Archive for the ‘Owl’ Category

Hawkeye #22

January 25, 2016

Hawkeye 22Matt Fraction // David Aja
September 2015
*****

Together Kate & Clint save the BK brownstone & its families from the ‘Tracksuit Draculas’ & harlequin hit-man. Fraction & Aja close their outstanding run, adding a gesture to set up next ‘season’. Superlative comics on every level, the sort of collection you can lend to a non-fan of superheroes.

last issue: Hawkeye #21
continued in Hawkeye #1

Advertisements

Hawkeye #8

January 10, 2016

Hawkeye 08Matt Fraction // David Aja with Annie Wu
April 2013
*****

The redheaded femme drags Barton into another encounter with the tracksuit gangsters of “Little Irkutsk”. Delightfully, she gets the evil eye from the other gals in H’s life: Widow, Hawkgirl, Mockingb, & naïve GF Spider-W. Covers to fake romance comics, by Wu, act as exposition and punctuation.

last issue: Hawkeye #7
next issue: Hawkeye #9

Hawkeye #2

January 4, 2016

Hawkeye 02Matt Fraction // David Aja
November 2012
*****

Hawkeye & his namesake from the Young Avengers steal $ that a criminal circus (shown here as Cirque du Soliel types) stole from organized crime. Aja seems inspired by Steranko’s pop-art layouts, but w/ a 21C graphic angle: see the A+ cover, & a page of Barton slowing time as he draws the bow.

last issue: Hawkeye #1
next issue: Hawkeye #3

also indexed for Nov. ’12
Captain America #17
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22
Winter Soldier #10

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 #500

November 27, 2014

Daredevil 500A-story: Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Klaus Jansen, Chris Samnee, & Paul Azaceta
B-story: Ann Nocenti // David Aja
October 2009
A-story: *****
B-story: *****

Like Bendis, Brubaker leaves his successor with a cliffhanger. Both Kingpin & Lady Bullseye aim to lead the mag’s ninja clan, but DD usurps them by taking the gig himself! A stellar twist, simultaneously unxpected & perfectly right. Focus also on the new mentor, Master Izo, who’d once trained Matt’s sensei. Yet Nocenti & Aja’s back-up steals the big ish: an homage to #161 & instant classic.

last issue: Daredevil #119
next issue: Daredevil #501

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Daredevil #119

November 26, 2014

Daredevil 119Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
August 2009
****

Brubaker sets up his endgame in his run’s penultimate ish. Too bad, since the ninja-centric material has inspired his creativity. He’s got the Kingpin parlaying w/ the ninjas, Foggy targeted for death, & DD’s latest lover captured (disappointingly; she’s been neutered since she slept w/ him).

last issue: Daredevil #118
next issue: Daredevil #500

also indexed for Aug. ’09
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

Daredevil #118

November 25, 2014

Daredevil 118Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
June 2009
****

A snowstorm adds atmo to this ish, as DD’s life goes to hell. He conspires w/ the Kingpin against the Hand, stalks women, stabs ninjas: the vigilante hasn’t been this dark since the bad days of Chichester’s run. In fact, it’s dangerously close to breaking the character like a plastic toy.

last issue: Daredevil #117
next issue: Daredevil #119

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

Daredevil #83

October 19, 2014

Daredevil 083Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
May 2006
****

After Foggy’s funeral (note: no one saw a corpse), a court puts Murdock into the prison gen-pop—a case of the Watchmen line, “I’m not in here w/ you….” Brubaker’s style instantly contrasts w/ Bendis’, his violent action supplanting the dialogue-driven approach, & propelling the mag’s momentum.

last issue: Daredevil #82
next issue: Daredevil #84

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

Daredevil #81

October 17, 2014

Daredevil 081Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2006
*****

This brilliant run’s end—Murdock remanded w/o bail to Rikers, pending trial—subverts the genre’s expectation of illusory change, which would demand his acquital. The radical penalty undermines the naïve virtue at the core of pulp vigilantes & leaves the next creative team w/ plenty of material!

last issue: Daredevil #80
next issue: Daredevil #82

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
Young Avengers #10

Daredevil #80

October 16, 2014

Daredevil 080Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2006
****

Part 2 of the big action finale, #80 features a streetfight btw ninjas & Feds! Maleev’s work on DD has possessed great physicality & expressive bodies. Mostly that’s added levels to his writer’s dialogue, but it’s also helped him to stage great scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Then… Matt surrenders!

last issue: Daredevil #79
next issue: Daredevil #81

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

Daredevil #78

October 14, 2014

Daredevil 078Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
December 2005
*****

This mag’s innate contradiction—a lawyer with an extra-legal identity—gets put to the test. W/ the feds about to acquire proof of his double-life, the protag must choose to fight as Murdock or Daredevil. It’s thrilling & dangerous: mishandling the denouement could break the character irrevocably.

last issue: Daredevil #77
next issue: Daredevil #79

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Daredevil #45

September 11, 2014

Daredevil 045Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
May 2003
****

Readers jonesing for a slugfest get their fix this ish, as DD helps the Feds snag the Owl, heir apparent to the Kingpin’s criminal empire. It offers Maleev the chance to break from his standard grid & indulge in almost Sienkowicz-level expressionism, staging the combat as a brutal, bloody beatdown.

last issue: Daredevil #44
next issue: Daredevil #46

also indexed for May ’03
Alias #20
New X-Men #138

Daredevil #44

September 10, 2014

Daredevil 044Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late April 2003
****

Unlike many decompressed ’00s comics, Bendis’ influential DD only sporadically sags due to pacing. But this issue doesn’t move its plot forward (tho’ it nudges the romantic subplot btw Matt & a blind woman). It also returns to the TV setting of a police interrogation room w/o much effect.

last issue: Daredevil #43
next issue: Daredevil #45

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #43
New X-Men #137

Daredevil #42

September 8, 2014

Daredevil 042Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late March 2003
*****

Double-ship month! A hyperviolent criminal has organized crime w/ a mutant variation on HGH that temporarily gives normal folks superpowers. It’s a brilliant addition to the Marvel U., useful for any writer who wants (a) a one-off supervillain, or (b) a comics-y variation on the classic PSA theme.

last issue: Daredevil #41
next issue: Daredevil #43

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
New X-Men #136

Daredevil #41

September 7, 2014

Daredevil 041Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early March 2003
*****

Back to the regular creative team. The power vacuum left by the K’pin’s near-murder is filled by the Owl, a Silver-Age mutant that BMB portrays as a psycho. But the ish’s extra touch of genius is Stilt-Man, now retired, who notes that DD/MM is the true kingpin—the malev force driving all NYC crime.

last issue: Daredevil #40
next issue: Daredevil #42

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #42
New X-Men #136

The Fantastic Four #336

June 26, 2013

Fantastic Four 336Walt Simonson // Ron Lim
January 1990
***
In a unique victory, Dr. Richards defeats Congress! He pokes enough holes in the concept of a federally mandated registration act to table the bill (HS 39110). Then a Doombot ends Acts of Vengeance & Grimm, in his robosuit, kayos an android. Also note: the covers to #334-6 are their own comic!
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #335]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four# 337]

Daredevil #3

December 14, 2011

Stan Lee // Joe Orlando
August 1964
**

A corrupt financier w/ an owl motif hires Matt Murdock to defend him, then sets up death traps & aims to organize NYC crime. The swashbuckling dazzles, & so does the irony that it’s executed by a blind man. But Joe O’s realism sits stiffly next to the era’s surrealism (ex. Daredevil in a bird cage).

last issue: Daredevil #2
next issue: Daredevil #4

also indexed for Aug. ’64
The Amazing Spider-Man #15
The Avengers #7
The Fantastic Four #29
Journey into Mystery #107  (Thor)
Strange Tales #123  (Dr. Strange)

The Pulse #14

May 17, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
May 2006
*****

Bendis returns to Alias-style storytelling to conclude this too-brief bi-monthly mag, cancelled just as it found its rhythm. Jess Jones talks to her newborn daughter about her one week as a grim-n-gritty vigilante (“The Knightress”), when she met the Heroes for Hire. A smart, sweet bit of closure.

last issue: The Pulse #13

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
Young Avengers #11