Bottom of the Pile: Feb. 25th, 2015

Ugh, I'm two weeks late with this but mid-terms were a mess.   Hopefully by Tuesday I'll have last week's up, and this coming week's before Friday's over.  Anyway.

Amazing Spider-Man

....Are...are you kidding me?   This whole time you were wreaking untold amounts of havoc on the multiverse, and you could've just as easily been satisfied by a freaking BLT, and not threatened anyone at all?  (Well, except Spider-Ham.)   Wow.  You guys are the ultimate bunch of jerks.

Amazing X-Men
Last week, my friends and I had a discussion based on a Twitter gimmick account called 1GottaGo.  It's a great little game where someone brings up four options and asks which one would you kick out.  One time it was X-Men: Havok, Quicksilver, Gambit, or Colossus.   My friends couldn't understand why I said Colossus had to GTFO, so I hope this panel does it. 

Here's Colossus, getting the brakes beat off him by an unpowered Juggernaut.   When Cain friggin' Marko is giving you them hands, you're not even fit to be a part of the Great Lakes Avengers, nevermind the X-Men.   And I'd like to say it's just this arc...but it's not.  (Though it is pretty hard on Piotr in general.  Even Storm told dude he was worthless.)  Last year I spent quite some time reading Chris Claremont's entire X-Men run...or most of it (dude was pretty prolific) and man...the thing they kept coming back to was how often Colossus' strength let them down.   It's a plot thread that, alongside him being a gullible sum'bitch, never seems to go away.   Sad, really.

Batman Eternal
"Accepted an invitation".  "Friend of the family".   It's the Court of Owls, isn't it?  More accurately, it's Thomas Wayne Jr.   He "escaped" at the end of the Court of Owls story, and he's been gone just long enough for this to make sense.   Plus, there's almost no one else left it could reasonably be.  

Y'know, until they reveal him and then they say it isn't him behind all of it, like they've been doing for the past 40+ issues.


To (writer) Mark Waid's credit, he took this story in a completely different direction than the stereotypical one.   It's a pretty time-worn trope--the hero (usually male) gets too close to someone (usually female), and a villain just happens to see them together.  In a "happy" ending, generally the girl's life is briefly endangered but she gets saved, realizes its "far too dangerous" to continue being with the hero and walks out of his life.   In the far more common, more depressing one, the hero fails to save her (and she gets "fridged") but brings the villain to justice, and in the final pages of the issue wonders if he'll ever be able to be close to anyone...until the next time he dates someone.  But Mark's a smart guy, and avoided that in a way that made for a pretty entertaining subversion, managing to make DD's fears least, for now. 

That said, it's not like Matt doesn't have a point.  You kind of are all supporting players in the adventures of Daredevil.

New Avengers

"Drill deep enough into any problem and you'll find both simplicity and elegance.  Ideas are like that at the core." 

Hank's talking about this entire story.  Of course it's the Beyonder that caused this.   Every other time there's been a threat on this level--something capable of ignoring all the other powers of the universe, something capable of bending and molding reality to its will with such a frightening level of ease, everytime they've had an event called the Secret Wars, the Beyonder has been involved. 

Of course, generally it only involves one universe and this one involves all of them (at least, all the ones Marvel legally owns), but that didn't require some great re-working of the base concept.   Simplicity.  Elegance.   You just create more Beyonders to increase the threat level. 

This New Avengers issue had a lot of really obscure Marvel concepts and characters (the Celestials, the Living Tribunal), and the writing was a little dense so it can be difficult to parse for some, but it's also got one of the largest scale battles I've seen since the Infinity Gauntlet. 

Secret Origin

Wait...what?   As glad as I am to see Sean Chen penciling again, this is weird.  When did Firestorm join the Justice League?   I'm pretty sure he'd make a great go-between for Cyborg and Shazam, but I've yet to see him pop up aside from the Forever Evil story.   These are the kind of mistakes that really shouldn't be happening considering you've only got two and a half years worth of continuity. 


 This issue of Spider-Gwen taught me three things:

1.) With great spider-powers, comes a great need to wisecrack.  I'm fairly certain Gwen Stacy wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs, but that spider-bite apparently gives you a funny bone in addition to web-slinging talents.
2.) But apparently, it doesn't transplant good spelling skills.  "Turrible"? Your English teacher is somewhere depressed right now. 
3.) Also, she seems to care a lot less about maintaining city laws as she does stopping the bad guys.  I can't imagine how long that's going to take to clean from the New York skyline. 

Still, great issue.  Spider-Gwen has one of my favorite costumes--those silly slipper boots aside--and this went a long way towards establishing her as her own character and not just Spider-Man's ex-girlfriend.

Superior Iron Man
.....Here's what I've been wondering.   Tony's actions in this comic for the past five issues are fairly obviously bad.   The rest of this page explains how he's got cameras flying all over San Francisco, "monitoring" for evil activity.  The last super-hero who took this action?  A mind-swapped Spider-Man.   

So, considering that the last major superhero meet-up involved a situation in which all of you were "inverted", how has no one looked into this besides Daredevil, a guy who wasn't even THERE for that?    When you check out earlier issues of Time Runs Out, it's clear no one ever "fixed" Tony--so what the hell happened?   Is he permanently inverted?   Am I stuck with jack-ass Stark for the rest of my life?    So many questions that need answers.

The Flash
Iris is just the worst, here.    Last issue she was callously ignoring a pile of bodies in favor of trying to finally win the Pulitzer over Lois Lane, this issue she's hanging out in the background until something happens, but she's not trying to get any real information--just being Scoop Byline and going for headlines. 

New 52: Futures End
I want to say this is the stupidest thing I've ever read, but in fairness beards do disguise someone's identity in real life a lot better than a pair of glasses.  

Transformers - Drift: Empire of Stone
I miss Drift's ridiculous zen quotes when he's so obviously not zen (yet), so if the end of this comic means he's going back to the Lost Light, I can't think of better news.

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.


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