Bottom of the Pile - Sept. 10th, 2014

In time for this week's stuff.  I may try to make this a regular thing.

All-New Ultimates
Break-ups like this always bug me. These characters haven't exactly been together that long in the first place.  There's no story based reason this is happening--the author seems to have decided that they should, and so he introduces an argument, builds tension, and forces the two to split up all in a single issue.   Even in the days of compressed comics it usually took longer than this for a superhero relationship to end--you needed the proper development to make the audience feel something.  Here...they haven't even been together that long.   It's weird.

Amazing Spider-Man
At first, I thought Peter's partner had a point.  But then I realized that super-villains cost metropolitan cities billions of dollars every year in property damage.  If you could develop ways to cure them, you could easily get those same cities to shell out millions as a one-time expenditure to save themselves future headaches.   And when you cured them all?  Outside of being considered the greatest fucking humans on the planet, you could something else.    Pete invented a TON of things while he worked at Horizon Labs--shouldn't be that difficult.

Astro City
 I always say Astro City writer Kurt Busiek is from the "shut up and do it" school.  No essays, no tumblrs, no "think pieces".   You want diversity?  Here's a superhero story where the hero is an old lady who just happens to be a genius, basically a Reed Richards in the field of Artificial Intelligence.   Man I fucking love Astro City.


Writer of this Avengers side story, Al Ewing, gives readers a chance to think over the thrust of what makes superheroes work, and how they could evolve into something better than they are.   All while providing one of the best Superman (analogue) stories I've read in years. 

Batman: Futures End
I won't be doing too many of the "Futures End" one-shots.  They're kind of easy to write about since there's so much that bugs me.  Still and all, there are a couple that bare looking at.

Apparently, even though it's only five years into the friggin future, Batman: Futures End has gone all Dark Knight Returns on us.  Bruce is bald, needs cybernetic implants, and can barely make it around without an armor that keeps his body pumped full of drugs.    IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS, NOT TWENTY, GUYS. 

You just did a reset not long ago, so all your characters would be in their mid-20's.  Now, for some reason, at 30 Bruce looks about 50.   Despite his first five years going so smoothly you guys didn't even bother to write about them.   Uhhhhh....sure.

Well, let's see what else is going on in fanfiction land...

Batgirl: Futures End

There are some cool things about this issue.  Having Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain back in the Batgirl outfits, for one.  They're both great characters who should have never been taken out of the DC Universe.   For another, there's this panel.  I am completely down with having a cute black kid be the third (or fourth, I guess) Batgirl.  

But man.  Again this issue treads into what's basically some fanfiction-level stuff.  Apparently Barbara is capable of dismantling over 70 percent of the crime in Gotham, for instance--just by doing her best Harley Quinn impersonation for various villains.   Oh, also she manages to go hand to hand with fucking BANE and knock dude the fuck out.   Are you kidding me?  I barely buy that shit when Bruce does it--but apparently Barbara is just the God Queen of Bat-Characters in Gotham now. 

 Batman Eternal

To place this in proper context, that "sore butts" line comes after the same girl admits that she's a go-fer for criminals in Blackgate, and one of the things she's asked to get often is "very soft toilet paper".   I'm going to leave that where it is, and allow my faithful readers to make of that what they will.

More importantly, I'm growing really tired of all these godlike kids in the DCU.  Apparently Selina can no longer tell when being tailed back to her apartment, even when it's by someone who looks about...nine?  Ten?   WTF.  You should set all these child prodigies to work on finding out why the hell Gotham is so terrible--they'd have the problem solved by the weekend, I bet.

Death of Wolverine
Initially, I'd thought Death of Wolverine would introduce a ton of new characters and end up having Logan die at the hands of someone nobody even knew.  How wrong I was.  Charles Soule is doing an excellent job writing what's basically about as editorially mandated of a comic as you can get--a book where the story's concept and it's end were basically dictated by the higher-ups.  He's walking us through all these parts of Wolverine's life, bringing back characters that have been apart of his own comics for years.

Even Kitty Pryde's appearance makes sense, as we learn the villain for this mini-series is Ogun, a mutant ninja with the power to control minds and "jump" into other people's bodies, a villain that was first introduced in the mini-series "Kitty Pryde and Wolverine".   

...And also because Wolverine has always had a habit of attracting the young "teen sidekick" mutants for wacky adventures, so why not roll with the original?


Medusa on permanent boss bitch status.   Loving it.   She was always the more personable character between her and Black Bolt, and now she gets to show it. 

 Ms. Marvel
Okay, so this is probably the cutest panel out of the last week of comics...but uhhhh.  What part of this idea makes sense?   Kamala needs help figuring out who she is and where she got her powers, and you send her an (admittedly well-meaning and adorable) animal?  Who can't even talk?  

Also, a testament to Kamala's experience on the job changing her already?  This was her first reaction to Lockjaw's appearance.  

New Warriors
 Say what you will about the Scarlet Spider, but the man's definitely a quick problem solver. 

New 52 - Futures End

To be clear, Lois is almost definitely in the wrong here.  Normally I would say that the influence Superman has on the world is probably less than the influence Batman has on Gotham, but not here.  They just had a gigantic war with an alien bent on utter subjugation of the entire human race, where a whole planet was destroyed, and the Earth's population probably bloomed by about a billion or so people.  (Though I'm betting Darkseid wiped out twice that.)  

The superheroes were the only thing that saved them, and Superman is the primary symbol for that.    The people need hope, and Lois robbed them of that for a "truth" that isn't even that helpful.  The guy under the Superman costume is really Captain Marvel?  Who the fuck needed to know that?  I'm going to be bummed if this doesn't eventually all come crashing down on her.

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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