive for the ‘Darkhawk’ Category

Runaways #6

June 24, 2015

Runaways 2-06Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2005
*****

My misgiving that Ultron was too far above our kids’ weight class is finessed by the post-teen cavalry saving their hides. Turns out Vaughan has written a backdoor pilot (to use an LA term) for a team of New New Warriors (AKA Excelsior—nice name!), financed by Marvel’s original c-lister, Rick Jones!

last issue: Runaways #5
next issue: Runaways #7

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Daredevil #75
The Pulse #10
Young Avengers #6

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Runaways #5

June 23, 2015

Runaways 2-05Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2005
****

The kids face the secret father of a new superfriend: Dr. Doom! or maybe a Doombot! …nope, it’s Ultron! I’d usually call foul on this bait-n-switch reveal, esp. as facing a rogue Doombot would be perilous enough, plus BKV nails Doom’s voice. But AA draws the fight exceptionally well, which earns a few points!

last issue: Runaways #4
next issue: Runaways #6

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Daredevil #74
Young Avengers #5

Runaways #4

June 22, 2015

Runaways 2-04Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
July 2005
****

A ’90s d-lister is suffering PTSD from his darkling powers, while a new castmember (Hispanic son of a single mom!) learns pop is a supervillain! Tho the mag is slowing back down, it’s got enough plots & characters—and sketches them out well enough—that the decompression isn’t a drag on momentum.

last issue: Runaways #3
next issue: Runaways #5

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
Daredevil #73
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Runaways #3

June 21, 2015

Runaways 2-03Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
June 2005
****

The story of teens & 20-somethings reaches the trad Marvel beat of heroes pounding on each other w/o talking first. But w/ the rebooted numbering, Alphona has upped his game. His art has taken on a supple quality, his physiques & faces moving further from figuration to lovely expressionistic forms.

last issue: Runaways #2
next issue: Runaways #4

also indexed for Jun. ’05
Daredevil #72
Young Avengers #3

Runaways #2

June 20, 2015

Runaways 2-02Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
May 2005
****

BKV plays an interesting game with the margins of the Marvel U. A team of washed-up ’90s heroes suggest one prospect for this mag’s protags; an Avenger from the future—Gert, all grown up—points toward more successful careers. The time twist has them out to reform a kid before he turns supervillain.

last issue: Runaways #1
next issue: Runaways #3

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
Fantastic Four #524
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Runaways #1

June 19, 2015

Runaways 2-01Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
April 2005
*****

After half a year hiatus, Runaways returns reinvigorated! The remit is evidently not only to speed up the action (hurray!) but to tie the mag more tightly to the Marvel fabric. So the kids foil a heist by post-Kirby bruisers while a support group of ex-superteens hint at life after caped heroics.

continued from Runaways #18
next issue: Runaways #2

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Daredevil #70
Fantastic Four #523
Young Avengers #1

Thunderbolts #8

June 25, 2014

Thunderbolts 008Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Mark Bagley
November 1997
****

The first T-bolts story to last more than one ish ends w/ the mag’s best since #1. The team fends off a set of monsters menacing NYC, winning adulation & SHIELD access. But what’s esp great is how it delves into the psyche of Songbird, codependent & unconfident till now, when she must act alone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #7
next issue: Thunderbolts #9

Nova #36

May 23, 2014

Nova 36Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
June 2010
***

Nova exits on a cliffhanger, a victim of the downsizing of Marvel’s cosmic line. #36 connects Realm of Kings to a Thanos mini, as the Human Rocket faces an evil extra-dimensional Quasar who serves Lovecraftian Old Gods. Plenty of little plot threads dangle; hopefully, DnA will get to pick them up.

last issue: Nova #35
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for Jun. ’10
The Fantastic Four #578
Guardians of the Galaxy #25

Nova #35

May 22, 2014

Nova 35Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar
May 2010
**

Nova & pals stop a sorcerer from remaking the universe w/ a pair of philosopher’s stones. Attention to craft—good dialogue & fun, superpower-derived solutions—helps this final chapter of a by-the-numbers plot be a bit more, tho’ the art gets sketchy in spots. Sadly, it’s the mag’s penultimate issue.

last issue: Nova #34
next issue: Nova #36

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Nova #34

May 21, 2014

Nova 34Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar
April 2010
**

Very old-fashioned plotting, like Roy Thomas or even Gardner Fox. A temporal magician, the Sphinx, fights his younger self by pitting champions in a contest for control of reality-altering gems. Asrar upholds the colorful tone that DiVito used in earlier issues, tho a few layouts are confusing.

last issue: Nova #33
next issue: Nova #35

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Nova #33

May 20, 2014

Nova 33Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
March 2010
**

A Kang knock-off shunts Nova & other heroes into a spacetime rift to help fight his younger self. Only in comics would that come off as conventional! But it is, and the writers add nothing new (yet) to the superhero action adventure. They find an emotional hook tho’, in Rider’s reunion w/ a dead ex.

last issue: Nova #32
next issue: Nova #34

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Nova #32

May 19, 2014

Nova 32Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
February 2010
***

Shunted onto a mystical, prismatic planet that echoes Ancient Egypt, Nova & Darkhawk team up w/ Mr. Fantastic against a time tyrant from their New Warrior days. This new arc adds mysteries to its plot in a whimsical fashion, an old-fashioned pleasure that DiVito’s flat, colorful style reinforces.

last issue: Nova #31
next issue: Nova #33

also indexed for Feb. ’10
The Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Nova #31

May 18, 2014

Nova 31Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
January 2010
***

Rider dives into the tear in spacetime left by War of Kings, where a planet’s about to explode. He faces two foes: the Lovecraftian beasties from across the rift & an ancient galactic conspiracy that’s roped in his onetime teammate, Darkhawk. The issue, impulsively non-linear, is juicy fun, no more.

last issue: Nova #30
next issue: Nova #32

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

April 18, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 4 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2009
***

DnA revitalize a minor ’90s hero by intertwining his mini with their big WoK maxiseries. The mission is an echo of their fine revival of Nova: a young hero is the last member of an intergalactic force. But Darkhawk’s fellows were a malevolent conspiracy & he must clear his reputation w/ heroics.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
see also War of Kings #5 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

April 17, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 3 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2009
***

Solid momentum & adequate art adds to the ’80s style retcon for Darkhawk. Sentient armor has trapped generic protag Chris Powell in a weird limbo while it assassinates the Shi’ar Empress over in WoK #4. Can Chris take control before he’s captured? Or will his armor lead the galaxy into tyranny?

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
see also War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

April 16, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 2 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
July 2009
***

This adjunct mini may have a stronger plot arc than the main WoK series, but its dull art only emphasizes the most conventional elements. Darkhawk learns that his sentient armor is part of an intergalactic Knights Templar w/ nefarious aims, & that his ’90s backstory was mostly misinformation.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6

War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

April 15, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 1 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
June 2009
**

At first, this sequel to the Darkhawk mini seems to riff on Star Wars tropes of an ancient galactic society now nearly extinct, & of a young hero following his destiny. But DnA throw a nice set of curveballs: the society is actually a Machiavellian cabal & the hero’s power-armor overwrites his body!

continued from War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6

War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

April 14, 2014

War of Kings - Darkhawk 2 of 2C.B. Cebulski // Bong Dazo & Harvey Tolibao
May 2009
**

A clumsy revision of ’90s superhero Darkhawk. Once a teen in a shazam scenario w/ a robot, D learns he’s part of a galactic cabal hunted nearly to extinction. Now he’s off to another dimension to set the future aright! An entire team of artists can’t draw a simple aerial hand-to-hand fight.

last issue: War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2
continued in War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6

War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

April 13, 2014

War of Kings - Darkhawk 1 of 2C.B. Cebulski // Bong Dazo & Harvey Tolibao
April 2009
*

It was fun to see ’90s superhero Darkhawk pop up in Nova as the security guard for a supertech research facility. But this two-issue miniseries adds nothing, offering instead a clumsy bit of portraiture around rage issues & superhero recovery. There’s not one description of the char’s superpowers!

next issue: War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
Nova #22

War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

April 12, 2014

War of Kings - Who Will Rule 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2009
****

The Kree-Shi’ar War has left a glowing tear in spacetime & a crisis of leadership in both empires. The former suggests a new plot direction for Marvel’s line of space epics; the latter adds much-needed dramatic thickener. But what leaps out from this epilogue is the chaos of an occupied territory.

continued from War of Kings #6 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
Nova #29

War of Kings #5 of 6

April 10, 2014

War of Kings 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2009
****

The Shi’ar despot confronts the Kree monarch aboard a superweapon that will turn the galaxy Inhuman. This wooly space opera reaches its climax, but its best moments are in the hurly burly: a princess’s horror at the doomsday device, a super-alien’s war-fury, an X-Man’s hollow vengeance.

last issue: War of Kings #4 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #6 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

War of Kings #4 of 6

April 9, 2014

War of Kings 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2009
**

Civil unrest and factionalism tears apart the Shi’ar Empire, culminating in the assassination of its Empress, an old Claremont creation. As w/ many Marvel “events”, WoK is less coherent w/o its supplemental minis. The lack of time for character beats reinforces the bombast of space opera too.

last issue: War of Kings #3 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
see also War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

Nova #19

March 25, 2014

Nova 19Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
January 2009
****

The re-established Nova Corps helps keep the peace on Earth, post-Skrull Invasion. The slower pace lets DnA develop character w/ smart dialogue. Esp good: a friendly convo btw Rider’s bro & bush-league ’90s hero Darkhawk. The artist duo are unobtrusive, aside from bewildering angles in fights.

last issue: Nova #18
next issue: Nova #20

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #7

Nova #18

March 21, 2014

Nova 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
December 2008
***

Nova, w/ a growing support staff, defends an upstate super-facility from Skrull invaders. Human scientists have rebooted the Nova AI, w/ the side-effect of conjuring the late Quasar out of “solid energy”. Cavalry comes in the form of a root army &, in a surprise twist, a reconstituted Nova Corps!

last issue: Nova #17
next issue: Nova #19

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #6

Nova #17

March 20, 2014

Nova 17Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
November 2008
***

When the Skrulls invade Earth, galactic cop Nova returns to his old ‘hood. Shapeshifters have besieged a super-research facility in upstate NY, where Ryder’s bro & a fellow ex-New Warrior both work. The creative team bring claustrophobic tension into the action as well as a cliffhanging twist.

last issue: Nova #16
next issue: Nova #18

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #5

Avengers #51

September 28, 2013

Avengers 51Kurt Busiek // Brent Anderson
April 2002
****

Wanda M helps Wonder Man escape a POW camp after they share a bittersweet heart-to-heart. Like #47, this ish focuses on emotional connections in the midst of super-adventure. It’s Busiek in Astro City mode, all the more obvious w/ that mag’s creative partner Anderson drawing grim, heavy artwork.

last issue: Avengers #50
next issue: Avengers #52

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
New X-Men #123

Avengers #4

July 17, 2013

Avengers 04Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
May 1998
****

The team’s charter members pick a line-up, a solipsistic scenario replayed often in the ’00s. Busiek, like Thomas & Stern before him, seems slightly awed by the title he’s writing. But his pleasure comes thru in his light touch, like Justice snagging a bank thief where the 40-member team failed.

last issue: Avengers #3
next issue: Avengers #5

also indexed for May ’98
Thunderbolts #14

Avengers #3

July 16, 2013

Avengers 03Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
April 1998
***

Cap & co play Robin Hood in a medieval alt reality; Scarlet Witch saves the day by resurrecting Wonder Man. It’s a simple story w/ a forthright tone, almost Silver Age except for Jorge’s complex depth-of-field & density of image. So, having relaunched the Avengers, B&G must cull the 39-man roster!

last issue: Avengers #2
next issue: Avengers #4

also indexed for Apr. ’98
Thunderbolts #13

Avengers #2

July 15, 2013

Avengers 02Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
March 1998
****

A sorceress has used the Scarlet Witch to refashion reality. The Ren Fair trappings may seem a bit much, but they suit Pérez to a T—esp. the chance to redesign costumes as armor. Busiek’s best idea, tho’, is that “true Avengers” can shake off the spell: a roster that incl. Justice but not Iron Man!

last issue: Avengers #1
next issue: Avengers #3

also indexed for Mar. ’98
Thunderbolts #12

Avengers #1

July 14, 2013

Avengers 01Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
February 1998
****

Pérez returns to Marvel’s supergroup superteam, tapping Busiek (hot off Marvels & Astro City in ’95 & last year’s T-bolts) to help w/ the relaunch. They’re well-matched: neither conservative nor radical, dense w/ info yet clear at storytelling. Echoing the Lee/Kirby original, a mage manipulates Earth’s superheroes into teaming up. This time, it’s an Arthurian, Morgan le Fey, using Asgardian magic.

next issue: Avengers #2

also indexed for Feb. ’98
Thunderbolts #11

Civil War #6 of 7

June 11, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
December 2006
*
Millar & McNiven move their action figures into place for the next issue’s battle royale. It’ll be set at a secret super-prison, which means to comment on Guantanamo but doesn’t. These pre-finale plot twists only highlight how stiff the characterization, dialogue, & art are. Is this what fans want?
[last issue: Civil War #5 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #7 of 7]