Posts Tagged ‘Mark Waid’

Captain America #600

September 14, 2015

Captain America 600a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Jackson Guice with David Aja, Raphael Albaquerque, Mitch Breitweiser, & Howard Chaykin
b-plot:  Roger Stern // Kalman Andrasofszky
c-plot: Mark Waid // Dale Eaglesham
August 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: *****
c-plot: ****

Dubious accounting allows Marvel to claim that #600 follows #50. It checks in w/ all the plots, acting as a friendly prologue to next month’s resurrection. Yep, Sharon Carter suspects that she didn’t gun her BF down after all! Ironically, this ish means to memorialize the hero, but only the strong back-ups succeed. On an Astro City periphery, Stern draws on 9/11 by casting Bernie Rosenthal (his Cap run’s romantic foil) as a refugee from NYC after the hero’s assassination.

continued in Captain America: Reborn #1 of 6
last issue: Captain America #50
next issue: Captain America #601

also indexed for Aug. ’09
Daredevil #119
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #15
Nova #26
War of Kings #4 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #3 of 4

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X-Men: Omega #1 of 1

February 18, 2015

X-Men Omega 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
June 1995
****

Magneto sends a time-tossed hero into a cosmic crystal to restore the true X-universe. Waid’s tense, dramatic script masks Cruz’s errors (an unoriginal Ameri-manga artist, he’s the weak link here). Lobdell, the crossover’s mastermind, has done commendable work. Tho’ individual minis may’ve faltered, his cumulative plot & vision makes AoA  the pinnacle of mutant mags between Claremont and Morrison.

continued from The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
continued from Factor X #4 of 4
continued from Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
continued from Generation Next #4 of 4
continued from Weapon X #4 of 4
continued from X-Calibre #4 of 4
continued from X-Man #4 of 4
continued from X-Universe #4 of 4
continued in X-Men Prime #1 of 1

X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

January 12, 2015

X-Men Alpha 1 of 1Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz & Steve Epting
February 1995
****

Think What If… Magneto formed the X-Men? The dystopian alt timeline is fun, & the era’s portentous prose & posturing panels lend themselves well to the sturm und drang (even if the project labors in Claremont’s shadow). Magneto, a glowering man of action, looks unhappy to be stuck into the Rogue/Gambit soap opera; Cyclops is a mutant princeling who awakens to the genocide & misery under Apocalypse.

continued from X-Men #41
continued from Cable #20
continued in The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
continued in Factor X #1 of 4
continued in Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
continued in Generation Next #1 of 4
continued in Weapon X #1 of 4
continued in X-Calibre #1 of 4
continued in X-Man #1 of 4
continued in X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
The Uncanny X-Men #321
X-Men #41

The Uncanny X-Men #321

January 9, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 321Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Ron Garney
February 1995
***

The illegit son of Professor X seduces his mother while psychically disguised as his father! It’s a provocative moment in a routine Terminator-type ’90s X-comic. Lobdell contrasts the arc’s Oedipal theme w/ his beloved Cyclops/Jean Grey/Cable triangle—his namby-pamby notion of a proper X-family.

continued from X-Men #40
continued in X-Men #41
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #322

also indexed for Feb. ’95
Cable #20
X-Men #41
X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1

The Uncanny X-Men #320

January 7, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 320Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid // Roger Cruz
January 1995
**

A true 4-part crossover, w/ even #’ed issues in adjectiveless X-Men. Professor X’s love-child aims to rewrite history in a bid for paternal validation. Originally a schizoid psychic in New Mutants, Legion is now just a ranting loon w/ the innate ability to time-travel—a random & convenient addition!

continued in X-Men #40
last issue: The Uncanny X-Men #319
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #321

also indexed for Jan. ’95
X-Men #40

Fantastic Four #524

January 2, 2015

Fantastic Four 524Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
May 2005
****

Reed has accidentally decoupled the team from their powers, so they zip around NYC to reabsorb them. Will Reed don Ben’s rocky hide to protect his pal? A spritely swansong puts the period to Waid’s FF run; it’s had a few bum notes, but it did more for Johnny than anyone since Lee on Strange Tales.

last issue: Fantastic Four #523
next issue: Fantastic Four #525

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

Fantastic Four #523

January 1, 2015

Fantastic Four 523Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
April 2005
***

Temporarily in a human body, Galactus is inspired by Reed’s scientific humanism to step into a Kirbytech suicide booth. Or something. The plot’s a vehicle for a sentimental supercomic tour of How the Other Half Lives, with Waid & Wieringo adding a Silver Age SF poptimism. Still, it coasts a bit.

last issue: Fantastic Four #523
next issue: Fantastic Four #524

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

Fantastic Four #522

December 31, 2014

Fantastic Four 522Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
March 2005
****

Aside from the Reed/von Doom arcs, this run has focused almost entirely on Johnny—to character-defining effect. Here at its climax, the kid uses his heraldic power of cosmic insight to stop Galactus itself! #522 does dabble in Big G’s backstory, but the action sequence btw him & the team is golden.

last issue: Fantastic Four #521
next issue: Fantastic Four #523

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Daredevil #69
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Fantastic Four #521

December 30, 2014

Fantastic Four 521Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
February 2005
*****

Aside from a gag opening, #521 is Human Torch, solo! He’s been zapped by Reed & then Big G, and now has the cosmic power to “see the unseen”(?). I can’t overpraise Waid’s Johnny Storm. It’s quintessential characterization, close to a Tom Sawyer, embodying heroic adolescence as a classic American type.

last issue: Fantastic Four #520
next issue: Fantastic Four #522

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Daredevil #68
Iron Man #2

Fantastic Four #520

December 29, 2014

Fantastic Four 520Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
January 2005
****

Part of a lark of an arc. Last ish, the Storm sibs swapped powers to save Sue from aliens. Now Galactus himself has anointed da Invisible Kid as his new herald! Tho’ he shafts Sue, I love Waid’s Johnny Storm, here seen wandering G’s ship & fighting a planet’s champion w/ cosmic forcefields.

last issue: Fantastic Four #519
next issue: Fantastic Four #521

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Daredevil #67
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Fantastic Four #519

December 28, 2014

Fantastic Four 519Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
December 2004
****

The team stops alien invaders from hurling NYC into the sun! Back to basics, as they say, w/ expert creators showing why the FF are such fun. Sadly, Sue does get deployed as the ol’ damsel in distress, saved by Mr F’s widget. It swaps her powers w/ Johnny’s—a fun variant on the loss-of-powers trope.

last issue: Fantastic Four #518
next issue: Fantastic Four #520

also indexed for Dec. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #6
Daredevil #66

Fantastic Four #518

December 27, 2014

Fantastic Four 518Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
November 2004
****

Aliens have targeted Sue, the only thing in the universe that could penetrate their cloaking device. In a cool twist, they’re refugees who use the inviso-shield to protect planets from Galactus. Ringo draws A-1 monsters, but flubs an interstellar sequence by drawing dull planets, not cosmic psychedelia.

last issue: Fantastic Four #517
next issue: Fantastic Four #519

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5
Daredevil #64
Daredevil #65
The Pulse #5

Fantastic Four #517

December 26, 2014

Fantastic Four 517Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
October 2004
****

When mile-high pylons embed themselves in NYC bedrock, it looks like a job for the Fantastic Four! Waid’s FF has its flaws (mainly in its metaphysics), but when it’s executing classical superheroics it’s keen. Wieringo builds the scope & threat thru panel size & pacing while avoiding widescreen realism.

last issue: Fantastic Four #516
next issue: Fantastic Four #518

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Secret War #3 of 5

Fantastic Four #516

December 25, 2014

Fantastic Four 516Mark Waid with Karl Kesel // Paco Medina
September 2004
**

Editors & fill-in artists have fumbled Waid’s FF as badly as they did Morrison’s recent X-run. Medina’s staging doesn’t just interfere w/ the script (a superhero lark against the Frightful Four). It reveals new flaws, like fight scenes that cycle thru several 1-on-1 duels that pause when off-camera.

last issue: Fantastic Four #515
next issue: Fantastic Four #517

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
Daredevil #62
The Pulse #4
Thanos #12

Fantastic Four #515

December 24, 2014

Fantastic Four 515Mark Waid with Karl Kesel // Paco Medina
August 2004
**

A new iteration of the Frightful 4 now mirrors the FF’s family dynamic—a warped image, as the Wizard conscripts an Asian ex-wife & love child. Their powers & personalities get obscured by Medina’s style (’90s American super-manga), which he does w/o much range or subtlety of emotion.

last issue: Fantastic Four #514
next issue: Fantastic Four #516

also indexed for Aug. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #2
Daredevil #61
Thanos #11

Fantastic Four #514

December 23, 2014

Fantastic Four 514Mark Waid with Karl Kesel // Paco Medina
late July 2004
***

The unexpected focus on Johnny continues: his coffee date is an unsure accomplice of the Frightful Four. Yet another penciller, a hack in the dated Maduriera vein. The earnest style & bad backgrounds don’t sell Waid’s somewhat generic supervillain rants & heart-to-heart beats of unbuttoned emo.

last issue: Fantastic Four #513
next issue: Fantastic Four #515

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
Daredevil #60
Fantastic Four #513
The Pulse #3
Secret War #2 of 5
Thanos #10

Fantastic Four #513

December 22, 2014

Fantastic Four 513A-story: Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
B-story: Mark Waid // Paul Smith
early July 2004
A-story: ***
B-story: ***

Spidey/Torch hijinks recalls the Silver Age years of rivalry (Waid shows a Lee influence, not a Kirby one). Ringo heightens this by homaging Ditko’s Sandman w/ a D-list aqua-baddie. In the back-up, Paul Smith draws bombshell bods for Sue’s catfight w/ one of Reed’s exes, a tomb raider-type adventurer.

last issue: Fantastic Four #512
next issue: Fantastic Four #514

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
Daredevil #60
Fantastic Four #514
The Pulse #3
Secret War #2 of 5
Thanos #10

Fantastic Four #512

December 21, 2014

Fantastic Four 512A-story: Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
B-story: Mark Waid // Paul Smith
June 2004
A-story: ****
B-story: ***

Hard-luck Johnny seeks advice from Spider-Man at a waterpark, in a superhero version of Friends or a Hollywood bromance. Cool—the run’s high point so far has been Waid’s early focus on Johnny Storm, maybe the trickiest of the four to write well. And hey, a three-page marriage gag for a back-up!

last issue: Fantastic Four #511
next issue: Fantastic Four #513

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Daredevil #59
Thanos #9

Fantastic Four #511

December 20, 2014

Fantastic Four 511Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
May 2004
***

The explorers of heaven are invited to meet their maker, Jack Kirby. Waid lays the schmaltz on thick. It’s odd & a bit phony, since his M.O. on this mag isn’t very Kirby-esque. Waid’s more interested in emotional adversity than anything. Wieringo’s individual style, however, is its own homage to the king.

last issue: Fantastic Four #510
next issue: Fantastic Four #512

also indexed for May ’04
Daredevil #58
New X-Men #154
The Pulse #2
Thanos #7
Thanos #8

Fantastic Four #510

December 19, 2014

Fantastic Four 510Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
April 2004
*****

To save Ben Grimm, Reed launches his team into Heaven itself (imagined beautifully by Wieringo as a psyche-scape of surreal imagery). It’s a surprise to take FF in that cosmic direction—Waid isn’t exactly Dante, or even Alan Moore—but given the centrality of Hell to Marvel & his run, it’s kosher.

last issue: Fantastic Four #509
next issue: Fantastic Four #511

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1
Secret War #1 of 5

Fantastic Four #509

December 18, 2014

Fantastic Four 509Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
March 2004
****

The mag still has its dark edge, thankfully dulled by Wieringo’s return. The team’s split, Reed’s brooding, & Johnny hallucinates Ben for company. A game of phone tag mobilizes the Fantastic Three for a rescue mission—to heaven! The Kirbytech is vintage: Doom’s flawed machine from college!

last issue: Fantastic Four #508
next issue: Fantastic Four #510

also indexed for Mar. ’04
Daredevil #56
New X-Men #151
New X-Men #152

Fantastic Four #508

December 17, 2014

Fantastic Four 508Mark Waid // Howard Porter
February 2004
**

Doc Doom psychically hops from hero to hero, forcing Mr. Fantastic to blast & kill the Thing. Sadly, in this arc Waid mirrors the ultraviolent sensationalism of ’90s super-comics, which he’d once refuted in Kingdom Come. The melee isn’t even memorable, due to Porter’s erratic, sometimes obscure art.

last issue: Fantastic Four #507
next issue: Fantastic Four #509

also indexed for Feb. ’04
Daredevil #55
New X-Men #150

Fantastic Four #507

December 16, 2014

Fantastic Four 507Mark Waid // Howard Porter
late January 2004
***

Mr F renegotiates his eternal stalemate w/ Dr D by imprisoning them together in a locked dimension. Waid’s given the hero a clenched-jaw gloom that, like the art, is a depressing throwback to ’90s comics; similarly, Doom’s escape (a telepathic takeover of Sue) is extremely, tiresomely violent.

last issue: Fantastic Four #506
next issue: Fantastic Four #508

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28
Daredevil #54
Fantastic Four #506
New X-Men #149

Fantastic Four #506

December 15, 2014

Fantastic Four 506Mark Waid // Howard Porter
early January 2004
***

A coalition of UN forces are about to invade Latveria to oust Mr F. I’m wary of this characterization of Reed R as manipulative—both politically and emotionally. Also, Waid jettisons his Iraq allegory, which has been one of Marvel’s strongest views on geopolitics since Busiek’s Avengers.

last issue: Fantastic Four #505
next issue: Fantastic Four #507

also indexed for Jan. ’04
Alias #28
Daredevil #54
Fantastic Four #507
New X-Men #149

Fantastic Four #505

December 14, 2014

Fantastic Four 505Mark Waid // Howard Porter
late December 2003
****

The Richards use parental fear-mongering to justify their unilateral adventurism to a dubious Grimm. The latter is H. Porter’s strongest art element, having internalized the lessons of his scratchy school of ’90s superhero comics, w/ bad expressions, static panels, & problematic layouts.

last issue: Fantastic Four #504
next issue: Fantastic Four #506

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
Daredevil #53
Fantastic Four #504
New X-Men #148

Fantastic Four #504

December 13, 2014

Fantastic Four 504Mark Waid // Howard Porter
early December 2003
*****

The mag (double-shipping all winter!) acts as a forum for Mark Waid to air his thoughts on the ’03 invasion of Iraq. The FF opens the torture chambers of Latveria as its citizens protest his regime in Doom masks. The allegory falls apart on a telling issue: Reed uncovers WMDs, tho Bush never did.

last issue: Fantastic Four #503
next issue: Fantastic Four #505

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Alias #27
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
Daredevil #53
Fantastic Four #505
New X-Men #148

Fantastic Four #503

December 12, 2014

Fantastic Four 503Mark Waid // Howard Porter
late November 2003
*****

Even Porter can’t hold Waid back this ish. Reed decides the team should assume control of Latveria, now leaderless & threatened by Hungarian annexation! The parallels w/ the invasion of Iraq are striking—tho’ Reed’s already doing better, securing Doom’s invaluable equipment from potential looters.

last issue: Fantastic Four #502
next issue: Fantastic Four #504

also indexed for Nov. ’03
Alias #26
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52

Fantastic Four #502
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Fantastic Four #502

December 11, 2014

Fantastic Four 502Mark Waid // Casey Jones
early November 2003
***

This arc’s core is a speech by Ben to his nephew: not “your family will keep you safe” but an admission that tragedy may strike from the blue. It’s got a touch of maturity under a pretty treacly delivery. Ringo takes 5 (again); C. Jones presents a similar manga-eyed, cartoon style w/o flair.

last issue: Fantastic Four #501
next issue: Fantastic Four #503

also indexed for No. ’03
Alias #26
Daredevil #51
Daredevil #52
Fantastic Four #503
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Fantastic Four #501

December 10, 2014

Fantastic Four 501Mark Waid // Casey Jones
October 2003
****

Franklin has gone catatonic after his trip to hell, while his pop sulks in the dark. It’s a Claremont-like beat, to take an issue or two after a costly victory to deal with scars literal & figurative. Note that Waid tasks Johnny to deal with his bro-in-law’s funk, again nailing the character’s voice.

last issue: Fantastic Four #500
next issue: Fantastic Four #502

also indexed for Oct. ’03
Alias #25
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
Daredevil #50
New X-Men #145

Fantastic Four #500

December 9, 2014

Fantastic Four 500Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
September 2003
*****

An extra-long ish, given a false sheen by ‘unbooting’ the issue #. Tutored by Dr S, Mr F outwits Dr D by learning humility. He admits magic is beyond him & that he’s outclassed by both men, whereas Doom disrespects his demonic allies & gets dragged to hell! It’s an intense take on Doom that eschews nuance—he muses whose skin to wear on his mystic armor—that plays off the cartoon art.

last issue: Fantastic Four #70
next issue: Fantastic Four #501

also indexed for Sept. ’03
Alias #24
Daredevil #49
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men #144

Fantastic Four #70

December 8, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.70Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
August 2003
****

Waid’s got a very dark take on the quintessential super-villain. His Dr. Doom has no aristo code, he’s an amoral megalomaniac whose Faustian deal gives him victory in his vendetta w/ Mr F. Are his scenes of triumph ill-served by the Disney-like art or does its clash of tones make for starker relief?

last issue: Fantastic Four #69
next issue: Fantastic Four #71

also indexed for Aug. ’03
Alias #23
Daredevil #48
New X-Men #142
New X-Men #143

Fantastic Four #69

December 7, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.69Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
July 2003
****

Indebted to Claremont’s X-style (& much stronger than CC’s recent FF), Waid sends his science-heroes crashing to the ground, outclassed by Doc Doom’s sorcery. Ben argues that magic makes Reed feel inferior—a nice insight in a strong scene. But mostly, #69 give the adventure a real sense of stakes.

last issue: Fantastic Four #68
next issue: Fantastic Four #70

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
Daredevil #47
New X-Men #141

Fantastic Four #68

December 6, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.68Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
June 2003
****

Valeria says her first word: “Doom”! The Doc attacks the family thru the baby, having bound her to himself w/ arcane spells at her birth. I’m not sold yet on Waid’s focus on magic for the arch-villain, although the trait is well-established. Or maybe I preferred the earlier issues’ lighter tone.

last issue: Fantastic Four #67
next issue: Fantastic Four #69

also indexed for Jun. ’03
Alias #21
Daredevil #46
New X-Men #139
New X-Men #140

Fantastic Four #67

December 5, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.67Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
May 2003
****

Dr. Doom hunts for his onetime GF, a gypsy who cut contact when he chose science (& a Western education) over the occult. Now he corrects that choice by sacrificing her to demons to gain mojo! Wieringo’s ebullient style shows its limits here, bringing little horror to a tale of Faustian villainy.

last issue: Fantastic Four #66
next issue: Fantastic Four #68

also indexed for May ’03
Alias #20
Daredevil #45
New X-Men #138

Fantastic Four #66

December 4, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.66Mark Waid // Mark Buckingham
April 2003
*****

In this light, spritely two-parter, the Storm sibs stop a mad-science chain reaction. Waid nails Johnny’s char, a difficult feat, by casting him as a corporate douche who’s quick on his toes. Buckingham has near-perfect comic delivery, only missing the slapstick potential of a supersized Thing.

last issue: Fantastic Four #65
next issue: Fantastic Four #67

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #43
Daredevil #44
New X-Men #137

Fantastic Four #65

December 3, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.65Mark Waid // Mark Buckingham
March 2003
*****

Baxter Building shenanigans as a midget-sized Thing hunts extra-dimensional roaches in the airducts. Even better is Torch on the corporate end, out-sharking a corrupt clothier & FF Inc. VPs on a fabric deal for unstable molecules. Buckingham proves an animated sub for Wieringo, w/ a mod simplicity.

last issue: Fantastic Four #64
next issue: Fantastic Four #66

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
Daredevil #42
New X-Men #136

Fantastic Four #64

December 2, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.64Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
February 2003
****

Mr. Fantastic is often central to a great FF run, esp. on the artist’s side. Wieringo’s Stretcho is a marvel (no surprise, given his talent for body language), w/ a balloon-like body. Waid has the super-inventor face a data-based doppelgänger who wants to kill the family, esp. neglected son Franklin.

last issue: Fantastic Four #63
next issue: Fantastic Four #65

also indexed for Feb. ’03
Alias #17
Daredevil #40
New X-Men #135

Fantastic Four #63

December 1, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.63Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
January 2003
****

Reed’s latest gadget—a tablet (in ’03, a “PDA”) w/ infinite memory—lets loose a being of sentient data. A formulaic FF plot, but Waid nails each hero’s voice. And MW’s art is enchanting! The flat cartooning style is as close to Disney comics or Archie as it is to the superhero tradition or to manga.

last issue: Fantastic Four #62
next issue: Fantastic Four #64

also indexed for Jan. ’03
Alias #16
Daredevil #39
New X-Men #134

Fantastic Four #62

November 30, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.62Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
December 2002
****

Unlike the conventional widescreen comics of this era,  FF actually reflects ’00s NYC: a playground for the tech-happy wealthy. Reed computes in Times Square, Johnny wears couture suits to FF Inc., and Sue & Ben get attacked by a data-being make of SFX: T2‘s liquid form in The Matrix‘s flowing glow-font.

last issue: Fantastic Four #61
next issue: Fantastic Four #63

also indexed for Dec. ’02
Alias #15
Daredevil #38
New X-Men #133

Fantastic Four #61

November 29, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.61Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
November 2002
*****

No matter how hard a writer works to mature Johnny Storm, the next one will regress him. For Waid, that means Sue appointing her bro CFO of their fortune—a super-corporate setting! An odd take but potentially profitable. Wieringo enhances Waid’s light tone w/ his expressive, comedic cartooning.

last issue: Fantastic Four #60
next issue: Fantastic Four #62

also indexed for Nov. ’02
Alias #14
Daredevil #37
New X-Men #132

Fantastic Four #60

November 28, 2014

Fantastic Four 2.60Mark Waid // Mike Wieringo
late October 2002
*****

Enchanting & light-hearted, good for all ages! #60 is a one-off, a meta-SoP for MW & MW, as an exec is tasked w/ rebranding the family after dips in popularity. His outside perspec takes in their body weirdness, the Kirby monsters that Reed makes palatable to the public under a veneer of celebrity.

last issue: Fantastic Four #59
next issue: Fantastic Four #61

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
Daredevil #36
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

Captain America #454

October 4, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
August 1996
***
Last issue for the too-brief run & the mag—or this volume anyhow. Waid rescued Agent 13 from comics limbo; now he fills in her backstory, which incl. a POW stint in a stand-in for Burma. Now she returns to free her fellow captives. Unfortch, she’s been Garney’s weak spot, w/ a horrific J. Lee-style build.
[continued in The Avengers #401]
[last issue: Captain America #453]

Captain America #453

October 3, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney & Pico Rinaldi
July 1996
****
How can Our Hero reach Camp David from the Balkans quickly so he can stop a cyborg from stealing nuke codes out of Clinton’s hand? He asks a favor from Doom—his second alliance w/ a despot in Waid’s run! Garney does his best work on the series, tho’ it’s undercut by a mediocre associate.
[last issue: Captain America #452]
[next issue: Captain America #454]

Captain America #452

October 2, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
June 1996
****
I’ve been won over by Waid & Garney’s run, w/ its action inflating into comedic absurdity (think True Lies). This ish, for example, begins w/ Cap skydiving to Agent 13’s rescue! It ends w/ a gee-whiz cliffhanger: a cyborg infiltrates Camp David while the SHIELD helicarrier plummets into Mt. Hood!
[last issue: Captain America #451]
[next issue: Captain America #453]

 

Captain America #451

October 1, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
May 1996
***
Waid’s approach to Cap prefigures Brubaker’s: Ludlum spy-fi action-adventure rather than Gruen’s superheroics. And a touch of Hitchcock, as Cap & Agent 13 take trains across Europe’s borders to find Machinesmith, the AI who may’ve stolen top-secret data from Cap’s mind while he lay near death.
[last issue: Captain America #450]
[next issue: Captain America #452]

Captain America #450

September 30, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
April 1996
****
With crossover kudzu past, Waid/Garney rev their run back up. Rogers has quit playing CA before (more than once!), but this man-on-the-run twist has him fired instead. In the Oval Office, Pres. Clinton reveals that Cap’s the lone suspect in a security breach—and exiles him from the US!
[continued from The Avengers #396]
[last issue: Captain America #449]
[next issue: Captain America #451]

Captain America #449

September 29, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney & Sandu Florea
March 1996
***
An Avengers crossover throws Garney off his game, leaving his backup Florea to draw rubber faces & tiny Liefeld feet. But Waid’s Cap still thrills. When goons drain the power from Manhattan, the true-blue man-of-action leaps off the Brooklyn Bridge to rescue a downed copter & direct ambulances.
[continued in The Mighty Thor #496]
[last issue: Captain America #448]
[next issue: Captain America #450]

Captain America #448

September 13, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
February 1996
***
CA, trapped w/in a Cosmic Cube by the Red Skull, runs A. Moore’s “Man Who Has Everything” scenario. Dream-Bucky, speaking as Cap’s subconsciousness, dispels the illusion that demos Waid’s unnuanced approach to Cap (compared w/ Gruenwald’s New Deal hero).  Garney’s art has panache, synthesizing every mid-’90s art tic, from Jim Lee’s rippling physiques to manga-like jawlines, into smooth coherence.
[last issue: Captain America #447]
[next issue: Captain America #449]

Captain America #447

September 12, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney & Mike Manley
January 1996
***
More running thru a hi-tech base, as the three protags compete to control Kirby’s ultimate deus ex machina, the Comic Cube. The issue does feel padded, esp. w/ several splash pages. But Garney’s clear layouts (finished by Manley) keep the action buzzing, while Waid has set plausibly high stakes.
[last issue: Captain America #446]
[next issue: Captain America #448]

Captain America #446

September 11, 2012

Mark Waid // Ron Garney
December 1995
***
A Cosmic Cube Cult hopes to resurrect Hitler, against the Red Skull’s wishes! Not a bad idea, but most of #446 is formulaic (if well-executed) ’90s supercomics. Cap clenches his jaw to show ethical conflict while his ex-flame, SHIELD Agent Carter, has been made over as a surly mercenary antihero.
[last issue: Captain America #445]
[next issue: Captain America #447]