Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bottom of the Pile: Nov. 25th, 2015

Archie

"Lyrics are stupid. Music needs to SOUND good." They're two points that are totally separate and yet are often conflated with one another, and have been ruining modern music for at least ten years now. A piece of my soul may well have died reading it, yet I have to applaud Mark Waid because it kind of captures the youth of today spot-on.

The comic as a whole is excellent though, finally explaining to readers the dreaded "lipstick incident" that caused Archie and Betty, Riverdale High's most unbreakupable couple to, well...break up. It's a familiar story: they start listening to people outside the relationship. The most terrifying real life villain--two high-school kids--kick things off by essentially telling Betty she doesn't know how to gender right. This leads to a Hollywood-esque "makeover" where Betty goes from tomboy to super girly girl, then goes on a "date date" with her boyfriend Archie, which is incredibly awkward because when you've been together that long all the traditional aspects of dating were never there in the first place--they're just two people who enjoy one another's company and happen to like making out.  Betty senses the awkwardness and gets pissed because "I've seen you look at girls who look like this", and that's what makes it perfect.

Archie has the right to feel weirded out, because she changed the parameters of their relationship without asking, and Betty has the right to be angry because he should already understand that she's the same person on the inside, and ultimately they're both idiots because they should've talked this out with one another instead of just screaming, but it all works because teenagers are stupid and don't know any better. I haven't been this invested in a teenage relationship since Cory and Topanga, so I'm going to say we're on the right track.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bottom of the Pile: Oct. 28th, 2015

Batgirl



In case you needed to know, Dick's response to Barbara's monologue is, "Yeah...you're right."   This is just...legitimately bad, and pretty much indefensible.   This issue could have played out in any number of ways.  It's about the marriage of longtime Batgirl supporting character Alysia Yeoh--it could've just been about Batgirl trying to keep the wedding day from exploding while dealing with some criminal threatening Burnside.   (Or to be honest, the opening is adorable as all hell so it could've just been about the wedding and I'm pretty sure Batgirl's current target audience would've been all about it.)  It features Lucius Fox, so it COULD have been about briefly bringing him out of retirement as Batwing for a team-up between the two.  Or if it just HAD to feature Dick Grayson, you could've done one of those neat comic books where a villain they're dealing with today is one they dealt with when they first met, or when they first realized they had feelings for one another, and at the same time had Dick show up WITHOUT acting like he didn't lie to any and everyone he cared about by faking his death to infiltrate Spyral for Bruce's sake.  That was something I was looking forward to him dealing with like a real person, rather than swooping in like a ginormous tool. 

There's LITERALLY no reason for him to have acted this way, and he's never been this emotionally insensitive or insecure before.  I'm lost, and can't think of any real reason why he would act this way...save that the creators let the shoujo-y tone of the comic go to their head and forget that Dick has an actual life and characterization that exists outside of this series.