Archive for the ‘Iron Man’ Category

Captain Marvel #1

February 29, 2016

Captain Marvel 3.01Kelly Sue DeConnick // David López
May 2014
****

Carol volunteers (off-panel) to do a ‘year-long’ tour of duty in space for the Avengers. If KSDC is up for space opera, I can’t say no! But what’s great is how briskly she sets up an interim status quo btw vol. 1 #17 and this mag’s new setting. So long to the new digs in the Statue of Liberty!

continued from Captain Marvel #17
next issue: Captain Marvel #2

also indexed for May ’14
Avengers Assemble #25
Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #18
Moon Knight #1

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Avengers Assemble #25

February 28, 2016

Avengers Assemble 25Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni with Neil Edwards & Raffaele Ienco
May 2014
**

Sometimes a character-focused arc doesn’t need a flashy climax, but this one’s too generic. The dialogue suddenly seems phoned in, & the art lacks a cogent sense of space or urgency. But the bigger problem is that Spider-Girl never snaps into focus as an individual, she’s just a girl sidekick with pluck.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #24

also indexed for May ’14
Captain Marvel #1
Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #18
Moon Knight #1

Avengers Assemble #24

February 27, 2016

Avengers Assemble 24Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
April 2014
***

Anya Corazon isn’t exactly a moribund character—she’s popped up in Spidey books & a Junior Avengers mag—but she’s esp. well-suited for an Avengers internship. Here she’s teamed w/ Iron Man & then Captain America, but neither writer quite gets the mens’ tones right, a small misstep in a fun arc.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #23
next issue: Avengers Assemble #25

also indexed for Apr. ’14
Hawkeye #15

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

Captain Marvel #9

February 8, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.09Kelly Sue DeConnick // Filipe Andrade
March 2013
****

Carol runs errands, helps people & gets help in return. It’s refreshing to read a hero with a social network, instead of superman-as-loner angst (sadly, that arrives on the last page). But the real story is Andrade, whose loopy line & stylized figures give CM‘s art some real personality.

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

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Avengers Assemble #11
Hawkeye #7
Winter Soldier #14

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

Avengers Assemble #10

February 5, 2016

Avengers Assemble 10Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
February 2013
***

Caselli, whose realism is closer to Kitson than Hitch, executes a fun action sequence: Captains A & M in aerial combat. Their foe’s a monster-man threatening the world (& the Hulk) with 20M-year-old bacteria. He’s Chinese, but w/o the Yellow Peril baggage—a standard megalomaniac supervillain.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #9
next issue: Avengers Assemble #11

also indexed for Feb. ’13
Captain Marvel #8
Hawkeye #5
Hawkeye #6
Winter Soldier #13

Avengers Assemble #9

February 3, 2016

Avengers Assemble 09Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
January 2013
***

With Capt. Marvel in tow, Kelly Sue DeConnick instantly improves one of the dozen Avengers books. Her secret is low stakes for the top-tier. Team Stark races Team Banner to a monster mission in Antarctica. It’s broad fun in the spirit of JLI (e.g. Hulk stirring organic PB for a sammich).

last issue: Avengers Assemble #8
next issue: Avengers Assemble #10

also indexed for Jan. ’13
Captain Marvel #7
Hawkeye #4
Winter Soldier #12

Hawkeye #6

January 8, 2016

Hawkeye 06Matt Fraction // David Aja
late February 2013
*****

This take on the Avenger (“Hawkguy” as one neighbor has it) is startlingly innovative. A helical time structure has Barton spend the week pre X-mas in turf war w/ the Russian bros. Aja’s grid runs 6×6, even 7×6, with negative space opening & minimalizing the Mazzuchelli style of scratchy cape comics.

last issue: Hawkeye #5
next issue: Hawkeye #7

also indexed for Feb. ’13
Hawkeye #5
Winter Soldier #13

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 #6

November 17, 2015

Captain America 5.06Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
late February 2012
***

Editorial trades up on artists, ditching McNiven for master Davis. His cartoon-like variation on Neal Adams fits the mag’s mission, which is to take a neo-classical (hackneyed?) approach. The continuing plot—a new HYDRA cell wants to depower Cap—develops as background to some costumed superheroics.

last issue: Captain America #5
next issue: Captain America #7

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain America #5
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

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 #611: Bucky Barnes

October 19, 2015

Captain America 611A-story: Ed Brubaker // Daniel Acuña
December 2010
A-story: ***

Bucky’s past makes his role as Cptn. A untenable from a political POV. For this talky issue, Brubaker’s Cap ventures into the corporate/celebrity mode of Bendis’ Avengers (which I think Acuña then did?). He’s got a great style, tho’ he’s more glossy & cool than the run’s standard gritty melodrama.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #610
next issue: Captain America #612

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584
Secret Avengers #6
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

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 #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 #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 #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 #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 #36

August 30, 2015

Captain America 36Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Mike Perkins
May 2008
****

A Halliburton-type firm owned by the Red Skull takes credit for Bucky Cap’s first big gig: stopping the Serpent Squad from assassinating a senator. Our hero also fails to calm Wash DC’s fear-gassed rioters, unlike his predecessor. Epting’s still MIA, but JG & MP do solid realistic fill-in work.

last issue: Captain America #35
next issue: Captain America #37

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
Daredevil #106
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11
Thunderbolts #119

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 #34

August 28, 2015

Captain America 34Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2008
*****

This 21C Cap is the type of hero who kneecaps foes w/ a gun: an update for our era of mass shootings? But what’s unequivocally brilliant is the Red Skull’s latest plan. Dressed in Brooks Brothers, he profits by collapsing the US economy & directs his suborned SHIELD riot-cops to open fire on a protest!

last issue: Captain America #33
next issue: Captain America #35

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #24
Daredevil #104
Nova #10

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

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Captain America #13

August 5, 2015

Captain America 13Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2006
****

Iron Man helps Cap track the ‘energy signature’ of the plot’s maguffin. SHIELD was supposed to do that back in #2! At any rate, it provides a combat scene w/ a big robot & goons. The core of #13, however, is a heart-to-heart w/ sidekick Falcon, who simply asks Cap what he wants to do. Save Bucky!

last issue: Captain America #12
next issue: Captain America #14

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Daredevil #79
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4
The Pulse #12
Runaways #10

Runaways #12

June 30, 2015

Runaways 2-12Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2006
****

Molly pounds the New Avengers, who do little to help rescue damsel Dagger from a fan-boy rapist on superdrugs. This is a fine baseline arc, with guests Cloak, Dagger & Spidey adding an ’80s Marvel tone that’s amplified by the story length (4 issues), a charitable churchman, & NYC snowfall.

last issue: Runaways #11
next issue: Runaways #13

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Daredevil #81
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5
Young Avengers #10

Runaways #11

June 29, 2015

Runaways 2-11Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2006
****

#11 reverses convention by having the kids chat with Spider-Man first & then fight him. What’s more notable is how, tho’ he’s the poster boy for Marvel’s teen heroes, Spidey is set up as a contrast to the Runaways: a lonely kid but a solid home life. Plus Chase bluffs info from a drug-dealing pimp!

last issue: Runaways #10
next issue: Runaways #12

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Daredevil #80
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Runaways #10

June 28, 2015

Runaways 2-10Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2006
***

BKV leads his charges into the center of the contempo Marvel U.: BMB’s New Avengers in NYC. The guest cast should goose sales but the mag stays focused on its own superheroes, in that chat-heavy/plot-lite style that’s so fashionable. Alph has fun with the change of climate & cityscape tho.

last issue: Runaways #9
next issue: Runaways #11

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Daredevil #79
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4
The Pulse #12

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

X-Statix #25

April 16, 2015

X-Statix 25Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
September 2004
***

The Avengers/X-Statix War ends in détente before a bigger enemy (of course it does). Milligan’s heart isn’t in this arc, whose guest stars smack of editorial edict. Even if not, the last-minute acceptance of X-Statix by the Avs feels rushed. Anyone else disappointed that Doop can speak English?

last issue: X-Statix #24
next issue: X-Statix #26

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
Daredevil #62
Fantastic Four #516
The Pulse #4
Thanos #12

X-Statix #24

April 15, 2015

X-Statix 24Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
August 2004
***

It’s the ol’ JSA formula: members split off on solo missions. The final face-off is Iron Man v. Mr. Sensitive, mano a mano and nude! Milligan has them strip their protective armors in a contrivance involving French holy nudists. Silly, plus Allred doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity for beefcake!

last issue: X-Statix #23
next issue: X-Statix #25

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Daredevil #61
Fantastic Four #515
Thanos #11

X-Statix #21

April 12, 2015

X-Statix 21Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
early June 2004
****

When Doop’s lobotomized brain gets weaponized, our heroes must ask the Avengers for help with its recovery. Rather than contrast our super-celebs with a team of noble heroes, this ish shows a classic roster that’s just as venal & arrogant. Plus it hints that Doop is the product of Cold War science!

last issue: X-Statix #20
next issue: X-Statix #22

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Daredevil #59
Fantastic Four #512
Thanos #9
X-Statix #22

The Sentry/The Void #1 of 1

March 6, 2015

Sentry-Void 1 of 1Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
February 2001
****

No surprise that the Void is the Sentry’s negative aspect, since it’s been a metaphor for depression all along. But his hook—erasure from continuity—is a fruitful & unique experiment for Marvel, albeit one better off left to stand alone (one more fault in Bendis’ awful, epic Avengers run).

continued from The Sentry #5 of 5
continued from The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
continued from The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

also indexed for Feb. ’01
Avengers #37
The Sentry/Fantastic Four #1 of 1
The Sentry/Hulk #1 of 1
The Sentry/Spider-Man #1 of 1
The Sentry/X-Men #1 of 1

The Sentry #4 of 5

February 28, 2015

Sentry 4 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
December 2000
****

Core Marvel heroes recall the Sentry, whose previous face-off w/ his (literal?) nemesis the Void ended in self-exile & a rewrite of reality. This mini maintains its weird sensibility partly thru a pacing akin to Grant Morrison’s: scenes begin in medias res w/ no exposition to orient the reader.

last issue: The Sentry #3 of 5
next issue: The Sentry #5 of 5

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Avengers #35
Maximum Security #2 of 3

The Sentry #2 of 5

February 26, 2015

Sentry 2 of 5Paul Jenkins // Jae Lee
October 2000
*****

A cult gem in Marvel’s early ’00s brush w/ experimentalism. Jenkins’ Sentry also debuts the company’s decade-long obsession w/ the ‘spliced retcon’. Before Cassandra Nova, Jessica Jones, & the Winter Soldier, Bob Reynolds got married, w/ Reed Richards as his best man—only now no one remembers him.

last issue: The Sentry #1 of 5
next issue: The Sentry #3 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’00
Avengers #33
Daredevil #13
Marvel Boy #3 of 6
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1 of 1
Thunderbolts #43

X-Universe #2 of 2

February 17, 2015

X-Universe 2 of 2Terry Kavanagh // Carlos Pacheco & Terry Dodson
June 1995
*

In a parallel timeline, Marvel’s heroes hijack a space ark, airlift refugees from London, and head for the stars. Lobdell (architect of the AoA X-over) hands his plot to Kavanagh, who seriously obscures it with ’90s clichés. Kav’s only able to write in high dudgeon, and lacks a basic grasp of storytelling. The two capable artists work hard to draw the tale, but they’re defeated by the confusion.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: X-Universe #1 of 2

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #2 of 2

X-Universe #1 of 2

February 16, 2015

X-Universe 1 of 2Terry Kavanagh // Carlos Pacheco
May 1995
*

An alternate reality co-opts the X-mags for a quarter, creating an impressive implied backstory. Naturally, readers wonder what’s happened to the rest of the company’s heroes; here’s the answer. Surviving Avengers & FF provide humanitarian aid & defense. And replacing Peter Parker, KIA, is Gwen Stacy! Pacheco has a nice eye for detail & drama, but he can’t clarify a confusing script’s vague stakes.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: X-Universe #2 of 2

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3

Daredevil #61

September 27, 2014

Daredevil 061Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2004
*****

Black Widow, hunted by the State Dept (who wants her as currency in internat’l politics), makes headlines w/ DD rather than lying low. Far more interesting than a mere femme fatale, BW delivers a jolt to an already robust mag! Maleev, for one, seems looser, deepening his focus in fascinating ways.

last issue: Daredevil #60
next issue: Daredevil #62

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Thanos #11

Thunderbolts #12

June 29, 2014

Thunderbolts 012Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
March 1998
****

This mag executes its climax perfectly, albeit predictably. Via mind-ray & modem, Zemo rules the world from his sentient orbital satellite (AKA T-bolt Techno). But his onetime team helps Iron Man stage a coup (the old Marvel heroes v. heroes), then surrenders to face trial! MB’s late-’90s art still isn’t my taste, but it complements KB’s massive cast & retro superheroism perfectly.

last issue: Thunderbolts #11
next issue: Thunderbolts #13

also indexed for Mar. ’98
Avengers #2

Thunderbolts #11

June 28, 2014

Thunderbolts 011Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
February 1998
***

The team finally fractures as their leader takes over the world via mind-rays from an orbital satellite—classic comic-book stuff, but none of it hinges on their false IDs. Still, Busiek shows a clear aptitude for the megalomaniac character, & Bagley is fashionable yet bright & energetic in tone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #10
next issue: Thunderbolts #12

also indexed for Feb. ’98
Avengers #1

Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4

June 14, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 4 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
February 2012
A-story: ** // B-story: **

Avengers & Annihilators (terrible name) foil an invasion of Earth by linking alien tech somehow. The vague plot & fumbling art brings to a sad end this v.g. six-year run. At least the ‘coon & the tree, holdovers from the run’s brighter era, get to blast off into the sunset.

last issue: Annihilation: Earthfall #3 of 4

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4

June 13, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 3 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
January 2012
A-story: *** // B-story: ***

A cosmic boy-antichrist has installed himself, Midwich Cuckoo-like, in millions of minds; among the heroes, only the Kirby tyrant has the balls to zap the innocent & save the galaxy! Meanwhile, DnA burlesque the editorial interference of the SF line via a monstrous, meddling TV exec from ’80s X-comics.

last issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4

also indexed for Jan. ’12
The Fantastic Four #600
FF #12

Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4

June 12, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 2 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
December 2011
A-story: * // B-story: **

The dutiful Marvel misunderstanding, wherein our team of galactic heroes mix it w/ the Avengers. Huat detracts from that formula by staging combat as H’wood-style demolitions, w/o context or finesse. In the back-up, however, Green imaginatively & attractively offers Flash Gordon-type fun.

last issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’11
FF #10
FF #11

Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4

June 11, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 1 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
September 2011
A-story: ** // B-story: ***

DnA phone in their swansong on Marvel’s SF renaissance. The galactic super-squad discovers a fundamentalist space-sect’s outpost on Earth. Huat draws an awkward, rubber-faced variation on Marvel house style. Worse, RR & Groot, demoted to true back-up status, get only a few pages for a bar brawl.

continued from Annihilators #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4

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