Archive for the ‘Dr. Faustus’ Category

Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes

October 26, 2015

Captain America 614A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
March 2011
A-story: ****

Brubaker revives Buck’s brainwashed backstory, a link to the early heyday of this run. #614 combines ‘street-level’ tropes (violence in the courtroom!) & supervillainy (rants & bombs), & offers a good perf by the manipulative Dr. Faustus. And many inkers on hand, which improves Guice’s pencils!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #613
next issue: Captain America #615

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
The Fantastic Four #587
Secret Avengers #9
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation
#1 of 1

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Captain America #613: Bucky Barnes

October 24, 2015

Captain America 613A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
February 2011
A-story: ***

Sin (her burn-scarred skull matches Dad’s) sets a bomb on Liberty Island & sabotages the trial of Bucky Barnes w/ media leaks! As legacy characters go, she’s okay: her taste for hunky musclemen is vaguely kinky, while her sociopathy has matured from Natural Born Killers into real supervillainy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #612
next issue: Captain America #614

also indexed for Feb. ’11
The Fantastic Four #586
Secret Avengers #8

Captain America #612: Bucky Barnes

October 22, 2015

Captain America 612A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2011
A-story: ***

Bucky, on trial for his un-American activity under mind control, realizes he likes being Captain America. ‘Cap in jail’ is a conflict w/ potential, as he’s a state-sanctioned masked man & not an urban vigilante. But JG’s art is abnormally sloppy: his Bernie Rosenthal looks like a man in drag!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #611
next issu: Captain America #613

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
The Fantastic Four #585
Secret Avengers #7
The Thanos Imperative
#6 of 6

Captain America #41

September 4, 2015

Captain America 41Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
October 2008
****

Doc Faustus shaves his singular beard & betrays his allies to SHIELD; he also wipes the pregnancy from Carter’s memory. Erasing that event so thoroughly feels dishonest—& odd, since every other subplot fits so well into Brubaker’s epic storyline. He’s set Barnes up perfectly to replace Rogers as Cap!

last issue: Captain America #40
next issue: Captain America #42

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Daredevil #110
Guardians of the Galaxy #4
Nova #16

Captain America #40

September 3, 2015

Captain America 40Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2008
****

Fight fans will enjoys #40: a bout for the title, as Buck faces a mad doppelgänger of Steve Rogers to be called Captain America. The undercard is Sharon Carter’s quick tussle w/ the Skull’s psycho daughter, another failed escape attempt that leaves our pregnant heroine w/ a Bowie knife in her gut!

last issue: Captain America #39
next issue: Captain America #41

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Daredevil #109
Guardians of the Galaxy #3
Nova #15

Captain America #38

September 1, 2015

Captain America 38Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2008
****

Brubaker has found that sublime rhythm where each ish has an individual beat that moves an epic plot forward. Here it’s the re-intro of the McCarthy-era Cap, a naïve pawn in the villains’ complex plan to undermine America. It augers the Tea Party’s rise & ties artfully to the out-of-time theme.

last issue: Captain America #37
next issue: Captain America #39

also indexed in Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
Daredevil #107
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Nova #13
Thunderbolts #120

Captain America #37

August 31, 2015

Captain America 37Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Mike Perkins
June 2008
*****

The debt to Manchurian Candidate grows as the Skull’s pet pol announces a third-party bid for Prez. Epting supplies his co-creation Bucky with visits from Cap’s other ‘sons’ & a Freudian nightmare about replacing Steve Rogers. Also nice is the ’44 Lib of Paris from the Skull’s perspec.

last issue: Captain America #36
next issue: Captain America #38

also indexed for Jun. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Nova #12

Captain America #36

August 30, 2015

Captain America 36Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Mike Perkins
May 2008
****

A Halliburton-type firm owned by the Red Skull takes credit for Bucky Cap’s first big gig: stopping the Serpent Squad from assassinating a senator. Our hero also fails to calm Wash DC’s fear-gassed rioters, unlike his predecessor. Epting’s still MIA, but JG & MP do solid realistic fill-in work.

last issue: Captain America #35
next issue: Captain America #37

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
Daredevil #106
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11
Thunderbolts #119

Captain America #35

August 29, 2015

Captain America 35Ed Brubaker // Butch Guice
April 2008
****

Kirby & Simon’s Nazi supervillain is camouflaged as Dick Cheney! He’s untouchable as an oligarch, secretly profiting off a crashing economy, & as backroom chief of a private security firm, firing on protesters! Guice, an art-n-ink man since the ’80s, has a style more illustrative & less cinematic.

last issue: Captain America #34
next issue: Captain America #36

also index for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
Daredevil #105
Nova Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
Runaways #29

Captain America #34

August 28, 2015

Captain America 34Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2008
*****

This 21C Cap is the type of hero who kneecaps foes w/ a gun: an update for our era of mass shootings? But what’s unequivocally brilliant is the Red Skull’s latest plan. Dressed in Brooks Brothers, he profits by collapsing the US economy & directs his suborned SHIELD riot-cops to open fire on a protest!

last issue: Captain America #33
next issue: Captain America #35

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #24
Daredevil #104
Nova #10

Captain America #33

August 27, 2015

Captain America 33Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
February 2008
*****

Bucky escapes from custody &, in enemy territory, fights Iron Man to a draw. The kinetic, well-staged action setpiece that this epic arc has needed: superbly staged (aside from a generic setting), each page a storytelling beat. It finally shows how superbad this new character is, a Cap for the 21C.

last issue: Captain America #32
next issue: Captain America #34

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
Daredevil #103
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9
Thunderbolts #118

Captain America #32

August 26, 2015

Captain America 32Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2008
****

A rare chase-in-a-base sequence that’s gripping, due less to Bucky Barnes’ badass escape than to Sharon Carter’s opaque motives. Via captions, her psyche struggles to free itself from mind control. Even her heroic actions have a sinister gloss: to save Buck, she shoves him out a cargo plane!

last issue: Captain America #31
next issue: Captain America #33

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #8

Captain America #31

August 25, 2015

Captain America 31Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
December 2007
****

Agent 13 has fallen to the mesmerist w/ a glorious beard, but the Winter Soldier resists the memory manipulation. The tough-guy torture has a sour taste (despite Epting’s homage to a classic Steranko splash), & so does the damsel-in-distress, despite 13’s subconscious refusal to kill again.

last issue: Captain America #30
next issue: Captain America #32

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord
 #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith
 #4 of 4
Daredevil #102
Daredevil Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Runaways #28
Thunderbolts #117

Captain America #30

August 24, 2015

Captain America 30Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
November 2007
****

Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD, is portrayed adroitly as a grey suit of dubious motives. He’s part of a great ensemble cast, most of whom are now mind-controlled or captured by the Skull’s hypno-henchman! In a nice break from mid-’00s structuring, part 6 of 6 is a cliffhanger & not a TBP’s climax.

last issue: Captain America #29
next issue: Captain America #31

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
Daredevil #101
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
Nova #6

Captain America #28

August 22, 2015

Captain America 28Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2007
****

The Skull’s kid & a squad of snake goons wreck the Asian stock market—a timely nod to the slow, fraud-based financial collapse of ’07-’08. But generally the elaborate plotting, ever-expanding cast, & intrusion of the Marvel-wide status quo conspire to sap momentum from this excellent mag.

last issue: Captain America #27
next issue: Captain America #29

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
Daredevil #99
Nova #4

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Captain America #22

August 15, 2015

Captain America 22Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
November 2006
****

As the morass of Civil War spreads, the mag keeps itself clean. For one thing, it turns the bad politics of that mini into a commentary on the Bush Admin, with Cap acting as Brubaker’s mouthpiece. #22 also adds a headcase to the files: Sharon Carter has been co-opted by the Red Skull’s shrink!

last issue: Captain America #21
next issue: Captain America #23

also indexed for Nov. ’06
Annihilation #2 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
Daredevil #89
The Immortal Iron Fist #1
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #8
Runaways #20