Archive for the ‘Sharon Carter, Agent 13’ Category

Secret Avengers #21

December 23, 2015

Secret Avengers 21Warren Ellis // Stuart Immonen
March 2012
****

Cap & co fight a horror beast in a skyscraper. Anyone hoping for a resolution to the mag’s Lovecraft conspiracy will be disappointed; so will Nextwave fans looking for a gonzo reunion for Ellis & Immonen. Still, the duo’s expertise makes for first-rate spy-fi & a fine capper to a fun, cynical run.

last issue: Secret Avengers #20
next issue: Secret Avengers #22

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America #7
Captain America & Bucky #626
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Advertisements

Secret Avengers #19

December 21, 2015

Secret Avengers 19Warren Ellis // Michael Lark
January 2012
*****

This brief run on a 2nd-tier Avengers mag may actually be the apex of the ’00s superspy revival. Each done-in-one mission has a different tone, thanks to the guest artists. Here Lark evokes horror & The Third Man; in E. Europe, the team raids a club whose owner gains powers up by smoking an Elder God’s ashes!

last issue: Secret Avengers #18
next issue: Secret Avengers #20

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

Secret Avengers #18

December 20, 2015

Secret Avengers 18Warren Ellis // David Aja
December 2011
*****

Backed by a rotating crew of A-list artists, Ellis is distilling the modern superspy trend into a stiff shot of comics. For #18, Cap’s kooky quartet displays Shang-Chi to far better effect than Brubaker did. He gives Aja the chance to draw a kung fu fight in an Escher dimension. Gorgeous.

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

also indexed for Dec. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4
Captain America & Bucky #623
FF #10
FF #11

Secret Avengers #17

December 19, 2015

Secret Avengers 17Warren Ellis // Kev Walker
November 2011
****

In the rural hills of Serbia, Cap & the team play Mad Max with a cyborg death-rig that’s abducting human parts! This reads like Nextwave but with competent heroes, or like Planetary with a gonzo foe. Pity Kev’s ugly-cool style can’t quite handle the cinematic action, but he draws great zom-borgs.

last issue: Secret Avengers #16
next issue: Secret Avengers #18

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Captain America #3
Captain America & Bucky #622
FF #9

Captain America #18

December 12, 2015

Captain America 5.18Ed Brubaker with Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
early December 2012
**

A 3-pronged action climax set in a space base, a rioting city, & an airborne villain’s lair. Yet it’s dense w/ clichéd plots, skipped story beats & fudged explanations—it’s barely passable as super-comics. Eaton adds to the generic quality with 4-panel pages & a style 15 years out of date.

last issue: Captain America #17
next issue: Captain America #19

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #19
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23
Winter Soldier #11

Captain America #17

December 11, 2015

Captain America 5.17Ed Brubaker with Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
November 2012
**

To attack Cap’s confidence, terrorists cause riots—the sort of cart-before-horse plotting that makes villains super-ridiculous. But Brubaker’s always cast his hero as a neurotic Atlas struggling w/ his symbolic burden. More interesting is the cover’s bout, which establishes a Zemo/Agent 13 rivalry.

last issue: Captain America #16
next issue: Captain America #18

also indexed for Nov. ’12
The Fantastic Four #610
FF #22
Winter Soldier #10

Captain America #16

December 9, 2015

Captain America 5.16Ed Brubaker & Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
October 2012
***

People are rioting in DC, influenced by a brain-ray carried via right-wing cable-TV. The hypnosis pattern is groovy op-art! An old plot device gets updated with smartphone screens, & it fits Brubaker’s obsession w/ mind control well. Less convincing is this comic’s widescreen destruction.

last issue: Captain America #15
next issue: Captain America #17

also indexed for Oct. ’12
The Fantastic Four #609
FF #21
Winter Soldier #9

Captain America #15

December 7, 2015

Captain America 5.15Ed Brubaker & Cullen Bunn // Scot Eaton
late September 2012
**

After evil supergoons devastate Times Sq, a Glenn Beck parody attacks Cap’s rep. Behind both plots is a villainous scheme to <yawn> emotionally wreck our hero. Eaton fills his page count, & Brubaker has one foot out the door, so who’s to blame for some terrible work in an opening battle scene?

last issue: Captain America #14
next issue: Captain America #16

also indexed for Sept. ’12
Captain America #14
The Fantastic Four #608
FF #20
Winter Soldier #8

Captain America #14

December 5, 2015

Captain America 5.14Ed Brubaker // Patrick Zircher
early September 2012
***

D-Man (a sidekick from Gruenwald’s long run) gets killed after his brainwashed turn as Scourge (a Gruenwald vigilante ID). This somehow ties into HYDRA’s claim that Cap’s lost the soul of America. But that’s the Achilles Heel of Bru’s run: his Steve R. is long on self-doubt but short on specifics.

last issue: Captain America #13
next issue: Captain America #15

also indexed for Sept. ’12
Captain America #15
The Fantastic Four #608
FF #20
Winter Soldier #8

Captain America #13

December 3, 2015

Captain America 5.13Ed Brubaker // Patrick Zircher
August 2012
***

More adventures in the post-9/11 era, with a firefight in LGA, a spy snagged in DC. It’s solid, but the status quo since Cap’s return lacks the apocalyptic momentum of the this run’s start. Plus I’d like to see it move from the Bush era to the Obama: drone strikes abroad, vigilante racism at home.

last issue: Captain America #12
next issue: Captain America #14

also indexed for Aug. ’12
The Fantastic Four #607
FF #19
Winter Soldier #6
Winter Soldier #7

Captain America #12

December 1, 2015

Captain America 5.12Ed Brubaker // Patrick Zircher
late July 2012
***

HYDRA has added a brainwash case to this run’s long list: Henry Peter Gyrich, who’s aiming to expose SHIELD’s witness protection program while killing its beneficiaries. Cap v. 6 (?!) is what Secret Avs could’ve been: spyfi adventure, Steve Rogers & SHIELD v. terrorist cells & political superspies.

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

also indexed for Jul. ’12
Captain America #11
The Fantastic Four #605.1
The Fantastic Four #606
FF #18
Winter Soldier #5

Captain America #10

November 27, 2015

Captain America 5.10Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
June 2012
**

Riots in Harlem, stoked by terrorists & led by a mind-zapped Falcon. Is Brubaker taking up the old (white) American fear of race war? It’s an allusion to Kirby but still smells dodgy. Best to set that aside; enjoy Davis’ skill with facial expressions & the way Agent 13 outwits Machinesmith.

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

also indexed for Jun. ’12
The Fantastic Four #605
FF #17
Winter Soldier #4

Captain America #9

November 24, 2015

Captain America 5.09Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
May 2012
***

Agent 13 negotiates with Machinesmith, a devious AI w/ intel on her BF’s power loss, & she proves how badass she is. Davis pencils an acrobatic laser battle, tho’ SF isn’t his best mode. In fact, great as he is, tonally he’s a huge deviation from this 100+ issue run of hard, cinematic spy-fi.

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

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
Captain America & Bucky #628
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16
Winter Soldier #3

Captain America #8

November 21, 2015

Captain America 5.08Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
April 2012
***

Cap’s super-physique keeps reverting to 98-lb. weakling. Behind the change is a murderer’s row of enemies: a HYDRA Queen of Dreams & her WW2 supersoldier flame (Bru’s recent creations), archenemy Baron Zemo, a late-Kirby WMD, Gruenwald’s Serpent Squad, even an AI created by Byrne/Stern!

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

also indexed for Apr. ’12
Captain America & Bucky #627
The Fantastic Four #603
FF #15
Winter Soldier #1
Winter Soldier #2

Captain America & Bucky #626

November 19, 2015

Captain America & Bucky 626Ed Brubaker with James Asmus // Francisco Francavilla
March 2012
***

A killer android, ‘brother’ to the 1940s Torch, reactivates to attack Cap. It reiterates this run’s theme of the living past & legacy, but the writing (Asmus gets co-credit) is formulaic. And oh, Francavilla! Shaky, hand-drawn lines & a unique aesthetic make him unlike any other artist on the run.

last issue: Captain America & Bucky #625
next issue: Captain America & Bucky #627

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America #7
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

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 #6

November 17, 2015

Captain America 5.06Ed Brubaker // Alan Davis
late February 2012
***

Editorial trades up on artists, ditching McNiven for master Davis. His cartoon-like variation on Neal Adams fits the mag’s mission, which is to take a neo-classical (hackneyed?) approach. The continuing plot—a new HYDRA cell wants to depower Cap—develops as background to some costumed superheroics.

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

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain America #5
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

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

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 #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 #617

November 2, 2015

Captain America 617Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato, Jackson Guice, & Chris Samnee
June 2011
***

A triptych of plots to spring Bucky from a gulag, where he’s pitted against ex-Soviet super-agents in death matches. Guice gives his plot a superb sense of place & atmo, while Samnee’s pages look snazzy. In that, Steve Rogers works w/ DC pols in a realistic cloak’n’dagger plot—till robots attack!

also indexed for Jun. ’11
Annihilators #2 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
FF #2
Secret Avengers #12

Captain America #616

October 31, 2015

Captain America 616A-story: Ed Brubaker // Ed McGuinness
B-story: Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
C-story: Howard Chaykin
D-story: Cullen Bunn // Jason Latour
E-story: Mike Benson // Paul Grist
F-story: Frank Tieri // Paul Azaceta
G-Story: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel // Pepe Larraz
May 2011
A-story: ***
B-story: ***
C-story: ****
D-story: ****
E-story: **
F-story: ***
G-Story: ***

Double-sized to celebrate Cap’s debut in May ’41. True Cap gets the A-plot, New Cap gets the B. Narrative gravity starts to pull Rogers back into action, Bru’s chance to indulge a Batman brood. The tone clashes w/ McGuinness’ helium style. Deodato’s noirish shadows fit Bucky’s tale better, tho’ his he-man physiques grate. The non-Brubaker back-ups are good too, esp. a Chaykin period piece!

last issue: Captain America #615.1
next issue: Captain America #617

also indexed for May ’11
Annihilators #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
Captain America #615.1
FF #1
Secret Avengers #10

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

Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes

October 28, 2015

Captain America 615A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
April 2011
A-story: ****

The Red Skull’s heir gives the Statue of Liberty a black eye; Bucky pleads guilty for his Manchurian Candidate crimes but gets a lenient judge. The mag has taken a while to get its rhythm back, but it does sound like the story Brubaker wanted to tell. And a few of Guice’s layouts channel Steranko!

last issue: Captain America #614
next issue: Captain America #615.1

also indexed for Apr. ’11
The Fantastic Four #588
Secret Avengers #9

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

Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes

October 26, 2015

Captain America 614A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
March 2011
A-story: ****

Brubaker revives Buck’s brainwashed backstory, a link to the early heyday of this run. #614 combines ‘street-level’ tropes (violence in the courtroom!) & supervillainy (rants & bombs), & offers a good perf by the manipulative Dr. Faustus. And many inkers on hand, which improves Guice’s pencils!

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #613
next issue: Captain America #615

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

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

Captain America #613: Bucky Barnes

October 24, 2015

Captain America 613A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
February 2011
A-story: ***

Sin (her burn-scarred skull matches Dad’s) sets a bomb on Liberty Island & sabotages the trial of Bucky Barnes w/ media leaks! As legacy characters go, she’s okay: her taste for hunky musclemen is vaguely kinky, while her sociopathy has matured from Natural Born Killers into real supervillainy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #612
next issue: Captain America #614

also indexed for Feb. ’11
The Fantastic Four #586
Secret Avengers #8

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

Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4 of 4

October 20, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 4 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
December 2010
***

Dale E, inking himself, flubs the mini’s climax—basically an old-school Danger Room—w/ no sense of space & relative positions. The mini’s plot to weaponize & auction off the superserum (= a Western fear of rogue nukes etc.) is revealed as a deception staged by a shadow cabal to experiment on Cap.

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #3

also indexed for Dec. ’10
Captain America #611: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #584
Secret Avengers #6
The Thanos Imperative #5 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

Captain America #610: Bucky Barnes

October 16, 2015

Captain America 610A-story: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice
November 2010
A-story: ****

Amid castle ruins on the fatal North Sea isle, Zemo tests Bucky to see if the haunted hero will choose death after all. He doesn’t, natch. But there’s a weird level on which the villain, stage-managing an episode of psychological torture for the protag’s benefit, is Brubaker’s in-story deputy.

B-story: Rikki Barnes
last issue: Captain America #609
next issue: Captain America #611

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four #583
Secret Avengers #5
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #4 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

Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4

October 14, 2015

Steve Rogers Super Soldier 2 of 4Ed Brubaker // Dale Eaglesham
October 2010
****

Moving at a nice clip, Bru unveils his villain: Machinesmith, a personal fave in Cap’s rogues gallery. He’s staged an awfully complex gambit just to sap Cap of his powers, involving a phony corp, Cap’s origin, & a robot who thinks she’s human. If only this were ongoing & Secret Av was the mini!

last issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #1 of 4
next issue: Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #3 of 4

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Secret Avengers #4
The Thanos Imperative #3 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 #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

Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6

September 27, 2015

Captain America Reborn 6 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
March 2010
****

Sharon Carter & Steve Rogers (recovered from his “death”) defeat the Red Skull—even tho’ he’s a giant-size robot! That awesome climax, totally in bounds given the set-up, almost makes me forgive the (editorially dictated?) delay of the resurrection & Bucky’s now-superfluous promotion to captaincy.

continued in Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America #602
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

Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1

September 25, 2015

Captain America - Who Will Wield the Shield 1 of 1Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice & Luke Ross
February 2010
***

A cash-grab epilogue to Cap: Reborn, pre-empting its climax in #6. Ironically it’s the strongest of the 3 Cap issues this month. EB gets into his stoic warriors and their manly virtues—respect, honor, patriotism, heterosexuality, etc.—and ends w/ a new status quo as Rogers gets a SHIELD promotion.

continued from Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
continued in Secret Avengers #1

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
The Marvels Project #4 of 8
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

September 24, 2015

Captain America Reborn 5 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
February 2010
**

Padding: a slugfest on the Washington Mall, as the Red Skull fights Bucky in Cap’s body, & Steve Rogers in Cap’s mindscape. This should’ve been #49, instead of #5 of 6 in another cash-grab event mini. Hitch draws okay panels (w/ figures very like Neal Adams), but he can’t lay a page out well.

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

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1 of 1
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
The Marvels Project #4 of 8
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6

September 22, 2015

Captain America Reborn 4 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
January 2010
***

Cap returns to Now to serve as the host for an uploaded Red Skull. It’s as good as Waid’s ’90s resurrection, but revivals are rarely as compelling as deaths. Here, non-Cap characters (eg Dr Doom) crowd out the book’s cast (eg Zola), with the Vision acting as Cap’s message-in-a-bottle.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’10
Fantastic Four #573
Guardians of the Galaxy #20
Nova #31
Realm of Kings #1 of 1
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 of 5

Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6

September 20, 2015

Captain America Reborn 3 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
November 2009
***

Although I’m enjoying this mini, I suspect it would fit better in the serial mag. BH’s pedigree (Authority, Ultimates) is stronger than his cinematic panels & dullish layouts. But it matches EB’s plot for #3, which is simply action-movie combat; he’s more interested in touring Cap continuity.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #4 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
The Marvels Project #3 of 8
Nova #29
War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6

September 18, 2015

Captain America Reborn 2 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
October 2009
****

Cap is stuck in a bardo between lives, or Nietzsche’s eternal return w/ sci-fi trappings. Whatever: he’s an unhappy onlooker in Bru’s hard-boiled captions as Hitch restages his tragic origin. Meanwhile Norman Osborne (a Ditko character!) pushes the plot as the new head of Marvel’s superspy agency.

last issue: Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #3 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Daredevil #500
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
The Marvels Project #1 of 8
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 #600

September 14, 2015

Captain America 600a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice with David Aja, Raphael Albaquerque, Mitch Breitweiser, & Howard Chaykin
b-plot:  Roger Stern // Kalman Andrasofszky
c-plot: Mark Waid // Dale Eaglesham
August 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: *****
c-plot: ****

Dubious accounting allows Marvel to claim that #600 follows #50. It checks in w/ all the plots, acting as a friendly prologue to next month’s resurrection. Yep, Sharon Carter suspects that she didn’t gun her BF down after all! Ironically, this ish means to memorialize the hero, but only the strong back-ups succeed. On an Astro City periphery, Stern draws on 9/11 by casting Bernie Rosenthal (his Cap run’s romantic foil) as a refugee from NYC after the hero’s assassination.

continued in Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
last issue: Captain America #50
next issue: Captain America #601

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Daredevil #119
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

Captain America #49

September 12, 2015

Captain America 49Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
June 2009
****

The mag shifts to a novelistic pace as Sharon Carter begins to recover repressed memories, incl. her pregnancy & Cap’s aborted resurrection. #49 extends the themes of mind & memory in other ways too, mirroring its protag’s convalescence w/ ’50s Cap’s amnesia & Aunt Peggy’s Alzheimers.

last issue: Captain America #48
next issue: Captain America #50

also indexed for Jun. ’09
Daredevil #118
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #13
Nova #24
War of Kings #2 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4