Bottom of the Pile - Mar. 12th, 2014

All-New X-Factor

Because that's just what you do when your teammate's evil or brainwashed or lost their memory in the X-Men: you kiss them.  Apparently their ability to feel romantic inclinations is irrelevant.
All-New X-Men 

This just highlights how silly this story is at it's core.  The Jean Grey that actually did these things is very, very dead.  The Phoenix is currently gone.  Most of her family is dead, whether because of the Shi'ar or not--so what's the point of this trial, at all?  Bendis has just one more issue to tell us, since the crossover is over soon...
Astro City

It's a fair question, I think.  But then, I'm not exactly sure how you make a Xyzometer.   Come to think of it, given Samaritan's timeline doesn't exist anymore, he may not know either.

Black Widow
Really, Natasha?   I find this hard to believe.  Honestly, just how many high-level superhero/super-spies can there be?   That's a fairly specific skillset required, there's no way it pays the same as a managerial position at Starbucks.  Maybe it offers a good pension plan?


 I remember when "Jingle Bells" sufficed as a holiday ditty.  This seems a tad more complicated.  Also, not really all-inclusive when you left out both Christianity and the Islamic faiths, but hey--still a fun "holiday" issue. 

Justice League of America

"Not here again!"  It's funny because I feel the same way about this arc; an inescapable prison that will take the end of what feels like the world's longest crossover to finally break free. 

Mighty Avengers

"No, wait, you wouldn't."   With all the retcons, reboots, mindwipes and "resets", it occurs to me now that a superhero probably has the least reliable memory of any human being possible.  Just about every superhero has saved the world at least once and doesn't even remember it, to say nothing of the times the world was saved and they didn't even know WTF was happening.

Revolutionary War: Motormouth

See what I mean?   And this is referencing something that happened twenty years agoNobody remembers all the times the world's needed saving.  

Secret Avengers

Y'know, I'm not sure when M.O.D.O.K. graduated from being the butt of a ton of jokes in the Marvel U/super annoying MvC3 character to working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but you'd think that with all the literary references sprinkled into his debut in this issue, he'd at leave have better grammar than this.  Really, was the first thing you use to "kill people good" tested on all the English teachers you knew?

Superior Spider-Man

I think we can safely say "Mayor J. Jonah Jameson" is no longer a thing.  But it DOES raise another question: How is JJ not in jail by now?  Isn't he also responsible for the Scorpion? 
Superman-Wonder Woman

Funny story: when I first heard about this page in Superman/Wonder Woman 6, I told myself it was fine.  See, a lot of Wonder Woman fans have a problem with the fact that the only way Wonder Woman was able to get a second book on her own was attached to Superman; being Superman's girlfriend.   

I completely understand that, but to writer Charles Soule's credit, he's pretty much been writing the best interpretation of The New 52 Wonder Woman since the moment he started.  She's a little, bloodthirsty (closest thing I can think of) than I think she should be, but she's also compassionate and brilliant and a tactical warrior.   Still and all, when I heard about this scene and was given no context, I told myself it was cool.  Just a little bit of pandering to the fanbase who thinks Wonder Woman is being relegated to just being Clark's girlfriend.

...But reading it now?  Fuck that.  These could very well be your last moments on the Earth.  But it's okay, you're with someone who you love and care about very much, even if you haven't told them as much yet.  But that's okay too, because you're going to use your dying words to express that feeling to them and say those three words that are so short but mean so much.  And how do they respond?  With the most self-aggrandizing response I can possibly think of: "Of course you do." 

No, that's just a shitty thing to do to another person, regardless of your gender.   Fuck outta here with that.   Still and all, Soule has mostly gotten this relationship bang-on from issue one, so I'll just count this as a minor misstep and we'll keep it moving.

Transformers: More than Meets The Eye 

I could have chosen any number of moments from this issue, as it's really a return to form for the comic after several issues of being unable to decide exactly what it's plot really was.  But I chose this one because of the sheer (and this is ironic) humanity of the moment.  This is how you take a group of characters that were meant to be nothing more than a toy commercial and make them relateable.  I think I can actually believe Megatron as an Autobot, after this issue.

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.


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