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Top of the Pile: February 2013

What did the staff love from last month's books? Find out what we thought was the Top of the Pile!

Welcome back to another Top of the Pile! At the end of each month, the staff of Comic Vine picks their favorite issues for that month. We saw a lot of great issues in February, as well as the conclusions to some major stories. What did the staff have to say about all of this? Read on to find out.

Sara is on vacation this week, so here's what the rest of the team thinks.

Tony "GMan" Guerrero

FF #4

We see all sorts of comics. I'm so thankful comics like this exist. Matt Fraction is killing it (I had to resist adding HAWKEYE #8 to this list as well). With the cast chosen to replace the Fantastic Four combined with Fraction's humor and Mike Allred's amazing art, this comic is crammed with fun and excitement. Seeing the Moloid kids turn their attention to The Jen is hilarious. We also see Jen reunite with her former flame, Wyatt Wingfoot (something long time readers will cheer) as well as Scott Lang's (serious) declaration that they need to "end" Doom.

Check out our review here!

BATMAN #17

I won't get into the argument against those that claim "nothing happened." This issue's conclusion was on a psychological level. The events leading up to the platter reveal had me on the edge of my seat. Seeing the entire family with bloody bandages made you wonder just what Joker was capable of. Their final scene showed Batman clearly knew how Joker's mind worked as he pushed him over the edge with just his words.

Check out our review here!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1

What could have easily been just another book in a growing "Justice League franchise," Geoff Johns shows us he has something more up his sleeve. We've wondered why the heck certain characters were selected for this team and the explanation is just the twist needed to make this book the flip side to JUSTICE LEAGUE. We'll have to wait and see where exactly Johns takes this title and when the inevitable clashes begin. With David Finch on board, it looks like it's going to be a great ride.

Check out our review here!

STAR WARS #2

Once again I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying a Star Wars comic set in between Episodes IV and V. You would think the story and characters would be limited in the direction they could go because of this. Brian Wood carefully weaves a new story for the characters and you can see he really knows and cares about them. The idea of seeing some of the fallout over events from Episode IV is something I can't wait to see more of.

Check out our review here!

DAREDEVIL: END OF DAYS #5

Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack have given us something we don't see too often in comics anymore, a great mystery. Set in a real crappy near-future version of the Marvel Universe, we get glimpses of many familiar characters as Ben Urich tries to uncover the truth behind Daredevil's last day. The cameos are great and painful at the same time as we see what's become of the characters. I have no idea what the next few issues hold but I'm so excited to find out.

Check out our review here!

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring

I just wanted to say, very quickly, that although this feature has only been around since November of last year, this was the toughest month yet. There were so many great books this month. I'm going to break my own rules and give some honorable mentions below my picks.

AQUAMAN #17

The Throne of Atlantis story line is over, and with it comes a new king of Atlantis! With the first story line over, Aquaman takes a step away from the rest of the DCU and into the seas. He truly feels on his own here and that he owns his book. This was a pretty sad issue as Aquaman reconnects with the ocean and becomes its savior once again.

However, now that he's the king of Atlantis, there's a lot of new responsibilities and there seems to be some old villains coming back. This isn't just one of my favorite books of the month. It's one of my favorite issues of this series.

Check out our review here!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #0.1

I picked this up on a whim only because Steve McNiven was drawing it, and I was extremely pleased with it. The issue was a ton of fun, and even though I've never really read a Guardians of the Galaxy book in my life, I felt this issue was incredibly new reader friendly. The art work is beautiful and I was really enjoying this story and where it is going. And although I've never been the biggest fan of the Marvel cosmic books, this one is officially on my pull list.

PHANTOM STRANGER #5

This one of those books I want to call my "guilty pleasure," but I never feel guilty about reading it. In this issue, the Phantom Stranger and the Spectre square off because Spectre blames Phantom Stranger for his "condition." While I found some of the dialogue to be a bit cheesy and even some of the action as well, I loved this issue. It's just a ton of fun. This issue and book slowly builds to the upcoming Trinity War, which looks like it could be the first big crossover event. This book is on my top of the pile every month, but this is the first time I've put it on my list.

Check out our review here!

HARBINGER #0

Writer Joshua Dysart is doing a wonderful job on this book. We get a little break from the madness in this series to see where Toyo Harada came from. It's a compelling story and it will give a bit more understanding about why the character is the way he is. The art here is beautiful and extremely detailed. Overall, it was my favorite issue of the series so far.

Check out our review here!

CLONE #4

This series has sucked me in, and it won't let go. The latest issue of CLONE is action packed and has a few big twists and turns. Juan Jose Ryp's art is insane here. He gets so much detail into each panel. Writer David Schulner has created a book that is a great mixture of science fiction and politics. We get two very solid stories coming to a head. This is a book you need to start reading. It's the perfect non-cape book.

Check out our review here!

Honorable Mentions: SAGA #10, X-O MANOWAR #10, ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #22, BATMAN #17, AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #17 and JUDGE DREDD #4. Yeah... That's how many books I loved this month.

Gregg Katzman

HARBINGER #0

This issue left me speechless when I finished my first read through. I've said it a thousand times before and I'll say it a million times more, Joshua Dysart is doing a phenomenal job crafting interesting and compelling characters. Toyo Harda's origin story is beyond moving and the artwork for the scenes in the past are disturbingly detailed. This is one of the most powerful issues I've read in a long, long time and I demand you read it!

Check out our review here!

BATMAN INC #8

DAMIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN! Grant Morrison gives the little hero a proper sendoff and my favorite Robin goes down like a true champ. I won't lie, my eyes got a little watery reading this one. Burnham nails it with the pencils. The fight is visceral and there's some exceptionally unique panel layouts. It's tough to let it sink in that he's really gone (for now...), but I'm thrilled to see how this will be handled in the months to come. There's some serious potential for great follow-up stories to this... I just hope everyone can deliver on it.

Check out our review here!

INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US #5

Tom Taylor needs to write "The Adventures of Harley Quinn and Green Arrow" asap. This series has been so bleak and shocking, yet this issue was nothing but sunshine and laughter (okay, maybe there wasn't a lot of sunshine). This one's sure to warm anyone's heart and deliver a steady stream of laughs. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a sudden increase in demand for fake mustaches, either.

Check out our review here!

GREEN ARROW #17

Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have saved the Emerald Archer -- well, the book, not Ollie. In fact, Ollie is really put through the wringer in this one. Regardless, it was a massively huge leap in quality for the book and an exceptional start to what will hopefully be an awesome tale. Bring on the next issue!

Check out our review here!

BATMAN AND ROBIN #17

Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are killing me. They've done such a great job with the father/son dynamic and I have full faith the next set of issues will be an emotional hurricane. That said, I read this one totally aware that Damian's demise was near and that made this such a gut-wrenching experience. This issue did a brilliant job addressing the aftermath of 'The Death of the Family' and had some really trippy and creative moments thrown into the mix. That ending just yanked at my heartstrings, too.

Check out our review here!

Well, that's it for this month! Thanks for reading, friends! Make sure to come back at the end of this month to see what we loved about March! What was your Top of the Pile for this month? Agreements? Disagreements? Yellings?

Mat "InferiorEgo" Elfring is a comedian, idiot, and the host of this dumb podcast.

Follow him on twitter to yell at him.

44 Comments
Posted by Mucklefluga

Someone needed to review GOTG 0.1!!!

Posted by skyjumpermike
Posted by inferiorego

@Mucklefluga said:

Someone needed to review GOTG 0.1!!!

We were down a reviewer this week, so we didn't get to as many books as we normally would, but it was a 4.5/5 for me.

Does that help?

Posted by Billy Batson

Would you ever include OGNs?
BB

Posted by Cavemold

Loved harbinger 0 as well my top 5

1.XO Manowar 10

2.Hawkeye 8

3.Harbinger 0

4.ThoThunder God 5

5. Shadowman 4

Posted by k4tzm4n

HOW DID I FORGET TO INCLUDE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 0.1?! Ahhhh I would have totally put that instead of B&R. Oh well.

Staff
Posted by inferiorego

@Billy Batson said:

Would you ever include OGNs?
BB

Yes, but it would pop up in the "Trade recommendation of the month" section. The top of the pile stuff relates only to single issues.

As you can see, there were no trades that caught my attention this month. Actually, this is probably the first month in at least a year where I didn't end up buying a trade.

Posted by inferiorego

@k4tzm4n said:

HOW DID I FORGET TO INCLUDE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 0.1?! Ahhhh I would have totally put that instead of B&R. Oh well.

That book slipped under everyone's radar, for some reason.

Posted by FalconPuuunch

Harbinger... I wants it!

Posted by Vitaeleous

Excellent input. And NOW, off to the shop to grab my issues and see if I agree with all this ;)

Posted by velvetmeds

for me...

Uncanny Avengers 4

All new X men 7

Detective comics 17

Uncanny X men 2

Fearless defenders 1

Posted by Mucklefluga

@inferiorego said:

@Mucklefluga said:

Someone needed to review GOTG 0.1!!!

We were down a reviewer this week, so we didn't get to as many books as we normally would, but it was a 4.5/5 for me.

Does that help?

Thanks, i debated with myself over a long period of time whether i should get it or not. I didn't in the end.

@k4tzm4n said:

HOW DID I FORGET TO INCLUDE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 0.1?! Ahhhh I would have totally put that instead of B&R. Oh well.

But i guess i should have!

Posted by weaponx

Cool.

Posted by impossibilly

Once again, Hawkeye was the top of the stack for me. I really enjoyed Earth 2 and Avengers Arena as well.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

FF is really great.

Though, GOTG bothered me. Mainly because Starlord saying FU to the rest of the galaxy and only defending Earth. Just seems to encourage isolationism. "To hell with other nations, just save America." That shouldn't be what the GOTG are about.

Also, Starlord loved his dad. They even went on adventures. Why the Daddy issues?

Posted by Overlander

FF #4 was awesome and sincerely the best issue I read all week...maybe all month.

I got Uncanny X-Men #2, but totally agree with G-Man's review: "...we're still in a holding pattern waiting for something to happen"

Didn't Star Wars #2 come out last week? (I could be wrong)

Posted by Zeeguy91

What about Sara's top of the pile?

Posted by Yai_Inn
  1. Hawkeye
  2. Saga
  3. XO Manowar
  4. TMNT: Secret History of the Foot Clan
  5. FF
    ^ my top 5.

@inferiorego said:

@Mucklefluga said:

Someone needed to review GOTG 0.1!!!

We were down a reviewer this week, so we didn't get to as many books as we normally would, but it was a 4.5/5 for me.

Does that help?

While I respect everyone has their own opinion I gotta ask how. How do you think this book gets a 4.5?

There was nothing original or even interesting in here, it was so cheaply conceived that it was nothing but a cliché. Just look at how typical and lazy this story was. Teenage boy stands up against bully at school because he's intrinsically good, becomes an orphanage who just naturally succeeds at becoming an astronaut (because that's easy), and then completely ignores any connections between Quill and the rest of the Guardians. All while reprinting the exact same pages that were released in the Marvel Now point.1 book back in Dec.

A good story would have focused on how a nasa astronaut just became the god damn Star Lord. Not this cliché piece of crap. But then again that would have involved an original idea. The story here was a 1, and the art was 4 (the art was good). Overall execution is a 2.5 though, IMO.

Posted by Zeeguy91

My top of the pile for February:

DC:

  • Green Lantern #17
  • Batman #17
  • Wonder Woman #17
  • Aquaman #17
  • Green Arrow #17
  • Justice League #17
  • JLA #1
  • DC Universe Presents #17

Marvel:

  • Hawkeye #8
  • Uncanny X-Men #1
  • Uncanny X-Men #2
  • Winter Soldier #15
  • Daredevil #23
  • All New X-Men #7

Honorable Mentions: Flash #17, Nightwing #17, Avengers #6

Edited by G_Money_Christmas

I completely agree with you, except Star Wars (which I didn't read).

  • Hawkguy
  • Daredevil EoD #5
  • Daredevil
  • TMNT
  • TMNT Secret History of the Foot Clan
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1
  • Supergirl #17
  • FF
  • Justice League of America
  • New Avengers #3
  • Action Comics #17
Posted by Johnnyjavavee

Sara needs to be included in this so that Avengers #6 gets the praise it deserves.

Posted by Trodorne

Guardians of the Galaxy 0.1 is just a prelude story. Well see how it goes when we get Number 1. in the mean time Nova seems to be more interesting.

Posted by kingdomenic

Going with. . .

  • Batman #17
  • Daredevil #23
  • Harbinger #0
  • Batman and Robin #17
  • Hawkeye #8

Honorable mentions: Justice League #17, Aquaman #17, TMNT: SHFC #3, Thor #5, and Flash #17

Posted by monopolyloser

Mine are
Batman #17
Batman Inc #8
Saga #10
FF #4
Shadowman #4

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@Mucklefluga said:

@inferiorego said:

@Mucklefluga said:

Someone needed to review GOTG 0.1!!!

We were down a reviewer this week, so we didn't get to as many books as we normally would, but it was a 4.5/5 for me.

Does that help?

Thanks, i debated with myself over a long period of time whether i should get it or not. I didn't in the end.

@k4tzm4n said:

HOW DID I FORGET TO INCLUDE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 0.1?! Ahhhh I would have totally put that instead of B&R. Oh well.

But i guess i should have!

The new GotG and Nova books reaaaaaaaaly arn't aimed at Marvel Cosmic fans at all.

Posted by TheCommissar

@Yai_Inn: Not to mention it skips over everything that makes Peter Quill, Peter Quill. Most notably the fact that he used to be kind of an asshole, what with stepping on people to make it to NASA, and then to space, and neglecting to mention that Peter really doesn't care that much about Earth. As well as conveniently forgetting that Peter made up with his father long ago.

Posted by sho3s22

guardians of the galaxy #0.1 definitely surprised me and was easily my favorite

Posted by tomchu

Surprised neither Hawkeye, Daredevil or Saga was in this list.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@Yai_Inn said:

  1. Hawkeye
  2. Saga
  3. XO Manowar
  4. TMNT: Secret History of the Foot Clan
  5. FF
    ^ my top 5.

@inferiorego said:

@Mucklefluga said:

Someone needed to review GOTG 0.1!!!

We were down a reviewer this week, so we didn't get to as many books as we normally would, but it was a 4.5/5 for me.

Does that help?

While I respect everyone has their own opinion I gotta ask how. How do you think this book gets a 4.5?

There was nothing original or even interesting in here, it was so cheaply conceived that it was nothing but a cliché. Just look at how typical and lazy this story was. Teenage boy stands up against bully at school because he's intrinsically good, becomes an orphanage who just naturally succeeds at becoming an astronaut (because that's easy), and then completely ignores any connections between Quill and the rest of the Guardians. All while reprinting the exact same pages that were released in the Marvel Now point.1 book back in Dec.

A good story would have focused on how a nasa astronaut just became the god damn Star Lord. Not this cliché piece of crap. But then again that would have involved an original idea. The story here was a 1, and the art was 4 (the art was good). Overall execution is a 2.5 though, IMO.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that GotG didn't bring anything new to the table but IMHO Bendis managed to execute it in a very solid manner and, at least for me, that compensated for the lack of originality behind the issue. Additionally, I never read the Point One book, so that didn't hinder the experience. :D

Staff
Posted by sagejonathan

I was very pleased with Guardians of the Galaxy 0.1. I think it was reviewed early on this site and got 3 stars. I would've given it a higher rating. Like mentioned it was very newbie friendly and a great introduction.

Posted by Meteorite

With David Finch on board, it looks like it's going to be a great ride.

With David Finch on board, it also looks like the book will inevitably either get a new artist after a few issues or end up shipping late.

Posted by GothamRed

no hawkeye guys?

Posted by inferiorego

@Johnnyjavavee said:

Sara needs to be included in this so that Avengers #6 gets the praise it deserves.

From the article... right after the picture:

Sara is on vacation this week, so here's what the rest of the team thinks.
Posted by inferiorego

@Zeeguy91 said:

What about Sara's top of the pile?

I mentioned right away why she's not in here.

Posted by SupBatz

The Adventures of Harley Quinn and Green Arrow... Katzman, you sir are a genious. DC should get on that :P

Posted by k4tzm4n

@inferiorego said:

I mentioned right away why she's not in here.

That requires reading and reading is no fun. You know this, Mat.

Staff
Posted by JamesKM716
  • Saga
  • Batman (I was incredibly excited for this even if it did disappoint).
  • Justice League (Of America too)
  • Thor:god of Thunder
Posted by Fenderxx

1. Hawkeye

2. Uncanny X-men

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

Posted by DonFelipe

Can't decide which of the following 3 was the best issue this month:

  • A+X #4
  • Hawkeye #8
  • Snapshot #1

+ Saga, Five Weapons, JLA, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Shadowman, The End Times of Bram & Ben, and more...

Posted by kingjoeg

Week 1 - New Avengers 3

Week 2 - Batman 17

Week 3 - Justice League 17

Week 4 - Hawkeye 8

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

MY PICKS:

Hawkeye #8

Punisher Warzone #5

Uncanny XMEN # 1 & 2

ALL New XMEN #7

DAREDEVIL #23

GreenArrow #17

Batman #17

Batwoman #17

Edited by Raw_Material

Top of the Pile

  • Aquaman #16
  • Aquaman #17
  • Justice League #17
  • Justice League of America #1
  • Green Arrow #17
  • Green Lantern #17
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #17
  • Green Lantern Corps #17
  • Indestructible Hulk #4
  • Superior Spider-Man #4
  • Avengers #5
  • TMNT: The Secret History of the Foot Clan #3

Reviews, Click Here!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Real awesome choices! I got all my February holds just days ago so I'm still in the middle of catching up on all my reading. Good picks, CV staff!

Posted by BatLantern12

I have to agree. That last issue of Aquaman was definitely one of the best I've read. It was one of my favourite issues of anything in a while.