Bottom of the Pile: Dec. 24th, 2014
All-New X-Men Annual
The candidates for the Sorcerer Supreme seem to get stranger and stranger. Doom was the second guy to be offered the role, while Brother Voodoo was the third. Now it's Tony Stark?! I mean, I realize Stephen's basically a monster now, but can't we get someone who could conceivably be the Sorcerer Supreme for awhile?
The lady in the front of that hail of bullets is Polaris, Magneto's daughter. And suddenly, I'm really upset that they're canceling this title in two issues. This is actually not even the funniest moment in this issue.
One of the New 52's failings is breaking characters down to just a few core descriptors, leaving them far less nuanced and layered than they were pre-Flashpoint. For instance, Bane is so much the "back thing" now that apparently he's developed an entire philosophy around it. He sounds like a shonen villain.
Also, this fight didn't end like I thought it would.
Earth 2: World's End
*sighs* This comic book is turning me into a basic white girl because I literally can't right now. At some point, before every comic book goes from fleshed out idea to someone getting paid to write a script, the question should be asked: Who is this for? Does it appeal to women? Minorities? The old-school "core" fanbase? If you can't answer that question, then don't make it.
I say all that because I'm having an extremely difficult time understanding who this book is for. Before the New 52 was a thing, Earth 2 was home to all the "original" superheroes of DC. It was the peaceful, Golden Age Earth where you went to see Kal-L, Alan Scott and Jay Garrick and Johnny Quick fight Nazis in the past, and where you saw their children fight crime in the future after they retired. It was the place where Bruce eventually made peace with his parents' murder and became Commissioner of Gotham, and where Dick made Robin into as good a guardian of Gotham as Batman, and now suddenly it's the place where he beats someone to death with a fucking baseball bat because they murdered his wife, Barbara Gordon.
I try to base all my complaints in logic because I don't want to be just another comic book fan bitching just to bitch. So instead I'm asking: who is this book for?
New 52: Futures End
With the size and mass of a cement mixer, a teddy bear would make you into a flaming pancake. (That's a future webcomic title...) But hey, Firestorm's living energy or something right? Plus superheroes inexplicably seem to be more durable than normal folks.
I love Carol to death, but I swear it's like every time the heroes start arguing, she finds the wrong side as quick as possible and latches on. Just because SHIELD is involved that doesn't make them right. What the hell is Cap even trying to do, for that matter? Stop the Illuminati? They haven't gone near an incursion since Time Ran Out. Are you just throwing them in jail to prove a point? Are you mad that they don't consider you as smart as them? Newsflash: Reed Richards discovers new galaxies before reading his kids a bedtime story. Tony can negotiate boardroom deals at 10, go to an AA meeting at 12, invent a new Iron Man design by 2, and find a gorgeous model to spend the evening with by five. You aren't as smart as them. Get over it.
Secret Origins this month was a triple feature of Grayson, Animal Man, and Katana, which means about a third of the book was a waste of pages. We just did Dick Grayson's origin story a few months back--no wonder this book's getting canceled. Eight issues in and so far it's managed to tell the stories of all three Robins and a handful of A-Listers whose origins you already know, while there's five years of unexplored continuity to be explained. And as for this Katana story... *sighs* It's not a bad story, but this panel bums me out--why couldn't the Outsiders just be a team Batman formed and Katana happened to be a part of? Why is there a "hidden" Outsiders we've never heard of before now? Oh well.
Superior Iron Man
I'll say this for "evil" Tony--he gets the best lines. We've seen what happens when Time Runs Out in the Avengers, so this doesn't exactly "end" well for Tony, but so far Superior is making it an entertaining fall. (The only problem--and it's a doozie--is that technically we "did" this story back in 2006, he just has less of a conscience now.)
So Superman's new friend turns out to be a jerk who actually hates humanity. Worse, he was transported to a dimension where it's "normal" to sacrifice millions of lives in order to keep one's society going. Ugh. Can Supes just be friends with the Legion again? Why was that a bad thing, exactly? (I'm going to keep asking until you fix it. Or at least, fix the Legion. I miss having a futuristic super-team. One that isn't, y'know, a parody.)
Deciding that the Cuckoos are now "the archivists of obscure X-Man knowledge" is probably one of the best changes Bendis has made since coming to the X-titles. Anyway, this book has an ending that may or may not entirely invalidate Avengers vs. X-Men. Too bad we have to wait all the way until next year to find out. (What's that? Next year is in two days? Oh, well nevermind then.)
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 here 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.