Archive for the ‘Spider-Woman (J. Drew)’ Category

Captain Marvel #10

March 9, 2016

Captain Marvel 3.10Kelly Sue DeConnick // David López, Marcio Takara, & Laura Braga
February 2015
***

According to editorial, this is Carol’s 100th solo issue. Ironically she’s off-panel most of the ish, reading about her friends back on Earth. The escapade has the supporting cast (several gals & a token male) vs. a mob of rats! Of the 3 artists, Takara comes off best—but I miss Andrade.

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

Captain Marvel #1

February 29, 2016

Captain Marvel 3.01Kelly Sue DeConnick // David López
May 2014
****

Carol volunteers (off-panel) to do a ‘year-long’ tour of duty in space for the Avengers. If KSDC is up for space opera, I can’t say no! But what’s great is how briskly she sets up an interim status quo btw vol. 1 #17 and this mag’s new setting. So long to the new digs in the Statue of Liberty!

continued from Captain Marvel #17
next issue: Captain Marvel #2

also indexed for May ’14
Avengers Assemble #25
Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #18
Moon Knight #1

Avengers Assemble #25

February 28, 2016

Avengers Assemble 25Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni with Neil Edwards & Raffaele Ienco
May 2014
**

Sometimes a character-focused arc doesn’t need a flashy climax, but this one’s too generic. The dialogue suddenly seems phoned in, & the art lacks a cogent sense of space or urgency. But the bigger problem is that Spider-Girl never snaps into focus as an individual, she’s just a girl sidekick with pluck.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #24

also indexed for May ’14
Captain Marvel #1
Hawkeye #17
Hawkeye #18
Moon Knight #1

Avengers Assemble #24

February 27, 2016

Avengers Assemble 24Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
April 2014
***

Anya Corazon isn’t exactly a moribund character—she’s popped up in Spidey books & a Junior Avengers mag—but she’s esp. well-suited for an Avengers internship. Here she’s teamed w/ Iron Man & then Captain America, but neither writer quite gets the mens’ tones right, a small misstep in a fun arc.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #23
next issue: Avengers Assemble #25

also indexed for Apr. ’14
Hawkeye #15

Avengers Assemble #23

February 26, 2016

Avengers Assemble 23Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
March 2014
****

The Education of Anya Corazon continues with Wolverine’s classic girl-sidekick seminar. It helps immensely that Ellis & DeConnick have impressive chemistry as well. I also like KSDC’s depiction of the Avengers as a sort of super-NGO. And Buffagni’s showing issue-by-issue improvement!

last issue: Avengers Assemble #22
next issue: Avengers Assemble #24

Avengers Assemble #22

February 25, 2016

Avengers Assemble 22Kelly Sue DeConnick with Warren Ellis // Matteo Buffagni
February 2014
***

An unexpected visit from Uncle Warren! Evidently he’s scripting the villain’s dialogue, based on the genetic technobabble of the female Dr. Moreau. She’s a KSDC creation who had a regular gig in the Evil Avengers spin-off mag. FYI the artist has a good hand for facial expressions & not much else.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #21
next issue: Avengers Assemble #23

also indexed for Feb. ’14
Hawkeye #16

Captain Marvel #16

February 22, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.16Kelly Sue DeConnick with Jan van Meter // Pat Olliffe
November 2013
***

Like last ish, #16 proceeds in parallel with the month’s Avengers Assemble. Captain Marvel, temporarily leveled up by a black hole, leads Avengers POWs on an escape mission from a space armada’s flagship. Squeezed by event plotting, DeCo manages to get character beats in for an amnesiac Carol.

see also Avengers Assemble #19
continued in Infinity #4 of 6
last issue: Captain Marvel #15
next issue: Captain Marvel #17

also indexed for Nov. ’13
Avengers Assemble #19

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

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 Marvel #14

February 18, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.14Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn with Gerardo Sandoval
September 2013
***

Carol’s nemesis isn’t just a resurrected Kree villain, he somehow is the Kirbytech that gave her superpowers; to stop him, Cap gives herself brain damage. It’s comic-book science, not totally clear, but otherwise KSDC executes her finale ably, following the Buffy template of heroic sacrifice.

continued from Avengers Assemble #17
continued in Infinity #1 of 6
last issue: Captain Marvel #13
last issue: Captain Marvel #15

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Avengers Assemble #17
Hawkeye #12
Hawkeye Annual #1

Avengers Assemble #17

February 17, 2016

Avengers Assemble 17Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni with Pepe Larraz
September 2013
***

The Avs fail to stop a superbaddie from focusing energy on NYC using Kirbybots. The art’s fine (a ‘clean’ style that I think of as late ’00s Superman) & so’s the plot. But see how often the minor characters are women, like a guest turn by Sersi? It’s just that easy to write feminist comics, boys!

continued from Captain Marvel #13
continued in Captain Marvel #14

also indexed for Sept. ’13
Captain Marvel #14
Hawkeye #12
Hawkeye Annual #1

Captain Marvel #13

February 16, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.13Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn with Gerardo Sandoval
August 2013
***

Marvel & her avenging friends fight a squadron of reactivated Kirbybots while deducing her attacker’s ID. The pacing’s a little slow (maybe this crossover didn’t need the opening one-shot) but otherwise the writing is tight—wonder how long DeCon will stay in comics before genre TV tempts her away?

continued from Avengers Assemble #16
continued from Avengers Assemble #18
last issue: Captain Marvel #12
next issue: Captain Marvel #14

also indexed for Aug. ’13
Avengers Assemble #16
Hawkeye #11

Avengers Assemble #16

February 15, 2016

Avengers Assemble 16Kelly Sue DeConnick // Matteo Buffagni
August 2013
***

Now that the dark days of Bendis are done, quality Avengers comics are everywhere! This crossover with CM sets up a solid threat in a resurrected Kree warrior: the original Cap’s first nemesis, merged with the Kirbytech engine that empowered our heroine. Love how the Kree Empire hangs up on him!

continued from Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1
continued in Captain Marvel #13
last issue: Avengers Assemble #15AU
next issue: Avengers Assemble #17

also indexed for Aug. ’13
Captain Marvel #13
Hawkeye #11

Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1

February 14, 2016

Avengers - The Enemy Within 1 of 1Kelly Sue DeConnick // Scott Hepburn
July 2013
***

Marvel holds a crossover to cash in on DeConnick. The focus is, natch, is on her marquee hero, Captain Marvel, who’s the target of a plot; Spider-Woman is in sidekick role. The big peril, a brain lesion, sits oddly next to the hijinx of the gals fighting female super-wrestlers in Wash Square Park.

continued from Captain Marvel #12
continued in Avengers Assemble #16

also indexed for Jul. ’13
Hawkeye #10

Captain Marvel #12

February 13, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.12Kelly Sue DeConnick with Christopher Sebela // Filipe Andrade
June 2013
***

While Carol spends her time fighting a winged goon, her doctors learn that her powers will fry her memories. The drama’s in her flaw, a telling trait: she’s too willful not to fly & fight, and damns the consequences. Also note the only male this arc is its villain, the Kree Cap’s original nemesis.

continued in Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 of 1
last issue: Captain Marvel #10
next issue: Captain Marvel #12

also indexed for Jun. ’13
Hawkeye #9

Avengers Assemble #13

February 11, 2016

Avengers Assemble 13Kelly Sue DeConnick // Pete Woods
May 2013
***

The Widow pays some karmic debt by helping a gal kick an addiction to reptile serum. It’s formulaic stuff, but Woods does a passable Alan Davis in drawing a sewer gang of croco-mutants. And DeConnick slips some hilarious asides in, like a villain’s marriage proposal & Jess Drew’s flippancy.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #12
next issue: Avengers Assemble #14

also indexed for May ’13
Captain Marvel #11

Avengers Assemble #12

February 9, 2016

Avengers Assemble 12Kelly Sue DeConnick // Pete Woods
April 2013
***

In this era of the Avengers movie, Assemble has the trad remit of satisfying longtime fans. The art’s nothing to remember, but the writing shows a sense of colorful superheroics, attention to craft, & a deep bench that recalls the Busiek run. This one’s a Black Widow mission, but J. Drew steals the show.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #11
next issue: Avengers Assemble #13

also indexed for Apr. ’13
Captain Marvel #10
Hawkeye #8

Captain Marvel #9

February 8, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.09Kelly Sue DeConnick // Filipe Andrade
March 2013
****

Carol runs errands, helps people & gets help in return. It’s refreshing to read a hero with a social network, instead of superman-as-loner angst (sadly, that arrives on the last page). But the real story is Andrade, whose loopy line & stylized figures give CM‘s art some real personality.

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

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Avengers Assemble #11
Hawkeye #7
Winter Soldier #14

Avengers Assemble #11

February 7, 2016

Avengers Assemble 11Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
March 2013
***

KSDC proves her knack for writing super-comics, both solo & team mags. This arc may be formulaic—a megalomaniac aims to conquer the world with mad science—but she injects just enough humor to make it a fun read & her dialogue doesn’t fall prey to Bendis-like vamping as it shows personality.

last issue: Avengers Assemble #10
next issue: Avengers Assemble #12

also indexed for Mar. ’13
Captain Marvel #9
Hawkeye #7
Winter Soldier #14

Avengers Assemble #10

February 5, 2016

Avengers Assemble 10Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
February 2013
***

Caselli, whose realism is closer to Kitson than Hitch, executes a fun action sequence: Captains A & M in aerial combat. Their foe’s a monster-man threatening the world (& the Hulk) with 20M-year-old bacteria. He’s Chinese, but w/o the Yellow Peril baggage—a standard megalomaniac supervillain.

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

also indexed for Feb. ’13
Captain Marvel #8
Hawkeye #5
Hawkeye #6
Winter Soldier #13

Avengers Assemble #9

February 3, 2016

Avengers Assemble 09Kelly Sue DeConnick // Stefano Caselli
January 2013
***

With Capt. Marvel in tow, Kelly Sue DeConnick instantly improves one of the dozen Avengers books. Her secret is low stakes for the top-tier. Team Stark races Team Banner to a monster mission in Antarctica. It’s broad fun in the spirit of JLI (e.g. Hulk stirring organic PB for a sammich).

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

also indexed for Jan. ’13
Captain Marvel #7
Hawkeye #4
Winter Soldier #12

Captain Marvel #6

February 2, 2016

Captain Marvel 2.06Kelly Sue DeConnick // Emma Rios
late December 2012
****

Danvers, time-tossed, finally ends up at her Secret Origin, where she must compete with a rival for her superpowers. The challenger is her idol, the late pilot from #1, but the arc doesn’t actually deal with Carol’s grief. Instead, the theme is female camaraderie, in life & in work.

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

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #18
Captain America #19
Captain Marvel #5
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23
Hawkeye #3
Winter Soldier #11

Hawkeye #22

January 25, 2016

Hawkeye 22Matt Fraction // David Aja
September 2015
*****

Together Kate & Clint save the BK brownstone & its families from the ‘Tracksuit Draculas’ & harlequin hit-man. Fraction & Aja close their outstanding run, adding a gesture to set up next ‘season’. Superlative comics on every level, the sort of collection you can lend to a non-fan of superheroes.

last issue: Hawkeye #21
continued in Hawkeye #1

Hawkeye #21

January 24, 2016

Hawkeye 21Matt Fraction // David Aja
April 2015
****

The Battle of Bed-Stuy! Hawkeye and neighbors defend their brownstone from mobbed-up property developers, using ready-made siege defenses. The stakes of locals v. organized crime give a whole new angle on vigilantism v community activism and on gentrification—all lifted this month by TV’s Daredevil.

last issue: Hawkeye #20
next issue: Hawkeye #22

Hawkeye #15

January 18, 2016

Hawkeye 15Matt Fraction // David Aja
April 2014
****

Aja at his most conventional is still a delight. He falls back on Iron Fist style, hand-to-hand focusing on movement & balance. It makes for a claustrophobic issue, as the gangsters slip past the brownstone’s defenses & do damage to the Barton Brothers! The plot thickens in this Brooklyn noir.

last issue: Hawkeye #14
next issue: Hawkeye #16

Hawkeye #13

January 16, 2016

Hawkeye 1Matt Fraction // David Aja
December 2013
****

Wow, Hawkeye loops back to cover the last four issues (incl. annual) from yet another POV! The blow-up btw Hawkeyes, the neighbor’s funeral, & the fraternal reunion get replayed in linear progression. The art also gets back to classical comics storytelling, modeling a 3×3 grid like Ike’s in office.

last issue: Hawkeye #12
next issue: Hawkeye #14

Hawkeye #9

January 11, 2016

Hawkeye 09Matt Fraction // David Aja
June 2013
*****

After the unexpectedly linear #8, Frac & Aja reshuffle its timeframe & POV. It’s Valentine’s Day, a perfect date for Bobbi Morse to divorce Clint; for Jess Drew to dump him; & for Tash Romanov to hunt down the gangster’s redheaded moll. But the key scene is the trio’s lecture of his protégé Kate.

last issue: Hawkeye #8
next issue: Hawkeye #10

Hawkeye #8

January 10, 2016

Hawkeye 08Matt Fraction // David Aja with Annie Wu
April 2013
*****

The redheaded femme drags Barton into another encounter with the tracksuit gangsters of “Little Irkutsk”. Delightfully, she gets the evil eye from the other gals in H’s life: Widow, Hawkgirl, Mockingb, & naïve GF Spider-W. Covers to fake romance comics, by Wu, act as exposition and punctuation.

last issue: Hawkeye #7
next issue: Hawkeye #9

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 #50

September 13, 2015

Captain America 50a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
b-plot: Ed Brubaker // Marcos Martin
July 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: ****

Brubaker mirrors his half-century on CA by celebrating Bucky’s birthday & flashing back to his notable natal revels during the Big One. Bru used this device better in a Winter Soldier one-shot, partly cuz the sentiment felt earned & partly cuz its pencils were stronger than Ross’s generic movietone. A few bonus pages, a mod origin recap from Marcos Martin, do more w/ #50’s higher page count.

last issue: Captain America #49
next issue: Captain America #600

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Runaways #12

June 30, 2015

Runaways 2-12Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2006
****

Molly pounds the New Avengers, who do little to help rescue damsel Dagger from a fan-boy rapist on superdrugs. This is a fine baseline arc, with guests Cloak, Dagger & Spidey adding an ’80s Marvel tone that’s amplified by the story length (4 issues), a charitable churchman, & NYC snowfall.

last issue: Runaways #11
next issue: Runaways #13

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Daredevil #81
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #1 of 5
Young Avengers #10

Runaways #9

June 27, 2015

Runaways 2-09Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
December 2005
****

Cloak, the ’80s super-runaway, avoids a ‘New’ Avengers manhunt after his GF Dagger ends up hospitalized. It’s up to our plucky LA outsiders to clear his name! On art, Alphona uses computers to draw (not photoref!) his fine lines. His comic timing also adds to the Buffy vibe.

last issue: Runaways #8
next issue: Runaways #10

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

The Fantastic Four #600

December 11, 2013

Fantastic Four 600A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Carmine Di Giandomenico
C-story: Jonathan Hickman // Ming Doyle
D-story: Jonathan Hickman // Leinil Yu
E-story: Jonathan Hickman // Farel Dalrymple
January 2012
A-story: **** // B-story: ***** // C-story: *****
D-story: **** // E-story: *****

A king-size #600. The A-story picks up the threads of FF, pitting every NYC superhero against a pair of alien invasions; a surprise twist has the late Johnny Storm break the Annihilation Wave! Then Hickman shows that Torch did die in #587, only to be resurrected in a gladiator scenario. That piece has a Euro look that meshes w/ the bug-‘verse setting; like all the back-up pencilers, it puts Epting to shame. Much of the art is “ugly” yet lovely, accentuating how creative JH’s whole run is.

continued from FF #11
continued in FF #12
next issue: The Fantastic Four #601

also indexed for Jan’ 12
FF #12

FF #11

December 10, 2013

FF 11Jonathan Hickman // Barry Kitson
late December 2011
****

Two alt-Reeds serve as biomass for a rebooted Kree Intelligence, who mounts an invasion of Earth—concurrent w/ an incursion from the Negative Zone! Luckily, the real Mr F calls his pals, incl. the Avengers, to prep for battle. Kitson only pencils breakdowns; the loose art keeps #11 from *****.

continued in The Fantastic Four #600
last issue: FF #10
next issue: FF #12

also indexed for Dec. ’11
FF #10

The Fantastic Four #588

November 29, 2013

Fantastic Four 588A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Mark Brooks
April 2011
A-story: ***** // B-story: ****

Hick finally gets a partner who matches his calibre: Dragotta, who apes Kirby’s dynamic grunts but draws a Sturm-like indie line. Silence signifies mourning as Johnny Storm’s family & friends grieve. It sells the moment w/o sentiment—unlike the B-plot, where Spidey helps Franklin mourn his uncle.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #587
continued in FF #1

Young Avengers #12

October 26, 2013

Young Avengers 12Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
August 2006
***

YA, like Astonishing X, has hit catastrophic delays, & sadly folds up shop just as it begins to deliver on its potential. That Marvel space-opera, the Kree-Skrull War, reverbs as Avengers kids & adults fight to keep Hulkling from getting drafted by both sides. Clean fun, classic superhero comics.

last issue: Young Avengers #11

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6

Young Avengers #11

October 25, 2013

Young Avengers 11Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2006
****

Hulkling learns he’s the illegit son of Capt. Marvel & a Skrull princess, conceived during the Kree-Skrull War! Wiccan & Speed too have an illustrious parentage, as their souls transmigrated from the Scarlet Witch’s lost twins! The electrifying reveals epitomize the legacy approach of this mag.

last issue: Young Avengers #10
next issue: Young Avengers #12

also indexed for May ’06
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14

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

July 2, 2011

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

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

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

Civil War #7 of 7

June 12, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
January 2007
*
Ugh. An ADD switcheroo moves the fight to midtown. All these superpowers are used to bludgeon (‘cept teleporting). With anticlimactic irony, Cap realizes that there’s no point to the entire conflict! The only sensible outcome is Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD. Thus ends the ’00s Secret Wars.
[last issue: Civil War #6 of 7]

Civil War #6 of 7

June 11, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
December 2006
*
Millar & McNiven move their action figures into place for the next issue’s battle royale. It’ll be set at a secret super-prison, which means to comment on Guantanamo but doesn’t. These pre-finale plot twists only highlight how stiff the characterization, dialogue, & art are. Is this what fans want?
[last issue: Civil War #5 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #7 of 7]

Civil War #1 of 7

June 5, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
July 2006
***
Two sides face off in Civil War: 1) a comix riff on Bush’s America, from the PATRIOT Act to grassroots rage to reality TV; 2) an inane plot w/ cliche dialogue, in which every person & group is devoid of common sense. A villain blows a suburb up, see, so superheroes must register w/ the US govt.
[next issue: Civil War #2 of 7]

The Pulse #13

May 16, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
March 2006
*****
Jess delivers her daughter surrounded by baby-daddy Luke Cage & his colleagues, the Avengers. D-Man, a onetime Avenger & now a vagrant, gets help from his hero, Daredevil. The thematic parallel is elegant, liberal, & hopeful, implying an inclusive community that looks after even its lowest members.

last issue: The Pulse #12
next issue: The Pulse #14

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
Young Avengers #10

The Pulse #12

May 15, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
January 2006
****

Jess deals w/ an early labor (three months in fiction—in real life, the fetus was conceived in Nov. ’01!) & w/ a bigoted reaction to a “mutant” delivery, till the Avengers shuttle her to Dr. Strange. Tight pacing smoothes over the lack of segues btw the plot & a subplot about  a homeless superhero.

last issue: The Pulse #11
next issue: The Pulse #13

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

The Pulse #10

May 13, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Lark
September 2005
***

Lark’s etched style is perfect for a journalist’s perspective on the alt-verse of House of M, in which Magneto has instituted apartheid against humanity. Or it would be, except that the late Hawkeye detours thru this ish on his way from #5 of the HoM mini to #7, angsting about his resurrection.

last issue: The Pulse #9
next issue: The Pulse #11

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Young Avengers #6

Alias #21

July 30, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos & Mark Bagley
June 2003
****
Bendis’ trafficking arc (kinda partners to his Owl arc in DD) wraps up w/ a burst of action—Speedball bubbles!—& Kid Spider-Woman’s rescue. It also teases at Jones’ traumatic history by alluding to a similar victimization & a dream-fight w/ the Defenders. Gaydos gets trad w/ a 3×3 grid on 1 page!
[last issue: Alias #20]
[next issue: Alias #22]

Alias #20

July 28, 2010

David MackBrian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
May 2003
****
Part 5 of a dark sex- & drug-trafficking arc punctuates the liberal feminist theme. Jess teams up w/ PI namesake Jessica Drew (AKA the original Spider-Woman), who acts like a kick-ass gal out of a Tarantino flick. But then, Alias has always felt like an early ’80s Claremont comic (see also Ms. Marvel).
[last issue: Alias #19]
[next issue: Alias #21]