Archive for the ‘Teen Brigade’ Category

The Avengers #14

June 15, 2012

Stan Lee, Paul Laiken, & Larry Lieber // Jack Kirby & Don Heck
March 1965
***
Lots of hands work on #14, but it’s Kirby’s imagination that directs them. So a twisty plot links a critically wounded Wasp, a hunt for a lung specialist, the secret Arctic citadel of pale blue aliens, & finally, an interstellar war! It’s worth lingering over the King’s strange city & war machines.
[last issue: The Avengers #13]
[next issue: The Avengers #15]

The Avengers #13

June 14, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
February 1965
***
An aristo runs a criminal syndicate, so he engineers a war btw the Avengers & the US military! Under the Marvel Method, the conventional plot is Heck’s. But Lee’s hand is seen in the Innocent Accused trope as well as the cute twist on the Mob’s popular nickname (the “Maggia”, one letter off).
[last issue: The Avengers #12]
[next issue: The Avengers #14]

The Avengers #10

June 11, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
November 1964
***
The latest ally of the Masters of Evil is a sort of time-wizard, able to yank figures out of history to pit against the heroes. Compared to Kirby’s spacesuited Kang, Heck’s design—long robes, black goatee—reflects a more conservative aesthetic. His plotting too is clumsy, his fights w/o finesse.
[last issue: The Avengers #9]
[next issue: The Avengers #11]

The Avengers #9

June 10, 2012

Stan Lee // Don Heck
October 1964
****
Heck picks the mag up, replacing Kirby’s kineticism w/ a richer emotional palate. Take Cap, who’s now obsessed w/ Nazi hunting. Or see the issue’s antihero, a Superman stand-in. Initially he’s ready to trap the Avengers as corporate payback upon Tony Stark, but his conscience turns at the 11th hour.
[last issue: The Avengers #8]
[next issue: The Avengers #10]

The Avengers #8

June 9, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1964
****
A UFO brings a boastful despot to Earth, but he’s not an alien, he’s a time traveller! Curiously, Marvelites have seen this guy Kang before—in ancient Egypt, v. the FF! Still, this issue’s plot is generic, and aside from a crazy uniform, so’s the artwork (graded on a Kirby curve, anyway).
[last issue: The Avengers #7]
[next issue: The Avengers #9]

The Avengers #6

June 7, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
July 1964
****
W/ the Hulk gone, the mag finds a new center in Captain America. He leads the heroes against a superteam of their enemies, enlisted by a Nazi foe who’d hid in South America! Kirby brings his gadgets, a gang of kids, and a ranting megalomaniac; Lee adds his editorial passion for a shared universe.
[last issue: The Avengers #5]
[next issue: The Avengers #7]

The Avengers #5

June 6, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
May 1964
****
The return of the Lava Men, whom Thor faced last fall. But aside from one of Lee’s typical warmongering advisors, these classic Kirby monsters aren’t villains. Incidentally, this ish acts as a coda to the Hulk’s career with the Avengers, after breaking w/ them finally in The Fantastic Four.
[continued from The Fantastic Four #26]
[last issue: The Avengers #4]
[next issue: The Avengers #6]

The Avengers #4

June 5, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
March 1964
*****
Kirby & Lee resurrect Captain America, carefully retailoring him to superb effect. A disastrous WW2 mission cost Cap his sidekick Bucky & put him on ice. Reawakened, he broods mightily but fits perfectly w/ the superteam, who help an oddball (but not evil) alien while facing a resurgent Namor.
[continued in The Fantastic Four #25]
[last issue: The Avengers #3]
[next issue: The Avengers #5]

The Avengers #3

June 4, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
January 1964
*****
In a Marvel irony, the teams’ foe in #3 used to be a teammate. The Hulk’s antisocial demeanor earns him attn from the original antihero, Namor—who defeats the surly monster in an underwater wrestling match! But the duo can’t cooperate when they challenge the Avengers to a battle royale under Gibraltar.
[see also Journey into Mystery #112]
[last issue: The Avengers #2]
[next issue: The Avengers #4]

The Avengers #2

June 3, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
November 1963
****
Kirby & Lee apply the shapeshifter trope (a fave of theirs) to JLA‘s alien invasion plot. But it’s their best iteration, as the conflict reflects the book’s engine of distrust among teammates. Hulk just can’t mesh w/ the more idealistic heroes, & so, in an encore of FF 3, he stomps out on them!
[last issue: The Avengers #1]
[next issue: The Avengers #3]

The Avengers #1

June 2, 2012

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby
September 1963
*****
Stan & Jack add a Marvel twist to superteam conventions. Loki, a trickster god, dupes a handful of Earth’s mightiest heroes into fighting that monstrous antihero, the Hulk! Despite the formulas, this premiere issue is incredible, mostly cuz Kirby, inked by Ayers, offers such vigorous dynamism.
[next issue: The Avengers #2]

The X-Men #13

May 25, 2010

Stan Lee // Jack Kirby & Werner Roth
September 1965
***
Having provided exposition last ish, #13 is entirely given over to a rumble btw. Juggernaut & the teens, w/ an assist from Johnny Storm. It builds Juggy as a real threat! Plus using a classic 2×3 panel-grid allows for more action than most ’90s comics w/ a similar content-to-story ratio.
[last issue: The X-Men #12]
[next issue: The X-Men #14]

The Incredible Hulk #6

February 15, 2010

March 1963
Stan Lee // Steve Ditko
****

A Brainiac-type alien nearly conquers Earth, but Banner/Hulk bluffs him out. But why does his sidekick recruit a teen brigade? Ditko inks himself, just as he goes monthly on Spider-Man. His Hulk seems to mutate from panel to panel, & at one point has Banner’s head! His solution: wear a Hulk mask!

last issue: The Incredible Hulk #5

also indexed for Mar. ’63
The Amazing Spider-Man #1
The Fantastic Four #12
Journey into Mystery #90: Thor
Tales of Suspense #39: Iron Man