Bottom of the Pile: Dec. 17th, 2014
I've always wondered--how did they get that dinosaur into the cave? Does Batman have a working miniaturization ray? Did he ask Superman or Wonder Woman to carry it in? There's probably a comic where this happened, but I kind of like the idea that at some point a phone call went like this: "Yes, it's Bruce. Clark, remember that time I made you an all-lead suit to deal with Metallo? I need a favor..."
Catwoman picked up a new writer back in October, as you might recall from my writing about it earlier in the year, but it wasn't until a couple weeks ago that I had the chance to catch up on it. I had a feeling, and it's always nice to be validated: this comic is superb. Since the late 80's or so, Selina's always been the most questionable of Batman's Rogues Gallery since she wasn't actually evil--she just lived by her own rules and those frequently disagreed with the ones of the land. But this new angle, places her in charge of all the mob families of Gotham, and sees even her "flexible" moral code tested against those whose only concerns are making themselves richer, regardless of who they hurt to do it.
Each issue has quotes of other women rulers throughout history peppered throughout, setting the tone for the issue and the run itself. I've never had anything against Catwoman, but I've never been compelled to read it, either...until now.
Earth 2: World's End
....I take it we're actually running with this, then. Highfather is now Space Patton. Lately I feel like somehow Darkseid took advantage of Flashpoint to escape his prison from the end of Final Crisis and taint the creation of a new multiverse with his shadow. It explains why he's basically been able to curbstomp Earth 2, once brightest of the multiverse worlds. And it definitely explains why New Genesis has been so needlessly militant. They kept Darkseid in check better when they were just a bunch of space hippies.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Ah, there's the Gamora I remember. Ruthlessly pragmatic with an excellent sense of unintended comedic timing.
You don't even have a Robin right now, Bruce. Which goes to show that Batman basically came up with all the goofy "Bat" names for his equipment on his own. Guess you have to find your fun where you can get it. Also, if I haven't mentioned it: Justice League is good again. Has been for a few issues now, so feel free to give it a shot again.
Miles Morales - Ultimate Spider-Man
I get that Nick Fury is into Xanatos Gambits, but this issue basically featured him asking Miles Morales' pops to do strong-arm work for one gang boss on the possibility that doing so would get him hired by a completely gang boss. The chance that this would happen, and not having Miles' dad say...pumped full of lead by said gang boss instead (or just telling him to get lost altogether), seems fairly astronomical. Oh well, what do I know? Nobody's hired Sam Jackson to play me.
If you're still questioning Ms. Marvel's place in the Marvel U, you suck as a person. G. Willow Wilson has been telling a pretty neat tale of her growing both as a person and as a hero, capable of inspiring those around her and (hopefully) saving innocent lives. The only thing I'm mad at at this point is DC letting her go Marvel-exclusive. She wrote for them first and Air was fairly well-received critically and I don't think it was canceled, so what gives?
Then I learned most of DC's best titles are the ones about women. I'll admit that initially the idea of sending Supergirl to DC's version of "Galaxy High" wasn't an appealing one, but after reading this month's issue I'm convinced. It could be that "The Crucible" is absolutely oozing with personality that DC's space comics usually don't have. Or it could be that K. Perkins and Mike Johnson have snuck in The New 52 versions of Comet and Maxima and I don't hate them, but either way I hope their run lasts awhile. And no, I don't have much of a comment on this particular page--I just found it beautiful. Emanuela Lupachino is probably too talented a lady to work in comics, but I won't tell if you won't.
Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures
And, now I see why it took Grant something like five years to get this done. To get the tone pitch-perfect on books that are as far apart on the superhero spectrum as Pax Americana (extremely realistic in terms of heroes, pessimistic in terms of what they could do for society, endlessly complex) and Thunderworld Adventures (optimistic to the point of impossibility, elegantly simple) is no small feat.
New 52: Futures End
"I saw on the Net..." It's a small thing that people rarely notice, but a writer's characters are somehow almost always as well-read as the writer themselves. The average person sees Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed, and maybe one or two other websites but you saw an article about time being a non-linear construct? Or what do I know, maybe she's just exceptionally well-read?
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye
And lastly, Transformers: MTMTE checks in with it's monthly dose of existentialism and absurdity. The month just doesn't feel complete without it.
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 reading stack. Thus being the "best". 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.