Bottom of the Pile - August 6th, 2014
How'd this go at the writer's table? "Wait? Harper's not in this issue? Crap! Who can we unnecessarily elevate into a Mary Sue?!"
Babs doesn't need to be involved in the giant prick-waving contest that is being a sidekick to Batman--what makes her cool is that she's driven by duty, not a need for vengeance like the rest, and that she's a fucking genius. But for the record: Nothing Babs' does makes her "better" than any Robin except maybe the guy giving this narration. Dick was a natural acrobat from birth and has the benefit of being with Bruce almost from the beginning, so his experience is second literally only to Bruce. Tim isn't as smart as Babs but he's a better detective and probably received the most intense training of any of the Robins, being the one who got trained to take over the title after Bruce had only just lost Jason. Speaking of, Jason's probably the only person this is actually true for: he got the least training and spent the least amount of time as Robin--Batgirl has every reason to be better than he is.
Fortunately, I'm sure next week Harper will be back and we won't have to worry about them doing this to one of my favorite characters again.
Legendary Star Lord
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man
Probably safe to say the whole Namor/Black Panther "kingbros" deal is over. Damn shame too, as they made quite the entertaining duo together. If things hold, I'd say that T'Challa will probably die killing Namor before this is all said and done.
And here's Vance Astro, a.k.a. Justice, to sum up the exact problem with Marvel's attempt to replace the X-Men with the Inhumans.
Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man
The ending of Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man adds a neat little wrinkle to Hulk's origin that makes it all the more tragic. But what's really interesting about it is how is helps Hulk to circle back to a previous era. To explain the importance of this, I'm going to need to give you guys a bit of history.
A long time ago there was a DC editor who claimed that you could repeat either the same or nearly the same story in a comic book every four to six years and no one would notice because the average comic book fan started reading at 8, and quit around his early teens (when they discovered the opposite sex)--so essentially you'd cycle through your readership and no one would be the wiser. Now for better or worse, many comic books actually are doing that exact thing, and this is an example of that.
A few decades back, writer Peter David (PAD) started a run on The Incredible Hulk that resulted in something called Merged Hulk--a version of Hulk that contained the strength of Savage Hulk, the intelligence of Bruce Banner, and the cunning of another version of Hulk called Mr. Fixit. It's a lot more complicated than it sounds, but the end result was simple: Smart Hulk. And now, nearly twenty years later, we're getting a new version of everyone's favorite Green Giant. Oh sure, this time it's not Bruce Banner's intelligence, but again the end result is the same: Smart Hulk. Funny how things work.
Original Sin: Thor and Loki
Guardians of the Galaxy
Presented for your perusal, lest the sappy scenes in the GotG film convince you that Rocket Raccoon is, in any way at all, "cuddly".
What I want to cover here is probably the most important thing I've ever covered on Bottom of the Pile: There's a Spider-Monkey, guys! One of the most nonsensical things I've ever seen in a comic that didn't have the words "Grant" and "Morrison" plastered on the cover somewhere. Is he a real character? Does he possess human-level intelligence or does he just save the day with his Spider-Monkey senses?? Who are his villains? Does J. Jonah Jameson in his world just dislike animals? This page inspires too many questions.
New 52: Futures End
I know this is weird, but...I don't think I've ever been happier to see a little girl set on fire.
This week's Bottom of the Pile will probably be up by Friday.
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.