Bottom of the Pile: August 17th, 2016

Week two up.

Aquaman
The problem I'm having with Aquaman lately is that it's not capable of staying focused like it should.  It's trying to spin three different plates with different groups of characters in the air, and that's before you get to the other villain group. 

Well, that and my other problem which is simply that this book still feels very by the numbers.  Atlantis joining up with the surface-dwellers could've been a fascinating story with interesting long-term ramifications that could've been explored for dozens of issues, but instead that was immediately shoved to the side so Aquaman can continue dealing with strife in his kingdom (a story unto itself), and Black Manta can become second-fiddle in a villain group we've never heard of.


Batman
Without question, the one character the writer has the best grasp of is Alfred.   And in this issue, Alfred absolutely gets the best scene. 

Aside from that, the secret of Gotham is kind of a bummer and it's frustrating to see Batman actually go to the trouble of summoning the Justice League only for them to get trounced like a bunch of clowns.   It raises a couple crucial questions:

- How does this team beat any major cosmic threat when this one dude can wipe the floor with them?

- If gaining power on this scale is so easy, why wouldn't you enlist some "suicide soldiers"?  Seriously, can you imagine the power you'd have at your fingertips?   Trained men who could fight for hours at a time punching at a weight class that could easily destroy the Justice League, which means they could lay waste to an entire country in minutes!  

I'll apologize to King if he either answers why that doesn't work or explores what would happen in the case of that second question in future storylines.

Green Arrow
Two things: Isn't the worst case scenario always the only real outcome for superheroes?    Second, are we really going back to this thing where Oliver is poor and has no way of restoring himself and doing all the good he was showing at the end of the first issue?  'Cause that'd be quite the bummer.

Justice League
They're mashing so hard on that button of "I came back before".   The original Pre-Flashpoint Superman never worried about dying much because after he died the first time he came back so stupidly strong that he was rarely ever threatened.   Even when Imperiex handed him his ass he just took a dip in the sun, went Super Saiyan for a few panels to finish the guy off, and ended the story even stronger.

So what I'm saying here is: this feels artificial.  Clark only died once in a universe where people died all the time, and he's faced way worse threats than what's going on in this arc, something Lois should be more than aware of.
Nightwing
Rebirth Batman must be an incredibly decent guy.  Which, not that inspiring fear in criminals is a good thing, but short of killing a person the original Batman was willing to go to an means to accomplish his goals--and often did go just that far.   Why is Babs so salty about this?

Supergirl: Rebirth

Let's get the important stuff out of the way: that cape makes Kara look like a fucking boss.  I love the regal, imposing look of having it draped over her shoulders rather than just behind her back.  Also, this art is pretty fucking slick.  Props for putting a star team on this book to make Kara's book feel important.

That said, I'm still kinda iffy on this comic.  Kara's got a "mom and dad" and works for the D.E.O. and I hate all of that, because it's from the show.   Comics have got to be the only medium where the originators steal from the people who're adapting their work.  Of course my real problem might be that Linda Danvers to me is the bad-ass from PAD's 90's Supergirl run so I can't get that out of my head.

Thor

For whatever reason, I find the idea of Captain America and Thor sexting each other permanently hilarious.   But setting that aside, I'm so far past tired of all the idiot humans in this comic speaking to gods, goddesses and mystical creatures like their opinions and existence actually mean something.  In the next panel, Thor hits these idiots with an electrical storm but I wish she'd literally fried them. 

Seriously, what gives two idiots with guns the right to make threats against people who can lift mountains and fly multiple times the speed of sound?


So....Prowl's apart of MTMTE.  *sighs*  James Roberts is doubtlessly my favorite writer working in comics consistently today, but I kinda hate this.   Across multiple mini-series and several ongoings, the established characterization of Prowl is that he's a manipulative monster who's probably done more horrible shit than anyone on the Autobots short of Megatron. 

And yet, Roberts has this odd way of humanizing his characters and making them feel likable through humor and other human traits that display vulnerability.   And in one page he's done just that with Prowl, making me laugh and making him seem borderline likable.   Which is a unique talent that he deserves all the praise in the world for but...some people aren't decent deep down.  And its frustrating that after he turned Megatron into a person even I could shed tears for (though I cry about everything) that it looks like the same thing may happen with Prowl. 


Carol is uniformly being turned into a fascist dick in every comic book she's appearing in.  Now if she just starts getting her ass beat randomly by every person against her who's book she pops up in?  Her transformation into the new Tony Stark will be complete.

What's really stupid here is that she's not even trying to make any changes.  They literally just shut down traffic on a busy block in New York and terrified an otherwise innocent woman, browbeating her about something she might do but might also never happen.  And she's STILL not sorry.  She's still talking about we can "work on it", when the time to work on it would be RIGHT after such a major fuck-up.

But not to worry, Miss America's here to smack Carol in the face with a chair and start that other thing I was talking about.  The random ass-beatings.   Next up is probably Kamala.

Web Warriors
We're one or two issues away from Web Warriors' finale, and that sucks.  This book could've totally been stupid since it was a bunch of Spider-people from different universes, but they managed to make each person varied and you never got any of them confused.

Still, an idea like this only has so much in the way of legs.  They'll inevitably write the end of the group off by explaining that the devices they use to travel the Web are completely unsafe, but ultimately it's because this comic wasn't selling.  Still, I'd love to see this team pop up again one day--even if its just as a sub-group of the Exiles.  (Who Marvel should totally bring back.)

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