Archive for the ‘Deviants’ Category

Avengers #52

September 29, 2013

Avengers 52Kurt Busiek // Ivan Reis
May 2002
***

The Avengers rally against the chrono-despot Kang, forcing his armies off the planet. An expected, disappointing return to superhero formula after last issue’s pointillist intimacy & (relative) realism. Reis joins the mag for an issue, his stolid work neither adding nor detracting from the action.

last issue: Avengers #51
next issue: Avengers #53

also indexed for May ’02
Alias #7
New X-Men #124

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Avengers #49

September 26, 2013

Avengers 49Kurt Busiek // Kieren Dwyer
February 2002
**

A fleet of Sentinels attack Wash DC, directed by a titanic hologram of Kang. Editors have mandated wordless issues for Feb. But KB relies heavily on dialogue to put flesh to his superheroes, so his work here is bland. Mostly #49 is aerial combat, tho’ a nuclear climax is cheap, in light of 9/11.

last issue: Avengers #48
next issue: Avengers #50

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
New X-Men #121

Avengers #45

September 21, 2013

Avengers 45Kurt Busiek // Manuel Garcia
October 2001
***

#45 is one of those respites btw adventures, popularized by Claremont, but it comes amid a build-up to World War Kang. The despot marshals his forces in the 40C; the Earth fortifies its defenses; & the Avengers take some R&R. Busiek, as usual, gets the most from his players, incl. Thor & Q’silver.

continued in Avengers: The Ultron Imperative
last issue: Avengers #44
next issue: Avengers #46

also indexed for Oct. ’01
New X-Men #117

Avengers #44

September 20, 2013

Avengers 44Kurt Busiek // Manuel Garcia
September 2001
***

Thor, enraged by Cap’s near-death, broods on immortality’s costs—a smart suggestion of the stakes in the Kang arc. Another strong KB character, Ms. Marvel (see his run in IM), wins an army via trial-by-combat, tho Vision questions her rashness. Sadly Alan Davis has been replaced by a shoddy no-name.

continued from Avengers Annual 2001
last issue: Avengers #43
next issue Avengers #45

also indexed for Sept. ’01
Avengers Annual 2001
New X-Men #116
New X-Men Annual 2001

Avengers #43

September 18, 2013

Avengers 43Kurt Busiek // Alan Davis
August 2001
****

Around the globe, Avengers ally w/ local military to stop super-insurgencies sponsored by the Conqueror. Marvel soap opera fills out the spaces of this epic story, making for esp. strong superteam comics. In one poten. risky plot devo, Ms. Marvel recognizes Kang’s son as her infamous star-rapist!

continued in Avengers Annual 2001
last issue: Avengers #42
next issue: Avengers #44

also indexed for Aug. ’01
New X-Men #115

Avengers #42

September 17, 2013

Avengers 42Kurt Busiek // Alan Davis
July 2001
*****

Kang, Julius C. of the 41C, invades Earth to save it from doomsday What If…? scenarios. One of the strongest issues in Busiek’s run! He writes a great Kang (see his Forever maxiseries), & foreshadows grand plans for this arc. Davis also nails the Conqueror, giving his future tech a weird softness.

last issue: Avengers #41
next issue: Avengers#43

also indexed for Jul. ’01
New X-Men #114

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

The Fantastic Four #340

June 30, 2013

Fantastic Four 340Walt Simonson
May 1990
****
Mr. F, the heroic focus of this arc, susses a Celestial plan to weaponize Galactus & tosses the Kirby God into G’s black hole! WS writes super-drama underpinned by grandiose beings & fantastic machinery, a la the King; his art, since Thor, has added a fine-lined filigree in the Art Adams manner.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #339]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #341]

The Eternals #13

July 25, 2012

Jack Kirby
July 1977
****
A self-contained episode within the larger plot, as the three subspecies—human, Deviant, Eternal—probe the Celestial starship in orbit. Kirby adds great touches, like a loner named the Forgotten One (whose face we never see) &, in a double-page spread, a locomotive-like missile that belches fire!
[continued from The Eternals Annual #1]
[last issue: The Eternals #12]
[next issue: The Eternals #14]

The Eternals Annual #1

July 24, 2012

Jack Kirby
July 1977
***
Kirby pens a stand-alone episode, a rather creaky superhero adventure that lacks the monthly mag’s panoramic complexity & sprawling cast. Still, it’s more fun than most conventional comics, then or now! The duo of noble-minded monster & savage hunk hunt a mad inventor who’s lifting historical evildoers from their home eras to contempo NYC. An esp nice beat has giant Karkas entertain a lost kid.
[continued in The Eternals #13]

The Eternals #12

July 23, 2012

Jack Kirby
June 1977
****
Readers w/ the taste for Kirby’s magniloquence will boggle as the Eternals form a collective super-brain! Even better, we’ll relish a rare show of human depth, as a throwback to Kirby’s Atlas era monsters displays a philosophic mind. An action scene actually distracts from the mag’s propulsive pace.
[continued in The Eternals Annual #1]
[last issue: The Eternals #11]
[next issue: The Eternals #13]

The Eternals #10

July 20, 2012

Jack Kirby
April 1977
*****
This mag derives its power from its novelistic, big/little scope. As History occurs—space gods visit Earth—protagonists act & react in great & small ways. A leader summons his people to confer; a star-crossed couple loses another opportunity for love; a heroine shows compassion for monsters.
[last issue: The Eternals #9]
[next issue: The Eternals #11]

The Eternals #9

July 19, 2012

Jack Kirby
March 1977
****
Kirby has fallen into a rhythm w/ this book, expanding its scope w/o losing momentum. But despite adding characters to its roster, this issue feels a little thinner than others. Instead, it’s a big setpiece—arena combat btw a berserker & a monster—that delivers bone-jarring action.
[last issue: The Eternals #8]
[next issue: The Eternals #10]

The Eternals #8

July 18, 2012

Jack Kirby
February 1977
****
Another trope added to this rich tapestry: a friendship, once romantic, btw a Deviant general & an Eternal warrior-princess. But she’s disgusted at the Darwinian eugenics practiced by his allies in mythic Lemuria. Kirby keeps spitting out ideas, tho’ he promises gladiator combat in next ish.
[last issue: The Eternals #7]
[next issue: The Eternals #9]

The Eternals #6

July 16, 2012

Jack Kirby
December 1976
****
A battle on NYC streets segues into a classroom debate at City College (!). Kirby continues to elaborate on his New Age mythos, constantly enlarging his cast & scope. He rations the sightings of his host of space gods, however. Fortunately, he’s got the rich chars of Gen. Kro & the spirited Sersi.
[last issue: The Eternals #5]
[next issue: The Eternals #7]

The Eternals #5

July 15, 2012

Jack Kirby
November 1976
****
Kirby revises the Olympians in Jungian style, reimagining the pantheon as a mountaintop science utopia of supermen. But his comic gets its depth from the human tension btw superstition & courage. Only when the blue-collar cops stare down the demons do the heroes arrive, cavalry-like, to save NYC.
[last issue: The Eternals #4]
[next issue: The Eternals #6]

The Eternals #4

July 14, 2012

Jack Kirby
October 1976
****
A cynical worldview dominates this mag—not Stan Lee’s humanism but Kirby’s darker vision of humanity ruled by impulses. The demonic Deviants exploit this panic, sacking NYC to ignite a war btw us & the celestial titans. Even the vivacious Sersi glowers at mortal fears & zaps ’em w/ “magic.”
[last issue: The Eternals #3]
[next issue: The Eternals #5]

The Eternals #3

July 13, 2012

Jack Kirby
September 1976
****
The secret war btw supermen & mutants for the fate of Earth hits NYC. But ordinary folks, like this mag’s damsel, fear the heroes’ grandeur as much as the villains’ horror. Kirby isn’t about characters—even his plotting can feel old hat—but he delivers on monumental concepts & majestic ideas.
[last issue: The Eternals #2]
[next issue: The Eternals #4]

The Eternals #2

July 12, 2012

Jack Kirby
August 1976
*****
In a ruined Incan temple, immortals prepare for the arrival of cosmic gods & a fifty-year judgment! Kirby elaborates on a secret history of Earth, of good and evil supermen transformed into myth. Especially strong is the sense of scope—of beings, time, and actions far beyond human comprehension.
[last issue: The Eternals #1]
[next issue: The Eternals #3]

The Eternals #1

July 11, 2012

Jack Kirby
July 1976
*****
In an exhilarating debut, Kirby lays out a holy comic-book cosmology. Eons ago, space gods mutated primates (a la 2001) to create super-races humanity knows nothing about. This mag shows an artist at one w/ his creativity, tho’ the stylized script & art aren’t for conventional readers.
[next issue: The Eternals #2]