Archive for the ‘Galactus’ Category

Fantastic Four #523

January 1, 2015

Fantastic Four 523Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
April 2005
***

Temporarily in a human body, Galactus is inspired by Reed’s scientific humanism to step into a Kirbytech suicide booth. Or something. The plot’s a vehicle for a sentimental supercomic tour of How the Other Half Lives, with Waid & Wieringo adding a Silver Age SF poptimism. Still, it coasts a bit.

last issue: Fantastic Four #523
next issue: Fantastic Four #524

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

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Fantastic Four #522

December 31, 2014

Fantastic Four 522Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
March 2005
****

Aside from the Reed/von Doom arcs, this run has focused almost entirely on Johnny—to character-defining effect. Here at its climax, the kid uses his heraldic power of cosmic insight to stop Galactus itself! #522 does dabble in Big G’s backstory, but the action sequence btw him & the team is golden.

last issue: Fantastic Four #521
next issue: Fantastic Four #523

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Daredevil #69
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Fantastic Four #521

December 30, 2014

Fantastic Four 521Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
February 2005
*****

Aside from a gag opening, #521 is Human Torch, solo! He’s been zapped by Reed & then Big G, and now has the cosmic power to “see the unseen”(?). I can’t overpraise Waid’s Johnny Storm. It’s quintessential characterization, close to a Tom Sawyer, embodying heroic adolescence as a classic American type.

last issue: Fantastic Four #520
next issue: Fantastic Four #522

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Daredevil #68
Iron Man #2

Fantastic Four #520

December 29, 2014

Fantastic Four 520Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
January 2005
****

Part of a lark of an arc. Last ish, the Storm sibs swapped powers to save Sue from aliens. Now Galactus himself has anointed da Invisible Kid as his new herald! Tho’ he shafts Sue, I love Waid’s Johnny Storm, here seen wandering G’s ship & fighting a planet’s champion w/ cosmic forcefields.

last issue: Fantastic Four #519
next issue: Fantastic Four #521

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Daredevil #67
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Fantastic Four #519

December 28, 2014

Fantastic Four 519Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
December 2004
****

The team stops alien invaders from hurling NYC into the sun! Back to basics, as they say, w/ expert creators showing why the FF are such fun. Sadly, Sue does get deployed as the ol’ damsel in distress, saved by Mr F’s widget. It swaps her powers w/ Johnny’s—a fun variant on the loss-of-powers trope.

last issue: Fantastic Four #518
next issue: Fantastic Four #520

also indexed for Dec. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #6
Daredevil #66

The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

June 5, 2014

Thanos Imperative 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
January 2011
***

Thanos resurrects Death in a universe where Undying Gods have reigned. To stop his return to our ‘verse, Nova & Star-Lord (the leads in this era’s SF revival) halt the Mad Titan like Butch & Sundance. Tho’ this finale satisfies, it replaces the characters & twists of the lead-in mags w/ super-movie bombast.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

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

The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

June 4, 2014

Thanos Imperative 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
December 2010
***

A busy issue, as Nova preps for a noble sacrifice. Meanwhile, surprise conversations juice the plot. First, the evil Scarlet Witch is really a mole, motivated by love for the Vision (nice to see someone gets her character this decade!). Then Thanos pulls a heel turn, literally begging for a final death.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584

The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

June 2, 2014

Thanos Imperative 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
October 2010
***

The fourth (?) space war in recent years gets a strong dose of metaphysics. In the parallel universe ruled by Cthulu gods, Captain Marvel became Life’s avatar rather than dying. Then, to extinguish Death utterly, he sacrificed his opposite, Thanos, in an arcane ritual that unbalanced his cosmos!

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582

The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6

June 1, 2014

Thanos Imperative 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
September 2010
**

The writers wage Marvel’s latest space opera on several fronts & still keep the subplots clear. To imply an epic scope, they even usher Kirby Gods in to defend the universe from an Eldritch incursion! But Sepulveda draws & inks cinema-aping art that some lovely digital coloring can’t save.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 of 9
The Fantastic Four #581

Nova #15

March 15, 2014

Nova 15Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2008
***

The climax to this three-issue arc is a deus ex machina. That’s not a criticism, yet in execution, Nova’s sacrifice (he loses the Worldmind AI) fails to stand as payment for his salvation. Plus Alves slacks in staging a world’s destruction (c.f. Byrne) & Nova’s thrilling escape via G’s energy shunt.

last issue: Nova #14
next issue: Nova #16

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #3

Nova #14

March 14, 2014

Nova 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2008
***

A neat divide runs thru this ish, w/ each plot cleanly embodying its conflict in a pair of mano a mano scifi combat scenes. The first part’s stronger, showing the thin line that the Silver Surfer walks (surfs?) btw respecting his boss & saving lives. Part 2 is angry fisticuffs w/ a crazy psi-being.

last issue: Nova #13
next issue: Nova #15

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16

Nova #13

March 13, 2014

Nova 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
July 2008
****

Back to TCB as Nova evacuates a world beset by Galactus (an echo of Katrina is subtle but unmistakeable). Impressively, the ish works on three distinct levels: a fight w/ a body-hopping psi-psycho; awe at the natural force of Big G; & a liberal critique of a feudal civ that puts the aristos first.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
last issue: Nova #12
next issue: Nova #14

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of #1 
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15

Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2

February 8, 2014

A-story: Keith Giffen // Scott Kolins
B-story: Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
May 2007
A-story: *** // B-story: **

More scifi to tie loose ends & set a new status quo after a space war. The first story—a fiery angelic being metes vengeance upon quislings—is improved by vigorous art. The second—the Silver Surfer hunts godlike primeval entites—is more conventional but displays wicked surfing moves.

previous issue: Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

also indexed for May ’07
Astonishing X-Men #21

Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

February 7, 2014

Annihilation - Heralds of Galactus 1 of 2A-story: Christos Gage // Giuseppe Camuncoli
B-story: Stuart Moore // Mike McKone
April 2007
A-story: ** // B-story: **

A coda to the recent space opera (a sleeper success), these old-fashioned shorts are simple yet effective. A cosmic being, disgusted by the servility of a species he’s liberated, destroys their civilization. Another ancient scifi demigod  extinguishes his own race to feed Galactus.

continued from Annihilation #6 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2

also indexed for Apr. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #4

Annihilation #6 of 6

February 6, 2014

Annihilation 6 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
March 2007
**

Galactus vaporizes the insectoid fleet, Nova goes mano a mano with the Big Bug, & Giffen delivers an epilogue. Annihil never quite delivered on its epic promise, mostly cuz it took itself too seriously. But more, the uninspired realism of DiVito’s art muffled the core mini’s sense of scope.

last issue: Annihilation #5 of 6
continued in Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12

Annihilation #5 of 6

February 5, 2014

Annihilation 5 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
February 2007
***

Ronan (a Kirby creation, one of several here) overturns a Kree-insect alliance & assumes control of an empire! Last ish’s killing of Thanos may’ve been Ann‘s climax; w/ Galactus now free, the heroes should clean up, no problem. I only wish it felt more fun—the realistic tone & art is kind of a drag.

last issue: Annihilation #4 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #6 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #20
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

Annihilation #4 of 6

February 4, 2014

Annihilation 4 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
January 2007
***

While Civil War hits delays, Annihilation keeps to its schedule. Thanos does a heel/face turn upon learning that the bug-invader plans to destroy all life; ironically, before he can save the ‘verse, he’s killed by his nemesis. Giffen engineered this whole series to give Thanos a death he deserves!

last issue: Annihilation #3 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #5 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10

Annihilation #3 of 6

February 3, 2014

Annihilation 3 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
December 2006
***

W/ this mini, the creators aim to write a war comic in space, with this ish staging an intergalactic Dunkirk. They ought to focus on the mystical weirdness instead: Super-Skrull reborn, but also Thanos’ mad speech on cosmic energy, its effect on bio-auras, & its practical application as a weapon.

last issue: Annihilation #2 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #4 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9

Annihilation #2 of 6

February 2, 2014

Annihilation 2 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
November 2006
**

Pursuing his own agenda, antihero Thanos supports Annihilus, fells Galactus, & kidnaps babes. You need Wikipedia for some of these characters’ IDs, but it’s way better than Civil War. Giffen savors his intergalactic war, esp. the political machinations, but he doesn’t always share the pleasure w/ us.

last issue: Annihilation #1 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #3 of 6

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

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4

January 23, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 4 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
September 2006
**

The herald/hunter plot ends a dud: once more the Herald of Galactus, the Surfer steers his master clear of the war. Giffen obv finds the Thanos subplot more compelling, as the Mad Titan allies himself w/ primeval beings against the Kirby God. It’s just talk, yet the scene has tension & drive.

continued in Annihilation #1 of 4
last issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4

also indexed for Sept. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4
Civil War #3 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #7

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4

January 22, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 3 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
August 2006
***

In Annihil‘s spine, Giffen stages intrigues among the big bads. Annihilus dissects cosmic beings & arranges an alliance w/ Thanos! And the Surfer moves in narrative retrograde, pledging fealty to Galactus in return for more power. If only Arlem didn’t photoref classic scifi images (BSGStar Wars)…

last issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4

January 20, 2014

Annihilation - Silver Surfer 1 of 4Keith Giffen // Renato Arlem
June 2006
***

The spine to a cosmic metaseries about an antimatter Kirby-tyrant invading the universe. The stakes are personal: Annihilus’ dogs are hunting Galactus’ heralds, to steal their cosmic power. Giffen toys nicely w/ the Surfer’s introversion, tho’ there’s no question the hero will pitch in.

continued from Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4

Thanos #12

January 10, 2014

Thanos 12Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
September 2004
***

Thanos tames a Herald of Galactus by collapsing a Jovian-sized planet around it. Epic stuff, exactly what the Mad Titan should be doing. Tho unevenly paced & indifferently drawn (at best), this arc redeems itself by resurrecting the SF corner of Marvel continuity, which Giffen revisits in a year.

last issue: Thanos #11

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
The Pulse #4

Thanos #11

January 9, 2014

Thanos 11Keith Giffen // Ron Lim
August 2004
**

The Titan hunts a cosmic sadist powered by dark energy or some such. In turn, it seeks to murder its Kirby-God creator, Galactus. The Miltonic echo is apt for a comic about Thanos seeking redemption. But Lim fails to add the requisite stellar scope; compare KG’s simple yet epic covers for #8-11.

last issue: Thanos #10
next issue: Thanos #12

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2

FF #16

December 20, 2013

FF 16Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta & Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

If all of John H’s FF run had Nick D on art, it’d be second only to Kirby/Lee! See a heavenly moment of adult Franklin & Galactus viewing sunrise from orbit. This ish, post-grand finale, centers on Hick’s best char: supersmart toddler Val. Even her adult self mistrusts her! And in a coda, Doom.

continued from The Fantastic Four #604
last issue: FF #15
next issue: FF #17

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
The Fantastic Four #604

The Fantastic Four #604

December 19, 2013

Fantastic Four 604Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

Hickman closes out his theme of fathers & sons, as Nat & Frank Richards save Reed from mad space-gods. Franklin, in the future, will turn cosmic & take Galactus as his sidekick! Sadly, he’s only given ’90s-style hand-zaps. Maybe #604 itself is only ****, but it’s a perfect climax to an ambitious run.

continued in FF #16
last issue: The Fantastic Four #603
next issue: The Fantastic Four #605

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
FF #16

The Fantastic Four #603

December 17, 2013

Fantastic Four 603Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
April 2012
*****

Mad science-gods from an alt dimension arrive (via Hickman’s other FF mag) to pitch Galactus out of the heavens! Our heroes return fire via space-cannon powered by the sun & Kirby-energy! Visionary plotting, elaborate & epic in true SF style, tho’ Kitson doesn’t quite capture Hickman’s grandeur.

see also FF #15
last issue: The Fantastic Four #602
next issue: The Fantastic Four #604

also indexed for Apr. ’12
FF #15

The Fantastic Four #600

December 11, 2013

Fantastic Four 600A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Carmine Di Giandomenico
C-story: Jonathan Hickman // Ming Doyle
D-story: Jonathan Hickman // Leinil Yu
E-story: Jonathan Hickman // Farel Dalrymple
January 2012
A-story: **** // B-story: ***** // C-story: *****
D-story: **** // E-story: *****

A king-size #600. The A-story picks up the threads of FF, pitting every NYC superhero against a pair of alien invasions; a surprise twist has the late Johnny Storm break the Annihilation Wave! Then Hickman shows that Torch did die in #587, only to be resurrected in a gladiator scenario. That piece has a Euro look that meshes w/ the bug-‘verse setting; like all the back-up pencilers, it puts Epting to shame. Much of the art is “ugly” yet lovely, accentuating how creative JH’s whole run is.

continued from FF #11
continued in FF #12
next issue: The Fantastic Four #601

also indexed for Jan’ 12
FF #12

The Fantastic Four #587

November 28, 2013

Fantastic Four 587Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
March 2011
****

A fantastic climax caps Hickman’s first “season”! Sue stares Namor down as she’s crowned regent of Atlantis. Even better, Val leads a junior team into the Neg Zone to commit science heroics. And Johnny sacrifices himself to stop an insectoid invasion. Would be ***** but for Ept’s photorealism.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #586
next issue: The Fantastic Four #588

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9

The Fantastic Four #586

November 27, 2013

Fantastic Four 586Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
February 2011
****

Hickman seems most compelled by Reed’s plot: rescue the Nu-Earth from a vengeful Galactus. Epting seems most into Sue’s arc: stop an Atlantean peace conference from becoming a civil war. But the real actions’ w/ Johnny, who must protect home & family (incl. de-powered Ben) from an alien invasion!

last issue: The Fantastic Four #585
next issue: The Fantastic Four #587

The Fantastic Four #585

November 26, 2013

Fantastic Four 585Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
January 2011
****

Hickman has divided the Four while accelerating his story’s pace. He’s got plenty of plots in play, from the Negative Zone death-cult to an Atlantean war of succession to a deep-space excursion w/ Galactus. That last plot brushes w/ Kirby-like grandeur, tho Epting’s prosaic style doesn’t match.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #584
next issue: The Fantastic Four #586

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9

The Fantastic Four #584

November 25, 2013

Fantastic Four 584Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
December 2010
****

For over a year, Hickman has been writing one- & two-issue arcs, which makes this multi-plot storyline all the more portentous. Reed parleys w/ Galactus while Sue escorts Namor to Old Atlantis. But the soul is Ben, who swigs his cure & clobbers the gentrified Yancy Gang, now hedge-fund financiers!

last issue: The Fantastic Four #583
next issue: The Fantastic Four #585

The Fantastic Four #571

November 12, 2013

Fantastic Four 572Jonathan Hickman // Dale Eaglesham
November 2009
***

Mr Fantastic of the main Marvel U gets a grand tour of the utopian works performed by the multiversal Council of Reeds: granary planets, battles w/ Galacti, and (a red flag) lobotomizing each ‘verse’s Dr. Doom. The SF narrative has a thrilling audacity, but it keeps one eye on his marriage.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #570
next issue: The Fantastic Four #572

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1

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/JLA #2 of 4

October 5, 2013

Avengers.JLA 2 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
October 2003
*****

The two superteams race to acquire cosmic artifacts. If the Avengers win, the DC supervillain Krona will destroy their ‘verse in a mad quest for knowledge! The simple, Gardner Fox-type plot lets comics counterparts compete (eg Superman v. Thor), w/ the creative duo staging the super-fights superbly. In an A+ twist, Batman recognizes he & Captain A. are too evenly matched, & strike an alliance.

last issue: JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
next issue: JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
New X-Men #145

The Fantastic Four #341

July 1, 2013

Fantastic Four 341Walt Simonson
June 1990
***
Rather than consume the universe, Galactus commits euthanasia by that Kirby ex machina, the Ultimate Nullifier. Reed defeats a space succubus just as easily. As bold as Simonson’s art is, his plot feels too indebted to King Jack’s retro SF; he’s not pioneering a new perspective the way his Thor did.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #340]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #342]

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 Fantastic Four #339

June 29, 2013

Fantastic Four 339Walt Simonson
April 1990
***
Delightful super-SF comics. To destroy the black-hole machinery of mighty Galactus, Reed & the gang refit a space empire’s munitions plants as interstellar depth charges! Also, Simonson pauses the space adventure to indulge in a heavyweight superhero boy: Thor v. an alien Superman analog.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #338]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #340]

The Fantastic Four #338

June 28, 2013

Fantastic Four 338Walt Simonson
March 1990
****
A multiversal trio of Kangs race a space succubus to harness a black hole. Our heroes learn that it’s actually feeding Galactus, & also must contend w/ an oddball marc from the future. Confused? This SF adventure couples grandiosity w/ whimsy, as when the team skirts the hole’s event horizon!
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #337]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #339]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 of 12

February 13, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
April 1985
**
An anonymous roster of artists, betrayed by a diversity of styles, help Zeck complete issue #12 on time. The motives of the Beyonder (such a terrible name!) again get teased but remain obscure. Doom’s final battle w/ the entity is a sound-&-light show, while the heroes get resurrected offstage then return home via Kirbytech. And so the Wars wrap up patly, tying up ends left dangling since #1.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12

February 13, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
March 1985
**
Rule #1: never show Doom’s face! Tho’ the now divine Doc has removed his mask, he hasn’t quite left behind his human desires. Presumably that’s why the heroes, chatting at a conference table <yawn>, get zapped by lightning. Plus, Colossus gets busy w/ an alien chick, to the fury of Pryde fans.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12

February 12, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
February 1985
***
Shooter’s flaws (bad dialogue, brute combat) haven’t vanished, but he pulls a twist! While the heroes cower, Dr. Doom wins the Secret War! With Miltonic self-regard, he syphons off the cosmic power of Galactus then challenges the godlike “Beyonder”. Finally, the series’ scope equals its remit.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12

February 11, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
January 1985
**
Mr F asks what a godlike entity could hope to gain from arena sport. Shooter almost breaks thru the banality, but <sigh> having no answer, he falls back on his plot of Galactus Rising. Anyway, Zeck submits his best work of the series: his panels smooth & unfussy, his pacing tight but not hurried.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12

February 10, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
December 1984
*
Finally, something happens! The good guys storm the citadel of the bad guys. It’s a bash-’em-up battle, which is ironic as Shooter made his youthful rep on DC’s Legion by inventing non-strength & -energy superpowers. The cover tells the real story of this ish: Spidey gets a new black costume.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12

February 9, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
November 1984
*
A new Spider-Woman in a black leotard walks out of the shadows. “I’m Spider-Woman!” she announces. The next panel: “Hello everyone! I’m Spider-Woman!” Then she wanders off for the rest of the issue. To think, Shooter is Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer! Another low point: She-Hulk gets a beatdown.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12

February 8, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
October 1984
*
Colossus moons over an alien chick; the Wasp gets killed; Galactus constructs his enigmatic Kirbytech; combat resembles schoolyard tussling. Thankfully, Zeck has returned with his delicate line. His long shots of tiny figures, each carefully rendered & colored, are the only entertainment on view.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12

February 7, 2012

Jim Shooter // Bob Layton
September 1984
*
In the latest wrinkle to this slow-moving mag, Galactus plans to eat the artificial world out from under the superhumans. But it’s a case of telling, not showing. Layton’s fill-in work shows him to be a fine match for Shooter, w/ dull pencils & conventional layouts contributing a lack of urgency.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12

February 4, 2012

Jim Shooter // Bob Layton
August 1984
**
Despite being fill-in work, the cover to #4 is the series’ best: not a pin-up pose but a claustrophobic shot of the Hulk propping up a mountain. Finally, something happens! The rest, however, is down to MSHSW‘s usual level. Check that last page, meant to be a cliffhanger: Galactus raises his arms!
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 of 12

February 3, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
July 1984
*
A hurricane pounds the Kirbytech bases on the patchwork world, establishing—surprise!—a romantic mood! In a twist, the Wasp hooks up with Magneto! But Shooter has a tin ear even for strongly voiced characters like Spidey & Dr. Doom. His own creations, a pair of superwomen, have woefully generic powers.
[last issue: Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars #2 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #2 of 12

February 2, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
June 1984
*
Zeck’s landscapes give this maxiseries a weird sense of place, and his trad three-tier grid keeps the action clear. But Shooter—Marvel’s creative chief!—writes such flat characters & brute superpowers! Only Dr. Doom is on model, as he audaciously aims above the series’ good v. evil battle royale.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 of 12]