Archive for the ‘Piledriver’ Category

Captain America #7

November 18, 2015

Captain America 5.07Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
March 2012
***

Brubaker has fashioned a new ongoing arc for his A-title, scotching the conspiracy plot of Secret Avs. Fans of Gruenwald’s era will love it; I’m happy to see a classic bit of Kirbytech that causes riots. But it’s all super-plot, less compelling than the political spy-fi of 7 (!) years ago.

last issue: Captain America #6
next issue: Captain America #8

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #626
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Captain America #606: Bucky Barnes

October 6, 2015

Captain America 606A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2010
A-story: ***

I like this hero’s twisted psyche: less a deathwish than a pain-as-penance hang-up. But the arc’s elsewhere: Baron Zemo learns Cap’s secret ID! As the hooded son of the Nazi who’d “killed” Bucky in WW2, he’s a natural enemy to test our hero’s mettle. This has potential to revive the flagging run.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #605
next issue: Captain America #607

also indexed for Jul. ’10
The Fantastic Four #579
The Marvels Project #8 of 8
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Runaways #1

June 19, 2015

Runaways 2-01Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
April 2005
*****

After half a year hiatus, Runaways returns reinvigorated! The remit is evidently not only to speed up the action (hurray!) but to tie the mag more tightly to the Marvel fabric. So the kids foil a heist by post-Kirby bruisers while a support group of ex-superteens hint at life after caped heroics.

continued from Runaways #18
next issue: Runaways #2

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Daredevil #70
Fantastic Four #523
Young Avengers #1

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

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

Maximum Security #1 of 3

September 7, 2013

Maximum Security 1Kurt Busiek // Jerry Ordway
November 2000
***

Busiek & his editors orchestrate a massive ’80s-style crossover, w/ this miniseries (incl. a prologue) acting as spine & many mags sacrificing an issue in support. The high concept: Earth has been made into a galactic penal colony. US Agent offers narration, a pig-headed man-of-action w/ more flavor than your standard Avenger. Ordway’s artwork is buoyant but may be too light for the mini’s needs.

continued from Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1 of 1
continued from Avengers #34
next issue: Maximum Security #2 of 3

also indexed for Nov. ’00
Thunderbolts #44
Avengers #34

Avengers #18

August 9, 2013

Avengers 18Jerry Ordway
July 1999
**

The team restores a barbarian king to his throne. Simultaneously loose & rushed, this visit to a planet of sword/sorcery doesn’t come off. Tho’ it feels like Busiek’s tale—a callback to one of Roy T’s less Avenger-y ideas—Ordway’s art has a 2D, Sal Buscema style & his plotting is formulaic.

last issue: Avengers #17
next issue: Avengers #19

also indexed for Jul. ’99
Avengers Annual 1999
Avengers #0
Avengers Forever #8 of 12

Avengers #16

August 5, 2013

Avengers 16Jerry Ordway
May 1999
**

Ordway, a stalwart on Superman, fills in for a trio of issues. He’s an inker-turned-headliner, not too creative but a pro. His arc sends the team to New Orleans at Mardi Gras, where the Wrecking Crew (Silver Age-type super-mooks in colorful duds) kidnap the ’80s Cptn. Marvel for some armored dude.

last issue: Avengers #15
next issue: Avengers #17

also indexed for May ’99
Avengers Forever #6 of 12

Avengers #15

August 3, 2013

Avengers 15Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
April 1999
***

Catspaws from the last two issues (an alien-looking noble & a ’90s parody) bang on each other, making the team look like chumps. The action’s behind the scenes, as (A) a New Age cult has megalomaniac aims, and (B) Ultron preps for genocide. KB finally creates new ideas, but they’re rather wan.

last issue: Avengers #14
next issue: Avengers #16

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