Archive for the ‘Sersi’ Category

Avengers Assemble #17

February 17, 2016

Avengers Assemble 17Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni with Pepe Larraz
September 2013
***

The Avs fail to stop a superbaddie from focusing energy on NYC using Kirbybots. The art’s fine (a ‘clean’ style that I think of as late ’00s Superman) & so’s the plot. But see how often the minor characters are women, like a guest turn by Sersi? It’s just that easy to write feminist comics, boys!

continued from Captain Marvel #13
continued in Captain Marvel #14

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Captain Marvel #14
Hawkeye #12
Hawkeye Annual #1

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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

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

The Eternals #18

July 30, 2012

Jack Kirby
****
December 1977
Tho it lacks the several weaving plots of the mag’s first year, this issue helps return it to its epic form. A corrupt Eternal investigates ways to kill the space gods. His discovery: on a prior visit, Celestial fought Celestial! The double-page spread showing its disintegration is King-size superb.
[last issue: The Eternals #17]
[next issue: The Eternals #19]

The Eternals #17

July 29, 2012

Jack Kirby
November 1977
***
A return to this mag’s magniloquent format, a constantly roiling cauldron of super-ideas. Sersi helps the men against a monstrous mind-tyrant. The mummied titan speaks w/ the same imposing, will-annihilating voice as Kirby’s greatest creation, Darkseid. The art, however, is less impressive.
[last issue: The Eternals #16]
[next issue: The Eternals #18]

The Eternals #16

July 28, 2012

Jack Kirby
October 1977
***
Under the city, the Eternals’ leader, red-bearded Zuras, faces a psi-beast he’d interred in prehistoric times. It echoes Kirby’s Thor work w/ Lee, but the tone is darker & angst-ridden. Once again, Manhattan lies devastated; its residents cower in their homes as the firefighters stomp out blazes.
[last issue: The Eternals #15]
[next issue: The Eternals #17]

The Eternals #15

July 27, 2012

Jack Kirby
September 1977
**
Ikaris & the gang face an irradiated robot version of the Hulk. In Jack’s hands, it should be cool, but his heart seems to have left The Eternals as editorial (presumably) dictates he write less gonzo sci-fi & more conventional superheroics. Even his “neo-Hulk” lacks the rugged dynamism it deserves.
[last issue: The Eternals #14]
[next issue: The Eternals #16]

The Eternals #14

July 26, 2012

Jack Kirby
August 1977
**
Cosmic energy irradiates a Hulk robot, causing it to come to life w/ all the brutality & strength of the actual monster. Kirby makes a hard turn into conventional superhero fare, which plays to his weaknesses (ham-fisted dialogue, old-fash plots) rather than his strengths (a hyperactive imagination).
[last issue: The Eternals #13]
[next issue: The Eternals #15]

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 #11

July 21, 2012

Jack Kirby
May 1977
****
This mag follows a fractal pattern, w/ each issue expanding a plot from earlier. A global gathering of the titular superman introduces a polar clan—who, significantly, have infiltrated the Kremlin as voices of moderation. But to no avail: bellicose Russians attempt to nuke a Celestial space god.
[last issue: The Eternals #10]
[next issue: The Eternals #12]

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]

Captain America #401

November 9, 2010

Mark Gruenwald // Rik Levins
June 1992
***
After the grim conclusion to the Avengers x-over, Cap wonders whether his moral rectitude is outmoded in ’90s comics. It’s a fine bit of self-reflection as Cap, Hawkeye & Iron Man go out for a beer. The subplot, in ironic counterpoint, slowly builds tension: Diamondback seems destined for torture.
[continued from The Avengers #347]
[last issue: Captain America #400]

The Avengers #347

November 8, 2010

Bob Harras // Steve Epting
May 1992
***
Part 19 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
A morally confused denouement to a well-done crossover. Initially, this ish is a sentimental paean to the brutality of war & civilian casualties. But the emotional affect unravels as the plot bends to convention. The heroes survive a galactic bomb blast w/o a scratch, then half the team slaughters the alien AI who plotted the genocide. Harras & DeFalco are simply naive w/r/t violence & war.
[continued from Wonder Man #9]
[continued in Captain America #401]
[last issue: The Avengers #346]
[next issue: The Avengers #348]

Wonder Man #9

November 7, 2010

Gerard Jones // Jeff Johnson
May 1992
***
Part 18 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
The crossover plot roars into a surprise turn (albeit foreshadowed): the Avengers arrive too late to defuse antimatter bomb! Jones continues to aim for substance, even if he stacks his deck in considering the ethics of genocide. And tho’ JJ gives good pacing, his art is a bit too ’90s for me.
[continued from Quasar #34]
[continued in The Avengers #347]
[last issue: Wonder Man #8]
[next issue: Wonder Man #10]

Captain America #400

November 4, 2010

A-plot: Mark Gruenwald // Rik Levins
May 1992
A-story: ***
Part 15 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Momentum is starting to flag on the third time thru the line-up for this crossover. Take this chapter: it’s fun but it feels padded out. For the mag’s 400th issue (!), Cap wrestles half a dozen foes till he realizes it’s a psychodrama—a giant green Kirby AI hive-mind’s attempt to assimilate him.
[continued from The Mighty Thor #446]
[continued in Avengers West Coast #82]
[last issue: Captain America #399]
[next issue: Captain America #401]

Iron Man #279

November 2, 2010

Lee Kaminski // Paul Ryan
April 1992
**
Part 13 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Iron Man & Hawkeye skulk thru a space empire’s capital, hoping to free their comrades—which is to say, it’s standard Flash Gordon space-action in superhero drag. But as a chapter in a crossover, it’s ***: designed & executed ably, a showcase of momentum & suspense, w/ twists in several plot strands.
[continued from The Avengers #346]
[continued in The Mighty Thor #446]
[last issue: Iron Man #278]
[next issue: Iron Man #280]

The Avengers #346

November 1, 2010

Bob Harras // Steve Epting
April 1992
***
Part 12 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
The ugly head of the Supreme Intelligence usurps the Kree Imperium, but has he got a deeper goal than mere power? Mostly tho’, this ish is a thumping match btw. the Avengers & an alien superteam. But Epting’s improving: his sleek style, pacing & settings happily obscure the cliches in Harras’ script.
[continued from Wonder Man #8]
[continued in Iron Man #279]
[last issue: The Avengers #345]
[next issue: The Avengers #347]

Captain America #399

October 25, 2010

A-plot: Mark Gruenwald // Rik Levins
April 1992
A-story: ***
Part 8 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
Gruenwald pads out the Avengers crossover space opera, sending Cap & co. scrambling around the Kree homeworld. The plot treads water & there’s no arc to speak of. But MG’s capable writing stages a clash of personalities btw. Cap & Iron Man and smart aerial hand-to-hand combat btw. Cap & a superalien.
[continued from The Mighty Thor #445]
[continued in Avengers West Coast #81]
[last issue: Captain America #398]
[next issue: Captain America #400]

Iron Man #278

October 23, 2010

Lee Kaminsky // Paul Ryan
March 1992
**
Part 6 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
On an Avengers peacekeeping mission to the Kree Empire, Iron Man proves his worth. He hacks an alien computer, wrestles a robot sentinel in zero-g, & usurps Captain America’s rank by favoring discretion over valor. The dialogue is wretched (esp. for the guest Avengers), the art’s serviceable.
[continued from The Avengers #345]
[continued in  The Mighty Thor #445]
[last issue: Iron Man #277]
[next issue: Iron Man #279]

The Avengers #345

October 22, 2010

Bob Harras // Steve Epting
March 1992
**
Part 5 of “Operation: Galactic Storm”
The Kree-Shi’ar War is destabilizing our sun by using our system as a hyperspace bypass. So every Avenger is mobilized for one front or another. Harras delivers the ham that good space opera needs, but as always, he fails to harmonize an ensemble of voices or bring authenticity to the action.
[continued from Wonder Man #7]
[continued in Iron Man #278]
[last issue: The Avengers #344]
[next issue: The Avengers #346]