Bottom of the Pile: August 24th, 2017

By the end of the day, I should have all of these up except for this week's. Probably a weekend thing.

Action Comics

Mercifully, this three month/six issue fight scene has finally come to an end.  When you think about it, Superman has basically been doing the same thing since it got launched as well.  Eradicator should take all of a page or two for Kal-El to knock into some other solar system, but somehow it took six issues.  I wouldn't even say the difference is a focus on family as Lois and Jon are front and center in both, but people have received Superman far more warmly than they have Action Comics.  Personally?  I can take or leave them both--having *my* Superman back doesn't work when he's removed from all the things that connected him to this Earth.

As for why I used this otherwise unrelated image?  Well, it's because I think Wonder Woman's a bad-ass and I love that it's only because of her Superman didn't get fucking wrecked this issue, even if this version of Supes shouldn't have any trouble beating Doomsday.


Because she's a super-genius that's only even kinda rivaled by Tim Drake, I'm not necessarily with the idea that Babs should be equal with someone who has natural physical acumen like Dick or even Cassandra, but...she definitely shouldn't be getting wrecked by some MMA scrub.  Yeah sure, someone with proper MMA training can trounce most people...but as Batgirl Babs' entire life is basically one big MMA match, with zero rules to them.  Seeing her get handled in two separate fights in the same comic was kind of a bummer, even if the second one was kinda funny.

Blue Beetle: Rebirth
I was somewhat hyped for this book because Ted Kord would be in it alongside Jaime Reyes, but I'm again reminded of why Rebirth bugs me.  By the end of Flashpoint, Jaime had gotten the hang of fighting for the most part and wasn't just letting the scarab drag him from place to place.  But here it seems like he literally JUST found the scarab a week ago--he's not hearing the scarab's voice, he's not able to generate weaponry on his own.  We're starting back from 0 and we've added a mentor.  It's frustrating.
Well, at least Wintergreen hasn't lost his sense of humor. Still, I'm semi-concerned that they're working towards making Deathstroke into a likable character.  The first step towards turning a villain into an anti-hero is making them funny because its hard to dislike someone who can make you laugh.  (See: James Roberts' More Than Meets the Eye.)  One of the reasons I'm on board with this besides Christopher Priest being one of comics' best writers is that he was all into making a villain like Deathstroke...stay a villain.  I'm hoping that doesn't change.

Detective Comics
I've been pretty worried about one of my favorite DC/Bat characters lately, but honestly this just seems like Tim Drake is just going to get injured in a way that would require him to briefly retire, or he's going to outright move away.  Still, this was a pretty well-told, emotional issue--seeing the team get together in order to fight off the mysterious drones being sent by the Colony to wipe out the League of Shadows members.  In terms of future potential stories, what's happening here is almost definitely that the League exists and Batman and the others just stopped the best chance of taking them down, which works as an idea so long as they don't connect the League to Ra's and act like Ra's hasn't already been introduced in the New 52 DCU.

More importantly though, its awesome to have Tim back to his old, Red Robin-era self.  The genius with the master plan--the guy who isn't by any measure the best fighter of the group, but who can legitimately outthink nearly every opponent he goes up against.  After the last few issues where the team brought down The Colony's computers, they sent the drones to attack random, "approximate" spots in Gotham only to have Tim hack them all and send them in his direction, claiming that dealing with them isn't even a fight, merely "math".  It's the kind of boast that should totally get him killed, but would also demean the character if it did.  He has to live through this, even if he has to get saved by the end, because the point of this isn't a "Heroic Sacrifice" so much as a "he's just THAT good".

Now here's hoping this prediction is accurate and I'm not back here when Detective 940 comes out in tears.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
On the flipside, Hal totally deserves to lose for being an impulsive dick who refused to retreat and instead decided to fight two dozen Sinestro Corps members head on.  Great move, genius.

The Flash
Ugh.  I was kind of hoping that for most of Josh Williamson's run he'd stick with the speed force storm having altered all these people, but I'm beginning to think that its most likely that all these cool characters he's populated Barry's world with will all end up either dead or pushed into the background by the end of it all.   Shame.  Superhero comics these days work best when they expand a character's universe outward, making us feel like they're dealing with legitimate changes in their lives rather than just another sitcom-ish adventure where the characters aren't changed at all by the end of them.

Our Rebirth hint of the week.  Kadabra is clearly aware of some reality tampering that no one else seems to be.  Hmmm.  Guess we're waiting until December/January to finally hear more...

Venom: Space Knight
As the theory goes, if two super-characters fight, the winner is always whover is the main character of the book they're fighting in.  IE: No matter how many times Hulk beats Iron Man elsewhere, if he fights him in Iron Man's solo comic he's most likely going to lose, or get redirected in some way.  And if you've ever needed proof, here it is.

Spidey pops up to talk to Flash Thompson and is equipped with literally ALL OF THE THINGS that would turn a symbiote into a helpless ball of goo.  Heat, soundwaves, the whole nine.  If this were Spider-Man's comic, Venom would've gotten pulped inside of a panel and we would've moved on with whatever threat Peter ACTUALLY had to deal with that issue.  Instead, Venom just chucks some shit around and Spider-Man's suit falls to pieces faster than a Crash Test Dummy. 

By the way, I'm pretty bummed that Venom's headed back to Earth for good.  Space Knight's first arc and a half or so was an absolutely fascinating usage of the character, allowing Flash to explore the mysterious, infinite vastness of space with an erstwhile crew was something that could've doubtlessly gone on for several more years, but instead we're undoing all that to work backwards, because Marvel can't seem to stick with a solid direction for longer than twelve months.  Oh well.  At least we've got those first eight issues or so, right?

Wonder Woman
I maintain that Wonder Woman's never actually BEEN to her home before.  That's why her memories are so shit--every time she's ever tried, she's failed because that was the cost of her leaving Themyscira.  There could of course be a villain behind it all like Circe or something...but where's the fun in that?  Why not focus on the idea that the gods themselves have been behind it this entire time?   Where's Diana go from there if the gods themselves have been against her, twisting her memories and making her forget who she is?


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