Archive for the ‘War Machine’ Category

Captain Marvel #10

March 9, 2016

Captain Marvel 3.10Kelly Sue DeConnick // David López, Marcio Takara, & Laura Braga
February 2015
***

According to editorial, this is Carol’s 100th solo issue. Ironically she’s off-panel most of the ish, reading about her friends back on Earth. The escapade has the supporting cast (several gals & a token male) vs. a mob of rats! Of the 3 artists, Takara comes off best—but I miss Andrade.

last issue: Captain Marvel #9
next issue: Captain Marvel #11

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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

Secret Avengers #21

December 23, 2015

Secret Avengers 21Warren Ellis // Stuart Immonen
March 2012
****

Cap & co fight a horror beast in a skyscraper. Anyone hoping for a resolution to the mag’s Lovecraft conspiracy will be disappointed; so will Nextwave fans looking for a gonzo reunion for Ellis & Immonen. Still, the duo’s expertise makes for first-rate spy-fi & a fine capper to a fun, cynical run.

last issue: Secret Avengers #20
next issue: Secret Avengers #22

also indexed for Mar. ’12
Captain America #7
Captain America & Bucky #626
The Fantastic Four #602
FF #14

Secret Avengers #20

December 22, 2015

Secret Avengers 20Warren Ellis // Alex Maleev
February 2012
*****

The Black Widow saves a mission via cunning application of time travel. The excellent use of the trope reads like a superspy response to the puzzle boxes of modern Doctor Who. Maleev helps make it an instant classic, w/ a ’60s flashback laid out as a daily strip, Modesty Blaise style.

last issue: Secret Avengers #19
next issue: Secret Avengers #21

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Annihilators: Earthfall #4 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
Captain America #5
Captain America #6
Captain America & Bucky #625
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Secret Avengers #17

December 19, 2015

Secret Avengers 17Warren Ellis // Kev Walker
November 2011
****

In the rural hills of Serbia, Cap & the team play Mad Max with a cyborg death-rig that’s abducting human parts! This reads like Nextwave but with competent heroes, or like Planetary with a gonzo foe. Pity Kev’s ugly-cool style can’t quite handle the cinematic action, but he draws great zom-borgs.

last issue: Secret Avengers #16
next issue: Secret Avengers #18

also indexed for Nov. ’11
Annihilators: Earthfall #1 of 4
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
Captain America #3
Captain America & Bucky #622
FF #9

Secret Avengers #10

October 27, 2015

Secret Avengers 10Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
April 2011
**

In this arc’s climax, Steve & co foil the resurrection of Fu Manchu. Somehow this manages to be a dull outcome. Avengers, Agents of SHIELD reads like it’s a chore for Brubaker to write. He’s fine with Bucky (& this John Steele), but maybe he has no more stories to tell about Steve Rogers.

last issue: Secret Avengers #9
next issue: Secret Avengers #11

also indexed for Apr. ’11
Captain America #615: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #588

Secret Avengers #9

October 25, 2015

Secret Avengers 09Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
March 2011
**

Hostage exchanges & nighttime meetings lead to a fight scene. Deo isn’t bad per se, but his ’90s testosterone & photoref settings gild the mag’s over-serious tone. Bru’s phoning it in, aside from his ‘original supersoldier.’ With Superman’s 1938 powers, John Steele functions as a father figure for Cap.

last issue: Secret Avengers #8
next issue: Secret Avengers #10

also indexed for Mar. ’11
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #4 of 9
Captain America #614: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #587
The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 of 1

Secret Avengers #4

October 12, 2015

Secret Avengers 04Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
October 2010
*

There’s the germ of a cool Brubaker story here, with Cap & co investigating the Martian scheme of a Halliburton-type corp. But that’s lost as Deo draws the super-fisticuffs exceptionally poorly (when he’s not photo-reffing). Btw this & his X-run, should EB steer clear of super-team SF?

last issue: Secret Avengers #3
next issue: Secret Avengers #5

also indexed for Oct. ’10
Captain America #609: Bucky Barnes
The Fantastic Four #582
Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier #2 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

Secret Avengers #3

October 9, 2015

Secret Avengers 03Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
September 2010
***

Those expecting more spy-fi from Brubaker will get wrongfooted by his b-mag. Instead he sends his ‘proactive Avengers’ to a Barsoom-like Mars, a onetime battleground to elder gods and Kirby bashers. The swerve could work except that Deodato, a ’90 veteran, can’t break from his cinematic style.

last issue: Secret Avengers #2
next issue: Secret Avengers #4

also indexed for Sept. ’10
Captain America #608: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #581
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #1 of 4
The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
Young Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #2

October 7, 2015

Secret Avengers 02Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
August 2010
**

Spelunking on Mars, the team uncover a dig excavated by mind-controlled humans & directed by Lovecraft aliens. Sadly, the fashionable creative team plays to their weaknesses: a cast of spandex physiques all speak in the same square-jawed monotone as they hustle around generic hi-tech bases.

last issue: Secret Avengers #1
next issue: Secret Avengers #3

also indexed for Aug. ’10
Captain America #607: Bucky Barnes
Fantastic Four #580
The Thanos Imperative #1 of 6

Secret Avengers #1

October 5, 2015

Secret Avengers 01Ed Brubaker // Mike Deodato
July 2010
***

Marvel effectively gives Brubaker a Cap team title. Steve Rogers, now head of SHIELD & in a Kirby-inspired uni, foils super-terrorism w/ a ’90s-style strikeforce. There’s just enough plot to bait the hook: the Roxxon Corp, owning the mining rights to Mars, has exhumed a Lovecraftian serpent crown!

continued from Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield #1 of 1
next issue: Secret Avengers #2

also indexed for Jul. ’10
Captain America #606
The Fantastic Four #579
Secret Avengers #1
The Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 of 1

The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

June 4, 2014

Thanos Imperative 5 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
December 2010
***

A busy issue, as Nova preps for a noble sacrifice. Meanwhile, surprise conversations juice the plot. First, the evil Scarlet Witch is really a mole, motivated by love for the Vision (nice to see someone gets her character this decade!). Then Thanos pulls a heel turn, literally begging for a final death.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #6 of 6

also indexed for Dec. ’10
The Fantastic Four #584

The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

June 3, 2014

Thanos Imperative 4 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
November 2010
***

Thanos, Avatar of Death, cannot die, tho’ it’s all he wishes for; ironically, he must reintroduce Death to a mirror universe. Less compelling are the heroic aliens who fly thru a space station ripping monsters apart—standard super-stuff, w/o even the space-opera scope that most of TI offers.

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #5 of 6

also indexed for Nov. ’10
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #2 of 9
The Fantastic Four
 #583

The Thanos Imperative #3 of 6

June 2, 2014

Thanos Imperative 3 of 6Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning // Miguel Sepulveda
October 2010
***

The fourth (?) space war in recent years gets a strong dose of metaphysics. In the parallel universe ruled by Cthulu gods, Captain Marvel became Life’s avatar rather than dying. Then, to extinguish Death utterly, he sacrificed his opposite, Thanos, in an arcane ritual that unbalanced his cosmos!

last issue: The Thanos Imperative #2 of 6
next issue: The Thanos Imperative #4 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’10
The Fantastic Four #582

Avengers/JLA #4 of 4

October 7, 2013

Avengers.JLA 4 of 4Kurt Busiek // George Pérez
December 2003
***

The crossover ends as it must: in an enormous brawl of punching & zapping. Still, the mag’s creative duo amazingly avoid even a whiff of the corporate avarice that must underpin this mini. The grand scope & casual confidence prove a good capstone to the super-teamwork dynamic that defines the Avengers run of Busiek & Pérez et al. Think of it as a victory lap AWA an impressive work of fan-service.

last issue: JLA/Avengers #3 of 4

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
New X-Men #148

Avengers Annual 1999

August 10, 2013

Avengers Annual 1999Kurt Busiek & John Francis Moore // Leonardo Manco
July 1999
**

This action-adventure pits the Avengers against a squad of Sentinels repurposed to replace the once-MIA superheroes. The concept has Busiek’s fingerprints: adoration for the title team & its inspiring effect on everyday citizens. For it’s Jarvis who shuts the robots down, & a support technician who’d programmed them. Standard annual fare, tho’ Manco does good cyber-horror a la Barry Windsor-Smith.

last issue: Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998
next issue: Avengers Annual 2000

also indexed for Jul. ’99
Avengers #18
Avengers #0
Avengers Forever #8 of 12

Secret Wars II #1 of 9

February 14, 2012

Jim Shooter // Al Milgrom
July 1985
**
Despite its plodding pace, bad characterization, & awful action, Secret Wars sold comics so it earns a sequel. Luckily, SW2 seems to have a smarter concept than  “good v. bad”. Its blank-slate protagonist, a godlike entity called the Beyonder, seeks experience & wisdom on Earth—& finds superhero violence.
[continued in The New Mutants #30]
[continued in Captain America #308]
[continued in Iron Man #197]
[next issue: Secret Wars II #2 of 9]

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 #11 of 12

February 13, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
March 1985
**
Rule #1: never show Doom’s face! Tho’ the now divine Doc has removed his mask, he hasn’t quite left behind his human desires. Presumably that’s why the heroes, chatting at a conference table <yawn>, get zapped by lightning. Plus, Colossus gets busy w/ an alien chick, to the fury of Pryde fans.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 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]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12

February 9, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
November 1984
*
A new Spider-Woman in a black leotard walks out of the shadows. “I’m Spider-Woman!” she announces. The next panel: “Hello everyone! I’m Spider-Woman!” Then she wanders off for the rest of the issue. To think, Shooter is Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer! Another low point: She-Hulk gets a beatdown.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12

February 8, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
October 1984
*
Colossus moons over an alien chick; the Wasp gets killed; Galactus constructs his enigmatic Kirbytech; combat resembles schoolyard tussling. Thankfully, Zeck has returned with his delicate line. His long shots of tiny figures, each carefully rendered & colored, are the only entertainment on view.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12

February 7, 2012

Jim Shooter // Bob Layton
September 1984
*
In the latest wrinkle to this slow-moving mag, Galactus plans to eat the artificial world out from under the superhumans. But it’s a case of telling, not showing. Layton’s fill-in work shows him to be a fine match for Shooter, w/ dull pencils & conventional layouts contributing a lack of urgency.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12

February 4, 2012

Jim Shooter // Bob Layton
August 1984
**
Despite being fill-in work, the cover to #4 is the series’ best: not a pin-up pose but a claustrophobic shot of the Hulk propping up a mountain. Finally, something happens! The rest, however, is down to MSHSW‘s usual level. Check that last page, meant to be a cliffhanger: Galactus raises his arms!
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 of 12

February 3, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
July 1984
*
A hurricane pounds the Kirbytech bases on the patchwork world, establishing—surprise!—a romantic mood! In a twist, the Wasp hooks up with Magneto! But Shooter has a tin ear even for strongly voiced characters like Spidey & Dr. Doom. His own creations, a pair of superwomen, have woefully generic powers.
[last issue: Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars #2 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4 of 12]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #2 of 12

February 2, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
June 1984
*
Zeck’s landscapes give this maxiseries a weird sense of place, and his trad three-tier grid keeps the action clear. But Shooter—Marvel’s creative chief!—writes such flat characters & brute superpowers! Only Dr. Doom is on model, as he audaciously aims above the series’ good v. evil battle royale.
[last issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 of 12]
[next issue: Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 of 12]

Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars #1 of 12

February 1, 2012

Jim Shooter // Mike Zeck
May 1984
**
The original event-comic maxiseries! A godlike entity kidnaps superheroes & -villains & demands they battle on an alien world. The hoary plot is as childish as the ’40s JSA formula, & lifted only a little by the moral ambiguities of Doom & Magneto, by the cosmic grandeur, & by Zeck’s rubber faces.
[next issue: Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars #2 of 12]

The Fantastic Four #258

January 12, 2011

John Byrne
September 1983
*****
The mag’s title is a misnomer: the FF don’t appear in this issue! Instead, we check in on Doom. Having rebuilt his Balkan state, Dr. D initiates on his latest scheme: to re-empower a former Herald of Galactus (temporarily). No surprise insights, #257 simply lets us revel in Doom’s company for 22 pages.
[continued from The Fantastic Four Annual #17]
[last issue: The Fantastic Four #257]
[next issue: The Fantastic Four #259]