Bottom of the Pile - April 1st, 2014

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.





Aquaman and the Others
Are we downplaying the effects of "Throne of Atlantis" already?  I get that reservations don't exactly have much to do with the rest of America, but it would be impossible to have electricity and television and not have heard about something on that scale.  It was Pearl Harbor times one hundred.  A country who we previously didn't even think existed declared war upon us and flooded the entire East Coast.  The Justice League was summoned.  If memory serves, a back-up Justice League was summoned.  A lot of lives were lost. This wasn't something that could be contained or written off.  Not knowing about this isn't something you can declare an oversight.  It's outright impossible.


Black Widow
A brief pause, for a moment.   Both in and out of superhero comics, it would be more than fair to say that we have a long way to go towards gender equality.  This book is an example of that: despite the large number of people necessary to bring a comic book from idea to issue, there's only one woman working on this project, even though (as of the Avengers movie) Black Widow is one of the most high profile superhero characters there is.  But I did want to point this out:

Nick Fury hasn't been the defacto leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. in any permanent capacity since Civil War.  Aside from the brief period of time H.A.M.M.E.R. was a thing, it's pretty much just been Maria Hill.  So here we are in 2014, reading a book that contains the leader of the most powerful espionage organization in the world having a conversation with their best, brightest secret agent.  And they're both female.  It may not pass the Bechdel test (they are talking about a man, after all), but this is most definitely not a bad thing.  We've got a long way to go, but this is still pretty impressive.   ...Of course next month something horribly embarrassing is going to happen that sets us back ten years and make this whole paragraph pointless, but...*sighs*  What are you going to do?

Detective Comics
There are a few things I want to point out for this two page spread.  1.) As expected, Francis and Manapul have brought the same unique visual flair they had for Flash to Detective Comics, but are properly muting the colors and conveying the grime that you would expect from being in Gotham City.  2.) At the same time, Gotham does look like a place someone would actually live, rather than the terrifyingly "normal" dystopia folks normally draw Gotham City as.  3.) Those panel layouts are freaking genius.   4.) Riding at any kind of decent speed, that knife trick would not have worked because you'd be going too fast to both cut the string and keep going.  5.)  Still for some reason, knives are the one weakness in the Batman suit.  (Like in The Dark Knight Rises.) The same suit Bruce is frequently shot in.  The worst part is, if you look in the panel at the top, this suit is clearly well armored.  At best he should've suffered a minor scratch.

Earth 2
What I hope, eventually, is that when this version of Earth 2 gets wiped (because that is the way of things), Earth 2 doesn't become known as "the world Darkseid steamrolled".   They were once the world that featured the best, the brightest, and "the original" heroes of the DC Universe.  Now their Superman makes the one from Injustice look like a pansy. 

On the subject of this issue as a whole, I was hoping Lois was right and this wasn't the "real Clark".  He'd have to die if so, after all.  He's done way too much evil crap to be redeemed, even if he breaks away from Darkseid's control.  So I hope this isn't actually true.

Inhuman


The current story of the Inhumans, summed up neatly on a single page.  Honestly, this would have been immensely helpful if it had come out months and months ago when the fallout from Attilan's destruction was still a thing.   At this point fans have event fatigue with this thing and there hasn't actually been an event.  Still, this issue isn't half-bad as an opener, and Charles Soule is quickly becoming a fan-favorite writer so Inhuman may still have a shot.


Loki: Agent of Asgard
An overall serious story made briefly comical by Batman-esque SFX and anachronistic solutions to problems.  Normally I dislike when technology can be presented as a solution to magic, but making something funny excuses a multitude of pet peeves.

Magneto
Can we finally put a stop to these "_______ WAS RIGHT" T-Shirts in the Marvel Universe?  Cap was Right, Iron Man was Right, Cyclops was Right.   It's been eight years since Civl War ended and we're still doing this. They've become the equivalent to "Keep Calm" in the real world, except at least in the MU you can control what characters wear. 
Moon Knight
 

"I'm not real", he says as he charges forward, utilizing the power of the comic book's gutter to deliver justice to this cold-blooded murderer.   Moon Knight continues to offer shockingly normal stories that just happen to involve a guy who dresses up like the moon.   They're simple, but damn they work.

New Warriors

 I miss Richard Ryder, but I'd be lying if I said Sam wasn't growing on me.  Still, that's not the question you should be asking, Sam (thought it was hilarious, and bears further discussion).  What you should have asked was: "If you can make a machine to evolve humanity, why couldn't you make one to cancel out what you did in the first place?"

It's all just BS comic book physics, but it's still a question worth asking, I think.


She-Hulk
 So does Reed Richards is Useless apply to everyone in the Marvel Universe, now?  I'm only asking because this is the third issue of She-Hulk, and what I have to assume is the third outfit she's wrecked.  And I somehow doubt Ms. Walters shops at JC Penney's.   Does he only allow members of his team to use Unstable Molecules?  Because I'm positive at this point half of her budget is going to keeping her from looking like her cousin.  (And it's at that exact moment that you realize she's wearing tattered purple pants.)



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