Posts Tagged ‘Steve Epting’

Captain America #19

December 14, 2015

Captain America 5.19Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
late December 2012
***

Seven years after #1, Epting returns to pencil Brubaker’s final issue of Cap (tho’ the run wraps in Winter Soldier). It’s a montage/monologue of the hero’s career, focusing again on Cap’s symbolic burden. More compelling is an reprise of the action sequence v. terrorists atop an outerboro subway.

also indexed for Dec. ’12
Captain America #18
The Fantastic Four #611
FF #23
Winter Soldier #11

Advertisements

The Marvels Project #8 of 8

October 4, 2015

Marvels Project 8 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2010
***

Like much of Brubaker’s Cap run, his WW2-era mini is haunted by the ’01 attacks. His cinematic finale has the H. Torch & sidekick dogfight at Pearl Harbor while the other Invaders prevent an Atlantean assassination of Churchill. A subsequent montage of super-GI mobilization is anti-climactic.

last issue: The Marvels Project #7 of 8

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

The Marvels Project #7 of 8

October 1, 2015

Marvels Project 7 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
May 2010
****

The Marvel U’s supersoldiers contribute intel for American readiness, helping Cap stop an Atlantean attack on DC—part of the Axis plans for Dec. 7, 1941! Tho’ it arcs over a year of action, TMP might work better collected. It’s paced like a Le Carré novel, all its threads knotted in conspiracy.

last issue: The Marvels Project #6 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #8 of 8

also indexed for May ’10
Captain America #604
Fantastic Four #577
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nova #35
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 of 5

The Marvels Project #6 of 8

September 29, 2015

Marvels Project 6 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
April 2010
***

Namor deluges NYC, in a catastrophe meant to echo 9/11 & organize the heroes. Epting’s in his element on a ready-for-CGI moment: a disaster-porn setpiece. But Brubaker’s heart & eye are on his new character, the WW1 supersoldier, who finds a diabolic Red Skull in league w/ a blue-skinned Atlantean!

last issue: The Marvels Project #5 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #7 of 8

also indexed for Apr. ’10
Captain America #603
Fantastic Four #576
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Nova #34
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 of 5

The Marvels Project #5 of 8

September 26, 2015

Marvels Project 5 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2010
**

Capt. America arrives, his action-hero dynamism instantly eclipsing the rest of the book. Part of TMP‘s problem is its unclear stakes: what more are Nazi spies hoping to achieve in 1940 NYC? And part is the POV hero, the Angel, a generic mystery man. Brubaker has carte blanche—this is it?

last issue: The Marvels Project #4 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #6 of 8

also indexed for Mar. ’10
Captain America #602
Captain America: Reborn #6 of 6
Fantastic Four #575
Guardians of the Galaxy #22
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #3 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5

The Marvels Project #4 of 8

September 23, 2015

Marvels Project 4 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
February 2010
***

An interesting subject: an espionage tale about the Nazi who infiltrated the Super-Soldier project back in CA Comics #1. Who was this guy? A 1950s comic would’ve gotten into his head, but in Bru & Ept’s hands he’s a cypher. At least the subplot (a mystery-man tracks the Nazis in NYC) picks up steam.

last issue: The Marvels Project #5 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #3 of 8

also indexed for Feb. ’10
Captain America: Reborn #5 of 6
Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield? #1 of 1
Fantastic Four #574
Guardians of the Galaxy #21
Nova #32
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #2 of 5
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #2 of 5

The Marvels Project #3 of 8

September 21, 2015

Marvels Project 3 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
December 2009
***

Compared to Brubaker’s other four (!) mags, this mini is kinda rote. The hard-boiled captions lack pulpy urgency, while the setting upstages the action. Epting’s realism just isn’t dynamic here, a shortcoming most obv in his storyboard staging of a Coney Island showdown btw Namor & the Human Torch.

last issue: The Marvels Project #2 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #4 of 8

also indexed for Dec. ’09
Fantastic Four #572
Guardians of the Galaxy #19
Nova #30

The Marvels Project #2 of 8

September 19, 2015

Marvels Project 2 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
November 2009
***

TMP‘s frame follows a mystery man thru his crimefighting career; his reflective tone echoes Watchmen‘s elder Nite Owl to the point of retreading. The creators seem more enthused by their wartime plot, whose espionage allows for Nazi villainy, GI heroics, & pulp-SF tropes like a superman in a tube.

last issue: The Marvels Project #1 of 8
next issue: The Marvels Project #3 of 8

also indexed for Nov. ’09
Captain America Reborn #3 of 6
Fantastic Four #571
Guardians of the Galaxy #18
Nova #29
War of Kings: Who Will Rule #1 of 1

The Marvels Project #1 of 8

September 17, 2015

Marvels Project 1 of 8Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
October 2009
****

Caught short by the buzz around Captain America’s death, Marvel gives Brubaker one mini to resurrect the hero & another for fun. He does a full period piece, drawing the company’s 1940s characters together into a plot-network around the super-serum & a secret experiment in Nazi eugenics labs.

next issue: The Marvels Project #2 of 6

also indexed for Oct. ’09
Captain America: Reborn #2 of 6
Daredevil #500
Fantastic Four #570
Guardians of the Galaxy #17
Nova #28
War of Kings #6 of 6
War of Kings: Warriors #2 of 2

Captain America #46

September 9, 2015

Captain America 46Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2009
***

Bru braids Bucky’s Cold War espionage with an earlier addition to the character’s history: the Invaders, created by Roy “Master of the Retcon” Thomas. Amid much skulduggery, Bucky & Namor team up to recover the android corpse of their fellow WW2 vet, the Human Torch, from a Chinese mad scientist.

last issue: Captain America #45
next issue: Captain America #47

also indexed for Mar. ’09
Daredevil #115
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
Nova #21
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 of 1

Captain America #42

September 5, 2015

Captain America 42Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Luke Ross
November 2008
****

Agent 13 impedes but doesn’t foil the Kirby robo-scientist’s plan to restore the Red Skull—in Cap’s resurrected body? The drama means more of Bucky Barnes in the role. Brubaker has pulled off an Alan Moore-style storytelling coup by re-inventing a classic character.

last issue: Captain America #41
next issue: Captain America #43

also indexed for Nov. ’08
Daredevil #111
Guardians of the Galaxy #5
Nova #17

Captain America #41

September 4, 2015

Captain America 41Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
October 2008
****

Doc Faustus shaves his singular beard & betrays his allies to SHIELD; he also wipes the pregnancy from Carter’s memory. Erasing that event so thoroughly feels dishonest—& odd, since every other subplot fits so well into Brubaker’s epic storyline. He’s set Barnes up perfectly to replace Rogers as Cap!

last issue: Captain America #40
next issue: Captain America #42

also indexed for Oct. ’08
Daredevil #110
Guardians of the Galaxy #4
Nova #16

Captain America #40

September 3, 2015

Captain America 40Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2008
****

Fight fans will enjoys #40: a bout for the title, as Buck faces a mad doppelgänger of Steve Rogers to be called Captain America. The undercard is Sharon Carter’s quick tussle w/ the Skull’s psycho daughter, another failed escape attempt that leaves our pregnant heroine w/ a Bowie knife in her gut!

last issue: Captain America #39
next issue: Captain America #41

also indexed for Sept. ’08
Daredevil #109
Guardians of the Galaxy #3
Nova #15

Captain America #38

September 1, 2015

Captain America 38Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2008
****

Brubaker has found that sublime rhythm where each ish has an individual beat that moves an epic plot forward. Here it’s the re-intro of the McCarthy-era Cap, a naïve pawn in the villains’ complex plan to undermine America. It augers the Tea Party’s rise & ties artfully to the out-of-time theme.

last issue: Captain America #37
next issue: Captain America #39

also indexed in Jul. ’08
Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 of 1
Daredevil #107
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
The Immortal Iron Fist #15
Nova #13
Thunderbolts #120

Captain America #34

August 28, 2015

Captain America 34Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
March 2008
*****

This 21C Cap is the type of hero who kneecaps foes w/ a gun: an update for our era of mass shootings? But what’s unequivocally brilliant is the Red Skull’s latest plan. Dressed in Brooks Brothers, he profits by collapsing the US economy & directs his suborned SHIELD riot-cops to open fire on a protest!

last issue: Captain America #33
next issue: Captain America #35

also indexed for Mar. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #3 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #24
Daredevil #104
Nova #10

Captain America #33

August 27, 2015

Captain America 33Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
February 2008
*****

Bucky escapes from custody &, in enemy territory, fights Iron Man to a draw. The kinetic, well-staged action setpiece that this epic arc has needed: superbly staged (aside from a generic setting), each page a storytelling beat. It finally shows how superbad this new character is, a Cap for the 21C.

last issue: Captain America #32
next issue: Captain America #34

also indexed for Feb. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #2 of 6
Daredevil #103
The Immortal Iron Fist #12
Nova #9
Thunderbolts #118

Captain America #32

August 26, 2015

Captain America 32Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2008
****

A rare chase-in-a-base sequence that’s gripping, due less to Bucky Barnes’ badass escape than to Sharon Carter’s opaque motives. Via captions, her psyche struggles to free itself from mind control. Even her heroic actions have a sinister gloss: to save Buck, she shoves him out a cargo plane!

last issue: Captain America #31
next issue: Captain America #33

also indexed for Jan. ’08
Annihilation: Conquest #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #23
The Immortal Iron Fist #11
Nova #8

Captain America #31

August 25, 2015

Captain America 31Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
December 2007
****

Agent 13 has fallen to the mesmerist w/ a glorious beard, but the Winter Soldier resists the memory manipulation. The tough-guy torture has a sour taste (despite Epting’s homage to a classic Steranko splash), & so does the damsel-in-distress, despite 13’s subconscious refusal to kill again.

last issue: Captain America #30
next issue: Captain America #32

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
Runaways #28
Thunderbolts #117

Captain America #30

August 24, 2015

Captain America 30Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
November 2007
****

Tony Stark, Director of SHIELD, is portrayed adroitly as a grey suit of dubious motives. He’s part of a great ensemble cast, most of whom are now mind-controlled or captured by the Skull’s hypno-henchman! In a nice break from mid-’00s structuring, part 6 of 6 is a cliffhanger & not a TBP’s climax.

last issue: Captain America #29
next issue: Captain America #31

also indexed for Nov. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #3 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #3 of 4
Daredevil #101
The Immortal Iron Fist #9
The Immortal Iron Fist Annual #1
Nova #6

Captain America #29

August 23, 2015

Captain America 29Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
October 2007
****

Bru’s Cap has a lurid sense of psychology: the Soviet’s mindscape is a battlefield, & the psycho lovers share a clinch as they escape prison, & Agent 13 has morning sickness! But the art begins to flag. Epting stages phony movie ultraviolence; Perkins renders the astral plane in dull hyper-realism.

last issue: Captain America #28
next issue: Captain America #30

also indexed for Oct. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #2 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 of 4
Astonishing X-Men #22
Daredevil #100
The Immortal Iron Fist #8
Nova #5
Thunderbolts #116

Captain America #28

August 22, 2015

Captain America 28Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2007
****

The Skull’s kid & a squad of snake goons wreck the Asian stock market—a timely nod to the slow, fraud-based financial collapse of ’07-’08. But generally the elaborate plotting, ever-expanding cast, & intrusion of the Marvel-wide status quo conspire to sap momentum from this excellent mag.

last issue: Captain America #27
next issue: Captain America #29

also indexed for Sept. ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Starlord #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Quasar #1 of 4
Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #1 of 4
Daredevil #99
Nova #4

Captain America #27

August 21, 2015

Captain America 27Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
August 2007
****

The mag starts to set Bucky up as its heir by having him steal the mighty shield from Tony Stark’s operative, the Black Widow. In a twist, they have a history as trysting trainees in the Cold War KGB! Marvel’s a small world. I’ll take a wait-n-see attitude to this romantic development.

last issue: Captain America #26
next issue: Captain America #28

also indexed for Aug.  ’07
Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue #1 of 1
Daredevil #98
The Immortal Iron Fist #7
Nova #3
Runaways #27
Thunderbolts #115

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Captain America #25

August 19, 2015

Captain America 25Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
April 2007
*****

Out of nowhere but built up perfectly, Cap gets killed (by his GF, unwitting agent of the Skull)! #25 provides a finale to the ignominious Civil War, & resonates w/ current events as the act of terror is staged in Lower Manhattan, where he’s arraigned for civil trial rather than military tribunal.

continued from Civil War #7 of 7
continued from Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1 of 1
last issue: Captain America #24
next issue: Captain America #26

also indexed for Apr. ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 of 2
Daredevil #94
Dr. Strange: The Oath #5 of 5
The Immortal Iron Fist #4
Thunderbolts #111

Captain America #21

August 14, 2015

Captain America 21Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
October 2006
*****

What more do you want from a Captain America comic? An epic battle for the skies of London involves a Nazi supersoldier, a crashing blimp, a giant robot, & the Red Skull vs. 21C Invaders… including Bucky! This fraternal bond threatens to trump Cap’s reignited romance with Kirby creation Agent 13.

last issue: Captain America #20
next issue: Captain America #22

also indexed for Oct. ’06
Annihilation #1 of 6
Astonishing X-Men #16
Civil War #4 of 7
Daredevil #88
Runaways #19

Captain America #20

August 13, 2015

Captain America 20Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
September 2006
****

A three-tiered grid of exceptional widescreen comics over the skies of London! While the ex-KGB oligarch helps stage a giant robot attack at his own corporate event, his psychic lodger (the Red Skull) aims a blimp at Parliament & his proteges pilot a light aircraft into the Soviet’s skyscraper HQ!

last issue: Captain America #19
next issue: Captain America #21

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 #18

Captain America #19

August 12, 2015

Captain America 19Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
August 2006
****

The super-skullduggery gets a film of Londontown grime, w/ MI-5 butting heads w/ SHIELD, & seedy arms dealers, and dockland smugglers from Hamburg who turn out to be super-Nazis! Weirdest of all, the corporate spymaster spends teh ish in a mask of Cap’s archenemy (Epting draws an A+ Red Skull!).

last issue: Captain America #18
next issue: Captain America #20

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
Runaways #17
Young Avengers #12

Captain America #18

August 11, 2015

Captain America 18Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
July 2006
****

Cap returns to London (nice fusion of pencil & photo) on the trail of Bucky & his target. Neither hero knows that the ex-Soviet oil magnate has a voice in his skull: our favorite Nazi supervillain! The implication is that modern Russia’s oligarchy is a thin disguise for the same old totalitarianism.

last issue: Captain America #17
next issue: Captain America #19

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
Runaways #16
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #5 of 5

Captain America #14

August 6, 2015

Captain America 14Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
early April 2006
****

Cap restores Bucky’s memory w/ the arc’s cosmic widget. Brubaker accomplishes a radical addition to Cap‘s mythos, but he doesn’t lend its inevitability a sense of urgency or risk—it’s just a bit too pat, too predictable. And the displays of manly emo are also ham-handed. Still, amazing!

last issue: Captain America #13
next issue: Captain America #15

also indexed for Apr. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #13
Captain America #15
Daredevil #82
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #2
Runaways #13
X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl #2 of 5

Captain America #13

August 5, 2015

Captain America 13Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2006
****

Iron Man helps Cap track the ‘energy signature’ of the plot’s maguffin. SHIELD was supposed to do that back in #2! At any rate, it provides a combat scene w/ a big robot & goons. The core of #13, however, is a heart-to-heart w/ sidekick Falcon, who simply asks Cap what he wants to do. Save Bucky!

last issue: Captain America #12
next issue: Captain America #14

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Daredevil #79
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4
The Pulse #12
Runaways #10

Captain America #12

August 4, 2015

Captain America 12Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
December 2005
*****

This retcon works, partly cuz Bucky’s survival is plausible mad science (simple even!) & partly cuz it’s all potentially a ‘false’ reality, a plot imposed by the original Kirby widget, the Cosmic Cube. But it’s anchored by Cap’s moral angst, as his friends tell him his WW2 partner is a zombie drone.

last issue: Captain America #11
next issue: Captain America #13

also indexed for Dec. ’05
Daredevil #78
Drax the Destroyer #2 of 4
Runaways #9
Secret War #5 of 5
Young Avengers #9

Captain America #11

August 3, 2015

Captain America 11Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
November 2005
*****

A great cover shows Epting’s design for the revived Bucky: a rather ’90s look, w/ grungy hair, a cybernetic arm, & paramilitary gear. Inside, #11 offers a collage of the KGB dossier on the Winter Soldier: a black-ops Manchurian Candidate w/ killer instincts & no memory, stored in a cryo-tube.

last issue: Captain America #10
next issue: Captain America #12

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

Captain America #8

July 31, 2015

Captain America 08Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
August 2005
*****

Bucky Barnes, back from the dead! A Soviet sub recovered the sidekick’s comatose body in WW2, & brainwashed him to be a literal sleeper agent, years in cold storage adding to his life! As Brubaker reminded us last ish, Englehart used a similar Rip van Winkle device to revive the 1950s Cap & Buck.

last issue: Captain America #7
next issue: Captain America #9

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

Captain America #6

July 29, 2015

Captain America 06Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
June 2005
*****

Brubaker executes an impossibly risky twist: he resurrects Bucky! The original Kirby/Simon sidekick, now a still-youthful espionage agent, takes orders from an industrialist (ex-Soviet military), who bombs Philly to power his Kirby widget! Question is, can Bru justify this bold storytelling move?

last issue: Captain America #5
next issue: Captain America #7

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

Captain America #5

July 28, 2015

Captain America 05Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark with Steve Epting
May 2005
*****

Lark takes the main art duty for this extended flashback of Cap’s rare visit to WW2’s eastern front. The US has the Invaders, & the Nazis their Axis counterparts, but Russia has only brutality & cunning. That’s echoed in a radical retcon that recasts Bucky as a black-ops commando w/ a Bowie knife!

last issue: Captain America #4
next issue: Captain America #6

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

Captain America #4

July 27, 2015

Captain America 04Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
April 2005
****

Someone is getting into Cap’s head by sending a patsy after him, by killing his protégés or defacing their Arlington gravesites, & by sticking a psychic thumb in his WW2 memories. Bru gives the superspy adventure plot a hard-boiled urgency, its style succeeding where Bendis’ Secret War failed.

last issue: Captain America #3
next issue: Captain America #5

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

Captain America #3

July 26, 2015

Captain America 03Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
March 2005
*****

After mopping up an abortive terror attack, Cap & Agent 13 earn some R&R in Paris. The city elicits nostalgia from the WW2 vet, whose collab w/ the Fr. Resistance (Lark’s pencils) lets the reader into the title char’s psyche & lets Ed B snub the idiotic “A for France” line in The Ultimates.

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Daredevil #69
Fantastic Four #522
Iron Man #3
The Pulse #7

Captain America #2

July 25, 2015

Captain America 02Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting with Michael Lark
February 2005
****

Cap & the SHIELD team investigate the death of the Red Skull by first ending his WMD attack on NYC’s sewers. Tight & dramatic stuff, v. contempo as it modernizes superspy for post-9/11 readers. Brubaker seems esp to enjoy PTSD flashbacks to 1940s battles, w/ Gotham C collab Lark on nightmare duty.

last issue: Captain America #2
next issue: Captain America #4

also indexed for Feb. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #8
Daredevil #68
Fantastic Four #521
Iron Man #2

Captain America #1

July 24, 2015

Captain America 01Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting
January 2005
*****

Cap’s new volume inaugurates Ed Brubaker’s monumental run. He’s all cloak-&-dagger, as an ex-Soviet general “sanctions” the Red Skull (mid-monologue!) for his Kirby widget! Epting does career-high work in a tense, silent-action setpiece btw Cap & AIM agents atop a BK-bound B-train refitted as a WMD!

continued from Captain America #32
next issue: Captain America #2

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Daredevil #67
Fantastic Four #520
Iron Man #1
The Pulse #6

Factor X #4 of 4

January 28, 2015

Factor X 4 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
June 1995
***

Factor X lucks into significance, due mainly to a focus on Cyclops. His arc of redemption, facilitated by Jean Grey, ends w/ him leading a mutant prison to freedom! But the mini’s also had finer ideas than most of the second-tier AoA, like a Mengele “dark” Beast & the happy-go-lucky Bedlam Brothers.

continued in X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
last issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Jun. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #4 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #4 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #4 of 4
Generation Next #4 of 4
Weapon X #4 of 4
X-Calibre #4 of 4
X-Man #4
X-Men: Chronicles #2 of 2
X-Men: Omega #1 of 1
X-Universe #2 of 2

Factor X #3 of 4

January 27, 2015

Factor X 3 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting & Terry Dodson
May 1995
**

Jean Grey arrives from Weapon X to help Cyclops w/ his redemption. The elaborate interlacing of this Days of Future Past homage is its best part, tho’ even Factor X can feel like a set of plot points. Plus the ’90s focus on Scott S & Jean G means cornball dreck about their romantic destiny.

last issue: Factor X #2 of 4
next issue: Factor X #4 of 4

also indexed for May ’95
The Amazing X-Men #3 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #3 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #3 of 4
Generation Next #3 of 4
Weapon X #3 of 4
X-Calibre #3 of 4
X-Man #3
X-Universe #1 of 2

Factor X #2 of 4

January 26, 2015

Factor X 2 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
April 1995
***

While rival Havok scowls, Cyclops plays the antihero, smuggling a mad Polaris from NYC’s mutant dungeons. Epting, who marries Mazzucchelli’s grit to ’90s over-lineated posing, may be a strong Marvel artist of the Image Era, but oy! his dystopic redesign of Cyke: long, ‘badass’ hair & a motorcycle!

last issue: Factor X #1 of 4
next issue: Factor X #3 of 4

also indexed for Apr. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #2 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #2 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #2 of 4
Generation Next #2 of 4
Weapon X #2 of 4
X-Calibre #2 of 4
X-Man #2

Factor X #1 of 4

January 25, 2015

Factor X 1 of 4John Francis Moore // Steve Epting
March 1995
***

Given the weakness of X-Factor, this revision is one of the happier surprises of the AoA metaseries. The mag reverts to the original X-team, mutant aristos in this dystopic alt-NYC & acolytes of Mr. Sinister, whose eugenic intrigues provide the catalyst for change among mutant siblings & rivals.

continued from X-Men: Alpha #1 of 1
next issue: Factor X #2 of 4

also indexed for Mar. ’95
The Amazing X-Men #1 of 4
The Astonishing X-Men #1 of 4
Gambit and the X-Ternals #1 of 4
Generation Next #1 of 4
Weapon X #1 of 4
X-Calibre #1 of 4
X-Man #1
X-Men: Chronicles #1 of 2

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 #319

January 6, 2015

Uncanny X-Men 319Scott Lobdell // Steve Epting
December 1993
***

Lobdell’s strongest (relatively speaking) when he avoids super-action to concentrate on soap. In #319, he continues his curious rehab of normcore X-Man Bobby Drake, w/ a visit to his bigoted family. In parallel (!), Xavier converses w/ his comatose son on the astral plane, setting up the next X-over.

last issue: The Uncanny X-men #318
next issue: The Uncanny X-Men #320

also indexed for Dec. ’93
X-Factor #109

Thunderbolts #-1

June 19, 2014

Thunderbolts -001Kurt Busiek // Steve Epting
July 1997
***

I’m not an Epting fan, but inked by Wiacek here, he’s A1. Ish #-1 is one of those ’90s gimmicks, showing the criminal genesis of its protags. It’s formulaic, except for (a) Songbird, fleeing an abusive dad, & (b) Zemo, whose father relates how he strangled the WW2 Cit V w/ bare hands!

last issue: Thunderbolts #3
next issue: Thunderbolts #4

also indexed for Jul. ’97
Thunderbolts #4
Thunderbolts Annual ’97

FF #16

December 20, 2013

FF 16Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta & Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

If all of John H’s FF run had Nick D on art, it’d be second only to Kirby/Lee! See a heavenly moment of adult Franklin & Galactus viewing sunrise from orbit. This ish, post-grand finale, centers on Hick’s best char: supersmart toddler Val. Even her adult self mistrusts her! And in a coda, Doom.

continued from The Fantastic Four #604
last issue: FF #15
next issue: FF #17

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
The Fantastic Four #604

The Fantastic Four #604

December 19, 2013

Fantastic Four 604Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
May 2012
*****

Hickman closes out his theme of fathers & sons, as Nat & Frank Richards save Reed from mad space-gods. Franklin, in the future, will turn cosmic & take Galactus as his sidekick! Sadly, he’s only given ’90s-style hand-zaps. Maybe #604 itself is only ****, but it’s a perfect climax to an ambitious run.

continued in FF #16
last issue: The Fantastic Four #603
next issue: The Fantastic Four #605

also indexed for May ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9
FF #16

The Fantastic Four #601

December 13, 2013

Fantastic Four 601Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
February 2012
****

To counter an alien armada, Johnny S. leads his space-insect cavalry into the skies, reinforced by the Inhuman cityship! But can Earth survive a battle low in its orbit? Epting’s in his element, penciling okay widescreen action (if you want Hickman’s heftier, smarter work, read the partner mag).

see also FF #13
last issue: The Fantastic Four #600
next issue: The Fantastic Four #602

also indexed for Feb. ’12
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9
FF #13

The Fantastic Four #600

December 11, 2013

Fantastic Four 600A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Steve Epting
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Carmine Di Giandomenico
C-story: Jonathan Hickman // Ming Doyle
D-story: Jonathan Hickman // Leinil Yu
E-story: Jonathan Hickman // Farel Dalrymple
January 2012
A-story: **** // B-story: ***** // C-story: *****
D-story: **** // E-story: *****

A king-size #600. The A-story picks up the threads of FF, pitting every NYC superhero against a pair of alien invasions; a surprise twist has the late Johnny Storm break the Annihilation Wave! Then Hickman shows that Torch did die in #587, only to be resurrected in a gladiator scenario. That piece has a Euro look that meshes w/ the bug-‘verse setting; like all the back-up pencilers, it puts Epting to shame. Much of the art is “ugly” yet lovely, accentuating how creative JH’s whole run is.

continued from FF #11
continued in FF #12
next issue: The Fantastic Four #601

also indexed for Jan’ 12
FF #12