Bottom of the Pile: April 15th, 2015

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers
"See Nextwave."   Or, y'know, don't.  It's awful.  That said, alongside Ms. Marvel, Mighty Avengers may just have the market cornered on how to do diversity without pissing anyone off.   Yeah, Falcap is still a mistake (introducing him during Axis was an awful idea) but it's not that often you get this many A-tier (in power, at least) heroes from so many diverse backgrounds.   And giving the REAL Captain Marvel her own story arc?   Even if I disliked what I read of Nextwave, I just can't get mad at this.

Meanwhile, over in DC it's 90's week.  Let's see how everyone's doing? 


Convergence - Aquaman
Over in pre-Zero Hour Metropolis, we've got a crook robbing people "Because it's fun."   You're robbing people of material possessions in a world where material possessions have been robbed of all meaning besides sentimental.   Those aren't even the actions of a crook--that's just a dick.  

Convergence - Batman: Shadow of the Bat

This may be our first random continuity error.  Since when did Azrael go around wearing the Bat Suit after Bruce took the costume back?  I know Jean-Paul became obsessive and decided that he was the "only Batman", but that only lead to Bruce giving out a proper Bat-beatdown.  After that, I was pretty sure he abandoned it and eventually went to the "Avenging Angel" look again?   I could be mistaken--I was six when they first told this story.

Convergence - Catwoman
Two things stood out about this issue more than anything else:

1.) As silly as Selena's purple costume is, it's visually distinctive and having it back even for a couple issues is actually really nice.  The more I think about it, the more I realize it was somewhat ridiculous to get rid of it--this one's just as functional, it just also happens to accept the fact that in a medium like comic books its okay to embrace your silliness.   Plus it avoids all those stupid depictions of Selena with her cat-suit zipped all the way down to her navel.

2.) Intentional or not, it's pretty cool to have the narration techniques of the 90's (where everyone over-explained everything, in actual dialogue rather than narration boxes or thought bubbles) aped for these issues. 

Convergence - Green Arrow
Oliver's the only superhero I know who would argue this vehemently against having a kid.  Also, it's a shame this couldn't provide us with an actual recognizable version of Connor Hawke, but eh--you can't have everything. 

Convergence - Parallax
.....Okay, okay.  Hold it.   How on Earth did anyone capture--much less neutralize--Parallax?  The guy was at one point literally responsible for dismantling time and rebuilding the universe.  Precisely what scale are we working on, here?

Convergence - Justice League International
Welp.  Under a dome or not, there's one thing which apparently never changes: the ungrateful peasants the heroes protect.   True Story: I stopped reading Civil War the second some jerk started accusing Johnny Storm of not properly protecting people.  Y'know, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four.  Those folks who stopped Galactus from eating the planet.  

I've never really gotten this trope.  I guess it's supposed to place more pressure on the heroes, but really it just makes me wonder how stupid you have to be to complain to the guy who just got a broken arm saving you and the lives of those around you. 

Convergence - Supergirl
The comedy stylings of one Keith Giffen are on full display here, and this is actually one of the better "Part 1s" from a group of mini-series that had an unfortunate connecting throughline that forced most of the issues to be basically identical.   My only complaint is...where's Linda Danvers?!   I mean, who really wanted freakin' Matrix back?   Anyone?  

Of course, there's the flipside of that.

Convergence - Superboy
I legit teared up when I saw my boy back in his actual outfit.  Leather jacket, 90's 'do, earring and all.  There are some ridiculous elements to him, but we're talking about the company that let their two primary heroes wear their underwear on the outsides of their costumes for seven decades, so let's keep our perspective here.

For the longest time, Superboy was mostly just a generic "new generation" hero to me, until I spent the summer of '07 reading all the 90's teen hero comics--Robin, Young Justice, Superboy.   The Kid had such a neat personality--he was so realistic as a teenager and yet at the same time he took his job as a hero seriously.   It helped quite a bit that the first half of Karl Kesel's run surrounded him with a likable, relatable supporting cast--and the second half was this Kirby-inspired romp of super sci-fi insanity.  The latter part of his series took a bit of an unfortunate turn, and the changes Geoff Johns made basically turned him into a completely different, much more humorless, person--but for 80+ issues or so the guy was basically one of my favorite superheroes.  And to have him back, even for just these two issues, made me happier than I can honestly put into words.  

Convergence - Steel
Of course the black guy just had to be the one to get concretely wrecked.  Steel was one of my favorite characters as a kid, but it's hard to remain a fan of a guy you both rarely see and also gets constantly treated like a speed bump--just there to slow the bad guy down until a real hero pops up.   I know I'm supposed to support all black characters, but...c'mon.   Stop treating him like a scrub and I will. 

Ms. Marvel

HA!  Told you.  He was too pretty to be a good guy. 

Superior Iron Man
What bugs me the most about the recent set of "changes" to Marvel's "Big Three" is that...we've done all this before.   "Falcap"?   Winter Soldier just took over for Steve back in 2007.  He just took the role back in 2010 or so.    Admittedly Thor being replaced happened almost twenty years ago so that's not as bad.  But this whole, Tony Stark's acting like a borderline villain so let's reset him to when he was a decent guy?

That was the first half of Matt Fraction's (genius) Invincible Iron Man run.  We did this already.  Why are we doing it again?   More importantly, why is it that since the 90's Marvel has had this thing about making Tony Stark into a horrible person?   He works better as a "Big Good" type guy--incredibly powerful armor, the resources to help out whenever someone needs it--and yet this keeps happening.  The Crossing.  Civil War.  Axis.  It's literally been every decade.  Knock it off, guys.  :(

As the Combiner War continues, Prowl has officially turned into a bigger threat than Megatron.   I can't help wondering if this comes from so much merging with the Constructicons, or if he was always legit nuts.   Hopefully we'll see, as from what I can tell Prowl is pretty important to this entire development.


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