Bottom of the Pile: Oct. 14th, 2015

Sorry about this being late.

A-Force
 A-Force is essentially a male power fantasy...but for women, if that makes sense?  It's not that male heroes don't exist--it's just that they don't seem to matter.  They're window dressing.  Extra characters for splash pages, which is why I only spotted three male heroes on my first go through and only one of them actually had dialogue.   The girls get all the quips and bad-assery moments and while there's a sense of danger you never really feel like anything truly terrible is going to happen to the main cast.

And that's not a bad thing--A-Force has been one of the "happier" parts of Battleworld (even though it was full of all kinds of pathos and lost characters), and I'm kinda hyped to see the team reform in some way or another on the proper Marvel Earth.  Also, I am absolutely all-in on an alternate universe where Spider-Gwen and MJ are a thing.  Just saying.

Bat-Mite
Yup.  This totally isn't a reference to what happens to most heroes when they get "updated".  

...Okay, it totally is.  Writer Dan Jurgens is absolutely killing it on this comic, turning probably one of the most ridiculous pieces of Batman lore into one of the most likable characters in DC right now.  He's basically the world's greatest super-fan, who wants nothing more for his favorite characters than to make them better, only usually his ideas just don't work.  

Here he's working with some equally ridiculous characters, the Silver Age rejects known as the Inferior Five.  He gives them a make-over, complete with cool costumes and better powers...but it backfires.  Their "update" comes with more violent personas, prone to in-fighting and inflicting needless traumas on their enemies.  In the end, it's decided that they're better off how they were all along...a trite conclusion, but not when you look at it in a meta sense.  We keep trying to bring superheroes further and further into the real world with us, and all we seem to be doing is making them less noble, less cool, and less heroic.  Perhaps they were better the way they were?

Catwoman

It's simple math, apparently: you put Catwoman and Black Mask in close quarters, she'll eventually kill the guy.   Unfortunately, while I'm loving the direction this story's going in: a.) the person who made it this awesome is hopping off the book, and b.) it lends to the whole "what's the real difference between the N52 Earth and the original"?   
Civil War
 And at the end, Tony and Cap finally working together is what brings the Civil War to a close.  There's something about that idea.  There was a What-If a while back that made Tony and Cap gender-swapped lovers who ended up immediately shutting down any argument and the only thing that happened were the heroes worked together and became even stronger than before. 

They were never really at odds that much during what I like to call the First Era of Marvel (from Fantastic Four #1 to Avengers/JLA #4), but since Civil War everything that happens always seems to come back to these two.  It sucks to see them argue, but at the same time there's something "right" about it.  The man who's character is impeccable versus the one who's character is anything but.  The rich guy versus the guy who (aside from getting his powers in the first place) has been all about hard work his whole life.  The only thing they really even have in common, is their awe-inspiring level of devotion to whatever they do.  And the moment they manage to work together, no matter the opponent, it's automatically over.

Earth 2: Society
 Oh man.  I just can't deal with a world where Jimmy Olsen isn't just a villain, but a nigh all-powerful villain who possesses delusions of grandeur.

New Avengers
Avengers by way of being ultra-tech super-spies.  Though the team doesn't make perfect sense yet, I'm loving the sense of progression here: Avengers Idea Mechanics consists almost entirely of youngsters, like this is the Avengers intern program. 


Spider-Man 2099
And so we learn the new status quo of Miguel O'Hara, man out of time.  The ending to this is a little cliched, especially if the next issue opens with him at a funeral, but overall I like it.  He's unable to return to his world because the future is completely different, so he's taken a job at Parker Industries.  

Speaking of PI, have I said how much I love this concept?   The "Spider-World" has grown so huge--from Miguel and Miles to Peter and Cindy (Silk), there's Spider-characters everywhere, and Parker Industries kind of helps unite and give them a purpose, rather than ignore them and pretend like they're all ignoring one another. 

Starfire
I liked those literal thought bubbles when Impulse did them; glad to see someone brought them back.  You could suffer emotional whiplash under a less talented writer/artist team, but fortunately the folks on Starfire are pretty adept at their jobs.   The comic manages to do poignant, sweet, and funny all at once while also being unequivocally a superhero book.  Plus there's Terra, and who can hate her?

Superman: Lois and Clark

Lois and Clark was the DC Comic to excite the most out of the week.  It flat-out confirms the existence of multiple people from the old universes, and gives us old timers "our" Superman back.  For people who just aren't attached to the characters or the old comics like that, it's incredibly small...but it's huge for me.   The idea of characters in a long-running story becoming like old friends isn't a new one...but something like Flashpoint, where all of your friends are unceremoniously stolen from you?   That's kind of hard to adapt to, and Lois and Clark is the chaser to make a fairly bitter pill taste a little better.

As for the comic itself?   Excellent.  Superman's like the readers.  He's cataloging the changes between this universe and the last, making notes about what's the same and what's different.  And the best part is: it makes sense.  For him to stay in hiding rather than show himself at the slightest sense of trouble, and even to try and prevent some of his younger self's threats before they happen.


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