Bottom of the Pile: March 5th, 2014
Game shows must be a cinch in Latveria.
Captain Cold explaining the key differences between Johnny Quick of Earth-3 and the Flash of New Earth. Personally I think the whole having two legs thing is more important, but that may just be me.
Arno Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man 2020, was a character originally created in the early 80's by writer Tom DeFalco. He was everything people thought Tony Stark was: a jerk mercenary using the advanced technology for his own personal gain. Here Kieron Gillen is finally allowing the new Arno to wear a version of the Iron Man 2020 armor, but what's most interesting is that: When Arno Stark was originally created, the year 2020 was some super far-off future most people could barely imagine. Now it's all of six years away.
I won't be around to see it, but if superhero comics still exist then, you all know one day the Justice League of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes will have regular team-ups because they're from the same time period, right?
Loki: Agent of Mischief
First off, I love to be proven right so I have to point out that looking at the letters page this book seems to largely appeal to exactly who I assumed it would.
Secondly, I want to say that Verity is a bit of simplistic genius: what's a better love interest for someone who's entire existence is lies than someone who can always see the truth. But then...
Thirdly, I realized she's kind of an Avatar insert for the aforementioned fans of the book. Still, I want to like her--her story's just sad enough to endear me to her, and in general she hasn't really done anything to piss me off.
Magneto #1 reminds me that comic books have been about cycles for decades. In Magneto's case, while he's known as a villain he often spends frequent bursts of time hanging out with the X-Men as a "hero". The difference between all the other times and his most recent burst, though, was his utter lack of remorse for his former actions. It was only a matter of time, then, before he looped back around.
Make no mistake, no matter how layered they try to present the guy, this is almost entirely different from what Scott was doing with X-Force--he's killing people here while they aren't actually doing anything wrong at the time, in cold blood. And, apparently, with no small sense of humor about it. Still, one can only wonder how long it will be before things loop back around...
I had another panel I wanted to use, but this one kind of struck me in the face and said it was more important, so allow me to give an amateur perspective on comic book art. First off, I absolutely love this panel. Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire did a fantastic job on the pencils and colors in this issue. But I love this panel probably more than anything else. Moon Knight is what many people would call a "street level" superhero. But what does that mean? Well, often the term is used to define heroes who aren't gifted with abilities "far beyond that of mortal men", and instead are either extremely talented or just a little better than the real world would allow us to be. They usually spend more of their time fighting drug dealers, purse snatchers, and murderers--basically, real life crime over gigantic world threats.
But they're still superheroes, right? They're still insane people who put on blatantly conspicuous costumes and masks and use their free time to go out and beat the hell out of "bad guys". And that's why I love this panel. Because the scene up to this point is this very normal, by the books kind of detective crime scene that you can see on television at hours 8 through forever on channels 5-all of them. And then here comes Moon Knight. Wearing his ridiculous costume, looking almost "pasted" into that artwork, like he's not real. Because he's not; he doesn't fit in this very regular world that's been constructed--he's out of place, like he just decided to step into our world and do his "job" like it's the most normal thing in the world. That is why I love this panel. Excellent work guys.
How to make your new superhero endearing in one easy step: put them in over their heads and make them say stupidly over-confident things while protecting innocents. Yep, New Warriors #2 got it in one. I pretty much want to see Sun Girl win at everything, now.
Conversations between mooks absolutely never get old. They get trounced so often by the heroes that you almost wish they could win every now and again. Except, y'know...if they did it'd probably mean the death of a superhero or an innocent person or something, and that's no good.
Wolverine and the X-Men
To be fair, these mini-Nightcrawlers are adorable. But how long have they been hanging around the school that they've become basically a normal thing?
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.