Archive for the ‘Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD’ Category

Winter Soldier #10

December 10, 2015

Winter Soldier 10Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
November 2012
****

Black Widow has been kidnapped & mind-raped; regressed to her Soviet self (well, a 21C version of it); killed a longtime SHIELD agent, & had all memory of her romance with Our Hero erased. It’s all to torture Bucky emotionally, natch. But Guice’s art looks retro & contemporary all at once.

last issue: Winter Soldier #9
next issue: Winter Soldier #11

also indexed for Nov. ’12
Captain America #17
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22

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Winter Soldier #9

December 8, 2015

Winter Soldier 09Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
October 2012
****

Visually this arc matches the best of the run. Lark stages the SHIELD shutdown of a Lincoln Center ballet with urgency and clarity. Brubaker’s plot twist, however, doubles down on the Black Widow’s psychological violation. Brainwashed, she fakes lucidity till she’s on the helicarrier, then attacks.

last issue: Winter Soldier #8
next issue: Winter Soldier #10

also indexed for Oct. ’12
Captain America #16
The Fantastic Four #609
FF #21

Winter Soldier #5

November 30, 2015

Winter Soldier 05Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
July 2012
*****

A two-fisted showdown in a rocket silo! Dr. Doom vs. Super-Apes! Not only does this arc give great spyfi action, it turns the villainess into the kind of super-terrorist Latveria would spawn, & a foe worthy of Doom. Guice draws great hand-to-hand, w/ surprising angles & distances adding kineticism.

last issue: Winter Soldier #4
next issue: Winter Soldier #6

also indexed for Jul. ’12
Captain America #11
Captain America #12
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606
FF #18

Winter Soldier #4

November 28, 2015

Winter Soldier 04Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
June 2012
****

An odd team-up of Kirby creations: Bucky Barnes & Dr. Doom prevent a terrorist bombing at the UN! Effectively Bucky Barnes, Agent of SHIELD, this mag is as good as Brubaker has been since Cap Reborn. It looks great too, as Guice has added Steranko layouts & Adams figures to his arsenal.

last issue: Winter Soldier #3
next issue: Winter Soldier #5

also indexed for Jun. ’12
Captain America #10
The Fantastic Four #605
FF #17

Winter Soldier #3

November 25, 2015

Winter Soldier 03Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
May 2012
****

A great match-up: Widow & the Winter Soldier vs. Dr. Doom! Doom wins on his home turf, the Latverian Embassy in NYC. It’s all a sequel to Bendis’ misfire Secret War, a mini that helped pioneer the Marvel vogue for post-9/11 superheroic espionage, a subgenre that this run epitomizes.

last issue: Winter Soldier #2
next issue: Winter Soldier #4

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America #9
Captain America & Bucky #628
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Winter Soldier #2

November 22, 2015

Winter Soldier 02Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
late April 2012
****

Not content to continue the run’s Bourne-like action, this first arc pits our hero against a Commie gorilla with a jetpack & AK-47! It’s a ’60s Soviet hench-ape! But #2’s real story is Guice, adding maturity of layout to the Maleev photoref style. It’s gorgeous (except for his rubber-limbed Widow).

last issue: Winter Soldier #1
next issue: Winter Soldier #3

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America #8
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1

Captain America #5

November 15, 2015

Captain America 5.05Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven & Guiseppe Camuncoli
early February 2012
***

There’s a good concept here (a revived New Dealer accuses Cap of failing their ideals) but the point gets obscured. Partly that’s McN’s fault—he turns the foe into a ranter. He can’t even go 5 issues without a delay & assist! But frankly this arc’s longer on 4-color action than ideas or craft.

last issue: Captain America #4
next issue: Captain America #6

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain
America #6
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Captain America #4

November 14, 2015

Captain America 5.04Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
January 2012
***

Cap’s trapped in a dreamscape while his pals fight the terrorists who put him there. I do like the idealistic scheme of a fellow man-out-of-time to replace 21C America with the ’38 World’s Fair. Otherwise it’s standard stuff for both the run & the title generally, & McN’s art is pretty but plastic.

last issue: Captain America #3
next issue: Captain America #5

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America & Bucky #624
The Fantastic Four #600
Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1
FF #12

Fear Itself: Captain America #7.1

November 12, 2015

Fear Itself 7.1 Captain AmericaEd Brubaker // Jackson Guice
January 2012
****

EB got to conclude Civil War in his mag, & here’s the trade-off: another event mini, Fear Itself, hosts the fatal confrontation btw his creations Bucky & Sin. Fair? Maybe, but it’s bad storytelling. So Bru plays a trump: a dose of SHIELD’s secret serum revives Buck (again).

continued from Fear Itself #7 of 7
continued in Winter Soldier #1

also indexed for Jan. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #3 of 4
Captain America #4
Captain America & Bucky #624
Fantastic Four #600
FF #12

Captain America #3

November 9, 2015

Captain America 5.03Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
November 2011
***

One of my favorite facets of Brubaker’s run has been Cap & co Cap & co sparring with giant robots. Here he fights a house-sized double (AKA Ameridroid)! McNiven never quite gives readers the payoff shot (Steve Rogers as Fay Wray) but he’s adopted a cartoony note since CW, paralleling Marvel’s house style.

last issue: Captain America #2
next issue: Captain America #4

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Captain America & Bucky #622
FF #9

Captain America #2

November 7, 2015

Captain America 5.02Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
October 2011
****

A WW2 platoon, long MIA in dreamspace, resurfaces as a HYDRA terrorist cell! As a variation on Cap‘s man-out-of-time archetype it’s fairly mind-blowing. And it has the bonus of Bru’s theme of mind & neurosis. Unexpectedly, McNiv integrates the surrealism with his cinematic realism quite well.

last issue: Captain America #1
next issue: Captain America #3

also indexed for Oct. ’11
Captain America & Bucky #621
FF #8

Captain America #1

November 5, 2015

Captain America 5.01Ed Brubaker // Steve McNiven
September 2011
****

Marvel gives Cap a new #1 for his red-carpet rollout, & snaps his status quo back 5 years—pre-Civil War! Brubaker doesn’t break stride, writing an ish that could’ve been v. 5 #22. The funeral of Cap’s WW2 flame produces yet another retconned superspy from the Nazi era: Peggy Carter’s jilted lover.

continued from Captain America #619
next issue: Captain America #2

also indexed for Sept. ’11
Captain America & Bucky #620
FF #6
FF #7

Captain America #619

November 4, 2015

Captain America 619Ed Brubaker // Mitch Breitweiser, Jackson Guice, & Chris Samnee
August 2011
***

Proving a worse spymaster than Nick Fury, Cap edges back towards status quo ante. Bucky, however, gets a new mission, going rogue to catch KGB sleeper agents. And Black Widow brazenly rescues him from a gulag—behavior that finally proves (to me) that she’s a romantically plausible partner for Bucky.

continued in Captain America #1
continued in Fear Itself #1 of 7
last issue: Captain America #618
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #620

also indexed for Aug. ’11
Annihilators #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
FF #5

Captain America #618

November 3, 2015

Captain America 619Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Chris Samnee
July 2011
****

Bucky continues to dominate this run, even as he’s shifted back to sidekick. Guilt-soaked dream montages delve into his Winter Soldier psyche & hint at KGB backstory. Samnee pencil-&-inks a dynamic spies-in-catsuits subplot. He’s in the retro school, w/ simple lines & expressive faces.

last issue: Captain America #617
next issue: Captain America #619

also indexed for Jul. ’11
Annihilators #3 of 4
FF #3
FF #4

Captain America #615.1

October 30, 2015

Captain America 615.1Ed Brubaker // Mitch Breitweiser
May 2011
****

The strongest single issue of Steve Rogers, Director of SHIELD, delivering superspy adventure w/ high SF concepts. A rookie nearly dies trying to be Captain America; the twist is, he & the real Cap have been set up by Nick Fury. The plot echoes Englehart’s classic run, but its soul is ’60s cool.

last issue: Captain America #615
next issue: Captain America #616

also indexed for May ’11
Annihilators #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
Captain America #616
FF #1
Secret Avengers #10

Secret Avengers #10

October 27, 2015

Secret Avengers 10Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
April 2011
**

In this arc’s climax, Steve & co foil the resurrection of Fu Manchu. Somehow this manages to be a dull outcome. Avengers, Agents of SHIELD reads like it’s a chore for Brubaker to write. He’s fine with Bucky (& this John Steele), but maybe he has no more stories to tell about Steve Rogers.

last issue: Secret Avengers #9
next issue: Secret Avengers #11

also indexed for Apr. ’11
Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #588

Secret Avengers #9

October 25, 2015

Secret Avengers 09Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
March 2011
**

Hostage exchanges & nighttime meetings lead to a fight scene. Deo isn’t bad per se, but his ’90s testosterone & photoref settings gild the mag’s over-serious tone. Bru’s phoning it in, aside from his ‘original supersoldier.’ With Superman’s 1938 powers, John Steele functions as a father figure for Cap.

last issue: Secret Avengers #8
next issue: Secret Avengers #10

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #587
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

Secret Avengers #8

October 23, 2015

Secret Avengers 08Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
February 2011
**

To resurrect Fu Manchu (who’s never called that, oddly), the cabal in the shadows must capture his son Shang-Chi. So they take Agent 13 hostage. Really, a damsel-in-distress plot? The widescreen art complements the ossified plotting; Brubaker must think poorly of Hollywood-style superheroics.

last issue: Secret Avengers #7
next issue: Secret Avengers #9

also indexed for Feb. ’11
Captain America #613: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #586

Secret Avengers #7

October 21, 2015

Secret Avengers 07Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
January 2011
**

Brubaker weaves dangling threads from his other mags into his Steve Rogers epic. He adds Marvel Project’s ‘original super-soldier’ and an Immortal Weapon from his Iron Fist collab. But all eyes are on Fu Manchu, right? Mostly tho, #7 is more told-not-shown characters & poses-as-panels.

last issue: Secret Avengers #6
next issue: Secret Avengers #8

also indexed for Jan. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #3 of 9
Captain America #612: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #585
The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

Secret Avengers #6

October 18, 2015

Secret Avengers 06Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
December 2010
**

Deodato is proving a terrible fit for poor Brubaker—too much machismo! It augers badly that Mike D does such clumsy work on the martial arts, since this arc looks to focus on the kung-fu of Shang-Chi. It gives Cap the chance face the original supervillain: the Yellow Peril, Fu Manchu himself!

last issue: Secret Avengers #5
next issue: Secret Avengers #7

also indexed for Dec. ’10
Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #584
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

Secret Avengers #5

October 15, 2015

Secret Avengers 05Ed Brubaker // David Aja & Michael Lark
November 2010
***

Bru reunites with his art partner on Gotham CentralDD, the underrated Michael Lark—whose realism classes up the joint. Aja also contributes a touch of Steranko to this spy-fi origin story. One of Nicky Fury’s robot duplicates had gained sentience, & now works for a shadowy anti-SHIELD conspiracy.

last issue: Secret Avengers #4
next issue: Secret Avengers #6

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #583
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

Secret Avengers #4

October 12, 2015

Secret Avengers 04Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
October 2010
*

There’s the germ of a cool Brubaker story here, with Cap & co investigating the Martian scheme of a Halliburton-type corp. But that’s lost as Deo draws the super-fisticuffs exceptionally poorly (when he’s not photo-reffing). Btw this & his X-run, should EB steer clear of super-team SF?

last issue: Secret Avengers #3
next issue: Secret Avengers #5

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Secret Avengers #3

October 9, 2015

Secret Avengers 03Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
September 2010
***

Those expecting more spy-fi from Brubaker will get wrongfooted by his b-mag. Instead he sends his ‘proactive Avengers’ to a Barsoom-like Mars, a onetime battleground to elder gods and Kirby bashers. The swerve could work except that Deodato, a ’90 veteran, can’t break from his cinematic style.

last issue: Secret Avengers #2
next issue: Secret Avengers #4

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #2

October 7, 2015

Secret Avengers 02Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
August 2010
**

Spelunking on Mars, the team uncover a dig excavated by mind-controlled humans & directed by Lovecraft aliens. Sadly, the fashionable creative team plays to their weaknesses: a cast of spandex physiques all speak in the same square-jawed monotone as they hustle around generic hi-tech bases.

last issue: Secret Avengers #1
next issue: Secret Avengers #3

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #580
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Secret Avengers #1

October 5, 2015

Secret Avengers 01Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
July 2010
***

Marvel effectively gives Brubaker a Cap team title. Steve Rogers, now head of SHIELD & in a Kirby-inspired uni, foils super-terrorism w/ a ’90s-style strikeforce. There’s just enough plot to bait the hook: the Roxxon Corp, owning the mining rights to Mars, has exhumed a Lovecraftian serpent crown!

continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
next issue: Secret Avengers #2

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

The Marvels Project #8 of 8

October 4, 2015

Marvels Project 8 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2010
***

Like much of Brubaker’s Cap run, his WW2-era mini is haunted by the ’01 attacks. His cinematic finale has the H. Torch & sidekick dogfight at Pearl Harbor while the other Invaders prevent an Atlantean assassination of Churchill. A subsequent montage of super-GI mobilization is anti-climactic.

last issue: The Marvels Project #7 of 8

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

Captain America #602: Bucky Barnes

September 28, 2015

Captain America 602A-story: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
March 2010
A-story: ****

Brubaker unpauses his plot about ’50s Cap, who’s in Idaho forming a militia. An anti-tax protest & other comments cast the psychotic, stunted, onetime McCarthyite as a Cap for Tea Party patriots. It’s a clever commentary on contempo politics in keeping w/ the mag’s liberal tradition.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #601
next issue: Captain America #603

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
The Marvels Project #5 of 8
Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

The Marvels Project #5 of 8

September 26, 2015

Marvels Project 5 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2010
**

Capt. America arrives, his action-hero dynamism instantly eclipsing the rest of the book. Part of TMP‘s problem is its unclear stakes: what more are Nazi spies hoping to achieve in 1940 NYC? And part is the POV hero, the Angel, a generic mystery man. Brubaker has carte blanche—this is it?

last issue: The Marvels Project #4 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #6 of 8

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America #602
Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

The Marvels Project #4 of 8

September 23, 2015

Marvels Project 4 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
February 2010
***

An interesting subject: an espionage tale about the Nazi who infiltrated the Super-Soldier project back in CA Comics #1. Who was this guy? A 1950s comic would’ve gotten into his head, but in Bru & Ept’s hands he’s a cypher. At least the subplot (a mystery-man tracks the Nazis in NYC) picks up steam.

last issue: The Marvels Project #5 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #3 of 8

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1 of 1
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

The Marvels Project #3 of 8

September 21, 2015

Marvels Project 3 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
December 2009
***

Compared to Brubaker’s other four (!) mags, this mini is kinda rote. The hard-boiled captions lack pulpy urgency, while the setting upstages the action. Epting’s realism just isn’t dynamic here, a shortcoming most obv in his storyboard staging of a Coney Island showdown btw Namor & the Human Torch.

last issue: The Marvels Project #2 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #4 of 8

also indexed for Dec. ’09
Fantastic Four #572
Guardians of the Galaxy #19
Nova #30

The Marvels Project #2 of 8

September 19, 2015

Marvels Project 2 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
November 2009
***

TMP‘s frame follows a mystery man thru his crimefighting career; his reflective tone echoes Watchmen‘s elder Nite Owl to the point of retreading. The creators seem more enthused by their wartime plot, whose espionage allows for Nazi villainy, GI heroics, & pulp-SF tropes like a superman in a tube.

last issue: The Marvels Project #1 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #3 of 8

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Captain America Reborn #3 of 6
Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
Nova #29
War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

The Marvels Project #1 of 8

September 17, 2015

Marvels Project 1 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
October 2009
****

Caught short by the buzz around Captain America’s death, Marvel gives Brubaker one mini to resurrect the hero & another for fun. He does a full period piece, drawing the company’s 1940s characters together into a plot-network around the super-serum & a secret experiment in Nazi eugenics labs.

next issue: The Marvels Project #2 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6
Daredevil #500
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

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

Captain America #601

September 15, 2015

Captain America 601Ed Brubaker // Gene Colan
September 2009
*****

Thank editor Brevoort for this extra fill-in—one of the run’s best issues! Bucky recounts a WW2 face-off w/ a vampire child noshing on GIs in the Ardennes! It resonates w/ the ugly work of occupation in contemp Iraq. But the real story is Colan, 83, whose penciled finishes are eerie & gorgeous!

continued in Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
last issue: Captain America #600
next issue: Captain America #602

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
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

Captain America #28

August 22, 2015

Captain America 28Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2007
****

The Skull’s kid & a squad of snake goons wreck the Asian stock market—a timely nod to the slow, fraud-based financial collapse of ’07-’08. But generally the elaborate plotting, ever-expanding cast, & intrusion of the Marvel-wide status quo conspire to sap momentum from this excellent mag.

last issue: Captain America #27
next issue: Captain America #29

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
Daredevil #99
Nova #4

Captain America #25

August 19, 2015

Captain America 25Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
April 2007
*****

Out of nowhere but built up perfectly, Cap gets killed (by his GF, unwitting agent of the Skull)! #25 provides a finale to the ignominious Civil War, & resonates w/ current events as the act of terror is staged in Lower Manhattan, where he’s arraigned for civil trial rather than military tribunal.

continued from Civil War #7 of 7
continued from Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #24
next issue: Captain America #26

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
Daredevil #94
Dr. Strange: The Oath #5 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #4
Thunderbolts #111

Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1

August 18, 2015

Winter Soldier 1 of 1Ed Brubaker // Stefano Gaudiano, Rick Hoberg & Lee Weeks
February 2007
****

W/ Civil War delaying Cap, Bru & a bullpen provide a quality stopgap. At X-mastime, Bucky Barnes tutors fan fave Gal Hawkeye & her croneys in youthful superheroics. He also visits the graves of past sidekicks &, best of all, reunites w/ fellow Invader Namor. Brubaker makes a great pitch for his resurrected hero as a lead character, w/ a solid plot engine (missions for Nick F) & dated idioms.

continued from Captain America #24
continued in Captain America #25

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Annihilation #5 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #20
Daredevil #92
Dr. Strange: The Oath #3 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11
Runaways #23

Captain America #24

August 17, 2015

Captain America 24Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
January 2006
***

Cap, on the run from SHIELD, busts a terrorist ring on a tip from Col. Fury; meanwhile the Red Skull recruits another ally in his mad vendetta. Some of the best superspy comics that Marvel’s produced since the gadget-happy heyday of Kirby & Steranko, even factoring in the hackwork fill-in art.

continued in Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #23
next issue: Captain America #25

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Daredevil #91
Dr. Strange: The Oath #2 of 5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10
Runaways #22

Captain America #23

August 16, 2015

Captain America 23Ed Brubaker // Mike Perkins
December 2006
***

Bucky, Nick Fury’s new recruit, runs ops against SHIELD during the Civil War brouhaha. The fracas also provides time for the Red Skull to make an unlikely alliance with Dr. Doom! CA‘s fill-in artist has a stiffness that’s common to cinematic realists, & pencils some awkward bodies to boot.

last issue: Captain America #22
next issue: Captain America #24

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Annihilation #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
Daredevil #90
Dr. Strange: The Oath #1 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #9
Runaways #21

Captain America 65th Anniversary Special #1 of 1

August 9, 2015

Captain America 65th Anniversary Special 1 of 1Ed Brubaker // Marcos Martin & Javier Pulido with Mike Perkins
May 2006
****

An anniversary cash-grab doubles as flashback for the mag’s current 2-parter. Late in the war, 19-year-old Bucky falls for a Resistance gamine while he, Cap & the Howling Commandos stop the Red Skull from exhuming a giant medieval robot (built, it seems, by a time-traveling Dr. Doom!). Brubaker fails to sell the romance’s importance, but Martin & Pulido’s matching 2D styles are sublime.

continued from Captain America #16
continued in Captain America #18

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #83
Iron Man #6
Captain America #16
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Runaways #14
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5
Young Avengers #11

Captain America #12

August 4, 2015

Captain America 12Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
December 2005
*****

This retcon works, partly cuz Bucky’s survival is plausible mad science (simple even!) & partly cuz it’s all potentially a ‘false’ reality, a plot imposed by the original Kirby widget, the Cosmic Cube. But it’s anchored by Cap’s moral angst, as his friends tell him his WW2 partner is a zombie drone.

last issue: Captain America #11
next issue: Captain America #13

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Daredevil #78
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Runaways #9
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Captain America #10

August 2, 2015

Captain America 10Ed Brubaker // Lee Weeks
October 2005
***

Week’s fill-in art adds little to the long-perspective reminisce that provides backstory for the alt-timeline that’s swept across Marvel’s comics. In one early fork, Cap & Bucky kill Baron Zemo then capture Hitler! But Cap makes enemies in the ’50s “Mutant Scare”—& walks on the moon in ’55!

last issue: Captain America #9
next issue: Captain America #11

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Daredevil #76
Iron Man #4
Runaways #7
Young Avengers #7

Captain America #9

August 1, 2015

Captain America 09Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
September 2005
****

The Winter Soldier arc digressed in #7 & got hijacked by an X-over in #10. So the sense of padding in #9 is hard to forgive. Despite that, it’s a great showcase for Brubaker’s approach to Cap: tech-heavy, realistic spy-fi & hard-boiled emotion.

last issue: Captain America #8
next issue: Captain America #10

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Daredevil #75
The Pulse #10
Runaways #6
Young Avengers #6

Captain America #8

July 31, 2015

Captain America 08Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
August 2005
*****

Bucky Barnes, back from the dead! A Soviet sub recovered the sidekick’s comatose body in WW2, & brainwashed him to be a literal sleeper agent, years in cold storage adding to his life! As Brubaker reminded us last ish, Englehart used a similar Rip van Winkle device to revive the 1950s Cap & Buck.

last issue: Captain America #7
next issue: Captain America #9

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Daredevil #74
Runaways #5
Young Avengers #5

Captain America #6

July 29, 2015

Captain America 06Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
June 2005
*****

Brubaker executes an impossibly risky twist: he resurrects Bucky! The original Kirby/Simon sidekick, now a still-youthful espionage agent, takes orders from an industrialist (ex-Soviet military), who bombs Philly to power his Kirby widget! Question is, can Bru justify this bold storytelling move?

last issue: Captain America #5
next issue: Captain America #7

also indexed for Jun. ’05
Daredevil #72
Runaways #3
Young Avengers #3

Captain America #5

July 28, 2015

Captain America 05Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Steve Epting
May 2005
*****

Lark takes the main art duty for this extended flashback of Cap’s rare visit to WW2’s eastern front. The US has the Invaders, & the Nazis their Axis counterparts, but Russia has only brutality & cunning. That’s echoed in a radical retcon that recasts Bucky as a black-ops commando w/ a Bowie knife!

last issue: Captain America #4
next issue: Captain America #6

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
Fantastic Four #524
The Pulse #8
Runaways #2
Secret War
#4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Captain America #4

July 27, 2015

Captain America 04Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
April 2005
****

Someone is getting into Cap’s head by sending a patsy after him, by killing his protégés or defacing their Arlington gravesites, & by sticking a psychic thumb in his WW2 memories. Bru gives the superspy adventure plot a hard-boiled urgency, its style succeeding where Bendis’ Secret War failed.

last issue: Captain America #3
next issue: Captain America #5

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

Captain America #3

July 26, 2015

Captain America 03Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
March 2005
*****

After mopping up an abortive terror attack, Cap & Agent 13 earn some R&R in Paris. The city elicits nostalgia from the WW2 vet, whose collab w/ the Fr. Resistance (Lark’s pencils) lets the reader into the title char’s psyche & lets Ed B snub the idiotic “A for France” line in The Ultimates.

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Daredevil #69
Fantastic Four #522
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Captain America #2

July 25, 2015

Captain America 02Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
February 2005
****

Cap & the SHIELD team investigate the death of the Red Skull by first ending his WMD attack on NYC’s sewers. Tight & dramatic stuff, v. contempo as it modernizes superspy for post-9/11 readers. Brubaker seems esp to enjoy PTSD flashbacks to 1940s battles, w/ Gotham C collab Lark on nightmare duty.

last issue: Captain America #2
next issue: Captain America #4

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Daredevil #68
Fantastic Four #521
Iron Man #2

X-Statix #26

April 17, 2015

X-Statix 26Peter Milligan // Mike Allred
October 2004
***

A fairly blatant ripoff of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, as the team gets KIA with Mr. S & Tike A. gunned down in a suicide charge. It would’ve worked better if they hadn’t held each other at arm’s length since the retitling. Or if the run’s last two years had been compressed into one. Ah well.

last issue: X-Statix #25
continued in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517
Secret War #3 of 5