Secret Wars Round-Up: Issues Released 8/26/15

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Retcon Punch is on Summer Hours, which means we’re going to be writing fewer in-depth pieces for the month of August. But we’re addicts at this point, so we need a place for our thoughts on all those comics we can’t stop reading. Today, we’re discussing Last Days of Ant-Man 1, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps 3, Civil War 3, Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars 4, E is for Extinction 3, Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra 1, M.O.D.O.K. Assassin 4, Marvel Zombies 3, and Old Man Logan 4.

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Grayson 11

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Today, Mark and Michael are discussing Grayson 11, originally released August 26, 2015.

Mark: Grayson has always been a series towing the line between following genre tropes and undermining those tropes at the same time. It’s a remarkable case of having cake and being able to eat it too, and the fact that Tom King and Tim Seeley have been able to pull it off consistently for a year is remarkable. The threads they’ve been able to tie together time and time again, while at the same time keeping each issue fresh, is impressive, and Grayson 11 continues that trend. Continue reading

Trees 12

Alternating Currents: Trees 12, Drew and RyanToday, Drew and Ryan are discussing Trees 12, originally released August 19th, 2015.

he·ro

/ˈhirō/
noun
noun: hero; plural noun: heroes

  1. a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
  2. the chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.

Drew: I think I’ve always thought of those two definitions as functionally identical — we acknowledge heroes in real life for the same qualities we admire them in fiction — but a closer look reveals a rather profound difference in how much agency is required to satisfy these two definitions. That is, the first definition is about deeds performed by the would-be hero, whereas the second definition is more about the heroes place in the narrative; no agency is actually required. It’s no surprise to me that the morally grey characters of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees don’t satisfy the “noble qualities” clause of the first definition, but I was a bit more surprised to discover how passive they all have been. The biggest turning points in this series find the characters completely passive, from Professor Bongiorno’s acceptance of his own murder to Marsh’s decision to not sound the alarm about the Svalbard poppies. Issue 12 still features plenty of characters boxed in by their circumstances, but also gives Creasy the opportunity to actually do something. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 8/19/15

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Retcon Punch is on Summer Hours, which means we’re going to be writing fewer in-depth pieces for the month of August. But we’re addicts at this point, so we need a place for our thoughts on all those comics we can’t stop reading. Some comics fall neatly in the the categories “DC” or “Secret Wars” — these comics don’t! Today, we’re discussing Guardians Team-Up 10, Silk 6, and The Infinite Loop 5.

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Star Wars Round-Up: Star Wars 8 and Kanan – The Last Padawan 5

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Today, Patrick, Michael and Spencer discuss Star Wars 8, and Kanan – The Last Padawan 5.
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Patrick: One Star Wars series wraps up a story arc while the other kicks off a fresh one! They’re interesting points of comparison: Kanan 5, being the end of something, delivers information and catharsis, with a clean thematic unity, while Star Wars 8 more tepidly tests the waters, both in terms of theme and plot. Luckily, both issues are emotionally honest, and brimming with personality.

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DC Round-Up Comics Released 8/19/15

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Retcon Punch is on Summer Hours, which means we’re going to be writing fewer in-depth pieces for the month of August. But we’re addicts at this point, so we need a place for our thoughts on all those comics we can’t stop reading. Today, we’re discussing Bizarro 3, Black Canary 3, Dr. Fate 3, Green Lantern The Lost Army 3, Justice League 43, Martian Manhunter 3 and Robin: Son of Batman 3.

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Archie 2

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Today, Spencer and (Guest Writer) Ryan Mogge are discussing Archie 2, originally released August 19th, 2015.

Spencer: First issues are meant to sell a title to new readers. The creative team is putting their finest foot forward, introducing their characters, world, and the conflicts and themes they wish to explore, but the one thing first issues aren’t great at is showing how the creative team is going to tell their story from month to month. It often takes a few issues for readers to start to get a handle on a series’ format, and that’s very much the case with Archie. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples’ first issue wow-ed readers with its gorgeous, modern reinterpretation of Riverdale, but it’s issue 2 that gives us a clearer picture of just what kind of stories we can expect each month. Continue reading

Secret Wars Round-Up: Issues released 8/19/15

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Retcon Punch is on Summer Hours, which means we’re going to be writing fewer in-depth pieces for the month of August. But we’re addicts at this point, so we need a place for our thoughts on all those comics we can’t stop reading. Today, we’re discussing House of M 1, Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows 4, Spider-Verse 4, Secret Wars Secret Love 1, 1872 2, Weirdworld 3, Runaways 3, Howard the Human 1, and Loki Agent of Asgard 17.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 49

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Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 49, originally released August 19th, 2015.

“Let’s get ready to rumble!”

-Michael Buffer, Ring Announcer

Patrick: Michael Buffer started using his signature phrase in 1984. It’s short, it’s sweet, and belted out in Buffer’s distinct tenor, it can bring a crowd to their feet. The dude trademarked the phrase in 1992, and since then, he’s gotten paid for every single time it’s used. It’s estimated that the phrase is worth $400 million – that’s $80,000,000 per word. Why should a single sentence — no matter how powerful — ever be worth that kind of money? Because the pageantry involved in the pre-fight ritual ends up being more important that the fight itself. Hype is an art form. No one calls out “let’s get ready to rumble!” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 49, but the issue is so singularly obsessed with hyping one specific rumble that it’d be easy to forgive the creative team for invoking Buffer’s cash cow. And even though they haven’t: I’m ready.

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DC Round-Up Comics Released 8/12/15

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Retcon Punch is on Summer Hours, which means we’re going to be writing fewer in-depth pieces for the month of August. But we’re addicts at this point, so we need a place for our thoughts on all those comics we can’t stop reading. Today, we’re discussing Green Arrow 43, Gotham Academy 9, Batman Superman 23, Action Comics 43, Constantine The Hellblazer 3, and Starfire 3

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