Archive for the ‘Strong Guy’ Category

X-Men: Omega #1 of 1

February 18, 2015

X-Men Omega 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
June 1995
****

Magneto sends a time-tossed hero into a cosmic crystal to restore the true X-universe. Waid’s tense, dramatic script masks Cruz’s errors (an unoriginal Ameri-manga artist, he’s the weak link here). Lobdell, the crossover’s mastermind, has done commendable work. Tho’ individual minis may’ve faltered, his cumulative plot & vision makes AoA  the pinnacle of mutant mags between Claremont and Morrison.

continued from The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from Factor X #4 of 4
continued from Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
continued from Generation Next #4 of 4
continued from Weapon X #4 of 4
continued from X-Calibre #4 of 4
continued from X-Man #4 of 4
continued from X-Universe #4 of 4
continued in X-Men Prime #1 of 1

Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4

February 13, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 4 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Salvador Larroca
June 1995
**

The sort of romantic melodrama that Nicieza & his era of X-Men excels in. His pet hero Gambit chooses to rescue his gal pal (not Rogue, by the way) and so damn the universe. This is heroism? Larroca, at least, shows artistic growth. He uses chiaroscuro well to avoid an impulse towards Image rococo.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Factor X #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4

February 12, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 3 of 4Fabien Nicieza // Salvador Larroca
May 1995
**

Gambit, of all characters, saves the multiverse, repairing its crystalline nexus by “sacrificing” his love for Rogue. Nicieza thus equates him w/ Claremont’s Phoenix—a ludicrous comparison! Larroca improves on Daniel, tho’ his art often foregoes environment, a key to good space-adventure comics.

last issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
next issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Factor X #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4

February 11, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 2 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Tony Daniel
April 1995
*

The M’Kraan Crystal, unrepaired by Phoenix in this timeline, threatens to obliterate existence! Like the whole series, this concept rests wholly on Claremont’s work; the ish itself is an exposition dump. Daniel’s Liefeld-like pencils, all posturing & grimacing, underscore the lack of incident.

last issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
next issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4

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

Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4

February 10, 2015

Gambit and the X-Ternals 1 of 4Fabian Nicieza // Tony Daniel
March 1995
**

This mini replaces X-Force during the Age of Apocalypse (a fun ’90s metaseries that takes itself way too seriously). Despite its terrible title, G&XT revamps its parent mag more radically than most. It reconceives Gambit as a mutant Robin Hood & sets up in the space-opera corner of the X-mythos.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4

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

X-Factor #109

January 5, 2015

X-Factor 109John Francis Moore & Todd DeZago // Jan Duursema
December 1994
*

By pitting the govt.-sanctioned mutant team against their Claremont forerunners, Moore et al could’ve added complexity to this mag’s concept. Instead they offer strike-force comics w/ macho posturing & overwrought dialogue. Then an autistic teen mutant cleans their clock & babbles nonsensically.

last issue: X-Factor #108
next issue: X-Factor #110

also indexed for Dec. ’94
The Uncanny X-Men #119

X-Factor #108

January 4, 2015

X-Factor 108John Francis Moore & Todd DeZago // Jan Duursema
November 1994
*

Nick Fury & Forge send the US govt. team to Israel in pursuit of Mystique, who aims to murder her late lover’s killer: the comatose, schizoid son of Prof Xavier. Sadly, Duursema (a woman) follows sexist ’90s conventions, drawing conical breasts & disproportionately long legs in the period Jim Lee style.

last issue: X-Factor #107
next issue: X-Factor #109

X-Factor #107

January 3, 2015

X-Factor 107Todd DeZago // Paul Borges
October 1994
**

Ah, ’90s X-comics! After Phalanx Covenant intruded on #106, #107 kicks off a 3-issue arc that acts as prologue to a prelude (!) for the next mutant X-over, Age of Apocalypse. Oddly it’s also a fill-in, by a pretty okay no-name artist. Strong Guy v. the Blob (of Freedom Force) on an airport runway.

last issue: X-Factor #106
next issue: X-Factor #108

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

November 5, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 9Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2011
****

A:TCC‘s strongest issue, prob’ly cuz it plays to Heinb’s strengths: character & dialog, and his core team of Young Avs. Some closure as Iron Lad, by killing Vision 2.0, accepts his destiny as Kang the Conqueror. The catastrophe gets treated w/ emotional weight, as the team drifts apart over months.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for May ’11
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

November 4, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 8Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
March 2012
****

There’s no good way to retcon a bad story, so A:TCC provides multiple ones for Wanda M’s haywire episodes, incl. the possibility that Doom was behind it all. Now he’s got cosmic powers, unluckily for Cassie Lang. The storytellers play fairly, trading her life for her father’s resurrection.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

also indexed for Mar. ’12
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

November 3, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 7Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
November 2011
***

With 4 superteams in this ish, it’s no surprise that characters get lost in the melée. The mag’s real point is a retcon of Av Disassembled & reversal of House of M. Offpage, the Scarlet Witch had allied with Dr. Doom to tap into a “life-force” that gave her reality-altering powers.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for Nov. ’11
FF #9

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

November 2, 2013

Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
Avengers Children's Crusade 6August 2011
****

The Scarlet Witch confirms that, yes, she is Wiccan’s mother, metaphysically at least. It’s earnest comic sturm und drang that makes A:TCC the best “essential” Marvel U. tale of the terrible Bendis Era. To underscore this mini’s central status, X-teams (incl. David’s X-Fac) make strong cameos.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

also indexed for Aug. ’11
FF #5

X-Factor Annual #8

August 29, 2010

Peter David // Terry Shoemaker
July 1993
A-story: **
A damp coda to David’s X-Factor run (whose potential was undercut by unreliable art & editorial interference), introducing & then dispatching a new foe. Despite the space devoted to his backstory, he’s woefully generic: a mage who collects mutant souls for a demon.
[continued from X-Factor #89]
[last issue: X-Factor Annual #7]
[next issue: X-Factor Annual #9]

X-Factor #89

August 28, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada
April 1993
A-story: **** // B-story: ***
Citing the long delays & editorial meddling, David abandons X-Factor. Too bad: he’s finally partnered w/ a perfect artist in Joe Q, whose cartoon style adds to the comedy, pathos, & character work that David loves. And he’s mid-story: the team finally arrives in Genosha, where evil plots are afoot.
[continued in X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #88]
[next issue: X-Factor #90]

X-Factor #88

August 27, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada & Chris Batista
March 1993
A-story: **** // B-story: ***
David finally returns to his long-interrupted arc on mutant refugees, half a year later. They & X-Factor face a cigar-chomping satire of ’90s kewl mutant mercs whose muscle-bound body morphs to counter any opponent (Havok simply pays him off). A back-up gets cozy w/ Quicksilver & his estranged wife.
[last issue: X-Factor #87]
[next issue: X-Factor #89]

X-Factor #87

August 26, 2010

Peter David // Joe Quesada
February 1993
*****
Nearly out of the blue, a classic—arguably, the best single X-issue of the ’90s. The team gets mandatory counseling for PTSD: beneath their mutant angst, they display normal human neuroses. Rookie Quesada’s art helps, natch, his doe-eyes & floppy hair adding sensitivity to David’s intimate script.
[last issue: X-Factor #86]
[next issue: X-Factor #88]

X-Factor #86

August 25, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
January 1993
**
The crossover continues to crawl (tho’ it can only spare a page or two for X-Factor‘s regulars): the all-action force of Bishop, Cable & Wolvie literally sit around doing nothing! The only plot point is that Apocalypse cures Prof X of the technovirus using a bit of Kirbytech. I’ll miss Lee’s art.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #286]
[continued in X-Men #16]
[last issue: X-Factor #85]
[next issue: X-Factor #87]

X-Factor #85

August 24, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
December 1992
**
The title team gets ignored by a hugger-mugger crossover, & PAD’s talent is wasted in dialoguing chaotic fights. At least Jae Lee’s shadowy, splattery style fits the subject matter. Razor-winged Archangel decapitates one evil mutant; another hamstrings Quicksilver; Wolvie steps btw. Bishop & Cable.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #285]
[continued in X-Men #15]
[last issue: X-Factor #84]
[next issue: X-Factor #86]

X-Factor #84

August 23, 2010

Peter David // Jae Lee
November 1992
***
Jae Lee has a Sienkowicz-but-brutal style that would prob’ly fit X-Force better than -Fac. Luckily, #84 is also #2 of an x-over that sees this title’s g-men outfight the aggro X-Force while hunting for Cable (who shot Prof. X in Central Park). David finds the issue’s hook in Rahne, caught. btw. teams.
[continued from Uncanny X-Men #284]
[continued in X-Men #14]
[last issue: X-Factor #83]
[next issue: X-Factor #85]

X-Factor #83

August 22, 2010

Peter David // Mark Pacella
October 1992
***
After laying groundwork for a human-rights crisis in Genosha, the arc’s momentum stalls. Instead, #83 offers some character scenes as X-Fac chaperones mutant refugees in NYC. Except for the hate-crime in Central Park, the ish feels like a fill-in—it’s keeping time till next month’s big X-over.
[last issue: X-Factor #82]
[next issue: X-Factor #84]

X-Factor #82

August 21, 2010

Peter David // Rurik Tyler
September 1992
***
X-Factor get into a dockside melee w/ former members of Freedom Force (the govt. team that our heroes replaced a year ago). The pretext: a boatload of mutant refugees seeking asylum. It’s a nice idea, w/ Havok posturing as a liberal American milksop, but it’s short on details & buried by the action.
[last issue: X-Factor #81]
[next issue: X-Factor #83]

X-Factor #81

August 20, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
August 1992
***
David caps off this arc nicely w/ X-Fac facing a Wolverine foe in a DC Metro station. Plus he adds a dash of cynicism: Strong Guy, poisoned, argues for exchanging their witness for the antidote (rather than trust a govt. cure). In the subplot, Madrox gets his heart broken by his nutso music teacher.
[last issue: X-Factor #80]
[next issue: X-Factor #82]

X-Factor #80

August 19, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
July 1992
**
Even w/ Stroman’s atypical approach to superhero art, this ish is boilerplate. Our g-men, guarding a snitch, slug it out w/ an all-girl mutant gang (Hell’s Belles, great name). The small-town plot moves along, w/ the music teacher proving a femme fatale. And a dream sequence riffs on Wayne’s World.
[continued from X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #79]
[next issue: X-Factor #81]

X-Factor #79

August 18, 2010

Peter David // Jim Fern
June 1992
***
To compliment David’s book as the best X-mag of its era is only somewhat backhanded; he’s doing yeoman’s work. Quicksilver & Multiple Man play PI in a bigoted US town that suspects the young, coltish (blue) music teacher is a murderess. Subplots & comedic beats fill the issue out nicely.
[continued in X-Factor Annual #7]
[last issue: X-Factor #78]
[next issue: X-Factor #80]

X-Factor Annual #7

August 18, 2010

Peter David // Darrick Robertson & Joe Maduriera
June 1992
B-story: ** // C-story: ***
Story B sees govt. liaison Val Cooper have a bureaucratic nightmare; the 3rd story riffs on Calvin & Hobbes as a 10-year-old Cal enlists Strong Guy to deal w/ bullies. Toony art adds zip & heart.
[continued from X-Factor #78]
[continued in X-Factor #80]
[last issue: X-Factor Annual #6]
[next issue: X-Factor Annual #8]

X-Factor #78

August 16, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman & Brandon Peterson
May 1992
***
Applied comics conventions as a vehicle to explore ’90s politics: mutant terrorists assassinate a doc who can detect mutant DNA in utero. Tho’ the plot dances around abortion (& eugenics) w/o taking a side, the theme draws characters out in surprising ways, as both good guys & bad have dissenters.
[last issue: X-Factor #77]
[next issue: X-Factor #79]

X-Factor #77

August 15, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
April 1992
****
A recharged Stroman pencils some lovely layouts, esp. around Rahne. And David carries Claremont’s X-torch w/ deft character beats, a seamless take on the mutant world (#77 guests Cannonball & terrorist foes from X-Force) & even poli-philo like due process for super-criminals & fetal DNA tests.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #76]
[next issue: X-Factor #78]

X-Factor #76

August 14, 2010

Peter David // Tom Raney & Kevin West
March 1992
***
As part of Uncle Sam’s clandestine support for a foreign despot, our mutant g-men face a tech-heavy superteam allied w/ the Hulk. But aside from some high-&-mighty moralizing on non-Western culture’s treatment of women (berserker Wolfsbane kills a murderer!), the ish is standard superhero tussle.
[continued from The Incredible Hulk #391]
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #392]
[last issue: X-Factor #75]
[next issue: X-Factor #77]

X-Factor #75

August 13, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
February 1992
**
The new X-Factor’s inaugural story ends, double-sized, in a rote slugfest. X-foe Mr. Sinister, his motives inscrutable as usual, bolsters the team’s cred by discrediting his own ally, an anti-mutant senator. Havok’s arc of accepting his role as mutant g-man (set up in #72) has been dropped. But David does keep probing the ramifications of Madrox’s power: a rogue dupe struggles to assert itself.
[continued in The Incredible Hulk #390]
[last issue: X-Factor #74]
[next issue: X-Factor #76]

X-Factor #74

August 11, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
January 1992
**
Tho’ #74 is mostly combat (the team topples the Wash. Monument!), David still advances his subplots, develops his characters, & unveils the arc’s villain: a right-wing senator working w/ Mr. Sinister. But Stroman’s art fails to show spatial relations & the ’90s line superfluities are starting to grate.
[last issue: X-Factor #73]
[next issue: X-Factor #75]

X-Factor #73

August 10, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
December 1991
***
Under the pop culture nods, #73 stages the team’s first battle: a brawl w/ Multiple Men! David is parodying the influential Claremont, adding a comedic tone to arcing plots, mystery villains, & angsty romances. Stro’s art, full of expressionist lines, works okay but he skimps on the Wash DC setting.
[last issue: X-Factor #72]
[next issue: X-Factor #74]

X-Factor #72

August 9, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
November 1991
***
Havok’s a straight leading man, uncomfy w/ his govt. role as he rekindles an old romance. In a subplot, Madrox has a dark night of the soul when a duplicate is killed. Stro’s faces are oddly rubbery but he lays a page out clearly. He also nails the slapstick that David wants to go w/ his banter.
[last issue: X-Factor #71]
[next issue: X-Factor #73]

X-Factor #71

August 8, 2010

Peter David // Larry Stroman
October 1991
***
Defined by smart characters & a breezy tone, X-Factor stands out from the rest of the X-books, now overhauled to favor artists over writers. In this chatty riff on a team-building issue, Havok’s recruited to lead the new federal mutant super-squad, a motley crew of second bananas (Multiple Man?!).
[last issue: X-Factor #70]
[next issue: X-Factor #72]