Archive for the ‘Hulkling’ Category

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

November 5, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 9Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2011
****

A:TCC‘s strongest issue, prob’ly cuz it plays to Heinb’s strengths: character & dialog, and his core team of Young Avs. Some closure as Iron Lad, by killing Vision 2.0, accepts his destiny as Kang the Conqueror. The catastrophe gets treated w/ emotional weight, as the team drifts apart over months.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for May ’11
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

November 4, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 8Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
March 2012
****

There’s no good way to retcon a bad story, so A:TCC provides multiple ones for Wanda M’s haywire episodes, incl. the possibility that Doom was behind it all. Now he’s got cosmic powers, unluckily for Cassie Lang. The storytellers play fairly, trading her life for her father’s resurrection.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

also indexed for Mar. ’12
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

November 3, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 7Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
November 2011
***

With 4 superteams in this ish, it’s no surprise that characters get lost in the melée. The mag’s real point is a retcon of Av Disassembled & reversal of House of M. Offpage, the Scarlet Witch had allied with Dr. Doom to tap into a “life-force” that gave her reality-altering powers.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for Nov. ’11
FF #9

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

November 2, 2013

Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
Avengers Children's Crusade 6August 2011
****

The Scarlet Witch confirms that, yes, she is Wiccan’s mother, metaphysically at least. It’s earnest comic sturm und drang that makes A:TCC the best “essential” Marvel U. tale of the terrible Bendis Era. To underscore this mini’s central status, X-teams (incl. David’s X-Fac) make strong cameos.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

also indexed for Aug. ’11
FF #5

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9

November 1, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 5Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
June 2011
****

Kid Kang, AKA Iron Lad, returns from the future; if Young Avs had been Heinberg & Cheung all along, this would be a thrilling development. Anyway, his time travel allows for this maxiseries remit: to “correct” the catastrophic plot of Disassembled, such as a broken Scarlet Witch & dead Scott Lang.

continued from Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

also indexed for Jun. ’11
FF #2

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1

October 31, 2013

Young Avengers special 1Allen Heinberg // Alan Davis
May 2011
***

Heinberg’s worst single issue in a fun split run. Storywise, his one-shot means to raise the stakes by showing Kang mis-leading the adult YAs in a timewar. But it slides into a needless “issue #0” flashback. Tho’ Davis isn’t in his element (chatty spandex comics), he does yeoman’s work.

continued from Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
continued in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9

also indexed for May ’11
FF #1

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9

October 30, 2013

Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
Avengers Children's Crusade 4March 2011
***

Scribe Heinberg places his legacy team-up against some heavy foes: Dr. Doom, Magneto, the Avengers… Ironically, the “heroic” team is the most violent & unambiguously motivated. In the melée, many of the Young Avs get shrifted, tho’ Heinberg’s favorite member, Wiccan, shares the focus with Wanda M.

continued in Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9

also indexed for Mar. ’11
The Fantastic Four #587

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9

October 29, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 3Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
January 2011
***

Talky but still stronger than Bendis’ Avengers comics, whose failures this mag seeks to correct. In fact, A:TCC casts those New Avengers as villains, which makes sense considering their smug bullying. Meanwhile, the kids have uncovered the Scarlet Witch, amnesiac and affianced to Dr. Doom!

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9

also indexed for Jan. ’11
The Fantastic Four #585

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9

October 28, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 2Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
November 2010
***

To find his “metaphysical” mother (the Scarlet Witch), Wiccan & the gang team up w/ Magneto & Quicksilver for a trip to C. Europe. As if guided by destiny or plot necessity, they learn that she’s a Doombot! Trad super-team comics in a modern idiom, driven by character dynamics & fannish continuity.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9

also indexed for Nov. ’10
The Fantastic Four #583

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 of 9

October 27, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 1Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
September 2010
***

The creators of Young Avs reunite to rescue their fine team from cameo limbo & tie up the essential loose end: the relationship btw Speed & Wiccan to the Scarlet Witch’s “lost” twin children. It feels as if the reader has simply missed a few years of issues while the cast shuffled & powered up.

next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9

also indexed for Sept. ’10
The Fantastic Four #581

Young Avengers #12

October 26, 2013

Young Avengers 12Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
August 2006
***

YA, like Astonishing X, has hit catastrophic delays, & sadly folds up shop just as it begins to deliver on its potential. That Marvel space-opera, the Kree-Skrull War, reverbs as Avengers kids & adults fight to keep Hulkling from getting drafted by both sides. Clean fun, classic superhero comics.

last issue: Young Avengers #11

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6

Young Avengers #11

October 25, 2013

Young Avengers 11Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2006
****

Hulkling learns he’s the illegit son of Capt. Marvel & a Skrull princess, conceived during the Kree-Skrull War! Wiccan & Speed too have an illustrious parentage, as their souls transmigrated from the Scarlet Witch’s lost twins! The electrifying reveals epitomize the legacy approach of this mag.

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

also indexed for May ’06
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14

Young Avengers #10

October 24, 2013

Young Avengers 10Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
March 2006
***

H&C expand their mag’s cast. First is a new Vision, his OS downloaded into Kid Kang’s armor a few issues back. Another’s a white-haired speedster (like Quicksilver) &, oddly, Wiccan’s twin. But #10 centers on Hulkling, whose secret backstory is revealed as that hoary trope, the orphan princeling!

continued from Young Avengers Special #1
last issue: Young Avengers #9
next issue: Young Avengers #11

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1

Young Avengers Special #1

October 23, 2013

Young Avengers special 1Allen Heinberg // Michael Gaydos, Neal Adams, Gene Ha, Jae Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Pasqual Ferry
February 2006
***

As YA hits delays, it offers a special to keep interest high & loop new readers in. It’s secret origins time, as Jess Jones (drawn by Gaydos, as she should be) interviews the teen team. Each episode gets a different artist—serious talent, & some of my faves. On the plus side, gay hero Wiccan shares a curious spark w/ Scarlet Witch; on the minus, the tough, awesome Hawkeye has a rapey backstory.

continued from Young Avengers #9
continued in Young Avengers #10

Young Avengers #9

October 22, 2013

Young Avengers 09Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
December 2005
***

Super-Skrull outs Hulkling’s “mother” as a ‘shifter—a clue to his secret origin. YA nails ’00s NYC, an urban environment as safe as 1960s suburbia. The clean-cut liberal teens attend private schools & meet up afterwards for super-extracurriculars. It all gives the mag a delightful Silver Age tone.

continued in Young Avengers Special #1
last issue: Young Avengers #8
next issue: Young Avengers #10

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Secret War #5 of 5

Young Avengers #8

October 21, 2013

Young Avengers 08Allen Heinberg // Andrea DiVito
November 2005
***

The teen comics mag takes on the classic PSA subject of drug use. The Cap analog, a black kid, derives his powers from an illegal serum; Cassie Lang, meanwhile, got her growth powers by filching her late dad’s Pym particles. Yet the issue complicates its mild disapproval by sticking by its heroes.

last issue: Young Avengers #7
next issue: Young Avengers #9

also indexed for Nov. ’05
The Pulse #11

Young Avengers #7

October 20, 2013

Young Avengers 07Allen Heinberg // Andrea DiVito
October 2005
**

The kids face a heavy who’s dealing a mutant street-drug. It’s part of Marvel’s nouveau-gritty style, which can suit teens well or badly (the last panel alludes to GL‘s classic “junkie!” cover). DiVito proves a journeyman, tho’ inks add a teen-manga gloss that’s too similar to Alphona’s Runaways.

last issue: Young Avengers #6
next issue: Young Avengers #8

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Iron Man #4

Young Avengers #6

October 19, 2013

Young Avengers 06Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
September 2005
****

The first arc wraps up as it should’ve done in #4—w/ Kid Kang surrendering to repair the timestream—while Jess Jones’ subplot has faded away. Despite these flaws, YA leaves me optimistic for its future: unlike many super-comics right now, these youngsters enjoy being heroes. Just pick up the pace!

last issue: Young Avengers #5
next issue: Young Avengers #7

also indexed for September 2005
The Pulse #10

Young Avengers #4

October 17, 2013

Young Avengers 04Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
July 2005
***

Wonky time-business threatens Earth? Must be Kang! Cheung draws A-1 superhero art—like Oliver Coipel, he’s got a touch of Bachalo. Heinberg confidently lays out his chars’ personalities & writes great scenes. His talent in serial TV transfers well, just like Joss Whedon’s contempo Astonishing X-Men.

last issue: Young Avengers #3
next issue: Young Avengers #5

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
The Pulse #9

Young Avengers #3

October 16, 2013

Young Avengers 03Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
June 2005
****

Unlike Bendis’ contempo New Avengers, Heinberg’s scenes have an arc, & his characters have goals & distinct voices; where NA‘s Finch apes movies, YA‘s Cheung draws comics (w/ better technique). With Kang threatening Cap, IM & even the Vision, Young feels better & more true to the franchise than New.

last issue: Young Avengers #2
next issue: Young Avengers #4

Young Avengers #2

October 15, 2013

Young Avengers 02Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2005
****

A very fashionable debut for YA, Cheung’s a la mode art matching the script’s long, slow opening arc & quippy dialog. Plotwise, there’s little action & much exposition as Kid Kang fights his fate to mature into Adult Kang. Good to have a couple gals join the boys, incl the late Ant-Man’s daughter.

last issue: Young Avengers #1
next issue: Young Avengers #3

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5

Young Avengers #1

October 14, 2013

Young Avengers 01Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
April 2005
****

Both the disbanded Avengers & the Daily Bugle wonder who the kids dressed up like Avengers are. The light, superheroic tone reminds me of The Legion of Super-Heroes at its youthful best—not least cuz the team’s been recruited by a 30th-century teen: Iron Lad, AKA Kang! Nice to see Jess Jones too.

next issue: Young Avengers #2

Civil War #7 of 7

June 12, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
January 2007
*
Ugh. An ADD switcheroo moves the fight to midtown. All these superpowers are used to bludgeon (‘cept teleporting). With anticlimactic irony, Cap realizes that there’s no point to the entire conflict! The only sensible outcome is Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD. Thus ends the ’00s Secret Wars.
[last issue: Civil War #6 of 7]

Civil War #6 of 7

June 11, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
December 2006
*
Millar & McNiven move their action figures into place for the next issue’s battle royale. It’ll be set at a secret super-prison, which means to comment on Guantanamo but doesn’t. These pre-finale plot twists only highlight how stiff the characterization, dialogue, & art are. Is this what fans want?
[last issue: Civil War #5 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #7 of 7]

Civil War #5 of 7

June 10, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
November 2006
*
Plot holes are starting to gape as Stark supplements SHIELD agents w/ super-convicts. Even worse are the book’s politics. Truth is, Millar comes at the Bush Admin from the Right, composing a libertarian nightmare where criminals are paroled to round up true Americans like Cap & a reformed Spidey.
[last issue: Civil War #4 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #6 of 7]

Civil War #4 of 7

June 8, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
October 2006
**
The commentary on PATRIOT Act America has become paper-thin & confused, esp. since Millar doesn’t care about civil rights & govt. regulations. He just wants to blow shit up & he has his ideas about how to do that—like a rogue cyber-clone of Thor! But would Mr F create such a Frankenstein’s monster?
[last issue: Civil War #3 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #5 of 7]

Civil War #3 of 7

June 7, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
**
September 2006
Finally, CW reaches its reason for being: heroes v. heroes, a classic Marvel trope since Amazing S-M #1. Iron Man turns a sneak-attack into a parlay, which Cptn. America violates w/ his own sucker punch. The problem is, each twist violates its actor’s character. It’s action stripped of motivation.
[last issue: Civil War #2 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #4 of 7]

Civil War #2 of 7

June 6, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
August 2006
*

The big story: Spidey unmasks on nat’l TV. It’s both true to the character & a violation (Peter has always been a principled private citizen). The fact is, the irreconcilable contradiction emphasizes Millar’s failure: he can’t dramatize Pete’s moral quandry, which is the very heart of that character!

last issue: Civil War #1 of 7
next issue: Civil War #3 of 7

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #15
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Civil War #1 of 7

June 5, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
July 2006
***
Two sides face off in Civil War: 1) a comix riff on Bush’s America, from the PATRIOT Act to grassroots rage to reality TV; 2) an inane plot w/ cliche dialogue, in which every person & group is devoid of common sense. A villain blows a suburb up, see, so superheroes must register w/ the US govt.
[next issue: Civil War #2 of 7]