Archive for Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders

20 Years of Flight and Dreams


Astro City #26

I was a little surprised to see it’s been 20 years since the first ever issue of Astro City, but I do love that they reprised the very first story from the series, with Samaritan never having a chance to fly for fun except when he’s asleep and dreaming. But Samaritan’s dreams are no longer a refuge — he’s often jarred awake when he dreams of explosions targeting himself and Winged Victory. As a result, his waking hours are now stressful as he snaps at coworkers at his job and behaves recklessly with supervillains as a hero. What’s causing his bad dreams, and what is the solution?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderful story, connected to the past but also addressing concerns in recent issues of the comic — and pointing the way forward to the future. I’m very thankful Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross have been bringing this to us for so long, and hope the series continues for at least another 20 years.


Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #2

Yinsen City has been invaded by the psycho Law Enforcers of Mondo City after Captain Britain — Dr. Faiza Hussain her own dang self — appears and starts telling everyone Doom is not a real god. Now the Defenders are imprisoned, and Hussain is being tortured by Boss Cage. But her powers make her really difficult to keep imprisoned and more than a match for Cage. The rest of the Defenders make their own breakout. The White Tiger’s tiger god takes Boss Frost apart, while She-Hulk puts the hurt on the gigantic War Machine. But when it comes to the ruler of Mondo City, can Captain Britain’s Excalibur hold out against the hammer wielded by Big Boss Hill?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a really fun story, and excellent use of all the characters here. Excellent writing by Al Ewing and excellent art by Alan Davis. If this was just a two-issue series, it was a great done-in-two tale. If they’re going to continue it for a few more issues, well, I’m fine with that, too.

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Behold Excalibur!


Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1

Another corner of Battleworld gets introduced — this one an entirely peaceful realm governed by Ho Yinsen, the man who, in Iron Man’s origin story, died helping Tony Stark survive his first foray in his new powered armor. In this world, Tony sacrificed himself to let Yinsen survive, and he know rules this area of Battleworld as the armored hero Rescue. Jennifer Walters is on hand as both She-Hulk and one of the super-cop Thors. The other heroes of this world, called the Defenders, include Yinsen’s daughter Antonia as Kid Rescue, Hobie Brown, the former Prowler, as Spider Hero, and Aya Ayala, the White Tiger.

When the Defenders discover someone walking just outside the realm’s border — no one’s supposed to be out there, because Doom has decreed that no one can pass between realms without facing dire penalties. And then things get worse when the person effortlessly busts through the border walls with her sword and introduces herself as Dr. Faiza Hussain, Captain Britain! Since it’s illegal for anyone to cross the borders, She-Hulk should be arresting her — even more so when she denies the divinity of Doom. But all the Defenders have been having their doubts about Doom’s plans, so they eagerly join her in revolt. But that doesn’t often work well when your opponent is a god…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art by Alan Davis — and I’m really excited by this all-too-rare appearance by Faiza Hussain, one of my favorite characters from the “Captain Britain and MI13” series from a few years back. This is looking like it could be one of the more interesting miniseries in the “Secret Wars” crossover.


Lumberjanes #16

While the rest of the Lumberjanes finally reunite with Jen, most of this story’s emphasis is on Rosie and the Bear Woman’s attempt to stop Abigail from trying to destroy the monstrous Grootslang. Things do not go as planned.

Verdict: Ehhh, not a thumbs up this time. Rosie and the Bear Woman work best as supporting characters, not stars. I really think the focus should be on our heroes, the Lumberjane scouts. The comic is a lot less fun when they’re stuffed into the background.

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