Archive for the ‘Victor Mancha’ Category

Runaways #30

July 18, 2015

Runaways 2-30Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
August 2008
****

Whedon has astonishing delays—his AX-M is also overdue, but he finally concludes both runs. His Runaways proves to be a belated, time-tossed statement on Civil War‘s inane conflict, & finds a third way by walking away from a superbrawl. Nico gets a power-up & self-insight, Molly gets a new pal & Vic a broken heart.

last issue: Runaways #29
continued in Runaways #1

also indexed for Aug. ’08
Daredevil #108
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Immortal Iron Fist #16
Nova #14
Thunderbolts #121

Runaways #29

July 17, 2015

Runaways 2-29Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
April 2008
***

A Marvel take—’Gangs of New York as super-hooligans’—face off on the LES, 1907. Whedon shows a strong G. Morrison influence here: sketching a bevy of new characters, a rich new setting, even a plot for each protagonist! Ryan, the run’s dead weight, lacks the creativity that all this demands.

last issue: Runaways #28
next issue: Runaways #30

also indexed for Apr. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #4 of 6
Daredevil #105
Nova Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall & the Green Mist of Death #1 of 1

Runaways #28

July 16, 2015

Runaways 2-28Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
December 2007
***

In 1907 NYC, the kids face two members of their rival team! Specifically it’s the steampunk chrononauts, parents to the late Gertrude. Our heroes also meet a married pre-teen, help striking workers, and find that the era’s superteams are either punitive Victorian officers or street criminals.

last issue: Runaways #27
next issue: Runaways #29

also indexed for Dec. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord
#4 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #4 of 4
Daredevil #102
Daredevil Annual #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #10
Nova #7
Thunderbolts #117

Runaways #27

July 15, 2015

Runaways 2-27Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
August 2007
***

Pre-WW1 is a classic era in NYC history, so I’m surprised Marvelites don’t visit much. #27 mostly invents the setting. So the kids save garment workers from a sweatshop fire, then get drafted for a super-gangland war by an Artful Dodger type! Wish Ryan could provide the designs that Whedon asks for.

last issue: Runaways #26
next issue: Runaways #28

also indexed for Aug. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #98
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Thunderbolts #115

Runaways #26

July 14, 2015

Runaways 2-26Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
July 2007
**

The kids banter their way over NYC rooftops in a maguffin plot that intersects with street-crime Marvelites Kingpin & Punisher. The latter gets treated as a joke (Molly punches his junk) which I’m okay with, but it suggests that Whedon also thinks poorly of him. So why write him into the ish?

last issue: Runaways #25
next issue: Runaways #27

also indexed for Jul. ’07
Daredevil #97
The Immortal Iron Fist #6
Nova #2
Thunderbolts #114

Runaways #25

July 13, 2015

Runaways 2-25Joss Whedon // Michael Ryan
June 2007
***

Replacing Vaughan with this mag’s highest-profile fan & strongest influence is a no-brainer. But Whedon’s start is inauspicious. Partly it’s the only-okay art, a real comedown after Alphona. A return visit to NYC, as Nico’s self-doubt leads the team into a criminal alliance w/ the Kingpin!

last issue: Runaways #24
next issue: Runaways #26

also indexed by Jun. ’07
Daredevil #96
The Immortal Iron Fist #5
Nova #1
Thunderbolts #113

Runaways #24

July 12, 2015

Runaways 2-24Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
March 2007
*****

The final (for now) battle with the mag’s trio of titans ends in victory, distrust, romance—all the emo sentiment this mag is beloved for, topped by a fan-boy nod to classic Claremont. This arc feels like the climax to an abbreviated third ‘season’, esp since it’s the creators’ last issue.

last issue: Runaways #23
next issue: Runaways #25

also indexed for Mar. ’07
Annihilation #6 of 6
Daredevil #93
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #12
Thunderbolts #110

Runaways #23

July 11, 2015

Runaways 2-23Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2007
*****

It’s a telling, maybe deliberate irony that this arc’s villain is the team’s token white male in a heel/face turn. He (too?) quickly outwits them all, even crashing the cyborg’s mainframe! But typical of this mag, the emo heart is a bound Nico telling him it’s all a suicidal cry for help.

last issue: Runaways #22
next issue: Runaways #24

also indexed for Feb. ’07
Annihilation #5 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #20
Daredevil #92
The Immortal Iron Fist #3
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #11

Runaways #22

July 10, 2015

Runaways 2-22Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2007
*****

The mag’s distrust of adults gets a new wrinkle with this arc, which recasts Chase—now 18 & ethically devastated by his GF’s death—as a villain. But note how several of his teammates are also wrestling with maturity: sexual identity, hopes for the future, burdens of leadership, survivors’ guilt… heavy!

last issue: Runaways #21
next issue: Runaways #23

also indexed for Jan. ’07
Annihilation #4 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #19
Civil War #7 of 7
Daredevil #91
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #10

Runaways #21

July 9, 2015

Runaways 2-21Brian K. Vaughan // Mike Norton
December 2006
***

With a generic Ameri-manga artist drawing in the Bagley mode, Runaways is revealed as a well-written but fundamentally conservative run of supercomics. See how the team cooperate to beat the baddie? And how the mag then turns to emotional bonds? That’s the School of Claremont, shorn of TV influences.

last issue: Runaways #20
next issue: Runaways #22

also indexed for Dec. ’06
Annihilation #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #18
Civil War #6 of 7
Daredevil #90
The Immortal Iron Fist #2
Nextwave, Agents of Hate #9

Runaways #20

July 8, 2015

Runaways 2-20Brian K. Vaughan // Mike Norton
November 2006
***

Recognizing the impermanence of super-death these days, Marvel has been sending heroes to hell to bargain for resurrection. BKV’s wrinkle is that his Orpheus (lunkhead Chase) is turning 18 so he’s struggling with aging and mortality. Plus Molly et al vs. a kaiju lizard in LA! Shame AA is MIA.

last issue: Runaways #19
next issue: Runaways #21

also indexed for Nov. ’06
Annihilation #2 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #17
Civil War #5 of 7
Daredevil #89
The Immortal Iron Fist #1

Runaways #19

July 7, 2015

Runaways 2-19Brian K. Vaughan // Mike Norton
October 2006
****

An aftershock issue. Nico sleeps w/ Kid Ultron in a moment of grief—quite a good twist, very hormonal. So’s a scene of Molly chatting with the team’s froggish vehicle. An ethical debate with a transsexual Super-Skrull doesn’t quite make its case tho, & the art sub is only just par.

last issue: Runaways #18
next issue: Runaways #20

also indexed for Oct. ’06
Annihilation #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #16
Civil War #4 of 7
Daredevil #88

Runaways #18

July 6, 2015

Runaways 2-18Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2006
*****

The kids foil their rivals’ apocalypse, but at a cost. No really, Gert dies! Amid fire & sacrifice, the second ‘season’ of Runaways ends with a well-executed climax & a gorgeous splash page for the death. The solid melodramatic beat is erected on three years of solid emotional investment.

last issue: Runaways #17
next issue: Runaways #19

also indexed for Sept. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #4 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #4 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #4 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #4 of 4
Civil War #3 of 7
Daredevil #87
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #7

Runaways #17

July 5, 2015

Runaways 2-17Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2006
****

Setting the climax up for next issue, #17 (part 4 of 5) shows just how good this mag is: a few plot twists, a few large & small emotional beats, a real sense of stakes & of setting. Alphona’s ‘actors’ are wonderfully expressive cartoons. But let’s also stop to admire the great covers by Marcos Martin!

last issue: Runaways #16
next issue: Runaways #18

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #3 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #3 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #3 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #3 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Daredevil #86
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6
Young Avengers #12

Runaways #16

July 4, 2015

Runaways 2-16Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
July 2006
****

While the villain kidnaps Molly as a sacrifice to the mag’s elder gods, the heroes go through the teen-soap-operatics-at-their-darkest-hour spiel. This is New Mutants at their most Claremontian—some thick angst here—but Alphona is way ahead of any art in that run (besides Sienkowicz).

last issue: Runaways #15
next issue: Runaways #17

also indexed for Jul. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #2 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #2 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #2 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #2 of 4
Civil War #1 of 7
Daredevil #85
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #5
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

Runaways #15

July 3, 2015

Runaways 2-15Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
June 2006
****

Season 2 = Revenge of the Pride. Must admit I’m sad the Pride’s alpha male has been resurrected instead of his son Alex Wilder. He’s got a little too much of a ‘Scary Black Guy’ to make me comfortable. That said, he does have presence & strategy, and makes a formidable foe.

last issue: Runaways #14
next issue: Runaways #16

also indexed for Jun. ’06
Annihilation: Nova #1 of 4
Annihilation: Ronan #1 of 4
Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 of 4
Annihilation: Super-Skrull #1 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #14
Daredevil #84
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #4
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #4 of 5

Runaways #14

July 2, 2015

Runaways 2-14Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
May 2006
****

#14 checks in with the whole gang (including the space-romance of Karolina & a transsexual Skrull) before flashing to backstory. Even before running away in vol. 1, the late turncoat Alex Wilder had made a backdoor plan for his MMORPG pals to resurrect him in case of death!

last issue: Runaways #13
next issue: Runaways #15

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #83
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #3 of 5
Young Avengers #11

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 #11

June 29, 2015

Runaways 2-11Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
February 2006
****

#11 reverses convention by having the kids chat with Spider-Man first & then fight him. What’s more notable is how, tho’ he’s the poster boy for Marvel’s teen heroes, Spidey is set up as a contrast to the Runaways: a lonely kid but a solid home life. Plus Chase bluffs info from a drug-dealing pimp!

last issue: Runaways #10
next issue: Runaways #12

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Daredevil #80
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Runaways #10

June 28, 2015

Runaways 2-10Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
January 2006
***

BKV leads his charges into the center of the contempo Marvel U.: BMB’s New Avengers in NYC. The guest cast should goose sales but the mag stays focused on its own superheroes, in that chat-heavy/plot-lite style that’s so fashionable. Alph has fun with the change of climate & cityscape tho.

last issue: Runaways #9
next issue: Runaways #11

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Daredevil #79
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4
The Pulse #12

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

Runaways #8

June 26, 2015

Runaways 2-08Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
November 2005
****

Evil alien parents had betrayed their homeworld & betrothed their daughter to the Skrulls. Now it’s time for Karolina’s arranged marriage to an aristo—& since she’s a lesbian, the Skrull is game for adopting female characteristics! Coince, Young Avengers also has romance w/ an alien princeling.

last issue: Runaways #7
next issue: Runaways #9

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Daredevil #77
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
The Pulse #11
Young Avengers #8

Runaways #7

June 25, 2015

Runaways 2-07Brian K. Vaughan // Takeshi Miyazawa
October 2005
****

With status quo established & relief artist Miyazawa on hand, BKV restarts some of the mag’s soap elements. Psychedelic Supergirl makes a pass at Nico M. in a no-big-deal coming-out scene, then learns she’s affianced to a Skrull! Plus the newbie defeats a local LA villain: a mad Nazi made of bees!

last issue: Runaways #6
next issue: Runaways #8

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Iron Man #4
Daredevil #76
Young Avengers #7

Runaways #6

June 24, 2015

Runaways 2-06Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
September 2005
*****

My misgiving that Ultron was too far above our kids’ weight class is finessed by the post-teen cavalry saving their hides. Turns out Vaughan has written a backdoor pilot (to use an LA term) for a team of New New Warriors (AKA Excelsior—nice name!), financed by Marvel’s original c-lister, Rick Jones!

last issue: Runaways #5
next issue: Runaways #7

also indexed for Sept. ’05
Daredevil #75
The Pulse #10
Young Avengers #6

Runaways #5

June 23, 2015

Runaways 2-05Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
August 2005
****

The kids face the secret father of a new superfriend: Dr. Doom! or maybe a Doombot! …nope, it’s Ultron! I’d usually call foul on this bait-n-switch reveal, esp. as facing a rogue Doombot would be perilous enough, plus BKV nails Doom’s voice. But AA draws the fight exceptionally well, which earns a few points!

last issue: Runaways #4
next issue: Runaways #6

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12
Daredevil #74
Young Avengers #5

Runaways #4

June 22, 2015

Runaways 2-04Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
July 2005
****

A ’90s d-lister is suffering PTSD from his darkling powers, while a new castmember (Hispanic son of a single mom!) learns pop is a supervillain! Tho the mag is slowing back down, it’s got enough plots & characters—and sketches them out well enough—that the decompression isn’t a drag on momentum.

last issue: Runaways #3
next issue: Runaways #5

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
Daredevil #73
The Pulse #9
Young Avengers #4

Runaways #3

June 21, 2015

Runaways 2-03Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
June 2005
****

The story of teens & 20-somethings reaches the trad Marvel beat of heroes pounding on each other w/o talking first. But w/ the rebooted numbering, Alphona has upped his game. His art has taken on a supple quality, his physiques & faces moving further from figuration to lovely expressionistic forms.

last issue: Runaways #2
next issue: Runaways #4

also indexed for Jun. ’05
Daredevil #72
Young Avengers #3

Runaways #2

June 20, 2015

Runaways 2-02Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
May 2005
****

BKV plays an interesting game with the margins of the Marvel U. A team of washed-up ’90s heroes suggest one prospect for this mag’s protags; an Avenger from the future—Gert, all grown up—points toward more successful careers. The time twist has them out to reform a kid before he turns supervillain.

last issue: Runaways #1
next issue: Runaways #3

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Daredevil #71
Fantastic Four #524
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

Runaways #1

June 19, 2015

Runaways 2-01Brian K. Vaughan // Adrian Alphona
April 2005
*****

After half a year hiatus, Runaways returns reinvigorated! The remit is evidently not only to speed up the action (hurray!) but to tie the mag more tightly to the Marvel fabric. So the kids foil a heist by post-Kirby bruisers while a support group of ex-superteens hint at life after caped heroics.

continued from Runaways #18
next issue: Runaways #2

also indexed for Apr. ’05
Daredevil #70
Fantastic Four #523
Young Avengers #1