Archive for the ‘Machinesmith’ Category

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

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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 #8

November 21, 2015

Captain America 5.08Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
April 2012
***

Cap’s super-physique keeps reverting to 98-lb. weakling. Behind the change is a murderer’s row of enemies: a HYDRA Queen of Dreams & her WW2 supersoldier flame (Bru’s recent creations), archenemy Baron Zemo, a late-Kirby WMD, Gruenwald’s Serpent Squad, even an AI created by Byrne/Stern!

last issue: Captain America #7
next issue: Captain America #9

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1
Winter Soldier #2

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4

October 20, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 4 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
December 2010
***

Dale E, inking himself, flubs the mini’s climax—basically an old-school Danger Room—w/ no sense of space & relative positions. The mini’s plot to weaponize & auction off the superserum (= a Western fear of rogue nukes etc.) is revealed as a deception staged by a shadow cabal to experiment on Cap.

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #3

also indexed for Dec. ’10
Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #584
Secret Avengers #6
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4

October 17, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 3 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
November 2010
***

Cap kicks ass & escapes to renew his neutralized super-strength. The bad guy has his gloating monologue, & captions deliver 1st-person narration on bullies & What Makes Our Hero Different. Eaglesham’s never impressed me before, but he labors over faces, varies physiques, & stages good hand-to-hand.

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Solder #2 of 4
next issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Solder #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #583
Secret Avengers #5
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4

October 14, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 2 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
October 2010
****

Moving at a nice clip, Bru unveils his villain: Machinesmith, a personal fave in Cap’s rogues gallery. He’s staged an awfully complex gambit just to sap Cap of his powers, involving a phony corp, Cap’s origin, & a robot who thinks she’s human. If only this were ongoing & Secret Av was the mini!

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1 of 4
next issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Secret Avengers #4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Captain America #453

October 3, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney & Pico Rinaldi
July 1996
****
How can Our Hero reach Camp David from the Balkans quickly so he can stop a cyborg from stealing nuke codes out of Clinton’s hand? He asks a favor from Doom—his second alliance w/ a despot in Waid’s run! Garney does his best work on the series, tho’ it’s undercut by a mediocre associate.
[last issue: Captain America #452]
[next issue: Captain America #454]

Captain America #452

October 2, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
June 1996
****
I’ve been won over by Waid & Garney’s run, w/ its action inflating into comedic absurdity (think True Lies). This ish, for example, begins w/ Cap skydiving to Agent 13’s rescue! It ends w/ a gee-whiz cliffhanger: a cyborg infiltrates Camp David while the SHIELD helicarrier plummets into Mt. Hood!
[last issue: Captain America #451]
[next issue: Captain America #453]

 

Captain America #451

October 1, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
May 1996
***
Waid’s approach to Cap prefigures Brubaker’s: Ludlum spy-fi action-adventure rather than Gruen’s superheroics. And a touch of Hitchcock, as Cap & Agent 13 take trains across Europe’s borders to find Machinesmith, the AI who may’ve stolen top-secret data from Cap’s mind while he lay near death.
[last issue: Captain America #450]
[next issue: Captain America #452]

Captain America #249

September 2, 2012

Roger Stern & John Byrne
September 1980
****
It takes confidence—or chutzpah—to create a villain w/ a great hook & kill him right away, at least when the death has substance. Downloaded into a mainframe, a roboticist lives a bodiless existence. He loathes it, but his programming won’t allow suicide. So he dupes Cap into executing him!
[last issue: Captain America #248]
[next issue: Captain America #250]

Captain America #248

September 1, 2012

Roger Stern & John Byrne
August 1980
***
A sturdy structure (& Byrne’s long, delicate line) propels the action from last ish to next. A megalomaniac designer of robots has targeted Cap, first w/ that Nazi replicant and now w/ a synthetic dragon (a classic Kirby creation). The issue’s charm, however, is seeing Steve hang w/ his neighbors.
[last issue: Captain America #247]
[next issue: Captain America #249]

Captain America #247

August 31, 2012

Roger Stern & John Byrne
July 1980
****
Byrne, at his peak (see UXM), collabs w/ pal Stern on a classic aborted run. So much potential’s already evident in this tight first issue. The duo nix Gerber’s alt-origin for Cap as false memories for undercover work, then threaten an old Nazi w/ extradition to Israel before revealing it’s a robot!
[last issue: Captain America #246]
[next issue: Captain America #248]