Archive for the ‘SWORD’ Category

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

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

Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4

June 14, 2014

Annihilators - Earthfall 4 of 4A-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Tan Eng Huat
B-story: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Timothy Green II
February 2012
A-story: ** // B-story: **

Avengers & Annihilators (terrible name) foil an invasion of Earth by linking alien tech somehow. The vague plot & fumbling art brings to a sad end this v.g. six-year run. At least the ‘coon & the tree, holdovers from the run’s brighter era, get to blast off into the sunset.

last issue: Annihilation: Earthfall #3 of 4

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4

June 11, 2014

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

DnA phone in their swansong on Marvel’s SF renaissance. The galactic super-squad discovers a fundamentalist space-sect’s outpost on Earth. Huat draws an awkward, rubber-faced variation on Marvel house style. Worse, RR & Groot, demoted to true back-up status, get only a few pages for a bar brawl.

continued from Annihilators #4 of 4
next issue: Annihilators: Earthfall #2 of 4

also indexed for Sept. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
FF #9

Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1

January 4, 2013

Astonishing X-Men Giant SizeJoss Whedon // John Cassaday
July 2008
***
A double-sized ish caps the space adventure, but the extra pages merely add scope, not clarity. While a guest cast of Marvelites gets mind-zapped, Kitty Pryde sacrifices her life by somehow bonding herself to a space bullet fired at the Earth. With that, Joss & Cass wrap their X-run, a solid set of comics. But in this arc as in the previous ones, poor pacing drags on the snazzy art & peppy script.
[continued from Astonishing X-Men #24]
[continued in Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #24

January 3, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 24Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
March 2008
***
As one strike team infiltrates the alien planet’s power core, the other attempts to defuse the moon-sized bullet aimed at Earth. #24 is a cinematic work of action SF w/ plenty of old-fashioned world-wrecking. But as well-made as the issue is, it’s a shuffle to put pieces into place for the climax.
[continued in Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1]
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #23]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #25]

Astonishing X-Men #23

January 2, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 23Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2008
****
A great issue for Scott Summers. Last issue left him dead in space; here he’s resurrected & repowered (by the same tech that revived Colossus—nicely plotted, Joss), leading the team from a torture chamber! A flashback to #22 repeats a page to show his orders via Emma’s ESP beneath the spoken dialog.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #22]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #24]

Astonishing X-Men #22

January 1, 2013

Astonishing X-Men 22Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2007
****
Despite a long delay btw issues, AXM‘s finale arc, a super-SF adventure, continues to thrill. The plot reunites the team to storm an alien gun the size of a moon & aimed at Earth! Cassaday’s locales give the tale a strong context, while Whedon focuses on M/F duos, esp. Scott & Emma, Kitty & Piotr.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #21]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #23]

Astonishing X-Men #21

December 31, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 21Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2007
****
This space adventure has a cinematic pace & scope that’s much stronger than Whedon’s previous 2 arcs. Half a dozen thrilling subplots simmer on an alien world where Social Darwinists view compassion as a mutation. The weakest link, sadly, is a convo btw Scott & Emma meant to redefine their romance.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #20]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #22]

Astonishing X-Men #20

December 30, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 20Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2007
****
Exploding starships, plummeting planetfalls, alien temples: this arc delivers old-school scifi pleasures! Cassaday seems inspired by the shift spaceward, imagining alien environments with Mobius-level detail. Whedon, incidentally, has turned X-student Armor into Logan’s latest protegé.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men#19]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #21]

Astonishing X-Men #19

December 29, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 19Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2007
****
Colossus has been prophesied to destroy a bellicose species on a hellscape planet. So the superheroes head into space to prevent it! The sense of adventure energizes AXM, returning it to its first arc’s form. It also lets SWORD Agent Brand exposit, a nice breather after the last arc’s confusion.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #18]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #20]

Astonishing X-Men #18

December 28, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 18Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
December 2006
****
The psychic cuckoo gets revealed: Cassandra Nova, hijacking Emma to escape her alien body-prison. But editorial should’ve told Whedon (2+ years ago!) that she’d been rehabilitated as a “special” student! This arc, like the last, should’ve been tighter, but a sudden leap into space opera augers well.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #17]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #19]

Astonishing X-Men #17

December 27, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 17Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
November 2006
***
Whedon delivers a stunning misdirection—SWORD’s mole is Lockheed—and indulges in a favorite maneuver: revealing action is a dream (or in this case, a psychic drama). Kitty P thinks she’s lived 3 years & had a kid w/ Colossus. But it’s actually the slug that holds Cassandra Nova’s consciousness!
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #16]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #18]

Astonishing X-Men #16

December 25, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 16Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
October 2006
***
A solo Kitty Pryde kicks the asses of a revamped Hellfire Club—or half of them, at least. Small pleasures add up, like Wolverine’s Fontelroy persona (from his lame “Origins” mini). As good as the character work is, this arc frustrates w/ its slow drip of action. To be fair, it reads briskly in TPB.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #15]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #17]

Astonishing X-Men #15

December 24, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 15Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
August 2006
****

Emma & her gang of villains defeat the X-Men easily—mostly via psychic control, tho’ Sebastian Shaw kayos Colossus. Once again, AXM suffers from slow pacing. Each arc is a TV episode, each ish a segment btw commercials. And like the last arc, it pits the team against an enemy w/in at the mansion.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #14
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #16

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Astonishing X-Men #14

December 23, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 14Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
June 2006
****
While Kitty & Piotr consummate their romance, Emma destroys hers. It’s a strong piece of super-soap: Emma, in her psi-therapist persona, bullies Scott brutally. Sadly, it’s not to strengthen their relationship but to subvert him & help an enemy. Too bad, as they had such interesting chemistry!
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #13]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #15]

Astonishing X-Men #13

December 22, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 13Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
April 2006
***
After 8 months on hiatus, AXM resumes its run. Emma Frost, it turns out, is in league w/ arch-psychic Cassandra Nova, Prof X’s evil twin. How disappointing: her rehab was one of ’90s X-comics rare good ideas & so’s her love for Cyclops. But ‘shippers can enjoy Kitty & Colossus reigniting their affair.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #12]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #14]

Astonishing X-Men #10

December 19, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 10Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
May 2005
***

Oops, the mag missed a month! A fight issue: staged well, a few surprises even, but still just a fight. The Danger Room monologues as she cleans the team’s clock. #10 also nudges the mag’s subplots along (Ord/SWORD, Emma’s secret), but clearly its arc could be half the length at no loss of content.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #9
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #11

also indexed for May ’05
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Astonishing X-Men #8

December 17, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 08Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
February 2005
****

Somehow a suicide acts as a blood sacrifice, demon-like, freeing the Danger Room AI from its protocols. And a half-scrap Sentinel worships it as a mother goddess! An okay ish made v.g. by Cassaday. His art epitomizes the era—highly realistic, cinematic—but its colorful clarity trumps the convention.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #7
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #9

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Iron Man #2

Astonishing X-Men #7

December 16, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 07Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
January 2005
*****

Back to superhero adventure for another strong issue. As the X-Men help the FF fend off a mole monster in midtown NYC, their internal monologues add a touch of wit. Darker plots perk tho’: SWORD Agent Brand visits a shadow council, while a de-powered student commits suicide in the Danger Room.

last issue: Astonishing X-Men #6
next issue: Astonishing X-Men #8

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Astonishing X-Men #6

December 15, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 06Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
December 2004
*****
Whedon intros Marvel Earth’s ET counterpart to SHIELD: SWORD (duh), a truly clever addition. Its agent exposits a dose of space opera, predicting the X-Men will wreck a world! But #6’s heart is its chars, & esp. Beast, still unsteady yet reliable. But Emma, unfortch for ‘shippers, may turn heel…
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #5]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #7]

Astonishing X-Men #5

December 14, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 05Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
November 2004
****
Despite the first issue’s claim to be plain superheroics, under Whedon the mag is more of a return to the “world that hates & fears” theme. A raid on the corp that’s funded a mutant cure solves nothing (except the rescue of Colossus), while the cure itself raises troubling issues for the subspecies.
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #4]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #6]

Astonishing X-Men #3

December 12, 2012

Astonishing X-Men 03Joss Whedon // John Cassaday
September 2004
*****
Light on action & more so on momentum, but the drama, dialogue, & staging more than compensates. One example: Beast feels ambivalent about his feline mutation, which sets Wolverine off. The catalyst: a cure to “correct” mutant DNA. How the treatment connects to an alien villain, only Nick Fury knows!
[last issue: Astonishing X-Men #2]
[next issue: Astonishing X-Men #4]