Archive for the ‘Skrulls’ Category

Avengers Assemble #19

February 21, 2016

Avengers Assemble 19Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Barry Kitson
November 2013
**

Spider-Woman and Black Widow rescue Captain Marvel from robo-aliens; a few guys are involved too, incl. Spidey’s BF. The gender reversal is good enough to make this issue of space opera serviceable. But it’s also Event Sprawl, scenes too small for the three mags (!) telling the central story.

see also Captain Marvel #16
last issue: Avengers Assemble #18
next issue: Avengers Assemble #20

also indexed for Nov. ’13
Captain Marvel #16

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Captain Marvel #15

February 20, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.15Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Pat Olliffe
October 2013
**

The Avengers fly two starships into a space battle: one for each of KSDC’s mags. It’s a crossover that requires a non-CM issue for context, which is terribly alienating to newer readers. The amnesia of last issue is backburnered too. KSDC does what she can, & it’s passable fun.

continued from Avengers #18
see also Avengers Assemble #18
last issue: Captain Marvel #14
next issue: Captain Marvel #16

also indexed for Oct. ’13
Avengers Assemble #18

Avengers Assemble #18

February 19, 2016

Avengers Assemble 18Kelly Sue DeConnick // Barry Kitson
October 2013
**

AA gets pulled into Marvel’s latest Event; all you need to know is, it’s a space opera. Epic battle among the stars, pew pew pew, our POV heroine is nearly KIA. Happily that character is Jessica Drew, a neurotic who KSDC has been writing really well—better even than Carol Danvers, in my opinion.

continued from Avengers #18
see also Captain Marvel #15
last issue: Avengers Assemble #17
next issue: Avengers Assemble #19

also indexed for Oct. ’13
Captain Marvel #15

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

Runaways #30

July 18, 2015

Runaways 2-30Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
August 2008
****

Whedon has astonishing delays—his AX-M is also overdue, but he finally concludes both runs. His Runaways proves to be a belated, time-tossed statement on Civil War‘s inane conflict, & finds a third way by walking away from a superbrawl. Nico gets a power-up & self-insight, Molly gets a new pal & Vic a broken heart.

last issue: Runaways #29
continued in Runaways #1

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Daredevil #108
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14
Thunderbolts #121

Runaways #29

July 17, 2015

Runaways 2-29Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
April 2008
***

A Marvel take—’Gangs of New York as super-hooligans’—face off on the LES, 1907. Whedon shows a strong G. Morrison influence here: sketching a bevy of new characters, a rich new setting, even a plot for each protagonist! Ryan, the run’s dead weight, lacks the creativity that all this demands.

last issue: Runaways #28
next issue: Runaways #30

also indexed for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
Daredevil #105
Nova Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1

Runaways #28

July 16, 2015

Runaways 2-28Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
December 2007
***

In 1907 NYC, the kids face two members of their rival team! Specifically it’s the steampunk chrononauts, parents to the late Gertrude. Our heroes also meet a married pre-teen, help striking workers, and find that the era’s superteams are either punitive Victorian officers or street criminals.

last issue: Runaways #27
next issue: Runaways #29

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord
#4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
Daredevil #102
Daredevil Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Thunderbolts #117

Runaways #27

July 15, 2015

Runaways 2-27Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
August 2007
***

Pre-WW1 is a classic era in NYC history, so I’m surprised Marvelites don’t visit much. #27 mostly invents the setting. So the kids save garment workers from a sweatshop fire, then get drafted for a super-gangland war by an Artful Dodger type! Wish Ryan could provide the designs that Whedon asks for.

last issue: Runaways #26
next issue: Runaways #28

also indexed for Aug. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #98
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Thunderbolts #115

Runaways #26

July 14, 2015

Runaways 2-26Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
July 2007
**

The kids banter their way over NYC rooftops in a maguffin plot that intersects with street-crime Marvelites Kingpin & Punisher. The latter gets treated as a joke (Molly punches his junk) which I’m okay with, but it suggests that Whedon also thinks poorly of him. So why write him into the ish?

last issue: Runaways #25
next issue: Runaways #27

also indexed for Jul. ’07
Daredevil #97
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
Nova #2
Thunderbolts #114

Runaways #25

July 13, 2015

Runaways 2-25Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
June 2007
***

Replacing Vaughan with this mag’s highest-profile fan & strongest influence is a no-brainer. But Whedon’s start is inauspicious. Partly it’s the only-okay art, a real comedown after Alphona. A return visit to NYC, as Nico’s self-doubt leads the team into a criminal alliance w/ the Kingpin!

last issue: Runaways #24
next issue: Runaways #26

also indexed by Jun. ’07
Daredevil #96
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1
Thunderbolts #113

Runaways #24

July 12, 2015

Runaways 2-24Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2007
*****

The final (for now) battle with the mag’s trio of titans ends in victory, distrust, romance—all the emo sentiment this mag is beloved for, topped by a fan-boy nod to classic Claremont. This arc feels like the climax to an abbreviated third ‘season’, esp since it’s the creators’ last issue.

last issue: Runaways #23
next issue: Runaways #25

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Daredevil #93
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12
Thunderbolts #110

Runaways #23

July 11, 2015

Runaways 2-23Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2007
*****

It’s a telling, maybe deliberate irony that this arc’s villain is the team’s token white male in a heel/face turn. He (too?) quickly outwits them all, even crashing the cyborg’s mainframe! But typical of this mag, the emo heart is a bound Nico telling him it’s all a suicidal cry for help.

last issue: Runaways #22
next issue: Runaways #24

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

Runaways #22

July 10, 2015

Runaways 2-22Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2007
*****

The mag’s distrust of adults gets a new wrinkle with this arc, which recasts Chase—now 18 & ethically devastated by his GF’s death—as a villain. But note how several of his teammates are also wrestling with maturity: sexual identity, hopes for the future, burdens of leadership, survivors’ guilt… heavy!

last issue: Runaways #21
next issue: Runaways #23

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Daredevil #91
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10

Runaways #21

July 9, 2015

Runaways 2-21Brian K. Vaughan // Mike Norton
December 2006
***

With a generic Ameri-manga artist drawing in the Bagley mode, Runaways is revealed as a well-written but fundamentally conservative run of supercomics. See how the team cooperate to beat the baddie? And how the mag then turns to emotional bonds? That’s the School of Claremont, shorn of TV influences.

last issue: Runaways #20
next issue: Runaways #22

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Annihilation #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
Daredevil #90
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of Hate #9

Runaways #20

July 8, 2015

Runaways 2-20Brian K. Vaughan // Mike Norton
November 2006
***

Recognizing the impermanence of super-death these days, Marvel has been sending heroes to hell to bargain for resurrection. BKV’s wrinkle is that his Orpheus (lunkhead Chase) is turning 18 so he’s struggling with aging and mortality. Plus Molly et al vs. a kaiju lizard in LA! Shame AA is MIA.

last issue: Runaways #19
next issue: Runaways #21

also indexed for Nov. ’06
Annihilation #2 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
Daredevil #89
The Immortal Iron Fist #1

Runaways #19

July 7, 2015

Runaways 2-19Brian K. Vaughan // Mike Norton
October 2006
****

An aftershock issue. Nico sleeps w/ Kid Ultron in a moment of grief—quite a good twist, very hormonal. So’s a scene of Molly chatting with the team’s froggish vehicle. An ethical debate with a transsexual Super-Skrull doesn’t quite make its case tho, & the art sub is only just par.

last issue: Runaways #18
next issue: Runaways #20

also indexed for Oct. ’06
Annihilation #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #16
Civil War #4 of 7
Daredevil #88

Runaways #18

July 6, 2015

Runaways 2-18Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2006
*****

The kids foil their rivals’ apocalypse, but at a cost. No really, Gert dies! Amid fire & sacrifice, the second ‘season’ of Runaways ends with a well-executed climax & a gorgeous splash page for the death. The solid melodramatic beat is erected on three years of solid emotional investment.

last issue: Runaways #17
next issue: Runaways #19

also indexed for Sept. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4
Civil War #3 of 7
Daredevil #87
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #7

Runaways #14

July 2, 2015

Runaways 2-14Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
May 2006
****

#14 checks in with the whole gang (including the space-romance of Karolina & a transsexual Skrull) before flashing to backstory. Even before running away in vol. 1, the late turncoat Alex Wilder had made a backdoor plan for his MMORPG pals to resurrect him in case of death!

last issue: Runaways #13
next issue: Runaways #15

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

Runaways #8

June 26, 2015

Runaways 2-08Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
November 2005
****

Evil alien parents had betrayed their homeworld & betrothed their daughter to the Skrulls. Now it’s time for Karolina’s arranged marriage to an aristo—& since she’s a lesbian, the Skrull is game for adopting female characteristics! Coince, Young Avengers also has romance w/ an alien princeling.

last issue: Runaways #7
next issue: Runaways #9

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Daredevil #77
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
The Pulse #11
Young Avengers #8

Runaways #7

June 25, 2015

Runaways 2-07Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
October 2005
****

With status quo established & relief artist Miyazawa on hand, BKV restarts some of the mag’s soap elements. Psychedelic Supergirl makes a pass at Nico M. in a no-big-deal coming-out scene, then learns she’s affianced to a Skrull! Plus the newbie defeats a local LA villain: a mad Nazi made of bees!

last issue: Runaways #6
next issue: Runaways #8

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

Annihilators #4 of 4

June 10, 2014

Annihilators 4 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
August 2011
A-story: *** // B-story: ***

A team of forest animals stop a disembodied telepath from escaping from their biotech lunatic asylum! The idea’s treated just tongue-in-cheek enough, while the art nails the absurdity w/ a smart, contempo style. The title team, meanwhile, brokers a peace btw longtime Marvel antags the Spaceknights & the Dire Wraiths, in a quality demo of cosmic compassion triumphing over violent solutions.

last issue: Annihilators #3 of 4
continued in Annilators: Earthfall #1 of 4

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

Annihilators #3 of 4

June 9, 2014

Annihilators 3 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
July 2011
A-story: ***
B-story: ***

The back-up’s stronger than the title tale, due partly to the superb self-inking of Green as against Huat’s generic super-action. Still, the space opera has its quality moment when its heroes learn that a once-fearful race of Marvel aliens desire only oblivion, broken by exile in a dark dimension. Meanwhile, the creators revise the insane origin of 1980s cult char, a Flash Gordon-like raccoon.

last issue: Annihilators #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilators #4 of 4

also indexed for Jul. ’11
FF #3
FF #4

Annihilators #2 of 4

June 8, 2014

Annihilators 2 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
June 2011
A-story: ** // B-story: ***

This mag’s main story has a squad of galactic superheroes smash a dark invasion in defense of an alien world. Compared with their previous SF mags, this reads like the writers are following an editorial edict rather than their own super-SF muses. They show more excitement over the B-tale, which has a hyperintelligent raccoon & a Kirby-monster tree-man fight a cadre of killer clown puppets!

last issue: Annihilators #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilators #3 of 4

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

Annihilators #1 of 4

June 7, 2014

Annihilators 1 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
May 2011
A-story: ** // B-story: ***

Sadly, a coda to Marvel’s SF ’00s renaissance rather than a renewal. The A-tale has a fembot lampshade the flaw in this mag’s mission: a galactic supersquad is too uniform in style & strength to be truly compelling. The back-up balances the read by focusing on oddballs cut from the main team. Offering two full-length comics, this mag should really be printed back-to-back, like the old Ace Doubles!

continued from The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1
next issue: Annihilators #2 of 4

also indexed for May ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade: Young Avengers #1 of 1
FF #1

The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

June 6, 2014

Thanos Imperative - Devastation 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
March 2011
**

An epilogue to Marvel’s most recent space opera and a prologue for their next mini. It’s a conventional exercise in superhero team-gathering. While Ab & Lan write good dialogue, they fail to tell who these heroes are (personality, superpower, or history). Plus, the line-up’s testosterone-heavy.

continued from The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6
continued in Annihilators #1 of 4

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

The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

June 3, 2014

Thanos Imperative 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
November 2010
***

Thanos, Avatar of Death, cannot die, tho’ it’s all he wishes for; ironically, he must reintroduce Death to a mirror universe. Less compelling are the heroic aliens who fly thru a space station ripping monsters apart—standard super-stuff, w/o even the space-opera scope that most of TI offers.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four
 #583

War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4

April 18, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 4 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
September 2009
***

DnA revitalize a minor ’90s hero by intertwining his mini with their big WoK maxiseries. The mission is an echo of their fine revival of Nova: a young hero is the last member of an intergalactic force. But Darkhawk’s fellows were a malevolent conspiracy & he must clear his reputation w/ heroics.

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
see also War of Kings #5 of 6

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

War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

April 17, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 3 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
August 2009
***

Solid momentum & adequate art adds to the ’80s style retcon for Darkhawk. Sentient armor has trapped generic protag Chris Powell in a weird limbo while it assassinates the Shi’ar Empress over in WoK #4. Can Chris take control before he’s captured? Or will his armor lead the galaxy into tyranny?

last issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
see also War of Kings #4 of 6

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

War of Kings: Ascension #1 of 4

April 15, 2014

War of Kings - Ascension 1 of 4Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
June 2009
**

At first, this sequel to the Darkhawk mini seems to riff on Star Wars tropes of an ancient galactic society now nearly extinct, & of a young hero following his destiny. But DnA throw a nice set of curveballs: the society is actually a Machiavellian cabal & the hero’s power-armor overwrites his body!

continued from War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 of 2
next issue: War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

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

War of Kings #4 of 6

April 9, 2014

War of Kings 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
August 2009
**

Civil unrest and factionalism tears apart the Shi’ar Empire, culminating in the assassination of its Empress, an old Claremont creation. As w/ many Marvel “events”, WoK is less coherent w/o its supplemental minis. The lack of time for character beats reinforces the bombast of space opera too.

last issue: War of Kings #3 of 6
next issue: War of Kings #5 of 6
see also War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4
War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar #1 of 1

Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

April 5, 2014

Secret Invasion War of Kings 1 of 1Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier & Bong Dazo
March 2009
***

Like DnA’s previous Marvel SF prologues, this one-shot is effectively #1 of an upcoming mini; the expectation is all. It serves as a bridge btw their own space operas, last year’s Skrull Invasion of Earth, & a coup in the alien empire from X-Men. After generations of seclusion, the Inhumans (a once-pacific Kirby clan) launch their futuristic lunar techno-city into space & conquer the Kree Empire.

continued in War of Kings #1 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Nova #21

Guardians of the Galaxy #8

March 30, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 08Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Brad Walker
February 2009
**

Peter Quill, Star-Lord, gets booted into the Negative Zone, where he must stop a Kirby Konqueror from invading Earth. The writers aim to add depth to the central character on their team title, but they’re better off when they focus on the SF adventure & let the characters take care of themselves.

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #9

also indexed for Feb. ’09
Nova #20

Guardians of the Galaxy #6

March 24, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 06Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
December 2008
***

Cosmo the hyperintelligent dog teaches the Guardians & their super-rivals not to jump to conclusions about the Skrull invasion. DnA smartly invert the poorly-conceived idea of Skrull jihad, showing readers that not all “aliens” are terrorists. And set-up: oracular Mantis can’t see the team’s future!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #7

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Nova #18

Guardians of the Galaxy #5

March 23, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 05Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
November 2008
****

The further a mag is from Secret Invasion, the smarter it handles the conceit. At the universe’s edge, the cosmonaut canine protects a litter of Skrulls. The team, meanwhile, is torquing apart over distrust (look! it shows/not tells). Plus Guardians from the future are attacking the current roster!

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #4
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #6

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Nova #17

Guardians of the Galaxy #4

March 22, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 04Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Paul Pelletier
October 2008
***

Guardians gets into the Marvel-wide Skrull Invasion act. Despite the mag’s partition from the MU, it makes sense w/ the intergalactic operatics. The paranoia fits nicely w/in the team’s newness, & spreads to the civilians nearby (who don’t appreciate having a paramilitary org onsite!).

last issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #3
next issue: Guardians of the Galaxy #5

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Nova #16

Nova #18

March 21, 2014

Nova 18Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
December 2008
***

Nova, w/ a growing support staff, defends an upstate super-facility from Skrull invaders. Human scientists have rebooted the Nova AI, w/ the side-effect of conjuring the late Quasar out of “solid energy”. Cavalry comes in the form of a root army &, in a surprise twist, a reconstituted Nova Corps!

last issue: Nova #17
next issue: Nova #19

also indexed for Dec. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #6

Nova #17

March 20, 2014

Nova 17Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves & Geraldo Burges
November 2008
***

When the Skrulls invade Earth, galactic cop Nova returns to his old ‘hood. Shapeshifters have besieged a super-research facility in upstate NY, where Ryder’s bro & a fellow ex-New Warrior both work. The creative team bring claustrophobic tension into the action as well as a cliffhanging twist.

last issue: Nova #16
next issue: Nova #18

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #5

Nova #16

March 19, 2014

Nova 16Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Wellinton Alves
October 2008
**

What begins with Ryder in another gee-whiz adventure on an alien world segues smoothly to the space cop comprising an entire front of his own in the Skrull Invasion of Earth. And it stands to reason that his sometime ally, the original Super-Skrull, would be the one to draw him into the fray.

last issue: Nova #15
next issue: Nova #17

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Guardians of the Galaxy #4

Annihilation: Conquest #6 of 6

March 12, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 6 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
June 2008
****

A suitably epic finale. DnA weave their several plot strands into a taut rope, w/ everyone (except the ignominious Ronan) contributing to the defeat of Ultron. No deus ex machina, no forcing of twists or compromises of personality: read A:C to see how solid craft works. I’m sold on both spinoffs.

continued from Nova #12
last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
continued in Guardians of the Galaxy #1
continued in Nova #13

also indexed for Jun. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #14
Nova #12

Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

March 10, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
April 2008
****

Despite the widescreen paneling, A:C has more of a televisual feel. A lot of that’s the cycling from plot to plot, which keeps the momentum boiling & juggles the dozen or so major & minor characters deftly. Ronan finds an army, while in a nicely quiet beat, Adam Warlock counsels a grieving Quasar.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6

also indexed for Apr. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1
Nova Annual #1

Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

March 9, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
March 2008
****

This galactic adventure is peripheral to the Marvel ‘verse, yet the stakes feel higher than, say, this month’s Avengers. For one thing, DnA can & do kill heroes—here Moondragon—as Phalanx-Ultron takes the upper hand. A nova can’t stop him! Can Kree Emperor Ronan’s secret weapon? What a thrill!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #24
Nova #10

Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

March 8, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 2 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
February 2008
****

A novelistic structure, elegantly stepping btw 3 plots. Two minor ones follow the resistance against the Phalanx (thrilling espionage) & a diplomatic alliance w/ the Annihilation bugs. The major plot has a grand cosmic conceit: a science god & his savior-son v. the robot devil Ultron & his hordes!

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’08
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9

Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

March 7, 2014

Annihilation Conquest 1 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tom Raney
January 2008
***

Slick, breathless space melodrama with by-the-numbers hyper-heroic art. Atypically, A&L focus more on plot than personality and more on action than arc. To bring you up to speed: the technoviral Phalanx has annexed the Kree Galaxy under the leadership of… Ultron! Quasar & her dragon fly into the heart of a sun w/ Adam Warlock, cosmic savior!

continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
continued from Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #8

Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4

February 24, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 4 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
December 2007
*

I think very poorly of JG-M’s writing, packed w/ bleating clichés about honor. The story’s confusing too: the antihero, manipulated by the Kree’s bio-AI deity, infects the Phalanx w/ his symbiotic aliens? As thru-out this mini, it’s Hotz’s art—horror atmo & ’90s post-Image style—that keeps me reading.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
continued in Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #4 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7

Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4

February 23, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 3 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
November 2007
**

The mini seesaws btw abject convention & the twists that make Marvel’s contempo SF line engaging. Its protag is firmly on the first side: a sulky Hamlet type w/ alien horror trappings. But the Annihilation plot revs up as the Phalanx plans to resurrect that green Kirby godhead, the Kree AI.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Star-Lord #3 of 4
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
Nova #6

Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4

February 22, 2014

Annihilation Conquest Wraith 2 of 4Javier Grillo-Marxauch // Kyle Hotz
October 2007
**

Somehow, Hotz makes a ’90s junk style (rococo lines & manga eyes) work. JG-M riffs on Serio Leone’s schtick, inserting his antihero into a conflict he wants no part of—the Kree with No Name. But other than an eerie death/resurrection backstory, the protag’s undercooked & the dialogue’s clichéd.

last issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
next issue: Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4

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

Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

February 7, 2014

Annihilation - Heralds of Galactus 1 of 2A-story: Christos Gage // Giuseppe Camuncoli
B-story: Stuart Moore // Mike McKone
April 2007
A-story: ** // B-story: **

A coda to the recent space opera (a sleeper success), these old-fashioned shorts are simple yet effective. A cosmic being, disgusted by the servility of a species he’s liberated, destroys their civilization. Another ancient scifi demigod  extinguishes his own race to feed Galactus.

continued from Annihilation #6 of 6
next issue: Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2

also indexed for Apr. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #4

Annihilation #6 of 6

February 6, 2014

Annihilation 6 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
March 2007
**

Galactus vaporizes the insectoid fleet, Nova goes mano a mano with the Big Bug, & Giffen delivers an epilogue. Annihil never quite delivered on its epic promise, mostly cuz it took itself too seriously. But more, the uninspired realism of DiVito’s art muffled the core mini’s sense of scope.

last issue: Annihilation #5 of 6
continued in Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2

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

Annihilation #5 of 6

February 5, 2014

Annihilation 5 of 6Keith Giffen // Andrea DiVito
February 2007
***

Ronan (a Kirby creation, one of several here) overturns a Kree-insect alliance & assumes control of an empire! Last ish’s killing of Thanos may’ve been Ann‘s climax; w/ Galactus now free, the heroes should clean up, no problem. I only wish it felt more fun—the realistic tone & art is kind of a drag.

last issue: Annihilation #4 of 6
next issue: Annihilation #6 of 6

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Astonishing X-Men #20
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11