Archive for the ‘Falcon’ Category

Avengers Assemble #21

February 24, 2016

Avengers Assemble 21Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni
January 2014
***

Once again strip-mining Kirby for content, Marvel editorial replaces mutants with Inhumans. But DeConnick refreshes new properties, ones w/ double-X chromosomes, by pulling out a few ’00s supervillains. But her focus is Spider-Girl (AKA Araña) on a team-up with Black Widow & Spider-Woman.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #20
next issue: Avengers Assemble #22

also indexed for Jan. ’14
Captain Marvel #17
Hawkeye #14

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Avengers Assemble #19

February 21, 2016

Avengers Assemble 19Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Barry Kitson
November 2013
**

Spider-Woman and Black Widow rescue Captain Marvel from robo-aliens; a few guys are involved too, incl. Spidey’s BF. The gender reversal is good enough to make this issue of space opera serviceable. But it’s also Event Sprawl, scenes too small for the three mags (!) telling the central story.

see also Captain Marvel #16
last issue: Avengers Assemble #18
next issue: Avengers Assemble #20

also indexed for Nov. ’13
Captain Marvel #16

Captain Marvel #15

February 20, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.15Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Pat Olliffe
October 2013
**

The Avengers fly two starships into a space battle: one for each of KSDC’s mags. It’s a crossover that requires a non-CM issue for context, which is terribly alienating to newer readers. The amnesia of last issue is backburnered too. KSDC does what she can, & it’s passable fun.

continued from Avengers #18
see also Avengers Assemble #18
last issue: Captain Marvel #14
next issue: Captain Marvel #16

also indexed for Oct. ’13
Avengers Assemble #18

Captain Marvel #14

February 18, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.14Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn with Gerardo Sandoval
September 2013
***

Carol’s nemesis isn’t just a resurrected Kree villain, he somehow is the Kirbytech that gave her superpowers; to stop him, Cap gives herself brain damage. It’s comic-book science, not totally clear, but otherwise KSDC executes her finale ably, following the Buffy template of heroic sacrifice.

continued from Avengers Assemble #17
continued in Infinity #1 of 6
last issue: Captain Marvel #13
last issue: Captain Marvel #15

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Avengers Assemble #17
Hawkeye #12
Hawkeye Annual #1

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

Avengers Assemble #16

February 15, 2016

Avengers Assemble 16Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni
August 2013
***

Now that the dark days of Bendis are done, quality Avengers comics are everywhere! This crossover with CM sets up a solid threat in a resurrected Kree warrior: the original Cap’s first nemesis, merged with the Kirbytech engine that empowered our heroine. Love how the Kree Empire hangs up on him!

continued from Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1
continued in Captain Marvel #13
last issue: Avengers Assemble #15AU
next issue: Avengers Assemble #17

also indexed for Aug. ’13
Captain Marvel #13
Hawkeye #11

Avengers Assemble #11

February 7, 2016

Avengers Assemble 11Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
March 2013
***

KSDC proves her knack for writing super-comics, both solo & team mags. This arc may be formulaic—a megalomaniac aims to conquer the world with mad science—but she injects just enough humor to make it a fun read & her dialogue doesn’t fall prey to Bendis-like vamping as it shows personality.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #10
next issue: Avengers Assemble #12

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Captain Marvel #9
Hawkeye #7
Winter Soldier #14

Captain America #18

December 12, 2015

Captain America 5.18Ed Brubaker with Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
early December 2012
**

A 3-pronged action climax set in a space base, a rioting city, & an airborne villain’s lair. Yet it’s dense w/ clichéd plots, skipped story beats & fudged explanations—it’s barely passable as super-comics. Eaton adds to the generic quality with 4-panel pages & a style 15 years out of date.

last issue: Captain America #17
next issue: Captain America #19

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #19
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23
Winter Soldier #11

Captain America #17

December 11, 2015

Captain America 5.17Ed Brubaker with Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
November 2012
**

To attack Cap’s confidence, terrorists cause riots—the sort of cart-before-horse plotting that makes villains super-ridiculous. But Brubaker’s always cast his hero as a neurotic Atlas struggling w/ his symbolic burden. More interesting is the cover’s bout, which establishes a Zemo/Agent 13 rivalry.

last issue: Captain America #16
next issue: Captain America #18

also indexed for Nov. ’12
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22
Winter Soldier #10

Captain America #16

December 9, 2015

Captain America 5.16Ed Brubaker & Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
October 2012
***

People are rioting in DC, influenced by a brain-ray carried via right-wing cable-TV. The hypnosis pattern is groovy op-art! An old plot device gets updated with smartphone screens, & it fits Brubaker’s obsession w/ mind control well. Less convincing is this comic’s widescreen destruction.

last issue: Captain America #15
next issue: Captain America #17

also indexed for Oct. ’12
The Fantastic Four #609
FF #21
Winter Soldier #9

Captain America #15

December 7, 2015

Captain America 5.15Ed Brubaker & Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
late September 2012
**

After evil supergoons devastate Times Sq, a Glenn Beck parody attacks Cap’s rep. Behind both plots is a villainous scheme to <yawn> emotionally wreck our hero. Eaton fills his page count, & Brubaker has one foot out the door, so who’s to blame for some terrible work in an opening battle scene?

last issue: Captain America #14
next issue: Captain America #16

also indexed for Sept. ’12
Captain America #14
The Fantastic Four #608
FF #20
Winter Soldier #8

Captain America #10

November 27, 2015

Captain America 5.10Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
June 2012
**

Riots in Harlem, stoked by terrorists & led by a mind-zapped Falcon. Is Brubaker taking up the old (white) American fear of race war? It’s an allusion to Kirby but still smells dodgy. Best to set that aside; enjoy Davis’ skill with facial expressions & the way Agent 13 outwits Machinesmith.

last issue: Captain America #9
next issue: Captain America #11

also indexed for Jun. ’12
The Fantastic Four #605
FF #17
Winter Soldier #4

Captain America #9

November 24, 2015

Captain America 5.09Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
May 2012
***

Agent 13 negotiates with Machinesmith, a devious AI w/ intel on her BF’s power loss, & she proves how badass she is. Davis pencils an acrobatic laser battle, tho’ SF isn’t his best mode. In fact, great as he is, tonally he’s a huge deviation from this 100+ issue run of hard, cinematic spy-fi.

last issue: Captain America #8
next issue: Captain America #10

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America & Bucky #628
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16
Winter Soldier #3

Captain America #8

November 21, 2015

Captain America 5.08Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
April 2012
***

Cap’s super-physique keeps reverting to 98-lb. weakling. Behind the change is a murderer’s row of enemies: a HYDRA Queen of Dreams & her WW2 supersoldier flame (Bru’s recent creations), archenemy Baron Zemo, a late-Kirby WMD, Gruenwald’s Serpent Squad, even an AI created by Byrne/Stern!

last issue: Captain America #7
next issue: Captain America #9

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1
Winter Soldier #2

Captain America #7

November 18, 2015

Captain America 5.07Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
March 2012
***

Brubaker has fashioned a new ongoing arc for his A-title, scotching the conspiracy plot of Secret Avs. Fans of Gruenwald’s era will love it; I’m happy to see a classic bit of Kirbytech that causes riots. But it’s all super-plot, less compelling than the political spy-fi of 7 (!) years ago.

last issue: Captain America #6
next issue: Captain America #8

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #626
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Captain America #5

November 15, 2015

Captain America 5.05Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven & Guiseppe Camuncoli
early February 2012
***

There’s a good concept here (a revived New Dealer accuses Cap of failing their ideals) but the point gets obscured. Partly that’s McN’s fault—he turns the foe into a ranter. He can’t even go 5 issues without a delay & assist! But frankly this arc’s longer on 4-color action than ideas or craft.

last issue: Captain America #4
next issue: Captain America #6

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain
America #6
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Captain America #4

November 14, 2015

Captain America 5.04Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
January 2012
***

Cap’s trapped in a dreamscape while his pals fight the terrorists who put him there. I do like the idealistic scheme of a fellow man-out-of-time to replace 21C America with the ’38 World’s Fair. Otherwise it’s standard stuff for both the run & the title generally, & McN’s art is pretty but plastic.

last issue: Captain America #3
next issue: Captain America #5

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America & Bucky #624
The Fantastic Four #600
Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
FF #12

Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1

November 12, 2015

Fear Itself 7.1 Captain AmericaEd Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2012
****

EB got to conclude Civil War in his mag, & here’s the trade-off: another event mini, Fear Itself, hosts the fatal confrontation btw his creations Bucky & Sin. Fair? Maybe, but it’s bad storytelling. So Bru plays a trump: a dose of SHIELD’s secret serum revives Buck (again).

continued from Fear Itself #7 of 7
continued in Winter Soldier #1

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
Captain America & Bucky #624
Fantastic Four #600
FF #12

Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes

October 28, 2015

Captain America 615A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
April 2011
A-story: ****

The Red Skull’s heir gives the Statue of Liberty a black eye; Bucky pleads guilty for his Manchurian Candidate crimes but gets a lenient judge. The mag has taken a while to get its rhythm back, but it does sound like the story Brubaker wanted to tell. And a few of Guice’s layouts channel Steranko!

last issue: Captain America #614
next issue: Captain America #615.1

also indexed for Apr. ’11
The Fantastic Four #588
Secret Avengers #9

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

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 #610: Bucky Barnes

October 16, 2015

Captain America 610A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
November 2010
A-story: ****

Amid castle ruins on the fatal North Sea isle, Zemo tests Bucky to see if the haunted hero will choose death after all. He doesn’t, natch. But there’s a weird level on which the villain, stage-managing an episode of psychological torture for the protag’s benefit, is Brubaker’s in-story deputy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #609
next issue: Captain America #611

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four #583
Secret Avengers #5
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes

October 13, 2015

Captain America 609A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
October 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky gets himself captured by Baron Zemo. I like the character’s impulsive stupidity, which gives this match-up some juice: Barnes’ muscle is outclassed by Zemo’s mind. I also enjoy Guice’s retro art, which reminds me of ’70s Sal Buscema, w/ stronger layouts amid Kirby-isms & anatomic mishaps.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
next issue: Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582
Secret Avengers #4
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes

October 10, 2015

Captain America 608A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
September 2010
A-story: ****

Bucky’s caught in a media storm when his secret ID as Cap & his history as the Winter Soldier get leaked. The defamation is by Baron Zemo, a clever supervillain w/ several classic schemes already. He’s a worthy foe for Bucky, and this rivalry could be stretched from an arc into an epic.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #607
next issue: Captain America #609

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes

October 8, 2015

Captain America 607A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
August 2010
A-story: ***

A standard plot—supervillain manipulates the hero via sneak attack & defamation—that the creators lift #607 above convention. Bucky has a two-fisted personality: brave but dumb. More interesting is the artwork, which merges Mazzucchelli realism w/ a Kirby homage, a good baseline look for this mag.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #606
next issue: Captain America #608

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Fantastic Four #580
Secret Avengers #2
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Captain America #606: Bucky Barnes

October 6, 2015

Captain America 606A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2010
A-story: ***

I like this hero’s twisted psyche: less a deathwish than a pain-as-penance hang-up. But the arc’s elsewhere: Baron Zemo learns Cap’s secret ID! As the hooded son of the Nazi who’d “killed” Bucky in WW2, he’s a natural enemy to test our hero’s mettle. This has potential to revive the flagging run.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #605
next issue: Captain America #607

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579
The Marvels Project #8 of 8
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Captain America #605: Bucky Barnes

October 3, 2015

Captain America 605A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
June 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky stops the nutso Cap by plugging him; the Falcon pitches a goon into a ravine. Bru’s 21C Cap is a liberal hawk, his enemy a revanchist döppel-Cap threatening the homeland with a militia bomb atop the Hoover Dam! But Ross stages the fight poorly—he never shows us the Wonder of the West.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #604
next issue: Captain America #606

also indexed for Jun. ’10
Fantastic Four #578
Guardians of the Galaxy #25
Nova #36

Captain America #604: Bucky Barnes

October 2, 2015

Captain America 604A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
May 2010
A-story: ***

Most of #604 has Sam Wilson fight cyber-armored goons on a bomb-laden train bound for the Hoover Dam; echoes of 2001 are implicit. But I’m impressed that Brubaker would draw a link btw Tea Partiers & Al Qaeda! Picking up on #603’s homoeroticism, Bad Cap demands that Bucky cosplay in his old uni.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #603
next issue: Captain America #605

also indexed for May ’10
Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
The Marvels Project #7 of 8
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Captain America #603: Bucky Barnes

September 30, 2015

Captain America 603A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
April 2010
A-story: ***

A classic Marvel plot: New Cap & the Falcon scope out a right-wing militia. The quality is concomitant w/ your enjoyment of that trope. Note the absence of women. Romance acts as a drag on this Cap run: the dialogue is awkward, & women mainly act like beards. Comics for two-fisted liberal men!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America#602
next issue: Captain America #604

also indexed for Apr. ’10
Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
The Marvels Project #6 of 8
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Captain America #602: Bucky Barnes

September 28, 2015

Captain America 602A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
March 2010
A-story: ****

Brubaker unpauses his plot about ’50s Cap, who’s in Idaho forming a militia. An anti-tax protest & other comments cast the psychotic, stunted, onetime McCarthyite as a Cap for Tea Party patriots. It’s a clever commentary on contempo politics in keeping w/ the mag’s liberal tradition.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #601
next issue: Captain America #603

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
The Marvels Project #5 of 8
Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6

September 27, 2015

Captain America Reborn 6 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
March 2010
****

Sharon Carter & Steve Rogers (recovered from his “death”) defeat the Red Skull—even tho’ he’s a giant-size robot! That awesome climax, totally in bounds given the set-up, almost makes me forgive the (editorially dictated?) delay of the resurrection & Bucky’s now-superfluous promotion to captaincy.

continued in Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America #602
The Marvels Project #5 of 8
Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

September 24, 2015

Captain America Reborn 5 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
February 2010
**

Padding: a slugfest on the Washington Mall, as the Red Skull fights Bucky in Cap’s body, & Steve Rogers in Cap’s mindscape. This should’ve been #49, instead of #5 of 6 in another cash-grab event mini. Hitch draws okay panels (w/ figures very like Neal Adams), but he can’t lay a page out well.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1 of 1
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
The Marvels Project #4 of 8
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6

September 20, 2015

Captain America Reborn 3 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
November 2009
***

Although I’m enjoying this mini, I suspect it would fit better in the serial mag. BH’s pedigree (Authority, Ultimates) is stronger than his cinematic panels & dullish layouts. But it matches EB’s plot for #3, which is simply action-movie combat; he’s more interested in touring Cap continuity.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
The Marvels Project #3 of 8
Nova #29
War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6

September 16, 2015

Captain America Reborn 1 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
September 2009
****

Surprising no one, Steve Rogers didn’t die—sort of. Lifting ideas from Vonnegut & TV’s Lost, Bru has set Cap adrift in his own timeline. This high concept would feel stronger if it weren’t for Hitch’s blockbuster-style uber-realism, which fits poorly with comic-book gonzo & Kirbytech.

continued from Captain America #601
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Captain America #601
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Captain America #600

September 14, 2015

Captain America 600a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice with David Aja, Raphael Albaquerque, Mitch Breitweiser, & Howard Chaykin
b-plot:  Roger Stern // Kalman Andrasofszky
c-plot: Mark Waid // Dale Eaglesham
August 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: *****
c-plot: ****

Dubious accounting allows Marvel to claim that #600 follows #50. It checks in w/ all the plots, acting as a friendly prologue to next month’s resurrection. Yep, Sharon Carter suspects that she didn’t gun her BF down after all! Ironically, this ish means to memorialize the hero, but only the strong back-ups succeed. On an Astro City periphery, Stern draws on 9/11 by casting Bernie Rosenthal (his Cap run’s romantic foil) as a refugee from NYC after the hero’s assassination.

continued in Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
last issue: Captain America #50
next issue: Captain America #601

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Daredevil #119
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

Captain America #49

September 12, 2015

Captain America 49Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
June 2009
****

The mag shifts to a novelistic pace as Sharon Carter begins to recover repressed memories, incl. her pregnancy & Cap’s aborted resurrection. #49 extends the themes of mind & memory in other ways too, mirroring its protag’s convalescence w/ ’50s Cap’s amnesia & Aunt Peggy’s Alzheimers.

last issue: Captain America #48
next issue: Captain America #50

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Daredevil #118
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

Captain America #42

September 5, 2015

Captain America 42Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Luke Ross
November 2008
****

Agent 13 impedes but doesn’t foil the Kirby robo-scientist’s plan to restore the Red Skull—in Cap’s resurrected body? The drama means more of Bucky Barnes in the role. Brubaker has pulled off an Alan Moore-style storytelling coup by re-inventing a classic character.

last issue: Captain America #41
next issue: Captain America #43

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Daredevil #111
Guardians of the Galaxy #5
Nova #17

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 #39

September 2, 2015

Captain America 39Ed Brubaker // Roberto de la Torre
August 2008
****

The bad Cap (of Englehart’s retcon) throws his support behind the Red Skull’s third-party demagogue. Meanwhile Agent 13 engineers yet another kick-ass escape from the villains’ lair. And Epting needs another reliever: de la Torre’s more off-model than the others, w/ a more expressionistic line.

last issue: Captain America #38
next issue: Captain America #40

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Daredevil #108
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14
Runaways #30
Thunderbolts #121

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 #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 #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 #29

August 23, 2015

Captain America 29Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
October 2007
****

Bru’s Cap has a lurid sense of psychology: the Soviet’s mindscape is a battlefield, & the psycho lovers share a clinch as they escape prison, & Agent 13 has morning sickness! But the art begins to flag. Epting stages phony movie ultraviolence; Perkins renders the astral plane in dull hyper-realism.

last issue: Captain America #28
next issue: Captain America #30

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
Daredevil #100
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5
Thunderbolts #116

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 #27

August 21, 2015

Captain America 27Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
August 2007
****

The mag starts to set Bucky up as its heir by having him steal the mighty shield from Tony Stark’s operative, the Black Widow. In a twist, they have a history as trysting trainees in the Cold War KGB! Marvel’s a small world. I’ll take a wait-n-see attitude to this romantic development.

last issue: Captain America #26
next issue: Captain America #28

also indexed for Aug.  ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #98
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Runaways #27
Thunderbolts #115