Archive for the ‘Green Goblin’ 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: 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 #4 of 6

September 22, 2015

Captain America Reborn 4 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
January 2010
***

Cap returns to Now to serve as the host for an uploaded Red Skull. It’s as good as Waid’s ’90s resurrection, but revivals are rarely as compelling as deaths. Here, non-Cap characters (eg Dr Doom) crowd out the book’s cast (eg Zola), with the Vision acting as Cap’s message-in-a-bottle.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’10
Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6

September 18, 2015

Captain America Reborn 2 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
October 2009
****

Cap is stuck in a bardo between lives, or Nietzsche’s eternal return w/ sci-fi trappings. Whatever: he’s an unhappy onlooker in Bru’s hard-boiled captions as Hitch restages his tragic origin. Meanwhile Norman Osborne (a Ditko character!) pushes the plot as the new head of Marvel’s superspy agency.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Daredevil #500
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
The Marvels Project #1 of 8
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

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

Thunderbolts #121

August 3, 2014

Thunderbolts 121Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
August 2008
***

The creative team stages a trad grand finale—punching, zapping, & quipping. Ellis, at least, has a touch of wit, but action is not Deodato’s forte. Still, the duo have established a v.g. status quo for this mag, by writing Songbird well &, even better, by casting Osborn as a neocon supervillain.

last issue: Thunderbolts #120
next issue: Thunderbolts #122

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14

Thunderbolts #120

August 2, 2014

Thunderbolts 120Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
July 2008
****

A quartet of telepaths have lain waste to the psyches of this unbalanced team—a turn of events that’s sent Norm Osborne for his Green Goblin mask! His psychotic willingness to commit violence has deliberate echoes of Rumsfeld’s self-justifying rants, & he’s played (via photoref) by Tommy Lee Jones.

last issue: Thunderbolts #119
next issue: Thunderbolts #121

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

Thunderbolts #119

August 1, 2014

Thunderbolts 119Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2008
***

The base is on lockdown: a super-jail whose prisoners incl a cell of telepaths w/ radical politics. Our title team is ripped by factions, as a Nazi aristo (Swordsman), attempts a coup w/ his suborned guard of redshirt soldiers. At the climax, he faces a monstrous Venom—staged as a St. George moment!

last issue: Thunderbolts #118
next issue: Thunderbolts #120

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

Thunderbolts #118

July 31, 2014

Thunderbolts 118Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
February 2008
***

A central part of Busiek’s original T-bolts, which Ellis has revived, is the sense that the status quo is unsustainable. The team starts to tear apart—but this is too soon, due to decompressed pacing. Ironically, the best moment has Songbird & Rad-Man cooperate to douse a flaming jet in its hanger.

last issue: Thunderbolts #117
next issue: Thunderbolts #119

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

Thunderbolts #117

July 30, 2014

Thunderbolts 117Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
December 2007
***

Doc Samson takes the tough-love approach to a shrink session w/ castmember Speedball. The doc is Ellis’ surrogate in rehabilitating this broken character, once a goofball & now a super-masochist in an iron maiden! Deo often puts together dandy layouts, tho’ his photo-reffed actors are wooden.

last issue: Thunderbolts #116
next issue: Thunderbolts #118

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7

Thunderbolts #116

July 29, 2014

Thunderbolts 116Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
October 2007
****

T-bolts effectively goes bimonthly for the rest of this revisionistic run. Ellis takes a ’90s-style strikeforce of black hats & uses it as a vehicle for W. Bush-era commentary. The dark side of the post-Civil War: a crackdown on civil rights, as the team’s base is an overcrowded black site prison.

last issue: Thunderbolts #115
next issue: Thunderbolts #117

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

Thunderbolts #113

July 26, 2014

Thunderbolts 113Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
June 2007
****

Several subplots are converging on Phoenix AZ: a querulous strike team of psychopaths & a trio of naïve super-types just trying to avoid the Marvel überplot, a super-draft (AKA the Initiative) & do the right thing. Deodato’s faces are very expressive, due to painterly contouring by his colorist.

last issue: Thunderbolts #112
next issue: Thunderbolts #114

also indexed for Jun. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1

Thunderbolts #112

July 25, 2014

Thunderbolts 112Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2007
****

The team’s a vivid array of luridly damaged psyches. Norman Osborne finally justifies his Clone-era resurrection, but it’s Moonstone & Songbird who stand out (as they had in Busiek’s T-bolts). The women butt heads over the leadership role in a scene out of a military briefing in the Iraqi Green Zone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #111
next issue: Thunderbolts #113

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

Thunderbolts #111

July 24, 2014

Thunderbolts 111Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
April 2007
****

Norm Osborne, on antipsychotics, leads a federal team of superconvicts. Here, they arrest one of Captain America’s protégés with extreme force & revolting machismo. This new take on the T-bolts does what Civil War didn’t: use a superhero idiom to take a timely stand against domestic policing.

last issue: Thunderbolts #110
next issue: Thunderbolts #112

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
The Immortal Iron Fist #4

Thunderbolts #110

July 23, 2014

Thunderbolts 110Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
March 2007
****

A marquee creative team revamps this mag superbly. In Ellis’ hands, the T-bolts are a variation on Suicide Squad, but w/ a strong satiric take on his übermenschen in The Authority as informed by Homeland Security. Deodato, in the cinematic mode-of-the-monent, has the virtue of being a very good DP.

last issue: Thunderbolts #109
next issue: Thunderbolts #111

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5

November 10, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 5Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
September 2009
***

Franklin, in cowboy duds, fires a real bullet from a toy gun—implying the boy has reality-altering superpowers once again. In an artful anticlimax, Mr F contacts a multiversal shadow council. This mini, itself kind of inessential, promises Hickman’s FF run will balance imagination & humanity.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
continued in The Fantastic Four #570

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5

November 9, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 4Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
August 2009
****

Hickman reveals his low opinion of Dark Reign by pitting evil G-man Norman Osborn, the metaseries’ villain, against the FF’s kids! Hero Richards, meanwhile, nobly resolves to save the world after cruising the multiverse via his Kirbytech stargate, trailing funny iterations of his team in his wake.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5

November 8, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 3Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
July 2009
***

A reiteration of last issue, as Reed uses his What-If Machine to deduce why Earth Marvel is so messed up. Hickman aims to dig his protag out from the violations done to his character. But he also supplies comics action, as Pirate Johnny, Cowgirl Sue, & Elizabethan courtier Ben slide thru spacetime.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5

Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1

July 2, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Marko Djurdjevic
November 2009
****

Bendis has written variations on the nerd question, “Why doesn’t Batman kill the Joker?” but he’s usually fumbled the ball. He finally gets it right in this cash-grab, staging the Avengers’ debate on the ethics of assassination & the death penalty. Then Hawkeye goes rogue to kill Norman Osborn.

also indexed for Nov. ’09
The Fantastic Four #571

The Pulse #5

May 8, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
November 2004
***

Osborne gets arrested, yet the big moment feels anticlimactic. Maybe it’s the obvious violation of due process when Luke Cage attacks him in broad daylight? Maybe it’s how a super-tussle violates the book’s fragile realism? Maybe it’s that Jess’ scene, a pregnancy anxiety, rings a rare hollow note?

last issue: The Pulse #4
next issue: The Pulse #6

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5

The Pulse #4

May 7, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
September 2004
****

Ben Urich, the shabby newsman from Miller’s Daredevil (& this writer’s too), pins a murder on the Green Goblin & confirms the villain’s secret ID—& incidentally, Spider-Man’s too. It’s incredibly solid work, although Bagley’s wide-eyed ‘toonish style doesn’t match the gritty, realistic tone.

last issue: The Pulse #3
next issue: The Pulse #5

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
Thanos #12

The Pulse #2

May 5, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
May 2004
**

Last issue’s corpse gets a backstory—and it’s humdrum. A Bugle reporter, nosing into a missing-persons case, gets killed by the Green Goblin. The complete lack of a hook to the character is atypical for Bendis. The only clever note is that she’s a Lois Lane manque: Terri Kidder (= Hatcher & Margot).

last issue: The Pulse #1
next issue: The Pulse #3

also indexed for May ’04
New X-Men #154
Thanos #7
Thanos #8

The Amazing Spider-Man #27

March 16, 2010

Steve Ditko/Stan Lee
August 1965
*****
Part 2 of the gangland war arc hits the spot w/ a joyously giant brawl (Spidey & 3 cops vs. Goblin, a rival kingpin, & a warehouse of goons).  Then denouement as the kingpin’s unmasked—he’s just some hood!—& Pete takes his aunt to the movies. Note: the NYPD (ie the comic) is racially integrated.
[continued in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2]
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #26]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #28]

The Amazing Spider-Man #26

March 15, 2010

Steve Ditko/Stan Lee
July 1965
*****
With Ditko in charge, Amazing gains steam. Last ish, bad-luck Pete lost both costume & spare; an ill-fitting rental provides comedic visuals.  And Goblin’s back, vying to be kingpin w/ a new masked big man—which matches the MO of a paroled reporter (see #10) who has a false ID. Cliffhanger!
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #25]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #27]

The Amazing Spider-Man #23

March 12, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
April 1965
****
This brisk actioner is more in line w/ classic Amazing than the last few, even if it doesn’t break new ground.  Spidey rounds up a crime syndicate before the Green Goblin can muscle their boss out. A bit of melodrama, a bit of humor (Pete phones Aunt May mid-fight!), & a red herring for the Gob’s ID.
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #22]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #24]

The Amazing Spider-Man #18

March 7, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
November 1964
*****
Parker doesn’t face a superbaddie here, just rotten circumstances! (Okay, he runs from a fight w/ Sandman.) With Aunt May needing constant care, Pete can’t salvage his alter ego’s rep on the streets. JJJ is grinning, Johnny Storm is moping, & Flash Thompson gets beat up for his Spidey support.
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #17]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #19]

The Amazing Spider-Man #17

March 6, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
October 1964
*****
Is Spidey idolized or reviled? Well, Pete’s teenage love triangle, simmering for months, boils over like he’s Archie. Worse, he loses the support of Spidey’s fan club when he bails on a fight (Aunt May’s sick—again!).  All this plus a resurgent Green Goblin & a guest app by heartthrob Johnny Storm!
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #16]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #18]

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

March 4, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
September 1964
*****
Amazing‘s first annual is spectacular, a comic-book classic. Spidey’s foes band together as the Sinister Six & kidnap his girl (&, coincidentally, his aunt). Unfortch, Pete’s anxiety has unconsciously repressed his spider-powers! Still, he courageously dispatches them in a half-dozen A+ splash pages. The action’s balanced by comic beats, mostly w/ JJJ, & by guest apps from Marvel’s other superheroes.
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #15]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #16]

The Amazing Spider-Man #14

March 2, 2010

Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
July 1964
****
I suspect Lee mandated this trip to New Mexico, to engineer a fight btw. Spidey & the Hulk. On a film shoot, our hero faces the Enforcers & a new foe, the Green Goblin. Ditko gives Gobby a pip of a design—elfin ears, a green/purple color scheme, & a Kirbytech broomstick—but no personality.
[last issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #13]
[next issue: The Amazing Spider-Man #15]