Archive for the ‘Venom symbiote’ Category

Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6

September 16, 2015

Captain America Reborn 1 of 6Ed Brubaker // Bryan Hitch
September 2009
****

Surprising no one, Steve Rogers didn’t die—sort of. Lifting ideas from Vonnegut & TV’s Lost, Bru has set Cap adrift in his own timeline. This high concept would feel stronger if it weren’t for Hitch’s blockbuster-style uber-realism, which fits poorly with comic-book gonzo & Kirbytech.

continued from Captain America #601
next issue: Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Captain America #601
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
Nova #27
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

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Thunderbolts #120

August 2, 2014

Thunderbolts 120Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
July 2008
****

A quartet of telepaths have lain waste to the psyches of this unbalanced team—a turn of events that’s sent Norm Osborne for his Green Goblin mask! His psychotic willingness to commit violence has deliberate echoes of Rumsfeld’s self-justifying rants, & he’s played (via photoref) by Tommy Lee Jones.

last issue: Thunderbolts #119
next issue: Thunderbolts #121

also indexed for Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist
 #15
Nova #13

Thunderbolts #119

August 1, 2014

Thunderbolts 119Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2008
***

The base is on lockdown: a super-jail whose prisoners incl a cell of telepaths w/ radical politics. Our title team is ripped by factions, as a Nazi aristo (Swordsman), attempts a coup w/ his suborned guard of redshirt soldiers. At the climax, he faces a monstrous Venom—staged as a St. George moment!

last issue: Thunderbolts #118
next issue: Thunderbolts #120

also indexed for May ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #5 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #13
Nova #11

Thunderbolts #118

July 31, 2014

Thunderbolts 118Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
February 2008
***

A central part of Busiek’s original T-bolts, which Ellis has revived, is the sense that the status quo is unsustainable. The team starts to tear apart—but this is too soon, due to decompressed pacing. Ironically, the best moment has Songbird & Rad-Man cooperate to douse a flaming jet in its hanger.

last issue: Thunderbolts #117
next issue: Thunderbolts #119

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9

Thunderbolts #117

July 30, 2014

Thunderbolts 117Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
December 2007
***

Doc Samson takes the tough-love approach to a shrink session w/ castmember Speedball. The doc is Ellis’ surrogate in rehabilitating this broken character, once a goofball & now a super-masochist in an iron maiden! Deo often puts together dandy layouts, tho’ his photo-reffed actors are wooden.

last issue: Thunderbolts #116
next issue: Thunderbolts #118

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

Thunderbolts #116

July 29, 2014

Thunderbolts 116Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
October 2007
****

T-bolts effectively goes bimonthly for the rest of this revisionistic run. Ellis takes a ’90s-style strikeforce of black hats & uses it as a vehicle for W. Bush-era commentary. The dark side of the post-Civil War: a crackdown on civil rights, as the team’s base is an overcrowded black site prison.

last issue: Thunderbolts #115
next issue: Thunderbolts #117

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

Thunderbolts #115

July 28, 2014

Thunderbolts 115Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
August 2007
***

The field op is a failure, although the T-bolts capture their man (a Spidey wannabe). A second exception: during the chaos, Songbird takes the opportunity to strike Bullseye from the team. Ellis works excellently in the moral shadows, but Deodato’s photo-referencing can make the actors seem stiff.

last issue: Thunderbolts #114
next issue: Thunderbolts #116

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

Thunderbolts #114

July 27, 2014

Thunderbolts 114Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
July 2007
***

A super-rumble in downtown Phoenix has a trio of ‘undocumented’ superheroes undaunted by the title team’s surprise attack. A slightly subpar issue, partly cuz it’s so decompressed. Deodato quits the grid layout to imply the dynamism of battle, but he loses a sense of space and slows the pacing.

last issue: Thunderbolts #113
next issue: Thunderbolts #115

also indexed for Jul. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
Nova #2

Thunderbolts #113

July 26, 2014

Thunderbolts 113Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
June 2007
****

Several subplots are converging on Phoenix AZ: a querulous strike team of psychopaths & a trio of naïve super-types just trying to avoid the Marvel überplot, a super-draft (AKA the Initiative) & do the right thing. Deodato’s faces are very expressive, due to painterly contouring by his colorist.

last issue: Thunderbolts #112
next issue: Thunderbolts #114

also indexed for Jun. ’07
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1

Thunderbolts #112

July 25, 2014

Thunderbolts 112Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
May 2007
****

The team’s a vivid array of luridly damaged psyches. Norman Osborne finally justifies his Clone-era resurrection, but it’s Moonstone & Songbird who stand out (as they had in Busiek’s T-bolts). The women butt heads over the leadership role in a scene out of a military briefing in the Iraqi Green Zone.

last issue: Thunderbolts #111
next issue: Thunderbolts #113

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

Thunderbolts #111

July 24, 2014

Thunderbolts 111Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
April 2007
****

Norm Osborne, on antipsychotics, leads a federal team of superconvicts. Here, they arrest one of Captain America’s protégés with extreme force & revolting machismo. This new take on the T-bolts does what Civil War didn’t: use a superhero idiom to take a timely stand against domestic policing.

last issue: Thunderbolts #110
next issue: Thunderbolts #112

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
The Immortal Iron Fist #4

Thunderbolts #110

July 23, 2014

Thunderbolts 110Warren Ellis // Mike Deodato
March 2007
****

A marquee creative team revamps this mag superbly. In Ellis’ hands, the T-bolts are a variation on Suicide Squad, but w/ a strong satiric take on his übermenschen in The Authority as informed by Homeland Security. Deodato, in the cinematic mode-of-the-monent, has the virtue of being a very good DP.

last issue: Thunderbolts #109
next issue: Thunderbolts #111

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

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5

May 12, 2014

Realm of Kings - Imperial Guard 5 of 5Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Kev Walker
May 2010
***

DnA accomplish two clever goals in unshowy fashion. They make Realm of Kings‘ Lovecraft beasts into a fearful threat, & they establish the rich potential of the Imperial Guard as a team. Sadly, as Marvel scales back their Cosmic branch, the small satisfaction of a good mini must be its own reward.

last issue: Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
continued in The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

also indexed for May ’10
The Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

Nova #28

April 27, 2014

Nova 28Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
October 2009
***

All the Ts get crossed & Is dotted in this ish, which ends both the larger Corps Rebooted arc & the War of Kings subplot. Rider arrests a team of alien supersoldiers w/ smart tactics & the help of two recruits, then establishes diplomatic relations w/ an old Kirby heavy from the antimatter ‘verse.

last issue: Nova #27
next issue: Nova #29

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Nova #27

April 26, 2014

Nova 27Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Andrea DiVito
September 2009
***

Nova #26 goes heavy on adrenaline, thrills, and suspense (and splash pages) but light on character and twists. In the middle of the Kree-Shi’ar War (which, incidentally, has a third front along the Negative Zone), Richard Rider attempts to rescue his brother from an evil Supergirl stand-in.

last issue: Nova #26
next issue: Nova #28

also indexed for Sept. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #16
War of Kings #5 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #4 of 4
War of Kings: Warriors #1 of 2

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5

November 10, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 5Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
September 2009
***

Franklin, in cowboy duds, fires a real bullet from a toy gun—implying the boy has reality-altering superpowers once again. In an artful anticlimax, Mr F contacts a multiversal shadow council. This mini, itself kind of inessential, promises Hickman’s FF run will balance imagination & humanity.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
continued in The Fantastic Four #570

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5

November 9, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 4Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
August 2009
****

Hickman reveals his low opinion of Dark Reign by pitting evil G-man Norman Osborn, the metaseries’ villain, against the FF’s kids! Hero Richards, meanwhile, nobly resolves to save the world after cruising the multiverse via his Kirbytech stargate, trailing funny iterations of his team in his wake.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #5 of 5

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5

November 8, 2013

Fantastic Four - Dark Reign 3Jonathan Hickman // Sean Chen
July 2009
***

A reiteration of last issue, as Reed uses his What-If Machine to deduce why Earth Marvel is so messed up. Hickman aims to dig his protag out from the violations done to his character. But he also supplies comics action, as Pirate Johnny, Cowgirl Sue, & Elizabethan courtier Ben slide thru spacetime.

last issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #2 of 5
next issue: Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 of 12

February 13, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
April 1985
**
An anonymous roster of artists, betrayed by a diversity of styles, help Zeck complete issue #12 on time. The motives of the Beyonder (such a terrible name!) again get teased but remain obscure. Doom’s final battle w/ the entity is a sound-&-light show, while the heroes get resurrected offstage then return home via Kirbytech. And so the Wars wrap up patly, tying up ends left dangling since #1.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12

February 12, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
February 1985
***
Shooter’s flaws (bad dialogue, brute combat) haven’t vanished, but he pulls a twist! While the heroes cower, Dr. Doom wins the Secret War! With Miltonic self-regard, he syphons off the cosmic power of Galactus then challenges the godlike “Beyonder”. Finally, the series’ scope equals its remit.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12

February 11, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
January 1985
**
Mr F asks what a godlike entity could hope to gain from arena sport. Shooter almost breaks thru the banality, but <sigh> having no answer, he falls back on his plot of Galactus Rising. Anyway, Zeck submits his best work of the series: his panels smooth & unfussy, his pacing tight but not hurried.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12

February 10, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
December 1984
*
Finally, something happens! The good guys storm the citadel of the bad guys. It’s a bash-’em-up battle, which is ironic as Shooter made his youthful rep on DC’s Legion by inventing non-strength & -energy superpowers. The cover tells the real story of this ish: Spidey gets a new black costume.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 of 12]

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 #5 of 7

June 10, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
November 2006
*
Plot holes are starting to gape as Stark supplements SHIELD agents w/ super-convicts. Even worse are the book’s politics. Truth is, Millar comes at the Bush Admin from the Right, composing a libertarian nightmare where criminals are paroled to round up true Americans like Cap & a reformed Spidey.
[last issue: Civil War #4 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #6 of 7]

Civil War #4 of 7

June 8, 2011

Mark Millar // Steve McNiven
October 2006
**
The commentary on PATRIOT Act America has become paper-thin & confused, esp. since Millar doesn’t care about civil rights & govt. regulations. He just wants to blow shit up & he has his ideas about how to do that—like a rogue cyber-clone of Thor! But would Mr F create such a Frankenstein’s monster?
[last issue: Civil War #3 of 7]
[next issue: Civil War #5 of 7]

The Fantastic Four #274

February 1, 2011

John Byrne
January 1985
****
Al Gordon’s inks reveal Byrne’s stylistic debt to Neal Adams’ realism. Subplots proceed apace on Earth (in a surprise, Spidey’s black costume escapes the Baxter Building!). The issue’s core joins The Thing, already in progress, as he frees Universal Horrror monsters from a Battleworld circus.
[continued from The Thing #19]
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #273]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #275]