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Posts Tagged ‘Fabian Nicieza’

New Thunderbolts #6

July 9, 2012 Leave a comment

March 12, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: City of Heroes?

The new Thunderbolts are New York’s only hope to be saved from Hydra!

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Co-Plotter: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Gary Erskine
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Tom Grummett
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Hydra’s plans become clear as the terrorist army overruns a New York without Avengers to protect it. Although may of the second-string heroes come out of the woodwork, only the Thunderbolts have the inside knowledge to save the day – because Baron Strucker has been bankrolling them from the beginning.

Considering the nature of this title, I’m really rather surprised at how many of the ongoing subplots are resolved this issue. Granted, most of then are resolved in a fashion that leaves more questions, but a lot of them are resolutions that leave more questions. Nicieza manages to pack an incredible amount of story into what’s basically an all-action issue, but he doesn’t make it seem crammed or bloated. Throughout the battle, stories and ideas are ticked off one at a time, adding up to the final package. We get the truth about Speed Demon, about Joystick, and about Captain Marvel, and despite some of the complaints I really don’t have any problem with his new status quo, although I must admit I don’t quite grasp the reasoning behind it. (There’s something bizarrely Freudian going on there, and I really hope Nicieza is planning to give us more of an explanation later on.)

Some of the stuff, such as Songbird’s actions in this issue, aren’t that surprising, but at the same time they work for her and show how far the character has come. The same goes for Mach-IV, still stuck in his old Beetle armor, but still displaying the true hero he’s become.

Tom Grummet again does a solidly entertaining job with this issue. He’s got some of the most action to draw that I’ve ever seen in a single issue, not just a fight scene but a city-wide fight scene involving hundreds of enemy agents and cameos from a lot of heroes outside of the main cast. This is the sort of thing that you usually have to see in a big summer crossover. He also gets points for a knockout cover – imagine, a cover that actually invokes the events of the issue. I’m amazed that Marvel let this get to the printer.

This book wraps up a lot of things, but there’s still plenty out there to keep us occupied. I can’t wait to see where it’ll go next.

Rating: 8/10

The 99 #4

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

January 11, 2008

The 99 #4 (Teshkeel Comics)
By Naif Al-Mutawa, Fabian Nicieza, John McCrea, Jason Dennis & Ron Wagner

This issue, Nawaf gets a taste for heroism — saving some construction workers from disaster and leaping into battle — while a new villain called Blackwolf begins to hunt the 99. Al-Mutawa and Nicieza continue to deliver just what I want from this book, namely old-school superhero action. The book is a little light on character development, however. Nawaf’s continuing transformation into Jabbar isn’t exactly subtle, but then, a guy with a build like the Hulk isn’t a subtle character to begin with. And when you get right down to it, there wasn’t a lot of subtletly to those Silver and Bronza Age comics. That, I think, sums up what I like about this title. It has the feel of a Silver Age book without feeling like it’s just a pastiche (like Big Bang Comics, for example). It has a classic feeling, but the flavor is modern and unique. It’s a fun book.
Rating: 7/10

Trinity #2

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

June 12, 2008

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: A Personal Best at Robot Smashing & It’s Gonna Throw the Car

The members of the Trinity face a bizarre attack – and so does one of their teammates.

Writer: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Art Thibert
Colors: Pete Pantazis
Writers (Second Story): Kurt Busiek & Fabian Nicieza
Artists (Second Story): Tom Derenick & Wayne Faucher
Colors (Second Story): Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Carlos Pacheco
Publisher: DC Comics

As the three members of the Trinity return to their respective homes, each of them is faced with an unexpected challenge. A miniature solar system (including a familiar-looking sun) is threatening Superman’s Metropolis, Batman’s Gotham City has been plunged into another century entirely, and Wonder Woman has to stop a group of giant fighting robots from destroying Washington, DC. But what does any of this have to do with Morgaine Le Fay’s “anti-Trinity” and the mysterious dreams that afflict them?

While the first issue of the new weekly focused on bringing the three heroes together, issue two shows each of them dealing with a threat in their own style. What makes this work is that Busiek gets a chance to show us the real difference between our three heroes and how they handle a threat. There’s a nice little scene between Wonder Woman and Superman as well, which is also needed. As the least-popular member of the trinity (let’s be honest here), it really helps to remind us not only how capable she is, but how much respect she commands from her friends.

Mark Bagley’s artwork, of course, is as cool and polished as ever, although I do think his Superman looks a little too young. It’s a small complaint, however, and once I can easily live with.

In just two issues, the function of the second story in each issue has become clear: it’s not merely a space-filler, but a chance to show scenes that are relevant to the main plot, but that don’t feature our three heroes. This issue, we see Green Lantern John Stewart facing the bizarre double-threat of Konvikt and Graak. In terms of plot development, the most interesting thing here is that apparently they are of a species that John’s ring doesn’t recognize. Mostly, though, it’s just an action scene, but a good one. Tom Derenick’s artwork makes this second story look leaps and bounds above the artwork last week, which also helps quite a bit.

I also need to take just a second to point out how cool the naming convention of this series is – apparently each story will take its title from an amusing or pertinent snippet of dialogue. I dunno, I just think that’s neat.

Two issues down and fifty to go, but so far, this has been a really strong story. Busiek and Bagley have made legendary comics together in the past, and it looks like they’re on the right path to do it again.

Rating: 8/10

Cable and Deadpool #45

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

September 24, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Band of (Oh) Brothers
Rating: T+

Deadpool and Bob – meet Captain America and Bucky!

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Reilly Brown
Inks: Jeremy Freeman
Colors: Gotham
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Nicole Boose
Cover Art: Skottie Young
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Having saved the world from Hydra, the Penetraitor’s damaged armor caused a hiccup in time last issue, grabbing Deadpool and Bob Hydra, hurling them back in time to World War II, just in time to team up with Captain America and Bucky on the trail of the mad scientist Arnim Zola. Deadpool is jazzed to be working with the living legend, while Bob finds himself torn between his HYDRA training focusing his hatred on Cap and the fact that Captain America is just darn cool.

As usually is the case, this is a fun issue, with Cap and Bucky’s very distinct reactions to Deadpool opening up to some nicely-played comedy. The fight scenes are a lot of fun, the artwork is great – I’ve finally realized what it was the problem was that kept me from enjoying this series wholly: Cable. I just don’t care about him. But Deadpool, solo, is turning out to be a highly entertaining read.

Really, Marvel? You’re going to cancel this book – one of the few legitimately enjoyable comics in a bloated, depressing X-line, to replace it with a Cable ongoing? At least keep this book alive and drop his name from the title – make it a Deadpool solo book again. It’s too good to lose that way.

Rating: 8/10

New Thunderbolts #5

October 2, 2011 Leave a comment

February 11, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Call to Battle?

The Fathom Five is attacking – are there any Thunderbolts left to take them down?

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Co-Plotter: Kurt Busiek
Pencils: Tom Grummett
Inks: Gary Erskine
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Albert Deschesne
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Tom Grummett
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Fathom Five are back, attacking Manhattan. The Avengers are gone. Only the Thunderbolts are left to save the day… but how many can be trusted? Atlas is acting erratic, Songbird is in the hospital, and the last time their leader saw Speed Demon, Blizzard and Joystick they were headed to a strip club. Oh – and Abe Jenkins is cut off from his Mach-IV armor.

This is a bad day.

This is also the issue where you see what this book has been leading up to. We see hints of characterization in Speed Demon that may start to betray his real motivation. We see Abe acting like the true hero he has become. We even get a promise to a final resolution of the Captain Marvel mystery, and all of this in book that’s chock-full of action from beginning to end. We even get a quick cameo from one of the villains of Nicieza’s most popular 90s work.

Nicieza and Busiek have created a pace that just won’t stop, and while some things still aren’t quite touched on this issue – the Swordsman subplot, for instance, you realize that they were subtly setting things up for a big sixth issue, perfect for the trade paperback. The thing is, with most comics these days, you see that coming from the first issue. Not here.

Grummett continues to impress with the artwork on this issue. There are a ton of characters bandied about in here – heroes and villains alike – and a lot of action, but he’s got great fight choreography and a good handle on everyone.

This book has been building momentum slowly. This issue you get the feeling that it’s finally hit the crest and it’s time to race to the finish. At least, the finish of the first story. If there’s anything that’s been consistent about the Thunderbolts from day one, it’s that every ending brings with it a dozen new beginnings.

Rating: 8/10

Cable and Deadpool #44

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

August 20, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Head Games
Rating: T+

Cable dead? Deadpool beheaded? Wolverine versus the Penetrator!

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Ron Lim
Inks: Jeremy Freeman & John Dell
Colors: Gotham & Sotocolor
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Nicole Boose
Cover Art: Skottie Young
Publisher: Marvel Comics

You know, considering that Cable was apparently killed over in X-Men and Wolverine chopped off Deadpool’s head last issue, you would think it would be difficult to find something to write about this month. And for a lesser writer than Fabian Nicieza it probably would be, but I gotta tell ya, he’s got this all sewn up.

With Deadpol out of commission, Wolverine turns his attention to Penetrator, even as the hordes of Hydra begin to swarm upon them. Not only is this book action-packed, but it’s also one of the flat-out funniest issues of this comic to come down the pike in a long time. Nicieza makes liberal use of the joke potential in a character called “The Penetrator” (at least as much as he can without turning this into a MAX book), and a totally out-of-the blue Hugh Jackman joke left me laughing out loud. Nicieza sets up things nicely to begin the next story, and I put the book down feeling genuinely satisfied with what I’d read.

Having Ron Lim on the art doesn’t hurt of course. He’s one of those artists I always love seeing but who doesn’t get nearly as much work as he deserves. He blends the major fight scenes with some great physical comedy sequences here, and he blends them flawlessly.

Yeah, you’d think that having both of our leads seemingly dead would be a detriment to this issue, but it’s a fantastic read anyway.

Rating: 8/10

Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular #1

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

July 10, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Drunk With Power and other stories
Rating: T+

Deadpool and the Great Lakes Initiative team up for some summer fun!

Writers: Fabian Nicieza & Dan Slott
Art: Kieron Dwyer, Nelson, Paul Pelletier, Dave Melkis & Clio Chiang
Colors: Pete Pantazis, Giulia Brusco & Wil Quintana
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Nicole Boose
Cover Art: Paul Pelletier
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Fabian Nicieza and Dan Slott team up for this super-sized special. Considering the unique sense of dark humor that Deadpool and the Great Lakes Ave… X-Me… oh, right, they’re the Great Lakes Initiative now – anyway, considering the similar sense of humor the two properties share, this special is a natural, and it works really well.

When the god Dionysus falls to Earth, AIM uses him to place all superheroes in a state of permanent intoxication. Only Deadpool and the GLI are unaffected (for valid and hysterical reasons), so it’s up to them to team up and stop AIM. That’s not all, though – there are several other tales in this issue, including Deadpool’s date with Big Bertha, his struggle against Flatman, and Squirrel Girl’s quest to reunite herself with her one true love… Speedball.

This book is universally funny. The two writers blend so well it’s impossible to tell who wrote what. Both Nicieza and Slott are wonderful about using Marvel continuity as their base, and that keeps up here as well. Squirrel Girl’s origin is referenced, as is one of the best Marvel Team-Up stories of Robert Kirkman’s run. Perhaps the best scene, though, is Squirrel Girl’s confrontation with her ex, where she comments (brilliantly) on exactly how absurd the character has become.

While the writing is great throughout, the art quality goes back and forth. Dwyer and Pelletier’s sections are wonderful, but the art in the Deadpool/Flatman story is a little… well… flat. No pun intended.

Put it all together, you’ve got a great special that any fan of either property will enjoy.

Rating: 8/10