Bottom of the Pile 1

It occurs to me that while I spend a lot of time talking about comics, I never really..."talk" about comics.  Or at least, the few times I've tried I end up rambling.   So after a brief comment on a blog post that looked more like it belonged in an actual blog, I decided to try this: a new column on Jumping in Headfirst (which means it has a high chance of being forgotten about) revolving around strictly comic books.

You're probably wondering why I'm calling it Bottom of the Pile.  And there's an explanation for that: See, I read waaaaaay too many comics on a weekly basis to discuss them all in a single entry.  By the time I was done talking about them all it'd be next week already and I wouldn't want to do it ever again.  Instead, I'm just going to discuss the A-List comics that come out every week.  The ones that I always read last because I like to go out on a high note, so they find themselves at the bottom of the pile.  Yes, I know its a corny joke--but you're getting what you paid for (which is nothing), so shush.  Anyway, here we go with week 1.  Let's see how long I can keep this thing going!

Justice League #20

Justice League has gotten consistently better with each issue since Throne of Atlantis.  While ToA was okay, not great--this two-parter with Despero has me more interested in the team than I've ever been before.  We're introduced to the new members of the team, we get a glimpse into the dynamic between the Trinity, and we see more of the ongoing plans of ARGUS and Waller/Trevor's attempt to shut down the League if they get out of control.  Now Johns just needs to stop decompressing so much and give me more per issue.  I'll be kind of glad if, in cutting the Shazam bits from the book, the book stays the same length and gives us more pages on the Justice League--we're way too many arcs in to have only a single running plot line.

Avengers #12

I may be the only one left, but I'm still addicted to the slow burn of this book and the questions its starting to raise about a true superior species of human (as opposed to mutants, who are too busy being an allegory to actually be the next stage of evolution), and the surprise villain at the end was a nice twist.  Infinity is still about three months and six issues out, so I'm just going to enjoy the build-up into that until we hit "Marvel Event Mode" again.

Young Avengers #5

OMG I love everything about this book.  From the obscure music references to the adorable awkwardness of the team, its a joy to read from month to month.  Yes I know a lot of it is Tumblr "feels" bait and I'm definitely NOT the target audience with that considered, but when you think about it--isn't it amazing that it can still capture someone who's almost the exact opposite of what he's aiming for?  This week seemed to end the current arc but with such a big loose end left dangling I guess "Mother" will be around for some time to come. (Pity.  I'm not too fond of her as a villain.)  Still, I like what it set up in as much as putting the team together, and I look forward to seeing what Gillen and McKelvie have planned for the next arc. Especially if they keep having some of the coolest panel layouts this side of DC's Batwoman and Flash.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #17

If someone told me five years ago Transformers would be one of the best science-fiction comics I read every month...I probably would've gotten mad I had to wait five years.  I also love that the two writers seem so willing to pick up on one another's plot points, since Shockwave's "origin" was something that came out of More Than Meets the Eye and migrated to this title, and it went in some unexpected directions. While More Than Meets the Eye gets more credit, RiD is no slouch in the story area, and this new plot development has me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what "Dark Cybertron" is going to be about.  While Livio Ramondelli is a huge contrast from normal artist Andrew Griffith, I felt like his more surreal, almost "cold" art fit a story focusing on the most logical Transformer.  I hope the editors keep him free every time a story for him comes up.

Green Team: Teen Trillionaires #1

 I just like that this book is so far removed from what we're used to in The New 52 DC Universe.  It's one of those weird books that you used to see all the time in 90's DC that just kinda gradually disappeared in the Didio-era.  My only complaints are: A.) its not long enough, the story needed more room to breathe, and B.) Amanda Connor should be doing more than just the covers.   Also I hope this lives longer than the "Third Wave" of comics. There's something to be said about all these superheroes with ridiculous amounts of money suddenly gaining popularity at a time when most of America couldn't be MORE desperate for money and proper wages, but this isn't the article for that.  All I know is that, between this and Gail Simone's The Movement, this series definitely resonates with me more.  Here's hoping Baltazar and Franco don't waste the momentum this pretty neat first issue gave them in the future.

Daredevil #26

I'm almost certain they've done the "Man Without Fear...feels fear" angle before, but I'm pretty positive that few, if any, have done it with as much finesse as Mark Waid and Chris Samnee do it here.  Having to face someone with his unique abilities but still possessing the edge of sight, Ikari is an even better villain than Daredevil's former archnemesis Bullseye.  You start to empathize with Matt and feel the same paranoia he does as everywhere he goes Ikari literally is there.  It's neat seeing Matt pushed to his limits without being all grim, and forced to think in different ways than your typical "beat the villain over the head", even if  the cliffhanger ending (which more than did its job) has things headed that way nonetheless.

Flash #20

Although this issue was mostly set-up, and the ending makes you feel as if even THAT was wasted, Flash is still one of the most consistently decent comics published every month.  Unlike nearly every other book on the stands, the combo writer/artist team Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul have bothered to lay the groundwork for this book and made me feel like they EARNED the right to reboot their character.  And while its obvious the re-introduction of Reverse Flash isn't going to lead to anything as earth-shattering as Flashpoint, its still awesome that they're finally incorporating him into the title.   It's also nice to have Flash actually FEEL as kinetic as it should be, a benefit from having two stellar artists on the title. Now if they'd just stop teasing us about "Daniel West"...

And now we have our runner-ups:

Batman Incorporated #11 (It was random to have a tale about Batman of Japan and Shy Lolita Canary, but it wasn't unwelcome)
Superior Spider-Man #10 (At this point I'm mostly just reading to see Spock's world come crashing down on him, but its still a decent book.)
Aquaman #20 (I'm not sure why we got this momentary pause in the story of Death of a King, but seeing the Others again was pretty cool.
The Green Hornet #2 (I still like Mark Waid's angle with the Green Hornet as a bad guy, I just need more plot development before I can promote it to A-List.) 

All-in-all, a great week for comics.  I'm betting next week this will be much easier to write though--fifth weeks are always sparse on comics.  See you next time.


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