Archive for the ‘Major Victory’ Category

The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

June 5, 2014

Thanos Imperative 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
January 2011
***

Thanos resurrects Death in a universe where Undying Gods have reigned. To stop his return to our ‘verse, Nova & Star-Lord (the leads in this era’s SF revival) halt the Mad Titan like Butch & Sundance. Tho’ this finale satisfies, it replaces the characters & twists of the lead-in mags w/ super-movie bombast.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
The Fantastic Four #585

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The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

June 4, 2014

Thanos Imperative 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
December 2010
***

A busy issue, as Nova preps for a noble sacrifice. Meanwhile, surprise conversations juice the plot. First, the evil Scarlet Witch is really a mole, motivated by love for the Vision (nice to see someone gets her character this decade!). Then Thanos pulls a heel turn, literally begging for a final death.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584

The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

June 3, 2014

Thanos Imperative 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
November 2010
***

Thanos, Avatar of Death, cannot die, tho’ it’s all he wishes for; ironically, he must reintroduce Death to a mirror universe. Less compelling are the heroic aliens who fly thru a space station ripping monsters apart—standard super-stuff, w/o even the space-opera scope that most of TI offers.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four
 #583

The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

June 2, 2014

Thanos Imperative 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
October 2010
***

The fourth (?) space war in recent years gets a strong dose of metaphysics. In the parallel universe ruled by Cthulu gods, Captain Marvel became Life’s avatar rather than dying. Then, to extinguish Death utterly, he sacrificed his opposite, Thanos, in an arcane ritual that unbalanced his cosmos!

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582

The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6

June 1, 2014

Thanos Imperative 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
September 2010
**

The writers wage Marvel’s latest space opera on several fronts & still keep the subplots clear. To imply an epic scope, they even usher Kirby Gods in to defend the universe from an Eldritch incursion! But Sepulveda draws & inks cinema-aping art that some lovely digital coloring can’t save.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #1 of 9
The Fantastic Four #581

The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

May 31, 2014

Thanos Imperative 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
August 2010
***

Actually #2 of 8, if you incl. pro- & epilogues. DnA stage another extra-universal invasion—this time, the cancerverse (where Life “won”) metastasizes into the mainstream ‘verse. This means more tentacle monsters as well as evil reflections of the Avengers & Defenders. Solid, guilt-free space opera.

continued from The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’10
The Fantastic Four #580

Guardians of the Galaxy #25

May 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 25Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
June 2010
***

Wish I could say that the final issue of GotG doesn’t disappoint, but it feels rushed and misshapen. The Guardians from the 31C worry that the timeline is frayed cuz Thanos has returned. But his resurrection—indeed, his malevolent genius—is lacking; he’s just a berserker who Star-Lord zaps down.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24
continued in The Thanos Initiative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for Jun. ’10
The Fantastic Four #578
Nova #36

Guardians of the Galaxy #24

May 28, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 24Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
May 2010
***

An electrifying issue of space opera! While the captured Guardians fight thru an army of zealots, across the galaxy their allies restore a galactic senate. But the focus of #24 is Phyla-Vell, who failed to kill Adam Magus; now she either balances or compounds that error by resurrecting Thanos!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #25

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #23

May 27, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 23Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
April 2010
****

Adam Magus has tossed half the team in a dungeon & hopes to side w/ the Old Ones from the spacetime rift at the crux of Realm of Kings. Craig returns w/ his angular, colorful style—a bit like Immonen on Nextwave, tho’ he lays out a page w/ more complexity. A happy contrast to most Marvel art!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #22
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #24

also indexed for Apr. ’10
The Fantastic Four #576
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #22

May 26, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 22Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
March 2010
***

The heroes team up w/ super-rivals to rescue Moondragon from intergalactic zealots. You’ll recall she’s “pregnant” w/ a malignant thing from the “Cancer-verse”, where “life has won.” As always, GotG offers fun space adventure w/ solid craftsmanship: characters, recaps, & a cliffhanger!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #21
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #23

also indexed for Mar. ’10
The Fantastic Four #575
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy #19

May 6, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 19Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
December 2009
****

Kang himself returns the time-tossed Guardians w/a Cosmic Cube to confront the Magus! A spectacular climax, much more satisfying than the finale to War of Kings. Partly that’s Craig’s highly cartooned style rather than the usual superhero hyper-realism. Full of suspense, drama, & mad invention!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #18
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #20

also indexed for Dec. ’09
The Fantastic Four #572
Nova #30

Guardians of the Galaxy #18

May 5, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
November 2009
***

Star-Lord’s team drifts from one alt-reality to another and aging, de-aging, or fading away at differing rates. It’s an indulgent pleasure to see a future Killraven & an aged Wonder Man fight Wellsian tripods in a ruined 31C NYC. Craig’s Immonen-like style offers plenty of setting, atmo, & color.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #19

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Nova #29

Guardians of the Galaxy #16

May 3, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 16Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
September 2009
****

Tossed into the 31st century, the team meets Gerber’s Guardians—and learn that the War of Kings will rip a hole in time! This ish has awesome cosmic ideas, like a solar web of enslaved Celestials holding the ‘verse’s collapse at bay. Craig draws in a colorful style that uses trad rectangular panels.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

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 #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 #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

Guardians of the Galaxy #10

April 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 10Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
April 2009
***

The mag concludes its 3-part excursion into the Negative Zone by adding yet another discarded Marvel hero (Jack Flag, a minor char from Gruenwald’s Cap run). The pace has picked back up, & so has the charm. Warlock fans can look forward to the resumption of his role as an intergalactic messiah.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #11

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Nova #22
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #9

March 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker & Carlos Magno
March 2009
***

That Negative Zone prison from Civil War, abandoned by writers & in-story heroes both, offers easy entry into our ‘verse. Into that breach steps the Guardians! Tho’ Walker’s realism fits the SF adventure better than Pelletier did, a muddy palate atop busy pencils leaves the action a little confused.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #10

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Nova #21
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Guardians of the Galaxy #8

March 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
February 2009
**

Peter Quill, Star-Lord, gets booted into the Negative Zone, where he must stop a Kirby Konqueror from invading Earth. The writers aim to add depth to the central character on their team title, but they’re better off when they focus on the SF adventure & let the characters take care of themselves.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Nova #20

Guardians of the Galaxy #7

March 29, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 07Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
January 2009
**

With its team split after only half a year, this mag has four plotlines in #7 alone! In the main thread, a flaw in spacetime threatens the 31st century Guardians (IE Steve Gerber’s ’70s SF team). Mostly it stages a fight w/ Frankenstein aliens, which doesn’t leave room for character or suspense.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #8

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Nova #19

Guardians of the Galaxy #6

March 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 06Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
December 2008
***

Cosmo the hyperintelligent dog teaches the Guardians & their super-rivals not to jump to conclusions about the Skrull invasion. DnA smartly invert the poorly-conceived idea of Skrull jihad, showing readers that not all “aliens” are terrorists. And set-up: oracular Mantis can’t see the team’s future!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Nova #18

Guardians of the Galaxy #5

March 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 05Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2008
****

The further a mag is from Secret Invasion, the smarter it handles the conceit. At the universe’s edge, the cosmonaut canine protects a litter of Skrulls. The team, meanwhile, is torquing apart over distrust (look! it shows/not tells). Plus Guardians from the future are attacking the current roster!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Nova #17

Guardians of the Galaxy #4

March 22, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 04Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2008
***

Guardians gets into the Marvel-wide Skrull Invasion act. Despite the mag’s partition from the MU, it makes sense w/ the intergalactic operatics. The paranoia fits nicely w/in the team’s newness, & spreads to the civilians nearby (who don’t appreciate having a paramilitary org onsite!).

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Nova #16

Guardians of the Galaxy #3

March 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 03Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
September 2008
***

SF fun as the team faces a biomass of fused humans & an interstellar cult fueled by prayer-power—aboard a Dyson sphere! Meanwhile on their base at the edge of the universe, two members of the original ’70s Guardians tussle. Colorful literally as well as figuratively, this is comics at its sturdiest.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #2
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Nova #15

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

March 17, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 02Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2008
***

High marks for the mag: engaging space adventure supported by clear, Maduriera-like art. GotG are a sort of cosmic Avengers, protecting the galaxy from crazy scifi threats. The parallel’s made explicit w/ the discover of Vance Astro, adrift in frozen spacetime like Cptn. America back in ’64.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #1
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3

also indexed for Aug. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14

Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

October 7, 2013

Avengers.JLA 4 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
December 2003
***

The crossover ends as it must: in an enormous brawl of punching & zapping. Still, the mag’s creative duo amazingly avoid even a whiff of the corporate avarice that must underpin this mini. The grand scope & casual confidence prove a good capstone to the super-teamwork dynamic that defines the Avengers run of Busiek & Pérez et al. Think of it as a victory lap AWA an impressive work of fan-service.

last issue: JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
New X-Men #148