Bottom of the Pile - Oct. 8th, 2014

Avengers and X-Men: Axis
I've never been a Rick Remender fan--his work just skews a little too dark to me for a superhero universe to me.  Avengers and X-Men: Axis does not do him any favors towards fixing that.  To begin with, the very idea of the Red Skull somehow having Professor X's brain is idiotic.   Brains don't work that way.  I'm sure they handwaved it somehow, but it sounds fucking stupid when I'm explaining it to people who don't read comics and I know superhero stuff can be better than this.

But even without that, this whole thing is just a mess.  From the "AXISAXISAXISAXIS" lining the top and bottom of several pages, to the way this story just sort of haphazardly tosses everyone together and just expects something interesting to come from it all.   I keep up with 80% of the Marvel Universe and I was still lost at the plot points in this.  That shouldn't have happened.  I'm looking for issue 2 to be much, much better than this. 

On the flipside: this is how you set up and do an event.   I remember when the opinions began to sour on this title not long after the first issue.   "It's too slow," everyone said.  "They aren't tackling big enough threats."   Since then the Avengers have faced down Thanos, a more threatening AIM than we've ever seen before, traveled to the end of time (technically only Cap made it), and are now up against the biggest threat the human race could ever see: the unnatural, accelerated end of creation itself.

We know now it's all leading towards Secret Wars, and I'm betting this is the start of pointing towards that.  This issue saw the creation of a device that could teleport a team into the center of the multiverse, presumably where the threat is.  Now whether they'll be forced to fight more heroes of other worlds there, or battle against the threat itself is unclear, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't love where this was headed.  We've got another six months before we finally get to the Secret War, so there's


Get the FUCK outta here.  I have two problems with Batman: Endgame so far.  One, even though it's been almost a year, the story before Zero Year was a Joker story.  They say a hero is defined by his villains, but they mean all of them--not just one guy.

Second?  The Joker just is not the guy who can just go brainwash the entire freaking Justice League like this.  They would literally all tear the guy to shreds.  Batman's problems only matter in Gotham.  Everywhere else, the Joker is literally a freaking clown. 

Batman Eternal

This will forever be, "that issue of Batman where Catwoman talked about sexism and pole dancing on the same page."   Also potentially the issue where a bat-erection occurred because Bruce saw Selina doing her best Jenyne Butterfly impression. 

Earth 2: World's End
Earth 2: World's End is mostly a mess--it's a giant issue that spends roughly half it's page count re-capping the events of the main comic, which really should have been done on the first page.  That said, this panel was pretty heart-warming.   I like to find the silver linings. 

Earth 2
On the flip side?  The Earth 2 main title is pretty aces.  I was iffy on Val-Zod until I saw him do his sheepish thing around Kara, who appears to have the secret to Kryptonian super-strength: lots and lots of Kale.

Justice League United
I'm keeping track of the changes that have actually occurred because of the new 52.  One of which being that Alanna is now not only not from Rann, but is apparently just as much of a butt-kicker as her husband Adam.   I'm counting this one in the win column.

Also, I just love how having a costume and doing something even slightly admirable seems to qualify you for the League in J'onn's eyes.

"But I just got a kitten out of a tree.  Does that mean I'm a member of the Justice League?"

"Someone has to do it.  Don't you want to be?  Now go get me some Oreos."


This would be so much more touching...if I'd actually seen Wolverine die.  Here's the thing about superheroes: they're our generations' versions of fables and the pantheons of old.  They come back to life because they're stories, and you can't kill a story.  So when you kill a hero, it's sad because for a while they're story is gone, not because their character is somehow "real" and "will never be back".   These heroes are so powerful and so great that they routinely conquer death, but that doesn't mean you can't be sad when they die in the same way you can be sad when you know you won't see a close friend for a year or more.

But at the very least, can we arrange things so that the post-mortem, "reflecting on a character's life" issues don't come out before the issues in which a character actually dies?  Can we at least do that?

New 52 - Futures End
Going from Red Robin to creepily watching from the shadows while the lamer half of Firestorm steals your girlfriend?   This truly is the darkest timeline...

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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