Archive for the ‘Scorpion’ Category

Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6

September 16, 2015

Captain America Reborn 1 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
September 2009
****

Surprising no one, Steve Rogers didn’t die—sort of. Lifting ideas from Vonnegut & TV’s Lost, Bru has set Cap adrift in his own timeline. This high concept would feel stronger if it weren’t for Hitch’s blockbuster-style uber-realism, which fits poorly with comic-book gonzo & Kirbytech.

continued from Captain America #601
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Captain America #601
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Thunderbolts #120

August 2, 2014

Thunderbolts 120Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
July 2008
****

A quartet of telepaths have lain waste to the psyches of this unbalanced team—a turn of events that’s sent Norm Osborne for his Green Goblin mask! His psychotic willingness to commit violence has deliberate echoes of Rumsfeld’s self-justifying rants, & he’s played (via photoref) by Tommy Lee Jones.

last issue: Thunderbolts #119
next issue: Thunderbolts #121

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

Thunderbolts #119

August 1, 2014

Thunderbolts 119Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2008
***

The base is on lockdown: a super-jail whose prisoners incl a cell of telepaths w/ radical politics. Our title team is ripped by factions, as a Nazi aristo (Swordsman), attempts a coup w/ his suborned guard of redshirt soldiers. At the climax, he faces a monstrous Venom—staged as a St. George moment!

last issue: Thunderbolts #118
next issue: Thunderbolts #120

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11

Thunderbolts #118

July 31, 2014

Thunderbolts 118Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
February 2008
***

A central part of Busiek’s original T-bolts, which Ellis has revived, is the sense that the status quo is unsustainable. The team starts to tear apart—but this is too soon, due to decompressed pacing. Ironically, the best moment has Songbird & Rad-Man cooperate to douse a flaming jet in its hanger.

last issue: Thunderbolts #117
next issue: Thunderbolts #119

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9

Thunderbolts #117

July 30, 2014

Thunderbolts 117Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
December 2007
***

Doc Samson takes the tough-love approach to a shrink session w/ castmember Speedball. The doc is Ellis’ surrogate in rehabilitating this broken character, once a goofball & now a super-masochist in an iron maiden! Deo often puts together dandy layouts, tho’ his photo-reffed actors are wooden.

last issue: Thunderbolts #116
next issue: Thunderbolts #118

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 #7

Thunderbolts #116

July 29, 2014

Thunderbolts 116Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
October 2007
****

T-bolts effectively goes bimonthly for the rest of this revisionistic run. Ellis takes a ’90s-style strikeforce of black hats & uses it as a vehicle for W. Bush-era commentary. The dark side of the post-Civil War: a crackdown on civil rights, as the team’s base is an overcrowded black site prison.

last issue: Thunderbolts #115
next issue: Thunderbolts #117

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

Thunderbolts #115

July 28, 2014

Thunderbolts 115Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
August 2007
***

The field op is a failure, although the T-bolts capture their man (a Spidey wannabe). A second exception: during the chaos, Songbird takes the opportunity to strike Bullseye from the team. Ellis works excellently in the moral shadows, but Deodato’s photo-referencing can make the actors seem stiff.

last issue: Thunderbolts #114
next issue: Thunderbolts #116

also indexed for Aug. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3

Thunderbolts #114

July 27, 2014

Thunderbolts 114Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
July 2007
***

A super-rumble in downtown Phoenix has a trio of ‘undocumented’ superheroes undaunted by the title team’s surprise attack. A slightly subpar issue, partly cuz it’s so decompressed. Deodato quits the grid layout to imply the dynamism of battle, but he loses a sense of space and slows the pacing.

last issue: Thunderbolts #113
next issue: Thunderbolts #115

also indexed for Jul. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
Nova #2

Thunderbolts #113

July 26, 2014

Thunderbolts 113Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
June 2007
****

Several subplots are converging on Phoenix AZ: a querulous strike team of psychopaths & a trio of naïve super-types just trying to avoid the Marvel überplot, a super-draft (AKA the Initiative) & do the right thing. Deodato’s faces are very expressive, due to painterly contouring by his colorist.

last issue: Thunderbolts #112
next issue: Thunderbolts #114

also indexed for Jun. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1

Thunderbolts #112

July 25, 2014

Thunderbolts 112Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2007
****

The team’s a vivid array of luridly damaged psyches. Norman Osborne finally justifies his Clone-era resurrection, but it’s Moonstone & Songbird who stand out (as they had in Busiek’s T-bolts). The women butt heads over the leadership role in a scene out of a military briefing in the Iraqi Green Zone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #111
next issue: Thunderbolts #113

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21

Thunderbolts #111

July 24, 2014

Thunderbolts 111Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
April 2007
****

Norm Osborne, on antipsychotics, leads a federal team of superconvicts. Here, they arrest one of Captain America’s protégés with extreme force & revolting machismo. This new take on the T-bolts does what Civil War didn’t: use a superhero idiom to take a timely stand against domestic policing.

last issue: Thunderbolts #110
next issue: Thunderbolts #112

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
The Immortal Iron Fist #4

Thunderbolts #110

July 23, 2014

Thunderbolts 110Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
March 2007
****

A marquee creative team revamps this mag superbly. In Ellis’ hands, the T-bolts are a variation on Suicide Squad, but w/ a strong satiric take on his übermenschen in The Authority as informed by Homeland Security. Deodato, in the cinematic mode-of-the-monent, has the virtue of being a very good DP.

last issue: Thunderbolts #109
next issue: Thunderbolts #111

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12

Nova #3

February 11, 2014

Nova 03Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen
August 2007
***

The writers prefer to retread last issue’s ground instead of moving forward (veteran of intergalactic war can’t bear the short horizons of home). It’s good, but when Nova meets ex-mate Speedball, a PTSD masochist since Civil War, he falls back on bromides instead of seeing his dark reflection.

last issue: Nova #2
next issue: Nova #4
see also Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1

also indexed for Aug. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
The Immortal Iron Fist #7

Nova #2

February 10, 2014

Nova 02Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Sean Chen
July 2007
****

From a simple plot (Ryder takes shore-leave on Earth), the writers spool a soldier’s perspective on Marvel. So while the vet led an ugly stellar war, local heroes bickered in an inane Civil War. A grizzled old youth w/ an AI brain, he’s alienated from his suburban home. Oh, they’re putting thought into this!

previous issue: Nova #1
next issue: Nova #3

also indexed for Jul. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #6

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5

November 10, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 5Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
September 2009
***

Franklin, in cowboy duds, fires a real bullet from a toy gun—implying the boy has reality-altering superpowers once again. In an artful anticlimax, Mr F contacts a multiversal shadow council. This mini, itself kind of inessential, promises Hickman’s FF run will balance imagination & humanity.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
continued in The Fantastic Four #570

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5

November 9, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 4Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
August 2009
****

Hickman reveals his low opinion of Dark Reign by pitting evil G-man Norman Osborn, the metaseries’ villain, against the FF’s kids! Hero Richards, meanwhile, nobly resolves to save the world after cruising the multiverse via his Kirbytech stargate, trailing funny iterations of his team in his wake.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5

November 8, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 3Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
July 2009
***

A reiteration of last issue, as Reed uses his What-If Machine to deduce why Earth Marvel is so messed up. Hickman aims to dig his protag out from the violations done to his character. But he also supplies comics action, as Pirate Johnny, Cowgirl Sue, & Elizabethan courtier Ben slide thru spacetime.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5

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

Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1

July 2, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Marko Djurdjevic
November 2009
****

Bendis has written variations on the nerd question, “Why doesn’t Batman kill the Joker?” but he’s usually fumbled the ball. He finally gets it right in this cash-grab, staging the Avengers’ debate on the ethics of assassination & the death penalty. Then Hawkeye goes rogue to kill Norman Osborn.

also indexed for Nov. ’09
The Fantastic Four #571

Secret War #4 of 5

May 21, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
May 2005
***

Whoops, that was a long delay! The payoff isn’t quite worth the wait either, esp. since #3 was low on plot. A scarred woman (the deposed PM of Latveria) activates a bomb made of supervillain tech. Bendis aims to comment on 9/11—eg suicide bomber in NYC—but the chaotic, murky art obscures his point.

last issue: Secret War #3 of 5
next issue: Secret War #5 of 5

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
The Pulse #8
Young Avengers #2

Secret War #3 of 5

May 20, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
October 2004
**

If you’re writing a 5-part quarterly, you really need shouldn’t indulge in so much action & so little plot—you kill the momentum. Peter Parker’s unconscious mind begins to recall the cover op that last issue set up. But mostly, it’s Dell’Otto drawing glowy red-eyed tech in an homage to The Matrix.

last issue: Secret War #2 of 5
next issue: Secret War #4 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517