Bottom of the Pile: Jan. 8th, 2014
All-New X-Factor 01
So, here's your high concept for the "All-New X-Factor". Although "first corporate superhero team" is a bit of a misnomer. There's the Power Company over at DC, and Wildcats 3.0 for WildStorm (though that's technically DC as well now), both of which predate this idea by about ten years, plus many more. I wonder if any of them would sue over this claim...
Avengers A.I. 8
It seems Artificial Intelligence doesn't care much for the idea of Anon. Or fake user names, for that matter. In the robot future, only normal names will be accepted. (But then, what if your name really was Cool Sex Falcon?)
Avengers World 1
Sunspot and Cannonball are the Booster Gold and Blue Beetle of the Marvel Universe, apparently. Not the worst idea ever, either: superhero comics these days are full of so much seriousness it's nice to have a break from time to time. Anyway, Avengers World 1 is probably the comic most of you were wanting Jonathan Hickman's Avengers #2 to be: stuffed to the brim with kick-ass moments featuring the greatest super-team in the Marvel Universe.
Black Widow 1
I swear you can almost hear an echo of Scarlett Johanson's "red in my ledger" speech from Avengers with this book. It's amazing how quickly characterizations change once a character is featured in a popular film.
Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man 3
When I got into the Ultimate Universe almost ten years ago, the defining difference was that this was the Marvel Universe proper, only with "realism" applied to both personalities and their powers. Apparently some time between then and now, that went out the window, as here Cloak shows us he's capable of long-distance teleportation with potentially no upper limit on distance or even number of people he can transport. Wow.
Earth 2 19
So if you were wondering, this is basically a little mini-back story on Earth 2's "Aquawoman". So...yeah. I know last week I said that Arthur Curry was cool and all, but I'd be completely okay if they traded him for her. Just get her a costume with actual clothes and change the name of the book to "Marella, Badass Queen of the Seas". I bet there'd be a spike in sales. My feelings on Earth 2 have been mixed since the "second" war with Apokolips started, and this issue didn't exactly change my feelings, but Marella alone will keep me reading for a while, I think.
Iron Man 20
First: I'm absolutely positive that she's not speaking real English. Second, what is it with Marvel and redheads with flame powers. Even Iron Man 3 couldn't get away from that.
Young Avengers 15
*deep breath* As someone who's pretty much in love with nearly anything Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie work on, Young Avengers was one of my favorite books of 2013; a bright spot in a year where I all but lost my favorite comic book publisher (more on that later), a book I could continually return to and be guaranteed of its quality. Still, there's this image. It's so fucking contemporary pop, it hurts.
I could be an crotchety old comic book fan and bitch about so many things in this final issue of a series that I loved so much this year. The fact that Loki apparently exists now to be a tumblr pin-up boy, or the fact that in general this book is almost entirely designed for tumblr folk (with whom I usually have very little to do with). The usage of Instagram in the page above. How apparently it was impossible for anyone to just be heterosexual in this book. How nearly everyone changed in ways that I find questionable in terms of being faithful to their prior representations. (Chiefly: LOKI.)
Or I could take a different tack, one that's admittedly a bit more difficult for your average fanboy to manage. I could accept that these characters are fictional. That they are not real, and that they exist as ways for us to tell a wide variety of stories that can and must change just as we change and grow as a society. I can accept that it isn't the 1960's anymore, or the 70's, or even the 90's, and people want to see stories about new things and ideas. Chief of which are acceptance, and equal representation.
And if that's too difficult for some of you, at the very least you can take solace in knowing that neither of these creators will be working on these characters again any time soon. Of course in my case that's more of a reason to be sad than anything else.
*exhale* Okay, that's another week down. 50 more to go.
Author's Note: Bottom of the Pile is a weekly column (or at least, my attempt at said) in which I cover the comics that found their way to the bottom of my pile, thus being the best as I've always been a proponent of "saving the best for last". Since bog standard reviews can be found literally anywhere, coverage can range from mini-reviews to funny comments to commentary on a creator's run or comics as a whole, depending on a wide range of factors including the comic itself, the amount of time I have, and my general mood.