Patrick: Honeymoon’s over guys. All this time we’ve had a laundry list of crummy things that Before Watchmen could end up being: pointless retreading, canonized fan fiction, aping Gibbon’s style without adding to it and origins-orgins-origins. The creative team of J. Michael Straczynski and Andy Kubert seem to checking items off this list as they achieve them in all in this wholly unessential Nite Owl tale.
Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Batman, Inc 2, originally released June 27th, 2012.
Shelby: I wasn’t totally sold on the first issue of Batman, Incorporated. I hadn’t read any of the pre-relaunch Batman, Inc stuff so I was pretty clueless. And, blasphemy though it may be, I’m not the biggest fan of Grant Morrison. I may have to take it all back, however, as this trip into Talia Al Ghul’s backstory, while not wholly surprising, is interesting and a lot of fun to read. Continue reading →
Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Aquaman 10, originally released June 27th, 2012.
Peter: Since its return last year, Aquaman has been selling extremely well just about every month. That is really surprising to me. For a while I’m wasn’t sure what was driving these sales. Was it Aquaman nostalgia? Was his impressive run in Brightest Day? Out of all the books I have been reading, it’s been pretty hit and miss. It has some really great issues (issue 5) that have been amazing, and some really terrible issues (issue 6) that just don’t work. With the introduction of the Others storyline, Aquaman has quickly become one of my favorite books again. This issue is no exception, giving incredible historic elements, as well as dynamic characters.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing the Flash 10, originally released June 27th, 2012.
Drew: Patrick and I like The Flash. Like like. I guess I shouldn’t speak for Patrick, but The Flash is perpetually on my list of top 3 comics. I love the writing, I love the art, and I especially love the synergy of the two. It’s hard for me to imagine it improving, so I’m generally wary of any changes. This is the first time we’ve seen a guest artist on The Flash, and while guest penciler Marcus To delivers a crisp, clean issue, it’s hard to compete with the Francis Manapul’s painterly style that has so defined this title for me. Continue reading →
You may have noticed that the last couple weeks have been strange for us. We’ve been pretty light on content and especially light on articles written by Shelby Peterson. We’ve brought in some great guest writers to help us out and much of our posting-schedule was rearranged to free us up during the week of June 18 – 22. You also might not have noticed. THAT’S FINE – MY FEELINGS ARE BARELY EVEN HURT.
The reason for this general work-slowage is that we were tapped to do a six-page preview of the Foster Anthology. What’s that? Foster isn’t a comic book produced by DC Comics and therefore writing about it doesn’t fit in with Retcon Punch’s mission statement? Well, that’s narrow-minded of you, imagined-reader.
Foster is Brian Buccellato’s creator-owned comic series that blends elements of horror and 70s crime cinema. It’s three issues deep at present and the writing is haunting and compelling and Noel Tauzon’s art conveys a real sense of gritty danger. The individual issues have been selling out (even in their second printings) and the whole thing is gradually approaching phenomenon status. The Foster Anthology (due out in time for San Diego Comic Con) contains eight short stories that take place in the Foster universe. The creative line-up on this bad boy boasts some awesome names: Steve Buccallato, Troy Peteri, Mike Johnson, Aaron Gilespie, Kyle Higgins, Rod Reis, Vince Hernandez, Robert Napton, Dan Smith, Sterling Gates, Hector Collazo, Eric Wallace and Don Hudson join Brian and Noel on this project.
We got a chance to see a couple of these stories and talk to a couple of the creatives involved. So we’ll be posting some of that interview content and slapping up some original artwork from the series, and you can even look for our fancy feature in the upcoming issue of Foster (check Dog Year Comics’ website for a list of shops where you can pick up this series).
With the release of the Zero Issues in September, DC is publishing origin stories for all of their current New 52 series. (Not so fast, JLI). They will also be introducing 4 new series by this same method. What are your thoughts on the new books? Are you interested in getting more origins on stories that just started over a year ago? With the sheer number of events and crossovers since the relaunch, is this just another easy cash grab or a meaningful addition to universe?
Peter: It is no secret that I love backstory and history. With the announcement of #0 issues that coincide with the 1 year anniversary of the New 52, I was pretty stoked. For me, these #0 issues, along with a ‘Third Wave’ with 3 interesting titles, there is probably NO WAY this could go bad. But then again, after some thinking there are DEFINITELY ways it could, and that’s what worries me.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Birds of Prey 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.
Patrick: In a lot of ways, the New 52 incarnation of Birds of Prey acts as as one of only a few blank canvasses in DC’s library. The two founding members of the group are a brand new character — as in Starling — and one reformed in such a way as to be unrecognizable as the Black Canary of old. The rest of the team is rounded out by characters either not normally associated with the Birds of Prey or (in Barbara’s case) aggressively altered by the new continuity. My first dip into this world was so fresh and new and exciting, that I started to feel a little let down as writer Duane Swierczynski wrapped up one story arc, vamped for time, and then paid lip-service to Snyder’s Night of the Owls crossover event. I’m not going so far as to claim that those three issues (7, 8 and 9) were wasted, but now that Birds of Prey seems firmly set its own two feet again, it’s apparent that this series is at its strongest when its free to develop on its own terms. Continue reading →
Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern Corps 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.
Peter: John Stewart is guilty: guilty of murdering a fellow Green Lantern who was about to give away the access codes to the Oan defense network. He stood his ground in an unfair trial and lost. He is about to be sentenced by the Alpha Lanterns, in front of the entire Corps and the Guardians of the Universe. We have been building towards this very moment for months, and it is all about to come to a head. How will it affect the future of the Corps? What are those nefarious little Smurfs planning?
Today, Patrick and (guest-writer) Courtney Ehlers are discussing Batwoman 10, originally released June 20th, 2012.
Patrick: This whole arc has been about the power of belief. The monsters of Medusa’s army are all terrors from the zeitgeist, and while there’s a fair amount of straight-up magic that brings these creatures into play, Maro states time and again that she can only spawn these monsters is because the citizens of Gotham believe in them. Their belief makes the impossible possible. But people don’t just believe in ghosts and hook-handed men and sewer creatures – even in a city as dark as Gotham, they believe in each other and abstract Bat-ideal of justice.
Today, Drew and Peter are discussing Nightwing 10, originally released June 13th, 2012.
Drew: Watching his parents fall to their deaths; training to be a crimefighter; falling out with his mentor; becoming Batman; relinquishing the Batman mantle once his mentor returned. To put it lightly, Dick Grayson has had a turbulent life. Tension and tragedy are somewhat par for the course in the superheroing world, but coming of age in costume has amplified those difficulties. At the start of the relaunch, Dick had reasserted his identity as Nightwing, and he seemed to have the agency all former sidekicks long for. Soon enough, however, he was being roped into all kinds of identity crises, as his personal and family histories made claims on his future. He emerged from those events with a stronger sense of self, and issue 10 finds him acting with that hard-earned agency, even as a corrupt cop tries to redefine Nightwing in the public eye. Continue reading →