Archive for the ‘Black Bolt’ Category

X-Statix #26

April 17, 2015

X-Statix 26Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2004
***

A fairly blatant ripoff of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, as the team gets KIA with Mr. S & Tike A. gunned down in a suicide charge. It would’ve worked better if they hadn’t held each other at arm’s length since the retitling. Or if the run’s last two years had been compressed into one. Ah well.

last issue: X-Statix #25
continued in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517
Secret War #3 of 5

Nova #35

May 22, 2014

Nova 35Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar
May 2010
**

Nova & pals stop a sorcerer from remaking the universe w/ a pair of philosopher’s stones. Attention to craft—good dialogue & fun, superpower-derived solutions—helps this final chapter of a by-the-numbers plot be a bit more, tho’ the art gets sketchy in spots. Sadly, it’s the mag’s penultimate issue.

last issue: Nova #34
next issue: Nova #36

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Nova #34

May 21, 2014

Nova 34Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar
April 2010
**

Very old-fashioned plotting, like Roy Thomas or even Gardner Fox. A temporal magician, the Sphinx, fights his younger self by pitting champions in a contest for control of reality-altering gems. Asrar upholds the colorful tone that DiVito used in earlier issues, tho a few layouts are confusing.

last issue: Nova #33
next issue: Nova #35

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

Nova #33

May 20, 2014

Nova 33Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
March 2010
**

A Kang knock-off shunts Nova & other heroes into a spacetime rift to help fight his younger self. Only in comics would that come off as conventional! But it is, and the writers add nothing new (yet) to the superhero action adventure. They find an emotional hook tho’, in Rider’s reunion w/ a dead ex.

last issue: Nova #32
next issue: Nova #34

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Nova #32

May 19, 2014

Nova 32Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
February 2010
***

Shunted onto a mystical, prismatic planet that echoes Ancient Egypt, Nova & Darkhawk team up w/ Mr. Fantastic against a time tyrant from their New Warrior days. This new arc adds mysteries to its plot in a whimsical fashion, an old-fashioned pleasure that DiVito’s flat, colorful style reinforces.

last issue: Nova #31
next issue: Nova #33

also indexed for Feb. ’10
The Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #15

May 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 15Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
August 2009
***

You know who deserves plenty of credit for this mag & the entire Cosmic Marvel line? Editor Bill Roseman. He’s running a tight crossover! This issue, in which two alien superteams storm the Guardians’ space station while a prisoner escapes, could be confusing, but it’s completely clear & lotsa fun!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #16

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #14

May 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2009
***

Walker lays out his pages clearly enough to overcome his overwrought ’90s line & rectilinear ’00s paneling. Good thing, cuz this is a busy arc. In a nice balance of comedy & action, Star-Lord, Warlock & their motley gang of SF heroes completely fail to broker peace in the second Kree-Shi’ar War.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #13
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Guardians of the Galaxy #13

April 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2009
****

The huge cast reunites to play diplomat in the War of Kings maxiseries, sending a delegation to each side (an echo of Galactic Storm). To the writers’ credit, they pack a lot of action into one issue—starting w/ a bar brawl—and they give nearly every character a particular voice and perspective.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #12
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #14

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

War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

April 21, 2014

War of Kings - Warriors 2 of 2A-story: Jay Faerber // Adriana Melo
B-story: Jay Faerber // Ramon Perez
October 2009
A-story: * // B-story: *

Another anthology of tossed-out filler to supplement the latest Marvel space opera. Plot A, starring a former Avenger, offers an insultingly pat solution to topical US quandaries like terrorist attacks by civilians & occupation by “good guys”. Plot B is generic backstory of an already-dead empress.

last issue: War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6

War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

April 19, 2014

War of Kings - Savage World of Skaar 1 of 1Christos Gage // Graham Nolan & Reilly Brown
August 2009
*

If you’re curious to learn about Planet Hulk & Skaar, Son of Hulk, read elsewhere. This one-shot, a pro forma SF tale, expands WoK‘s scope & nothing more. Opposing warriors in a space war crash on a remote planet & must cooperate to survive the harsh elements, strange monsters, & hostile population.

also indexed for Aug. ’09
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

War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

April 18, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 4 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2009
***

DnA revitalize a minor ’90s hero by intertwining his mini with their big WoK maxiseries. The mission is an echo of their fine revival of Nova: a young hero is the last member of an intergalactic force. But Darkhawk’s fellows were a malevolent conspiracy & he must clear his reputation w/ heroics.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
see also War of Kings #5 of 6

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

War of Kings #6 of 6

April 11, 2014

War of Kings 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2009
***

The mini, mostly a by-the-numbers space opera, ends in a disappointing bout of super-fisticuffs that tears a rift in spacetime. But Pelletier has done yeoman’s work: he tells a story okay, & the rubbery quality of his late ’90s superhero style undercuts the preposterous hypertrophied bodies.

last issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
continued in War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

also indexed for Oct. ’09
The Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

War of Kings #5 of 6

April 10, 2014

War of Kings 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2009
****

The Shi’ar despot confronts the Kree monarch aboard a superweapon that will turn the galaxy Inhuman. This wooly space opera reaches its climax, but its best moments are in the hurly burly: a princess’s horror at the doomsday device, a super-alien’s war-fury, an X-Man’s hollow vengeance.

last issue: War of Kings #4 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #6 of 6

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

War of Kings #3 of 6

April 8, 2014

War of Kings 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
July 2009
***

Good storytellers like Abnett & Lanning know to plot for the endgame, not the opening. In #3, they start to twist this mini in interesting ways. Romance buds in an arranged marriage; the Inhuman aristocracy hatches sinister plans for their subjects; & that mohawked Shi’ar superman turns renegade.

last issue: War of Kings #2 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

War of Kings #2 of 6

April 7, 2014

War of Kings 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
June 2009
**

As the title indicates, royal houses go to war: two galactic empires who fight with starships, zero-g shock-troops & planet-annihilating bombs. Yet, unlike this crew’s other current SF comics, WoK feels padded out. Only a show of compassion by a princess demos their typical richness of character.

last issue: War of Kings #1 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #3 of 6

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

War of Kings #1 of 6

April 6, 2014

War of Kings 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
May 2009
***

Context is all. Taken alone, WoK works through the hoary plot of a thousand space operas: a clash of galactic empires. And this issue simply shows an alien army attack a wedding arranged to consolidate two races. But w/ Marvel’s cosmic line behind it, this colorful super-battle feels momentous.

continued from Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1
next issue: War of Kings #2 of 6

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

April 5, 2014

Secret Invasion War of Kings 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier & Bong Dazo
March 2009
***

Like DnA’s previous Marvel SF prologues, this one-shot is effectively #1 of an upcoming mini; the expectation is all. It serves as a bridge btw their own space operas, last year’s Skrull Invasion of Earth, & a coup in the alien empire from X-Men. After generations of seclusion, the Inhumans (a once-pacific Kirby clan) launch their futuristic lunar techno-city into space & conquer the Kree Empire.

continued in War of Kings #1 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Nova #21

FF #21

December 31, 2013

FF 21Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
October 2012
*****

The epitome of a Hickman FF issue, w/ smart nonlinear storytelling & epic SF political melodrama. The Kree & Inhumans broker a peace, built upon undoing a space-opera Romeo/Juliet romance! Check how Dragotta not only nails the Kirby costumes, he makes the title team’s b/w costumes look cool!

last issue: FF #20
next issue: FF #22

also indexed for Oct. ’12
The Fantastic Four #609

FF #20

December 29, 2013

FF 20Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
September 2012
****

Dragotta shines in the SF opener, where a cityship blasts at a starcruiser. His parallel talent for aliens helps set high expectations for the next phase of Hickman’s FF run: the Inhuman invasion of Earth. In a cute touch, Val & Bentley the Wizard Clone draw a plan up to subjugate the Kree Empire.

last issue: FF #19
next issue: FF #21

also indexed for Sept. ’12
The Fantastic Four #608

FF #18

December 25, 2013

FF 18Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
July 2012
*****

Less manic than last ish but equally superb, #18 sees Johnny & the kids learn a lesson in foreign politics. The malevolent bug civ from the Neg Zone requests a free election, then writes votes in for the local Kirby tyrant! You don’t expect Marvel to deliver a sly commentary on American naïvity!

last issue: FF #17
next issue: FF #19

also indexed for Jul. 12
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606

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 #602

December 15, 2013

Fantastic Four 602Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
March 2012
*****

Hickman remixes Kirby’s original concepts into a grand work of SF, w/ novelistic complexity & cinematic scope. Alien armadas pause their orbital battle to apprehend the advent of rival cosmic gods. Kitson’s clarity, depth of focus, & attn to detail helps immensely in staging this space operatic ish.

see also FF #14
last issue: The Fantastic Four #601
next issue: The Fantastic Four #603

also indexed for Mar. ’12
FF #14

The Fantastic Four #601

December 13, 2013

Fantastic Four 601Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
February 2012
****

To counter an alien armada, Johnny S. leads his space-insect cavalry into the skies, reinforced by the Inhuman cityship! But can Earth survive a battle low in its orbit? Epting’s in his element, penciling okay widescreen action (if you want Hickman’s heftier, smarter work, read the partner mag).

see also FF #13
last issue: The Fantastic Four #600
next issue: The Fantastic Four #602

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
FF #13

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

FF #9

December 8, 2013

FF 09Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
November 2011
****

Epting’s in his element as he draws a massive, chaotic battle btw Inhumans & Moloids. On the field of combat, Hickman’s characters act like chesspieces, as Black Bolt captures a pair of Mr F’s duplicates (& Reed himself) while the fourth Richards takes Dr. Doom hostage & flees to Latveria! Awesome.

last issue: FF #8
next issue: FF #10

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

FF #8

December 7, 2013

FF 08Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
October 2011
***

Back down to Earth, literally & figuratively, after the cool flashback of #6-7. Epting’s Hollywood realism can’t encompass Hickman’s imagination; it’s just bland, confusing—maybe rushed? Less plot than usual too, as the Future Foundation’s villain-allies fight the Reed-doubles & Inhumans in a melée.

last issue: FF #7
next issue: FF #9

FF #7

December 6, 2013

FF 07Jonathan Hickman // Greg Tocchini
late September 2011
*****

Half a million years ago, the Kree AI-superbrain massacred its weaponized mutates, Herod-like, to prevent its own prophesied downfall. But he missed a few, which makes Black Bolt, Inhuman king, a cosmic messiah! So resurrection’ll be no problem. Tocchini’s lovely art is light-years from convention.

last issue: FF #6
next issue: FF #8

also indexed for Sept. ’11
FF #6

FF #6

December 5, 2013

FF 06Jonathan Hickman // Greg Tocchini
early September 2011
*****

Tocchini’s liquid style adds just the unconventional beauty that Hickman’s needed all along. Sadly, he’s only drawing this 2-issue arc, which showcases the grand scope of Hick’s run. He entwines the fate of the mag’s Kirby clan of superhumans w/ the Kree AI—by flashing back half a million years!

last issue: FF #5
next issue: FF #7

also indexed for Sept. ’11
FF #7

FF #5

December 4, 2013

FF 05Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
August 2011
****

The prophesied war ignites! First the doppel-Reeds & Mole Man destroy Old Atlantis, then they face the Inhuman space-city at the strange Forever City. And kudos to Kitson: tho’ his Reed is bland, his Thing is expressive &, even rarer, his Sue is a strong presence, matching Hick’s portrayal.

last issue: FF #4
next issue: FF #6

also indexed for Aug. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

The Fantastic Four #240

December 17, 2010

John Byrne
March 1982
****
Byrne’s FF deliberates shuns comics’ impulse to depict violence: a war btw. humans & Inhumans begins & ends off-page. Instead, Reed & co. help the super-race resettle on the Moon (the magisterial flight of their celestial city takes up several pages). In a coda, Quicksilver & wife have a child.
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #239]
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #241]