Bottom of the Pile - April 16th, 2014

Okay, I normally don't do this but just so you know, there are some pretty big spoilers in here, particularly regarding Batman: Eternal.  Just to give the heads up going in.

Amazing X-Men

Couple things: Does Nightcrawler just have two comic books now?  Because I'm okay with that.  Kurt's a decent fellow.

Second, I'll always think the direction they went with Cyclops and Wolverine was a mistake.   Wolverine's a killer and they've been slowly having people ignore that so he can be a school teacher, and Cyclops was thrown into the worst possible situation and worked his ass off to make the best of the situation, but now he's just "a murderer" with all the good he's done erased.   Yes, fans hate Cyclops and love Wolverine.  Fans are fucking terrible though, so that shouldn't have informed this decision.

Lastly (and I know I said a "couple" things, but...shut up), why have Nightcrawler leap through so many hoops he literally gave up his soul to get Azrael behind bars (questionable decision to begin with) just to have him escape and wander free the following issue?

Batman Eternal
We need to talk about this.  First off, Carmine is a scrub.  In no main DC timeline does he have any business not being a fucking scrub.   That's the whole point of Batman's story.  Mob bosses rule Gotham until Bruce gets back from training.  Bruce becomes Batman, and he eats mob bosses for breakfast because they don't get how to stop a guy who dresses as a giant bat and makes most MMA fighters look like weaklings.

So to make Carmine the main villain of this is questionable.  And can we talk about Carmine's speech here?  His whole deal is about taking the city back from the "freaks"--IE, Batman, his friends, and the supervillains.  But the whole issue he SOUNDS like one of the freaks.  Mob bosses don't make grand, sweeping speeches about "the soul of Gotham".   Not like this, at least.  They always live by some surprisingly similar, but fitting philosophy.   Still, the issue up to this point is fairly solid, so no other complaints.

What you think this is: Some neat little exposition.

What this actually is: Half a page dedicated to exactly how the Hulk could be hurt so Mark Waid wouldn't have to deal with any fanboys whining about how this doesn't "match with continuity".

Technically, I suppose it's both, but I'm annoyed it's the latter at all.   Anyway, Mark Waid tells one hell of a story with this issue, continuing things from the Indestructible Hulk (funnily enough, having a relaunch actually makes sense since obviously he's not really "indestructible" any longer), giving us a fair semi-ending to what happened there while also giving us a very compelling reason to pick up the next issue.

Justice League

There's a lot of talk about how Geoff Johns has brought back the Silver Age only to ruin it, but damn if this isn't the purest distillation of the Silver Age there can be: heroes who save the world because that's just what they do.   The whole issue goes like this, by the way.  Fun stuff.

Ms. Marvel
This is what you get buying a phone from the same company who hasn't been able to help Wile E. catch the Roadrunner in over fifty years: perfect poor (comedically) timing.

Sinestro #1 features a ton of gorgeous artwork by Dale Eaglesham, and a pretty good story by Cullen Bunn.  Still, I have a couple questions.   First: Didn't the Sinestro Corps already TRY warring with the GLs?  I'm fairly certain this happened.  Big fight, Superboy Prime was involved, etc.   Second: Why does Lyssa Drak know the word "party favors"?  Seems like it wouldn't be apart of the vernacular of a crazy, evil alien.

Superior Spider-Man

Superior Spider-Man #31 is an excellent issue with only a few shortcomings (mostly that they wasted the last few pages having Pete settle things with MJ and Carlie rather than with Anna-Maria which is a much bigger problem), and a great way to cap off an incredibly controversial set of stories--probably third behind "Clone Saga" and then "OMD"--that I already know in the future I'll have to explain as "actually pretty good" every time some "Indies are better" tool tries to bring up "Dr. Octopus was once Spider-Man" as an example of superhero comics being creatively bankrupt.   And despite a ton of great moments, I just wanted to highlight this bit because it firmly cements Peter as being back.

Thor: God of Thunder
....Thor: God of Thunder switches between being awesome and so ridiculous my brain hurts (in a bad way) quite frequently.   Please, do tell me what's stopping Thor from incinerating everything in the sky with like a billion lightning bolts.  The SHIELD chick?   Pft.  Nobody cares about Maria Hill Jr., just teleport her somewhere else while you rip "Roxxon" to shreds.

Ultimate FF

Tony Stark and a genius version of Susan Storm and the Falcon on a team together is probably the best thing the Ultimate universe ever came up with.  Also, best comeback ever.  "Technically we're all the genius."

Uncanny X-Men

I want to pause here for a moment, and point out just how worthless SHIELD has been since they started being a secret agency that isn't all that secret.  The Stepford Cuckoos are fairly powerful together, but even still?  I've seen Emma Frost (a much more powerful psychic) forced out by members of comparatively bargain basement organizations, and yet they slipped in with ZERO problems.  Worse still, the concept of "something so hidden it's hidden from the boss" basically makes the organization so compartmentalized that no one can accept responsibility for anything because they don't KNOW what other people in the group are really up to.

Wolverine and the X-Men

I changed my mind.  I like Wolverine with a sense of humor, but he should trade those jokes back for his healing factor.  It'd make him more useful.

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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