Batman Annual 1

Today, Drew and Peter are discussing Batman Annual 1 originally released May 30th, 2012. This issue is part of the Night of the Owls crossover event. Click here for complete NotO coverage.

Drew: Let’s talk about baggage. Comics (especially comics with 70+ year histories) have a lot of fictional history that fans have long demanded that creators adhere to. DC’s relaunch promised to shake that status quo up a bit, freeing up editors, writers, and artists to keep what works and jettison anything that doesn’t. Of course, Batman being Batman, damn near everything about him worked. Writer Scott Snyder has revealed a lot of new information, largely by focusing on things that aren’t Bruce (or his core relationships), but much of what we knew about Batman has remained true. This makes any changes that are made — like those revealed towards the end of Batman Annual 1 — particularly effective; especially when they play so brilliantly against what we expect. Continue reading

Cram Session: Batman: Dark Knight 1-8

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

We read a lot of good Batman books. We also read a lot of bad Batman books. This series falls firmly in the latter camp. It’s aggressively goofy and has more cameo appearances than a Robert Rodriguez movie. The Night of Owls issue was unremarkable, but not a total disaster. Catching up on the eight issues that came before it is totally unnecessary as there’s almost no over-lap in the characters, and a huge writer shake-up between issues 8 and 9. Still, there’s something charmingly dumb about this series, so it’s hard not to pay attention to it.

Chat Cave: A Gay DC Character

Following Co-publisher Dan Didio’s announcement that a formerly straight DC character was going to be reintroduced as gay, the comics world has been abuzz with guesses as to just who this character might be. While Didio’s comments have ruled out many characters that have already been introduced, that hasn’t stopped folks from expressing who they’d like that character to be. Today, the Retcon Punchers weigh in with their favorite — not necessarily most likely — guesses. Welcome to the Chat Cave.

Drew: I’ve found many occasions to bring this up on this site, but I really think Jason Todd would make a lot of sense as a gay character. In fact, I think his story becomes more compelling if he is gay. Think about it: he’s this incredible exaggeration of the classic younger sibling of an overachiever; he’s always made to feel guilty about every little thing he does differently from the way Dick did things. It’s not a huge leap to think that he may have felt that pressure in his personal life, staying closeted for fear of the way his father (figure) might react. Gay readers may find a great deal to relate to in Jason’s conflict with Bruce, who fundamentally can’t accept him for hard-lined moral reasons (not that I’m comparing homosexuality to murder). Continue reading

The Vault – Superhero Snap Suits

The Retcon Punchers spend an awful lot of time looking for ways to celebrate our nerdy obsessions. This means a lot of time sunk into scouring Etsy, Deviant Art, Think Geek or whatever. Sometimes we see things so great we just have to share them… and then clutch them fiercely to our collective chest. Throw it in The Vault.

Website: Thinkgeek

Who Would Love This: Nerdy babies.

Price: $18.99 a piece

I don’t have a baby. I don’t plan on having any in the near future. All my friends and siblings should consider themselves warned, though: once they start having babies, those babies are getting a couple of these. No better way to declare your superhero allegiance than advertising on your child, I always say. I mean, isn’t that the point of having children? To force your own idea and opinions on them as soon as possible, to turn them into little mini versions of yourself so they can hate it, and then grow up to do the same thing?

The Vault – Illustrious Omnibus of Superpowers Poster

The Retcon Punchers spend an awful lot of time looking for ways to celebrate our nerdy obsessions. This means a lot of time sunk into scouring Etsy, Deviant Art, Think Geek or whatever. Sometimes we see things so great we just have to share them… and then clutch them fiercely to our collective chest. Throw it in The Vault.

Website: Pop Chart Lab

Who Would Love This: Comic book fans / chart enthusiasts.

Price: $27.00

Have you ever found yourself trying to discuss what a given comic book character is capable of, only to discover you don’t have the appropriate vocabulary? I mean, what are you supposed to call what Mera can do? PONDER NO LONGER. This handy chart lists the abilities (supernatural or otherwise) of over 300 characters from Marvel and DC Comics. Some of it is a little simplified (Wolverine’s listed power is “claws”) and some of it is out-of-date (like Captain Cold doesn’t only have an ice-gun anymore), but it’s still an impressively nerdy graphic display. Click on the image above and go to the website to see close up and have all your power-related questions answered!

Aquaman 9

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Aquaman 9, originally released May 23rd, 2012.

Shelby: I have grown to appreciate Aquaman. I used to think he was pretty lame, but I think his character has been fleshed out in recent years. There’s some depth to him now; he’s a man torn between two worlds, and all that. Geoff Johns obviously has some grand ideas for where he wants to take Aquaman; he just keeps doling out his ideas at such a slow pace, I’m afraid there will be a point when my questions so outnumber the answers, I’m just going to get fed-up.

Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 9

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 9, originally released May 23rd, 2012.

Drew: Last month, Patrick and I expressed our apprehensions about folding this title into the greater Green Lantern mythology playing out in the other GL titles. Character dynamics and breezy fun have been the biggest strengths of this book, and the thought of getting bogged down in universe-spanning details could potentially obscure both of those. It’s a surprise, then, that writer Tony Bedard managed to turn those mythological details into telling character moments. In glimpsing how our characters interact with their own corps, we see how their world views may have shifted in the wake of their first team-up. That’s a very corny-sounding lesson, but Bedard manages not only to make those moments feel earned, but deliver them with the same kind of fun we’ve come to expect of this title. Continue reading

All-Star Western 9


Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing All-Star Western 9 originally released May 23rd, 2012. This issue is part of the Night of the Owls crossover event. Click here for complete NotO coverage. 
Not caught up on All-Star Western? No problem! Get up to speed with our video Cram Session.

Patrick: Because it persistently employs back-up stories, All Star Western frequently feels like an anthology of stories from Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s vast 1880s wild west universe. Never mind that most of these stories have taken place in either Gotham City or New Orleans (which can’t even generously be referred to as ‘western’) or that the pair of Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham center every issues, All-Western is not bound to a single location or a single character. Issue number 9 (waving the Night of the Owls banner) takes this mission to heart and delivers four loosely (or not-so-loosely) connected tales.

Continue reading