Archive for the ‘Phyla-Vell’ Category

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

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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 #17

May 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 17Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
October 2009
****

A wonderful, imaginative climax to the WoK maxiseries. The Inhumans tore a hole in spacetime that the Guardians must patch. While the giant tree builds a pseudo-tech weapon to annihilate a Lovecraft beastie (!), Warlock stitches the ‘verse to an alternate future—the one where he’s the evil Magus!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #16
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #18

also indexed for Oct. ’09
The Fantastic Four #570
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 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 #14

May 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 14Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
July 2009
***

Walker lays out his pages clearly enough to overcome his overwrought ’90s line & rectilinear ’00s paneling. Good thing, cuz this is a busy arc. In a nice balance of comedy & action, Star-Lord, Warlock & their motley gang of SF heroes completely fail to broker peace in the second Kree-Shi’ar War.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #13
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #15

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

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

Guardians of the Galaxy #12

April 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 12Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
late May 2009
****

The second issue of May ’09 forms a diptych of gamesmanship on a cosmic chessboard. A scheming villain fights Quasar (passing thru from Nova #22 to 23), but he really aims to corrupt Phyla-Vell w/ the power of the Moon Dragon. Weird, obscure stuff—not a good place to jump in, despite lovely art.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #11
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #13

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #11
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #11

April 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 11Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
early May 2009
****

This issue gets cosmic as if follows Phyla-Vell & Drax into a limbo where Moondragon’s dragon slumbers. Funky, angular art reinforces the odd tone, supplementing Phyla’s POV confusion at the explication of allegorical beings like Death. #11 demos how complex Marvel’s resurgent cosmic line can be.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #10
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #12

also indexed for May ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #12
Nova #23
War of Kings #1 of 6
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 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 #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

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

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

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: 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

Annihilation #6 of 6

February 6, 2014

Annihilation 6 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
March 2007
**

Galactus vaporizes the insectoid fleet, Nova goes mano a mano with the Big Bug, & Giffen delivers an epilogue. Annihil never quite delivered on its epic promise, mostly cuz it took itself too seriously. But more, the uninspired realism of DiVito’s art muffled the core mini’s sense of scope.

last issue: Annihilation #5 of 6
continued in Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12

Annihilation #5 of 6

February 5, 2014

Annihilation 5 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
February 2007
***

Ronan (a Kirby creation, one of several here) overturns a Kree-insect alliance & assumes control of an empire! Last ish’s killing of Thanos may’ve been Ann‘s climax; w/ Galactus now free, the heroes should clean up, no problem. I only wish it felt more fun—the realistic tone & art is kind of a drag.

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

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #20
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

Annihilation #4 of 6

February 4, 2014

Annihilation 4 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
January 2007
***

While Civil War hits delays, Annihilation keeps to its schedule. Thanos does a heel/face turn upon learning that the bug-invader plans to destroy all life; ironically, before he can save the ‘verse, he’s killed by his nemesis. Giffen engineered this whole series to give Thanos a death he deserves!

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

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10

Annihilation #3 of 6

February 3, 2014

Annihilation 3 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
December 2006
***

W/ this mini, the creators aim to write a war comic in space, with this ish staging an intergalactic Dunkirk. They ought to focus on the mystical weirdness instead: Super-Skrull reborn, but also Thanos’ mad speech on cosmic energy, its effect on bio-auras, & its practical application as a weapon.

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

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9

Annihilation #2 of 6

February 2, 2014

Annihilation 2 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
November 2006
**

Pursuing his own agenda, antihero Thanos supports Annihilus, fells Galactus, & kidnaps babes. You need Wikipedia for some of these characters’ IDs, but it’s way better than Civil War. Giffen savors his intergalactic war, esp. the political machinations, but he doesn’t always share the pleasure w/ us.

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

also indexed for Nov. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
The Immortal Iron Fist #1
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #8