Archive for the ‘Sentinels’ Category

Weapon X #2 of 4

January 30, 2015

Weapon X 2 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
April 1995
**

In the AofApoc, Wolverine fights Reavers above London & loses Jean Grey. Hama offers a basic level of craft that most ’90s X-mags lack: clear characters, well-written action, & focused stakes. One flaw, of course, is the cynical love of violence. If only Kubert’s #2 son weren’t a Lee wannabe!

last issue: Weapon X #1 of 4
next issue: Weapon X #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Factor X #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

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Weapon X #1 of 4

January 29, 2015

Weapon X 1 of 4Larry Hama // Adam Kubert
March 1995
***

In a mutant-run dystopia, Wolvie & Jean Grey provide cover for a human airlift rescue. Hama actually builds an arc into one issue, & also leverages the lame Logan/Cyclops/Jean triangle into a backstory that cost Logan a hand & Cyke an eye. *** despite confusing layouts, due to comically wild hair.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Weapon X #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4

January 18, 2015

Amazing X-Men 2 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
April 1995
***

Nicieza uses the What If…? scenario to debut a visually snazzy baddie. Abyss coils an inky 2D body to create a 3D dimensional fold! His “wicked” personality is more old-hat, quipping cruelly & kidnapping kids. The mini implies X-soap & sketches a dour atmo well, tho’ its fights are muddled.

last issue: The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Factor X #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4

January 17, 2015

Amazing X-Men 1 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Andy Kubert
March 1995
***

The pinnacle of ’90s X-overs. The X-Men of a dystopian parallel universe must help Sentinels airlift human refugees out of mutant-controlled America. Nicieza’s sub-Claremont prose offers solid exposition under the purple, while Kubert’s post-Image pencils fit snuggly into the mini’s glum atmosphere.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Factor X #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

Guardians of the Galaxy #18

May 5, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wes Craig
November 2009
***

Star-Lord’s team drifts from one alt-reality to another and aging, de-aging, or fading away at differing rates. It’s an indulgent pleasure to see a future Killraven & an aged Wonder Man fight Wellsian tripods in a ruined 31C NYC. Craig’s Immonen-like style offers plenty of setting, atmo, & color.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #17
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #19

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Dark Reign: The List – The Avengers #1 of 1
The Fantastic Four #571
Nova #29

Avengers #49

September 26, 2013

Avengers 49Kurt Busiek // Kieren Dwyer
February 2002
**

A fleet of Sentinels attack Wash DC, directed by a titanic hologram of Kang. Editors have mandated wordless issues for Feb. But KB relies heavily on dialogue to put flesh to his superheroes, so his work here is bland. Mostly #49 is aerial combat, tho’ a nuclear climax is cheap, in light of 9/11.

last issue: Avengers #48
next issue: Avengers #50

also indexed for Feb. ’02
Alias #4
New X-Men #121

Avengers #48

September 25, 2013

Avengers 48Kurt Busiek // Kieren Dwyer
January 2002
***

Ms. Marvel dispatches her subplot w/ a blade, upping the stakes to wartime levels. But the main plot sees an orbital strikeforce defeated by Kang. Dwyer, onetime collaborator on Cap, draws w/ a cartoon dynamism, cool on its own but counter to the epic tone of this arc (10 issues & counting!).

last issue: Avengers #47
next issue: Avengers #49

also indexed for Jan. ’02
Alias #3
New X-Men #120

Avengers #45

September 21, 2013

Avengers 45Kurt Busiek // Manuel Garcia
October 2001
***

#45 is one of those respites btw adventures, popularized by Claremont, but it comes amid a build-up to World War Kang. The despot marshals his forces in the 40C; the Earth fortifies its defenses; & the Avengers take some R&R. Busiek, as usual, gets the most from his players, incl. Thor & Q’silver.

continued in Avengers: The Ultron Imperative
last issue: Avengers #44
next issue: Avengers #46

also indexed for Oct. ’01
New X-Men #117

Avengers #44

September 20, 2013

Avengers 44Kurt Busiek // Manuel Garcia
September 2001
***

Thor, enraged by Cap’s near-death, broods on immortality’s costs—a smart suggestion of the stakes in the Kang arc. Another strong KB character, Ms. Marvel (see his run in IM), wins an army via trial-by-combat, tho Vision questions her rashness. Sadly Alan Davis has been replaced by a shoddy no-name.

continued from Avengers Annual 2001
last issue: Avengers #43
next issue Avengers #45

also indexed for Sept. ’01
Avengers Annual 2001
New X-Men #116
New X-Men Annual 2001

Avengers Annual 1999

August 10, 2013

Avengers Annual 1999Kurt Busiek & John Francis Moore // Leonardo Manco
July 1999
**

This action-adventure pits the Avengers against a squad of Sentinels repurposed to replace the once-MIA superheroes. The concept has Busiek’s fingerprints: adoration for the title team & its inspiring effect on everyday citizens. For it’s Jarvis who shuts the robots down, & a support technician who’d programmed them. Standard annual fare, tho’ Manco does good cyber-horror a la Barry Windsor-Smith.

last issue: Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998
next issue: Avengers Annual 2000

also indexed for Jul. ’99
Avengers #18
Avengers #0
Avengers Forever #8 of 12

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

January 4, 2013

Astonishing X-Men Giant SizeJoss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2008
***
A double-sized ish caps the space adventure, but the extra pages merely add scope, not clarity. While a guest cast of Marvelites gets mind-zapped, Kitty Pryde sacrifices her life by somehow bonding herself to a space bullet fired at the Earth. With that, Joss & Cass wrap their X-run, a solid set of comics. But in this arc as in the previous ones, poor pacing drags on the snazzy art & peppy script.
[continued from Astonishing X-Men #24]
[continued in Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #12

December 21, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 12Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2005
***

There’s still a lot to enjoy (like a remorseful Sentinel), but AXM has lost its momentum. If this arc had 3 issues & not 6, its reveal—that Prof X had known for years that the Danger Room was sentient—would’ve been stronger. As it is, the outcome simply exiles him from a mag he’s not in anyhow.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #11
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #13

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Young Avengers #5

Astonishing X-Men #11

December 20, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 11Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2005
****

Cassaday takes the baton in #11, penciling a few layouts atop computer-generated backgrounds to depict the astral interview btw Prof X & the sentient Danger Room. The approach underscores how JC’s style is slightly abstracted, a throwback to Romita in a way. His robot design is wonderfully rococo.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #10
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #12

also indexed for Jul. ’05
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Astonishing X-Men #8

December 17, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 08Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
February 2005
****

Somehow a suicide acts as a blood sacrifice, demon-like, freeing the Danger Room AI from its protocols. And a half-scrap Sentinel worships it as a mother goddess! An okay ish made v.g. by Cassaday. His art epitomizes the era—highly realistic, cinematic—but its colorful clarity trumps the convention.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #7
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #9

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Iron Man #2

New X-Men #154

December 9, 2012

New X-Men 154Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
June 2004
****
Despite dodgy panels from Silvestri, Morrison sticks his finale with acrobatic beauty. The enemy of his entire run is finally unmasked: Sublime, a 3B-year-old viral consciousness that subverts evolution to survive! Jean G. ascends to godhead & defeats the villain w/ love by blessing Scott & Emma.
[last issue: New X-Men #153]
[next issue: New X-Men #155]

New X-Men #153

December 8, 2012

New X-Men 153Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
May 2004
*****
GM’s white-hot with hyper-compression, an abstruse style that, at its best, delivers complex plotting but doesn’t neglect emotional beats. Led by a rehabilitated Cass Nova (AKA Ernst!), a future X-team confronts Phoenix & the Beast—who’s infected by Sublime, a virus that thrives on mutant conflict!
[last issue: New X-Men #152]
[next issue: New X-Men #154]

New X-Men #152

December 7, 2012

New X-Men 152Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
late March 2004
*****
In the far future, the Beast wants to mass-produce life rather than letting evolution work. Morrison’s riff on Days of Future Past equals the original & surpasses its ’90s echo Age of Apocalypse. Silvestri also outdoes his past X-work, retaining the sturm & drang of Inferno but surer on shapes.
[last issue: New X-Men #151]
[next issue: New X-Men #153]

New X-Men #151

December 6, 2012

New X-Men 151Grant Morrison // Marc Silvestri
early March 2004
*****
At the end, an arc to match the inaugural #114-17! GM flings the mag 150 years into the future & briskly builds an alt Marvel Universe. The Beast, fur silver with age, has turned evil; all-new X-Men include a boy & his pet Sentinel; a Phoenix egg may save the timeline, ruptured by Cyclops’ despair.
[last issue: New X-Men #150]
[next issue: New X-Men #152]

New X-Men #123

November 8, 2012

Grant Morrison // Ethan van Scriver & Tom Derenick
April 2002
****

Diverse hands don’t detract from Morrison’s momentum. Jean Grey presents the X-campus as a utopia of human/mutant culture. Cue an alien invasion—the masterplan of archfoe Cassandra Nova, whose nano-Sentinels have also infected the team! Even the student body gets its share of plot beats.

last issue: New X-Men #122
next issue: New X-Men #124

also indexed for Apr. ’02
Alias #6
Avengers #51

New X-Men #115

October 30, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
August 2001
*****

A hyper-brilliant megalomaniac (a drag doppelganger of Xavier, note) sends her magpie Sentinels to demolish the mutant utopia of Genosha. Published just after the terrorist attacks of 2001, this issue cuts close to the bone. Yet NXM gains currency from the tension btw its dayglo style & genocide.

last issue: New X-Men #114
next issue: New X-Men #116

also indexed for Aug. ’01
Avengers #43

New X-Men #114

October 29, 2012

Grant Morrison // Frank Quitely
July 2001
*****

A sinister geneticist psi-attacks Professor X in his sanctum sanctorum, part of her plan to commit mutant genocide. Themes of evolution & survival intertwine like DNA; futuristic tech & hip new unis add a fashion-forward cool; an idle Sentinel factory looms over a jungle like an abandoned Mayan god.

last issue: X-Men #113
next issue: New X-Men #115

also indexed for Jul. ’01
Avengers #42

The X-Men #16

May 28, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
January 1966
****
The grand finale to the excellent Sentinels arc. Tho’ predictable, the action is explosive & breathless and the stakes are dire.  Prof X jams the robots’ radio control, which allows their creator (in a fit of conscience) to destroy the commander center. Oddly, the teen heroes mostly just skirmish.
[last issue: The X-Men #15]
[next issue: The X-Men #17]

The X-Men #15

May 27, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
December 1965
****
W/o the social content, this arc turns into a robots-run-amuck B-movie plot. But who cares, w/ Kirby concepts like the Master Mold, a titanic cyber-commander who will protect humanity thru tyranny! There’s also goofy Silver-Age action as the team storms the Sentinel HQ & the Beast gets mind-probed.
[last issue: The X-Men #14]
[next issue: The X-Men #16]

The X-Men #14

May 26, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
November 1965
****
Maybe inspired by the new monthly status, the mag has its strongest ish. Lee finds a strong plot-engine in Cold War paranoia. There’s social tension—even political commetary—in the contrast btw. our team’s ordinary lives & the mob’s hysteria, fanned by large racist robots (Sentinels) & the media.
[last issue: The X-Men #13]
[next issue: The X-Men #15]