Bottom of the Pile: Apr. 8, 2015

Astro City
As usual, Kurt Busiek's Astro City is creatively solid--following a superhero who's made his home on an alien planet, and has to learn to accept when it's time to hand the job over to the next generation.  It's almost the opposite of what happened with Crackerjack and Quarrel.  That said: I've been a denizen of the interwebs for nearly two decades now, and this still might be a strong contender for grossest sexual advance ever. 

So we're one issue in to the event "that will change nothing", and given that it's supposed to be a city versus city, one city survives above all sort of's probably not the best sign that the only people in the main comic right now are all Earth-2 refugees.  If I had to place a bet right now, I wouldn't go against the people who are actually in the Convergence comic.  Still, what's it like re-visiting the pre-Flashpoint world?

Convergence: Batgirl
Okay, so city versus city, champion versus champion...I wonder what city pre-Flashpoint has to fi...wait, "General Grodd"?!   So they're up against the people who fucked up DC proper in the first place?   This is actually strangely poetic, though I've never wanted an entire universe to get Spartan kick'd into the friggin' ether more now.    Overall, this wasn't a bad entry though.  I was a little saddened my boy Tim Drake was an idiot for half the book, but it was nice to have the real Stephanie Brown back.
Convergence - Justice League
"But we're close enough.  And in time we'll learn to forget about the differences."  How come I feel like this dialogue was actually said in some pitch meetings before the New 52 started.  Changes of note: Apparently in the "year" they've been gone, the Justice League has become largely female (neat!) and Mera's joined.  Now why exactly Mera was able to join but Arthur was too good for it is a question they might be saving for the next issue.

 Convergence - Flash
Meanwhile, over in Flash--the champions have decided to team-up to fight against the threat.  When cosmic idiocy is afoot (ha, get it, 'cause it's the Flash?  OkayI'llshutupnow), typically the speedsters team-up, so this isn't exactly new.   Side-note:  Reading "My name is Wally West.  I'm the Fastest Man Alive." gave me chills.  I so called it a few weeks ago--I'm going to be heart-broken when this is all over.

 Convergence - The Atom
There's nothing I'd like more than for pre-Flashpoint Ray Palmer to go back to some semblance of a respectable life after the non-stop nonsense he's been dealing with since 2004's Identity Crisis.  I'd also be delighted if Ryan Choi actually came back to life, though seeing this page all over again I'm wondering if that's really true.

Guardians 3000

This doesn't have anything to do with anything, other than its nice to see the original Guardians written properly again and not according to the movie.  Also: I'll concede that Gamora's Annihilation-era outfit was more than a bit male-gaze-y...but I still want her cape back.  She just looked more like a regal bad-ass in it. 

Howard the Duck
Howard continues to be one of the sharpest books on the stands, off-setting high-flying spec-duck-ular (this is genius and you're going to appreciate it!) action with scenes like this so you know it's not your ordinary superhero comic.  Having read some of the original HtD run, this is absolutely evocative of that era, right down to Howard's asides where he laments the lack of a "normal" life.   I sincerely hope Secret Wars doesn't do anything nasty to this title.

Miles Morales - The Ultimate Spider-Man
Quickest way to get a neat ending that actually solves all/most of the plotlines of a book?  Let a writer know their book is over within eight months or so.   Whether its due to sales or crossovers, you'll get the neatest, gift-wrapped with a bow-tie ending.   It's sad, because I was enjoying Miles' comic quite a bit and I hate that it had to draw to a close early in order to have him in place for these incursions.  It's also a bit of a bummer that writers will give cleaner endings "because crossover" than some of them do when they actually leave a book.   Oh well.   This is almost the definition of a "Red Sky" book...only thanks to Avengers and New Avengers, we all know better. 

Transformers: More than Meets the Eye
Disgusting.  In one issue, More than Meets the Eye managed to surpass my hype for Combiner Wars. Honestly, this just outright seems like a bigger story than theirs, to begin with.  Here's this group of extremely terrifying (though James Roberts does an excellent job at humanizing them) Decepticons known as the Decepticon Justice Division-a group so powerful that four of them murdered everybody on the Lost Light.   There's...maybe five of them?   And the Lost Light has an easy one hundred plus? 

They were some of Megatron's most loyal soldiers, and they've been out finding and punishing Decepticon traitors for so long they weren't even aware the war was over.  Only, for them that's not how it works.  They're the type that are so devoted that even when the guy they worship recants his ideas for the sake of peace, it isn't good enough for them.  When you devote yourself so single-mindedly to a cause, most often the only options are you achieve that cause, or you simply die in the attempt.   And so, bam.  Just like that, we have a new Decepticon Army, and the war's started all over again.

....Or has it?  (No idea, but I suppose we'll find out over the next few months!)

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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