Bottom of the Pile: August 10th, 2016

Can I catch up?  Bitch, please.  I was made for this.*

Action Comics
We're something like four issues in and the one thing I've come to with regards to the latest in Action Comics is...it's fucking terrible.  It's literally been Superman vs. Doomsday Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4.  The only saving grace is the fact that it does ship every two weeks.   All these issues and we're just now getting to the whole "something bigger at play"?  The thing is, though...I wouldn't have expected this from Dan Jurgens.  Pre-Flashpoint he had one of my favorite comic books month in and month out with Booster Gold.  

It could be that he just gets that character, but I'm thinking there IS something bigger at play here: Dan either wasn't prepared to do a bi-weekly comic, or there's a certain plot point integral to DC's "Rebirth" deal that he can't get to until a certain month.   We know that Superman is important to whatever's going on with this universe, and we know that this is basically "Geoff's story" too, but Geoff can't just write it next week.   He's busy trying to right the DCEU ship, and that's going to take some time. 

And even if some of that story can be told without Geoff, if they're not careful they'll have told it all before the guy can come back and finish things up.  Then they'd be really screwed, so instead you stick some of the bigger books in a holding pattern just like this one.   It's a bit of a far-fetched conspiracy theory, but the alternative is that Dan Jurgens literally only knows how to write one character, and I don't much like that one.

 All-New Avengers

Aside from the weirdness of Vision basically trying to purge himself of emotions after spending decades wanting to be a real boy, it also features him trying to kill Kang in his crib.  Which is absurd for a lot of reasons, but primarily because they've clearly been told over and over again time is broken and yet he wants to do something that will obviously fucking shatter it.  

Still, I can't lie and say Kang War One doesn't look hype now that Mark Waid's gotten the brats out of the Avengers. 

Amazing Spider-Man

Okay, so Dan Slott's doing this story called "Dead No More"/The Clone Conspiracy, and what appears to be happening is longtime Spider-Man villain Miles Warren (The Jackal) is using cloning to bring dead people back to life.   And it's at this point that you realize...if anyone ever pushes Spidey completely over the edge and turns him into a killer, it's totally Miles, right? 

Like, if he ever finds out Peter's true identity and wreaks havoc by doing something absurd like bringing back Uncle Ben, only to turn him into dust or something equally absurd...there's really no coming back from that, is there?   There's no way he doesn't go full-on possessed by the Venom Symbiote crazy, I think.   So yeah, I think Dan's upcoming story has a lot of potential.

 Deathstroke: Rebirth
I fucking hate Deathstroke, so normally I'd be avoiding this story like the plague.  But since one of the baddest motherfuckers alive, Christopher Priest, is writing it--I'm all in.  Hey--he's older than me, and he's blacker than me.   (If you're too lazy to do your research, Chris Priest is one of those pioneer-types you'll see shared on Facebook--where he's one of the first to break into a predominantly white male industry as a black man back in the 70's/80's.   He was the first black editor at Marvel and DC and gave us the noir brilliance that was Peter David's Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man run.)

And its a good thing I'm all in too, because Priest has done two things I'm really in love with.  One, he went back to the original stories Slade Wilson was featured in for his inspiration.  Two, he's not doing that awful thing that usually happens to villains when publishers realize they're likable and give them books.  Y'know, the Deadpool/Harley Quinn thing where suddenly they're less evil and more anti-hero-ish?   Yeah, I hate that shit.   The "moral gray area" argument seems fine in theory until you realize there are legitimately shitty people in this world, and Slade happens to be one of them.  So yeah, as long as Slade's a complete and utter dick and Priest is writing this comic, I'm there.
 
 Earth 2: Society

Yup.  That makes sense--the bad guy wants something that would literally allow him to alter reality and when people suggest the logical response of "destroy it", you respond with "I'll kill anyone who touches it". 

It's this kind of idiotic fighting between superheroes that makes them look like children.  Good thing Marvel wouldn't dare stoop to this kind of thing...

Scarlet Witch
Oh wait.

This is probably the worst comic moment I've experienced with either universe all year, I think.  There's literally no reason for this behavior--it's always, always been that Quicksilver's been a jerk to EVERYONE except Wanda.   And under the watchful eye of Peter David, he'd even been working on that--gradually working on changing into a decent person and developing a friendship with his other sister Polaris.  (Until they retconned the two being related because lolnomutants.)

This issue tears down every single bit of that.   Any sign of the regal, intelligent hero who's maybe just a little impatient and has made mistakes but is otherwise a decent dude literally DOES NOT EXIST, on any level, in this comic.  He's beyond jerk-ish, he's disrespectful, demeaning, abusive, and nearly murders Wanda in this issue.  This is nothing less than character assassination (worse even than what Carol's going through), and the guy isn't fit to be anything except a villain after reading something like this.   (And yet he's over in Uncanny, slugging it out with Ultron like nothing bad happened here...)

And for fucking what?!  A Civil War II tie-in.   Not even the original event that mattered, the fucking sequel.  What a waste.   And I was so in love with what James Robinson was doing with this comic, its artwork and panel layouts and with the character.  Ugh.  I feel sick.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
 I'll be honest: I had enough of the Green Lantern Corps getting shredded back during Geoff's run.  And it seems like during the time I've been away from the franchise it's only gotten worse.  But you can tell what they're doing here is showing them at their worst before they start to build them back up, and I'll give the writer this: he's perfectly capturing John, Guy, and Hal.  And there's a distinct Silver Age vibe I get from the way they're currently drawing Jordan that makes this whole thing endearing in an old-school kind of way.  So while it's still shaky, I'm definitely enjoying what's happening right now.

New Super-Man
The Justice League of China felt wrong to me--I couldn't figure out why they'd be appropriating the team's name like that.  But Gene Yang addresses that perfectly with a single panel, with an answer that makes perfect sense.   And he brings up the Great Ten and explains why they aren't really relevant to what this team is doing.

You get the sense that these guys are meant to be almost adversarial to the Great Ten because they aren't controlled by the government, but they're not entirely "good" guys either.  They definitely are capable of doing good though, which adds another layer when the people at the top of this very shadowy organization reveal themselves for what they truly are and our heroes have to decide whether they're going to be proper good guys or continue in servitude.   And even before you get to that, the potential clashes this Justice League can have with the Great Ten have me giddy with excitement.

Y'know, if our new Superman can stop being such a big jerk. 

Spider-Man 2099
There's nothing important about this panel; I just wanted to show Captain America of the 22nd century stealing off a tiger.

Superwoman
I kind of hate the "twist" ending here because I'm totally in love with what Phil Jimenez has done here by making Superwoman not one, but two women.  It almost validates all those years Lois and Lana basically spent as Superman's version of Betty and Veronica, right?  Suddenly they're carrying on in Clark's name, being utter bad-asses and saving Metropolis from certain doom.

And how cool is Lana's outfit?!  It's totally inspired by Superman's time as a lightning bolt, and more specifically Superman Red, but it works here.  So I'm really hoping Lois comes back and these two can continue on in Superman's name, even if Rebirth eventually restores most of the DCU proper, because these two ladies kick ass.

The Flash
I'm desperately hoping our new "Wally" gives him something that makes him standout from the original.  It seems like they're hinting at that with him tapping into something "new" inside the Speed Force, but who knows if that isn't something basic like simply sustained speed.

Also: give him a different outfit.  The more you make him stand out from the original, the less likely he is to get wiped in the next retcon.

*Having said that, I'm skipping some weeks on Anime Weeklies since that's more of a pain to keep up with.

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