Archive for the ‘Phalanx’ Category

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

Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6

March 11, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
May 2008
***

The Big Bad’s motive is that old standby, megalomania; he aims to download himself into Adam Warlock’s superbody. The tide turns in the other plots (Ronan’s robot army; Mantis & co.). It’s essential set-up & exposition told zestily, giving breath to space operatic conventions; if only the art set it apart.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6

also indexed for May ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11

Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

March 10, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
April 2008
****

Despite the widescreen paneling, A:C has more of a televisual feel. A lot of that’s the cycling from plot to plot, which keeps the momentum boiling & juggles the dozen or so major & minor characters deftly. Ronan finds an army, while in a nicely quiet beat, Adam Warlock counsels a grieving Quasar.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6

also indexed for Apr. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
Nova Annual #1

Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

March 9, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
March 2008
****

This galactic adventure is peripheral to the Marvel ‘verse, yet the stakes feel higher than, say, this month’s Avengers. For one thing, DnA can & do kill heroes—here Moondragon—as Phalanx-Ultron takes the upper hand. A nova can’t stop him! Can Kree Emperor Ronan’s secret weapon? What a thrill!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #24
Nova #10

Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

March 8, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
February 2008
****

A novelistic structure, elegantly stepping btw 3 plots. Two minor ones follow the resistance against the Phalanx (thrilling espionage) & a diplomatic alliance w/ the Annihilation bugs. The major plot has a grand cosmic conceit: a science god & his savior-son v. the robot devil Ultron & his hordes!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9

Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

March 7, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
January 2008
***

Slick, breathless space melodrama with by-the-numbers hyper-heroic art. Atypically, A&L focus more on plot than personality and more on action than arc. To bring you up to speed: the technoviral Phalanx has annexed the Kree Galaxy under the leadership of… Ultron! Quasar & her dragon fly into the heart of a sun w/ Adam Warlock, cosmic savior!

continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #8

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 #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

Nova #5

February 26, 2014

Nova 05Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen
October 2007
***

If Chen’s art were more than simply clear & readable, Nova would be fantastic. As it is the art’s serviceable, while the script springs surprises & draws new chars w/ a few deft strokes. A Kree medic is tasked by the Nova AI to protect her crew & Rider from the Phalanx techno-infection—& she fails!

last issue: Nova #4
next issue: Nova #6

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
The Immortal Iron Fist #8

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

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: Wraith #2 of 4

February 22, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 2 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
October 2007
**

Somehow, Hotz makes a ’90s junk style (rococo lines & manga eyes) work. JG-M riffs on Serio Leone’s schtick, inserting his antihero into a conflict he wants no part of—the Kree with No Name. But other than an eerie death/resurrection backstory, the protag’s undercooked & the dialogue’s clichéd.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. 07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5

Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4

February 21, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 1 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
September 2007
*

Hey, an entirely new character! Wraith would’ve fit into Marvel’s ill-conceived ’90s horror line: a gloomy gothic badass w/ vague powers, an energy gun/knife/whip combo, & a rocket-cycle. Hotz brings a choppy, angular ’80s English vibe to the mini, part of the Annihilation: Conquest metaseries.

continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #1 of 4
Nova #4

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: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4

February 19, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Quasar 3 of 4Christos Gage // Mike Lilly
November 2007
**

A low panel-to-page ratio & lots of negative space show Lilly’s fatigue. The plot, meanwhile, is a sci-fantasy a la Heavy Metal. Quasar’s g’friend turns into a dragon (not a metaphor for queer love, sadly!) as they defend a peasant village from a marauding army rather than rescue a space messiah.

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

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

Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4

February 18, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Quasar 2 of 4Christos Gage // Mike Lilly
October 2007
**

Ostensibly, the plot involves a race to summon a galactic messiah. But mostly it’s a pretext for the heroine to swing an energy-sword at monsters. The mini’s only distinctive attribute is that its leads are lesbian lovers, but this simply offers the artist a chance to draw twice as many nipples.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5

Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4

February 17, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Quasar 1 of 4Christos Gage // Mike Lilly
September 2007
**

Seeking a messiah to save the galaxy from a techno-infection is that rare bird, a female superhero! Phyla-Vell’s a double-legacy: her dad was Captain Marvel (the ’60s Marvel one), & she wears a ’90s space-knight’s power bracers. But her book’s all plot, no personality (lesbianism doesn’t count).

continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
Nova #4

Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4

February 16, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Starlord 4 of 4Keith Giffen // Timothy Green II
December 2007
***

As if to make up for the slack pace of A:C:Star-Lord #2, Giffen cuts from scene to scene, showing the essential beats but not the combat. The plot’s a little hairy (why would a techno-organic species create an antidote to itself? Can the Uni-power function independently?) but the space opera works.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #7

Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4

February 15, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Starlord 3 of 4Keith Giffen // Timothy Green II
November 2007
***

Undercover on the Kree homeworld, Star-Lord learns the techno-aliens’ secret plan: infect the galaxy w/ a nano-virus that will convert organic life into “techno-organic” life. It’s spicy space opera w/ a fashionably hard-boiled edge. Green’s vivid mise en scene adds to the sense of place & tone.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4

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

Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #2 of 4

February 14, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Starlord 2 of 4Keith Giffen // Timothy Green II
October 2007
**

Giffen’s script is soggy w/ American snark, but it’s two-fisted SF, w/ a war’s sense of scope & non-humanoid aliens: a Kirby monster, a hyperintelligent raccoon, Annihilation bugs, etc. The plot: our squad of antiheroes skulk thru occupied territory, drawing a death by friendly fire.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5

Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1

February 12, 2014

Annihilation Conquest - PrologueDan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Mike Perkins
August 2007
****

Following the pattern of the ’06 sleeper, Abnett & Lanning craft another space opera. If this one-shot’s indicative, it’ll improve on the first. Civilization’s in ruins, heroes buzz about rebuilding, & a species of sentient technovirus (the Phalanx) seizes the Kree Empire to assimilate & thus protect the galaxy. Happily, one protag’s a woman! The art’s a little grimy & claustrophobic but okay.

continued in Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Conquest: Star Lord #1 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
continued in Nova #4

also indexed for Aug. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3