Bottom of the Pile: Oct. 21st, 2015
Either way, 1872's ending sets us up for what I was always hoping for: Steampunk Avengers. Bring it.
Overall though, I'm still with this general direction. We talk about the "illusion of change", but it's nice to see Peter actually in control of his own life. He's not in over his head, and his decisions still make sense: he's been put in this position of great power, and so he gets to work with SHIELD on projects, try to make the world a better place and be the "general" of all the Spider-people running around NYC. I love it.
Being honest, this issue kinda settles into a lot of familiar Astro City storytelling tropes. A likable schmuck with a bittersweet origin story reminiscent of a mixture of DC and Marvel superheroes who gets in way over their head but still manages to snag the happy ending. It's not bad--if every comic were this good I think most fans would lose their shit 'cause there wouldn't be anything to complain about every Wednesday--it's just not quite as stellar as what the comic usually is. But at the same time, Kurt managed to perfectly combine 80's and 90's Saturday Morning Cartoon characters with their 2D comic book counterparts, and I just can't find fault with that.
You know it's bad when someone kicks the ninja thoughts out of you.
Either way, as much as I'm enjoying this run on Fate so far, I'll be glad when they start properly delving into the (obviously new) mythology that we've spent five issues now referring to.
Invincible Iron Man
Ktang. Honestly, try as I might, I just can't find fault with Bendis' Iron Man so far. There's very little wonky characterization and the way he utilizes the armor in this issue is legitimately cool as shit. In fact, this is probably a lot closer to Silver Age Iron Man than anyone's been since Kurt Busiek left the title in the early 2000s. Sure, Tony's more of a smart-ass here, but that's a permanent Added Personality Trait stemming from the movie--you're not getting rid of that. But Madame Masque? Mixing being an inventor with being a world-famous playboy? Potential adventures with Doctor Doom? All classic Iron Man stuff. We're a Maggia or a Count Nefaria appearance away from my thinking this is actually taking place in the 80's.
I'll say it if no one else will: Geoff is one of the only people actually making use of the New 52's streamlined history. In the aftermath of Darkseid versus the Anti-Monitor, the universe is attempting to correct itself...and as such it's been gradually creating gods..."New" gods, if you will...from mortals who got too close to these events. It's such a unique turn in a story that otherwise was looking fairly pat that I'm not only impressed, I'm legitimately intrigued as I wonder where things are going next.
The early part of Geoff's run was more than a little weak, but he course-corrected over a year ago and since then this has frequently been one of the best comics to come out of DC every month. I'm only sad there's not more of it.
But this, though...? Only one planet in the solar system can support life at a time? How does that even make sense? Is there a magical being placing a limit on how much life our solar system can sustain? And if you knew that, why would you have allowed Earth to live in the first place if you had a perfectly working planet?
Plus, this isn't even true. We saw J'onn's planet being just fine until some random jerk murdered everyone while he was on a very MODERN Earth. The two planets were both alive and well then, so your ancient Martian blood mages suck.
When did Aqualad/Garth get heat vision?? It doesn't even make sense. He spends all his time underwater, so he can light people on fire?
Either way, while Titans Hunt isn't bad, I'm not especially impressed. One of the Post-Convergence spin-off books (that should've hit shelves the month after Convergence ended), this one seeks to restore some of the ties between the original Titans team that vanished when they retconned every Titans team except the current one from existing. Excited as I am, I can't help wondering what the point of it all is: the more you make this universe resemble the old one, the more you make the reboot pointless.
Plus in all honesty, the more you let this happen, the more likely we're headed towards a situation in which we just undo everything and that's...actually, never mind. Carry on.
People honestly don't give John Barber enough credit. Yeah, James Roberts is tearing it up over on The Best Ongoing Comic Book--it's got everything from romance to hilarious comedy to a poetry-writing Megatron. It's not just good, it's...well, like I said, the best comic book to come out every month. But John Barber has been doing a bang-up job on Transformers for just as long, and for just as many issues. (The mess that was Dark Cybertron aside.) The inter-factional drama between the Autobots, Decepticons, and Neutralists...the backstabbing and political in-fighting...and now we have a legitimately "mad" king? This book has been the Transformers version of Game of Thrones before aping Game of Thrones was even a thing.
Now, Hasbro has been trying to make a larger universe between the comics, a Machinima cartoon, and their video games under the "Combiner Wars" banner. But honestly? I kinda don't want it. Both of these comics have been some of the most solid world-building and character development I've had the pleasure of reading in all my years as a comic book fan, and I'd be bummed if they messed it all up so they could hock a few more toys from a line that already sells like new iPhones on Black Friday.
This is one of those "change for the sake of change" things that we're going to look back on in a couple months (or years, if you wanna be optimistic) and call stupid. Black Bolt, in a rare moment of actually doing something against his wife's wishes rather than just allowing her to "interpret" for him", did something during Marvel's "Infinity" event that caused destruction of Attilan and the creation of "New Attilan". This, apparently, caused a fraction between one of Marvel's longest-standing couples--Medusa basically refused to allow him to reclaim his rightful throne, and now that we've returned from Secret Wars, we find that she's basically dating the Human Torch. Does no one else find this creepy? Human Torch dated Medusa's sister Crystal for a long time. So the first guy she hooks up with after she decides she's done with Black Bolt is her sister's ex? Ewww.