Archive for the ‘Nova (R. Rider)’ Category

Secret Avengers #4

October 12, 2015

Secret Avengers 04Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
October 2010
*

There’s the germ of a cool Brubaker story here, with Cap & co investigating the Martian scheme of a Halliburton-type corp. But that’s lost as Deo draws the super-fisticuffs exceptionally poorly (when he’s not photo-reffing). Btw this & his X-run, should EB steer clear of super-team SF?

last issue: Secret Avengers #3
next issue: Secret Avengers #5

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

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Secret Avengers #3

October 9, 2015

Secret Avengers 03Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
September 2010
***

Those expecting more spy-fi from Brubaker will get wrongfooted by his b-mag. Instead he sends his ‘proactive Avengers’ to a Barsoom-like Mars, a onetime battleground to elder gods and Kirby bashers. The swerve could work except that Deodato, a ’90 veteran, can’t break from his cinematic style.

last issue: Secret Avengers #2
next issue: Secret Avengers #4

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #2

October 7, 2015

Secret Avengers 02Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
August 2010
**

Spelunking on Mars, the team uncover a dig excavated by mind-controlled humans & directed by Lovecraft aliens. Sadly, the fashionable creative team plays to their weaknesses: a cast of spandex physiques all speak in the same square-jawed monotone as they hustle around generic hi-tech bases.

last issue: Secret Avengers #1
next issue: Secret Avengers #3

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #580
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Secret Avengers #1

October 5, 2015

Secret Avengers 01Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
July 2010
***

Marvel effectively gives Brubaker a Cap team title. Steve Rogers, now head of SHIELD & in a Kirby-inspired uni, foils super-terrorism w/ a ’90s-style strikeforce. There’s just enough plot to bait the hook: the Roxxon Corp, owning the mining rights to Mars, has exhumed a Lovecraftian serpent crown!

continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
next issue: Secret Avengers #2

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Thunderbolts #25

July 14, 2014

Thunderbolts 025Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
April 1999
***

The second anniversary ish serves as climax to T-bolts‘ second act: a brawl w/ 25 super-goons! Moonstone has been the mag’s protag, & ever since her regicide, she’s provided it w/ plenty of character. #25 fills in her backstory (a childhood of class resentment & manipulation) as she weighs betraying her team to usurp the megalomaniac plan of Crimson Cowl, femme leader of the Masters of Evil.

last issue: Thunderbolts #25
next issue: Thunderbolts #26

also indexed for Apr. ’99
Avengers #15
Avengers Forever #5 of 12

Thunderbolts #10

June 27, 2014

Thunderbolts 010Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
January 1998
****

The team’s true IDs are exposed, earlier than readers or characters expected—’cept for Baron Z, who outs them as an abusive ploy. How evil! The plot devo coincides w/ the true Avs’ return (from a mid-’90s Image-y continuity reboot). It signals a true climax to a long plot, rare in comics.

last issue: Thunderbolts #9
next issue: Thunderbolts #11

Thunderbolts #8

June 25, 2014

Thunderbolts 008Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern // Mark Bagley
November 1997
****

The first T-bolts story to last more than one ish ends w/ the mag’s best since #1. The team fends off a set of monsters menacing NYC, winning adulation & SHIELD access. But what’s esp great is how it delves into the psyche of Songbird, codependent & unconfident till now, when she must act alone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #7
next issue: Thunderbolts #9

Thunderbolts #1

June 15, 2014

Thunderbolts 001Kurt Busiek // Mark Bagley
April 1997
*****

Lives up to its rep as a key issue of ’90s superheroics. W/ the “daylight” heroes dead & NYC in ruins after an inane X-Men/Avengers crossover, a new team of unknown superheroes become media darlings for their earnest, old-school approach to do-goodery. But their secret is, they’re really neferious villains! The brill twist on the superteam trope clarifies yet ironizes the era’s antihero morality.

next issue: Thunderbolts #2

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

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

The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

May 30, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Ignition 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2010
***

Having lost their two series in June, Ab & Lan segue into their space opera’s final act. This prolog is epic stuff, tho’ not newbee-friendly! Worlds explode (!) to shunt a Lovecraft-universe’s Cptn Marvel into the main ‘verse, setting up a confrontation w/ Death’s avatar, Thanos resurrected.

continued from Guardians of the Galaxy #25
continued in The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579

Nova #36

May 23, 2014

Nova 36Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
June 2010
***

Nova exits on a cliffhanger, a victim of the downsizing of Marvel’s cosmic line. #36 connects Realm of Kings to a Thanos mini, as the Human Rocket faces an evil extra-dimensional Quasar who serves Lovecraftian Old Gods. Plenty of little plot threads dangle; hopefully, DnA will get to pick them up.

last issue: Nova #35
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for Jun. ’10
The Fantastic Four #578
Guardians of the Galaxy #25

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

Nova #31

May 18, 2014

Nova 31Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
January 2010
***

Rider dives into the tear in spacetime left by War of Kings, where a planet’s about to explode. He faces two foes: the Lovecraftian beasties from across the rift & an ancient galactic conspiracy that’s roped in his onetime teammate, Darkhawk. The issue, impulsively non-linear, is juicy fun, no more.

last issue: Nova #30
next issue: Nova #32

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Realm of Kings #1 of 1

May 7, 2014

Realm of KingsDan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar & Leonardo Manco
January 2010
****

MU’s last cosmic metaseries was old-school space opera; this one kicks off a Lovecraftian weird tale. It’s also a Quasar adventure: the ’90s quantum hero slips into a mirror ‘verse where the Avengers bow to the Old Gods in life undying. Manco’s raw grit mimics Maleev’s, a realism that works here too.

continued from War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1
continued in Guardians of the Galaxy #20
continued in Nova #31
continued in Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5
continued in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5

also indexed for Jan. ’10
The Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5

Nova #30

April 29, 2014

Nova 30Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kevin Sharpe
December 2009
***

Despite the art (Sharpe has a 180° problem & lackluster action sequences), yet another issue of solid SF fun. While fighting off a horde of numbskull bruisers, the Nova Corps abandons Ego the Living Planet for a new base. Note also how easily DnA revamp Monark Starstalker into a viable character.

last issue: Nova #29
next issue: Nova #31

also indexed for Dec. ’09
The Fantastic Four #572
Guardians of the Galaxy #19

Nova #29

April 28, 2014

Nova 29Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kevin Sharpe
November 2009
**

Well sub-par of Nova‘s usual quality, mainly cuz Sharpe has a few off panels atop his generally dull style. A rift in space has shunted a derelict station in from another ‘verse. It holds, among other beings, bruisers from a Ditko Dimension & a rare ’70s Chaykin antihero named Monark Starstalker!

last issue: Nova #28
next issue: Nova #30

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The ListThe Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18

Nova #28

April 27, 2014

Nova 28Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
October 2009
***

All the Ts get crossed & Is dotted in this ish, which ends both the larger Corps Rebooted arc & the War of Kings subplot. Rider arrests a team of alien supersoldiers w/ smart tactics & the help of two recruits, then establishes diplomatic relations w/ an old Kirby heavy from the antimatter ‘verse.

last issue: Nova #27
next issue: Nova #29

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Nova #27

April 26, 2014

Nova 27Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
September 2009
***

Nova #26 goes heavy on adrenaline, thrills, and suspense (and splash pages) but light on character and twists. In the middle of the Kree-Shi’ar War (which, incidentally, has a third front along the Negative Zone), Richard Rider attempts to rescue his brother from an evil Supergirl stand-in.

last issue: Nova #26
next issue: Nova #28

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Nova #26

April 25, 2014

Nova 26Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
August 2009
***

DnA seem more confident using interstellar war (Marvel’s third in recent years) as a backdrop than they do in the main mini. In their strongest title, their hero jumps from planet to planet along the front lines, investigating victims of Shi’ar warcrimes, including Nova Corpsmen like his bro.

last issue: Nova #25
next issue: Nova #27

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: Savage Son of Skaar #1 of 1

Nova #25

April 24, 2014

Nova 25Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kevin Sharpe
July 2009
***

Back to a more conventional artist (temporarily) & a more conventional tale. Rider lobotomizes that planetary being (also temporary) to save his AI mentor & resume leadership of the Nova Corps. Still, Nova #25 is solid comics, w/ a bubbling subplot, a cliffhanger, & a sense of epic space adventure.

last issue: Nova #24
next issue: Nova #26

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Nova #24

April 23, 2014

Nova 24Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
June 2009
****

Always good when an artist inks his own work. Two strands here: Rich Rider, empowered by cosmic energy, storms the Living Planet, co-opter of the Nova Force. But the real storytelling follows a Nova peacekeeper into a brutal battle in War of Kings, from battle’s chaos to the slaughter of POWs.

last issue: Nova #23
next issue: Nova #25

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

Nova #23

April 22, 2014

Nova 23Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
May 2009
****

Prob’ly one of the top ten works in the main Marvel U! DiVito returns to the SF line; his style’s still stiff but better inking retains his use of negative space. Plotwise, DnA twist & turn: the Nova Corps mobilizes for the War of Kings, while protag Rider gets Cptn. Marvel’s old 1970s power bracers!

last issue: Nova #22
next issue: Nova #24

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

Nova #22

March 28, 2014

Nova 22Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
April 2009
****

Not only do DnA follow thru cleverly on their basic scenario, they twist the plot in surprising ways! Storing a super-AI in his head didn’t drive Rich Rider mad, it drove the AI mad! It did affect RR’s body tho’, and now, powerless, he’s got two days to live! Plus, dig the Constructivist cover!

last issue: Nova #21
next issue: Nova #23

also indexed for Apr. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #10
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1 of 2

Nova #21

March 27, 2014

Nova 21Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
March 2009
****

Worldmind, the cosmic AI that Rider has shared a skull with, downloads itself into Ego the Living Planet, one of King Kirby’s kraziest koncepts! But the maneuver smells fishy, esp. when Rider gets booted from the Corps! This is a brilliant turn of events, grand super-SF, a twist on A. Moore’s GL Mogo.

last issue: Nova #20
next issue: Nova #22

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Nova #20

March 26, 2014

Nova 20Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
February 2009
***

Another reflective issue of Nova. Richard Rider touches base w/ old friends from the New Warriors, his anxiety stimulated by the Nova Corps’ restoration. Or is he just worried about his younger brother, now a fellow Centurian? If only editorial would get more unique, imaginative artists on this mag!

last issue: Nova #19
next issue: Nova #21

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #8

Nova #19

March 25, 2014

Nova 19Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
January 2009
****

The re-established Nova Corps helps keep the peace on Earth, post-Skrull Invasion. The slower pace lets DnA develop character w/ smart dialogue. Esp good: a friendly convo btw Rider’s bro & bush-league ’90s hero Darkhawk. The artist duo are unobtrusive, aside from bewildering angles in fights.

last issue: Nova #18
next issue: Nova #20

also indexed for Jan. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #7

Nova #18

March 21, 2014

Nova 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
December 2008
***

Nova, w/ a growing support staff, defends an upstate super-facility from Skrull invaders. Human scientists have rebooted the Nova AI, w/ the side-effect of conjuring the late Quasar out of “solid energy”. Cavalry comes in the form of a root army &, in a surprise twist, a reconstituted Nova Corps!

last issue: Nova #17
next issue: Nova #19

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #6

Nova #17

March 20, 2014

Nova 17Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
November 2008
***

When the Skrulls invade Earth, galactic cop Nova returns to his old ‘hood. Shapeshifters have besieged a super-research facility in upstate NY, where Ryder’s bro & a fellow ex-New Warrior both work. The creative team bring claustrophobic tension into the action as well as a cliffhanging twist.

last issue: Nova #16
next issue: Nova #18

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #5

Nova #16

March 19, 2014

Nova 16Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
October 2008
**

What begins with Ryder in another gee-whiz adventure on an alien world segues smoothly to the space cop comprising an entire front of his own in the Skrull Invasion of Earth. And it stands to reason that his sometime ally, the original Super-Skrull, would be the one to draw him into the fray.

last issue: Nova #15
next issue: Nova #17

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #4

Guardians of the Galaxy #1

March 16, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 01Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
July 2008
***

One pleasure of DnA’s SF series has been their integration of Marvel’s patchwork cosmos into a seamless universe. GotG is now the spine to that work. #1 states the thesis: a team of cosmic heroes & alien misfits aim to protect all creation from, for instance, Starlin’s ’70s space zealots.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #2

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Nova #13

Nova #15

March 15, 2014

Nova 15Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2008
***

The climax to this three-issue arc is a deus ex machina. That’s not a criticism, yet in execution, Nova’s sacrifice (he loses the Worldmind AI) fails to stand as payment for his salvation. Plus Alves slacks in staging a world’s destruction (c.f. Byrne) & Nova’s thrilling escape via G’s energy shunt.

last issue: Nova #14
next issue: Nova #16

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #3

Nova #14

March 14, 2014

Nova 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2008
***

A neat divide runs thru this ish, w/ each plot cleanly embodying its conflict in a pair of mano a mano scifi combat scenes. The first part’s stronger, showing the thin line that the Silver Surfer walks (surfs?) btw respecting his boss & saving lives. Part 2 is angry fisticuffs w/ a crazy psi-being.

last issue: Nova #13
next issue: Nova #15

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16

Nova #13

March 13, 2014

Nova 13Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
July 2008
****

Back to TCB as Nova evacuates a world beset by Galactus (an echo of Katrina is subtle but unmistakeable). Impressively, the ish works on three distinct levels: a fight w/ a body-hopping psi-psycho; awe at the natural force of Big G; & a liberal critique of a feudal civ that puts the aristos first.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
last issue: Nova #12
next issue: Nova #14

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of #1 
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15

Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6

March 12, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
June 2008
****

A suitably epic finale. DnA weave their several plot strands into a taut rope, w/ everyone (except the ignominious Ronan) contributing to the defeat of Ultron. No deus ex machina, no forcing of twists or compromises of personality: read A:C to see how solid craft works. I’m sold on both spinoffs.

continued from Nova #12
last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
continued in Guardians of the Galaxy #1
continued in Nova #13

also indexed for Jun. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Nova #12

Nova #12

March 6, 2014

Nova 12Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
June 2008
****

If you enjoy the trope of ‘snatching victory from defeat’ (& you read comics, so you prob’ly do), check out Nova #12. Warlock sacrifices himself to cure Rider’s technovirus, but gets revived when his progeny defeats a robomorph as big as a building. Then they’re off to Annihilation: Conquest #6.

continued in Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
last issue: Nova #11
next issue: Nova #13

also indexed for Jun. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #14

Nova #11

March 5, 2014

Nova 11Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
May 2008
****

Of course Warlock shows up! The erstwhile New Mutant’s homeworld is the source of the sentient technovirus consuming the Kree Galaxy; Nova arrives, hunting for a cure. It’s wondrous how, in a few brisk strokes, A&L fully revive a minor Claremont concept, w/ Pelletier doing a passable Sienkowicz.

continued from Nova Annual #1
last issue: Nova #10
next issue: Nova #12

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #13

Nova Annual #1

March 4, 2014

Nova Annual 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mahmud Asrar, Klubs, & Wellinton Alves
April 2008
***

Rider’s unstuck in time, hopping btw his first mission as Nova & his last (the restored Nova Corps battles the Phalanx technovirus in Earth orbit). Duplicating the plot of Nova #7, it’s all a psychomachia as his body fights the infection. The seams don’t show much btw the 3 artists (“Klubs”?). An okay issue to pick up if you’ve been following  Annihilation: Conquest but not Nova.

continued from Nova #10
continued in Nova #11

also indexed for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1

Nova #10

March 3, 2014

Nova 10Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
March 2008
****

In transit to a techno-organism’s home planet, Nova gets pulled into the birth canal of a transdimensional being to serve as food! Also present: former squeeze Gamora, who’s succumbed to the same technovirus that’s infected our hero. Thrilling space adventure w/ character-driven subtext.

continued in Nova Annual #1
last issue: Nova #9
next issue: Nova #11

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23

Nova #9

March 2, 2014

Nova 09Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
February 2008
****

This clever SF mag gets better every month. On a haunted space station at the end of the universe, Nova uses his techno-viral infection to exorcise the archenemy of an alien JLA. But the arc’s real find is the station’s security chief, a winsome hyper-intelligent canine cosmonaut (a la Laika).

last issue: Nova #8
next issue: Nova #10

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #12

Nova #8

March 1, 2014

Nova 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
January 2008
****

The same month they launch a comic mini flagship, DnA take their regular gig to audacious new places. Nova meets an alien superteam, a horrific zombie virus, & a hyper-intelligent Soviet dog (!) aboard a Kirby space-god’s head (!!) floating at the edge of the universe (!!!). Yet these freaky ideas flow smoothly.

last issue: Nova #7
next issue: Nova #9

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11

Nova #7

February 28, 2014

Nova 07Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen & Brian Denham
December 2007
****

Naturally, Rider shrugs off the sentient techno-virus’ infection; it’s how the turn is executed (an astral psychomachia) that works. His escape from the Phalanx dominion adds a dash of hard SF that, in a twist, shunts him away from the Annihilation: Conquest series.

last issue: Nova #6
next issue: Nova #8

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

Nova #6

February 27, 2014

Nova 06Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen & Brian Denham
November 2007
***

The centerpiece of this arc is an aerial battle btw Novas (Novae?), as the Kree rookie dogfights Richard Rider over control of the Worldmind AI. A dialog on individuality w/r/t the Phalanx hivemind offers food for thought. And a few overly boob-centric panels don’t detract from the action too much.

last issue: Nova #5
next issue: Nova #7

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