Archive for the ‘Supreme Intelligence’ Category

Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4

February 24, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 4 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
December 2007
*

I think very poorly of JG-M’s writing, packed w/ bleating clichés about honor. The story’s confusing too: the antihero, manipulated by the Kree’s bio-AI deity, infects the Phalanx w/ his symbiotic aliens? As thru-out this mini, it’s Hotz’s art—horror atmo & ’90s post-Image style—that keeps me reading.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

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

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Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4

February 23, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 3 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
November 2007
**

The mini seesaws btw abject convention & the twists that make Marvel’s contempo SF line engaging. Its protag is firmly on the first side: a sulky Hamlet type w/ alien horror trappings. But the Annihilation plot revs up as the Phalanx plans to resurrect that green Kirby godhead, the Kree AI.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
Nova #6

Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4

February 20, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Quasar 4 of 4Christos Gage // Mike Lilly
December 2007
**

A finale of dull, mechanical plotting. Phyla-Vell crashes & defeats her foe (a robot who copies superpowers) w/ Jim Kirk’s old trick: by having it mimic an illogical trait, imagination. Then P-V rescues the galactic savior, revealed as Adam Warlock (no surprise—he’s Marvel’s go-to cosmic messiah).

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

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

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

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 #11

December 10, 2013

FF 11Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
late December 2011
****

Two alt-Reeds serve as biomass for a rebooted Kree Intelligence, who mounts an invasion of Earth—concurrent w/ an incursion from the Negative Zone! Luckily, the real Mr F calls his pals, incl. the Avengers, to prep for battle. Kitson only pencils breakdowns; the loose art keeps #11 from *****.

continued in The Fantastic Four #600
last issue: FF #10
next issue: FF #12

also indexed for Dec. ’11
FF #10

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

Maximum Security #3 of 3

September 10, 2013

Maximum Security 3Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
January 2001
**

Superheroes stop an alien intelligence from turning Earth into an interstellar bio-electrical WMD. A confusing climax to a conventional crossover, whose potential rarely came into focus. Ordway’s flat art lends the feeling that Max Sec is a ’80s DC tale bloated by minor plots & lapsed characters.

continued from Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #2 of 3

also indexed for Jan. ’01
Avengers #36

Avengers #35

September 9, 2013

Avengers 35Kurt Busiek // John Romita, Jr.
December 2000
****

R. Stern’s offworld Avengers hope to reverse an intergalactic UN’s edict that’s made Earth a penal colony. Via info dump, the ish helpfully clarifies the plot twist that the Ruul are actually mutated Kree. And JR Jr., @ the height of his talent, provides the alien weirdness that space opera needs.

continued from Maximum Security #2 of 3
continued in Maximum Security #3 of 3
last issue: Avengers #34
next issue: Avengers #36

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

Maximum Security #2 of 3

September 8, 2013

Maximum Security 2Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
December 2000
**

The Reagan-era Captain America holds the line against criminal ET immigrants & uncovers a conspiracy by the great Kirby AI, the Kree Supreme Intelligence. A creative slant on alien invasion, tho’ a bit right-wing by design. Ordway echoes this conservativism, a throwback to dull early ’80s art.

continued in Avengers #35
last issue: Maximum Security #1 of 3
next issue: Maximum Security #3 of 3

also indexed for Dec. ’00
Avengers #35

Avengers Forever #12 of 12

August 23, 2013

Avengers Forever 12Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
February 2000
***

While AF provided the epic conflict that Busiek’s Avengers needed, it never fulfilled its early promise. The Destiny War is revealed as a battle btw Avengers from noble & corrupt timelines. It ends w/ Rick Jones fused to Capt. Marvel Jr. & w/ lords of time Kang & Immortus as distinct beings.

last issue: Avengers Forever #11 of 12

also indexed for Feb ’00
Avengers #25

Avengers Forever #11 of 12

August 19, 2013

Avengers Forever 11Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
November 1999
***

As in “The Kree-Skrull War”, Rick Jones—now aged & weathered, linked once more to Capt. Marvel—manifests the author’s heroes from a field of cosmic Kirby dots. For R. Thomas, that was ’40s masked men; for Kurt B., it’s the Avengers themselves. Pacheco provides scope, but the solipsism is a letdown.

last issue: Avengers Forever #10 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #12 of 12

also indexed for Nov. ’99
Avengers #22

Avengers Forever #10 of 12

August 17, 2013

Avengers Forever 10Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
October 1999
***

The team stands trial before a tribunal of aliens from the end of time who guide history to guarantee their own birth. This year-long mini hits its third issue of expository conversation in a row. It hasn’t quite stalled but it’s dangerously close. Fortunately, Pacheco’s gridwork keeps it snazzy.

last issue: Avengers Forever #9 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #11 of 12

also indexed for Oct. ’99
Avengers #21

Avengers Forever #9 of 12

August 14, 2013

Avengers Forever 09Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Carlos Pacheco
August 1999
****

#9, like #8, is an expository ish, w/o the retcon but w/ a stronger character. Kang aims to subvert destiny itself—a worthy goal for the despot! Busiek (who nails the fustian voice) smooths the pretzelled history of this character, with its divergent time-lines, multiversal councils, and alt IDs.

last issue: Avengers Forever #8 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #10 of 12

also indexed for Aug. ’99
Avengers #19

Avengers Forever #2 of 12

July 29, 2013

Avengers Forever 02Kurt Busiek // Carlos Pacheco
January 1999
*****

Rick Jones, acquiring time-manipulating superpowers, gathers Avengers to fight chrono-baddies. Ingeniously, the team’s drawn from several eras. It’s got Thomas’ delusional Yellowjacket & Englehart’s disillusioned Cap for drama, a few contempo members, & even future Avenger/current T-bolt Songbird!

last issue: Avengers Forever #1 of 12
next issue: Avengers Forever #3 of 12

also indexed for Jan. ’99
Avengers #12

Avengers Forever #1 of 12

July 27, 2013

Avengers Forever 01Kurt Busiek // Carlos Pacheco
December 1998
****

Busiek spins a mini out of last summer’s Kree crossover assisted by Pacheco, whose style is a mod ’90s update of Pérez’ image density. A classic Kirby AI-monster conspires to hyper-evolve perennial sidekick Rick Jones, a gambit that gets noticed by a sinister time guardian & his younger self—Kang!

next issue: Avengers Forever #2 of 12

also indexed for Dec. ’98
Avengers #11

Avengers #7

July 21, 2013

Avengers 07Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
August 1998
****

While craftsmen slowly rebuild Marvel after the ’90s excesses, editorial continues to stage cash-grab crossovers. In other mags, Ms. Marvel’s incipent alcoholism has helped stave an alien invasion. Now the battle climaxes on the moon, where a Kirby monster-AI’s secret helps the team carry the day.

continued from Quicksilver #10
continued in Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998
last issue: Avengers #6
next issue: Avengers #8

also indexed for August ’98
Quicksilver #10
Thunderbolts #17

Quicksilver #10

July 20, 2013

Quicksilver 10John Ostrander & Joe Edkin // Derec Aucoin
August 1998
*

The speedster’s short-lived series detours into a Ms. Marvel-centric Avengers crossover. Pietro, sis, & old pal Hawkeye stop a Kree superweapon & rescue Ms. M, whose liquor problem has (too) quickly rendered her incompetent. Auc’s outlined shapes & dark shadows are contempo reaction to Image excess.

continued from Captain America #7
continued in Avengers #7
last issue: Quicksilver #9
next issue: Quicksilver #11

also indexed for August ’98
Avengers #7
Thunderbolts #17