Today, Spencer and Mark are discussing Robin: Son of Batman 6, originally released November 25th, 2015.
Spencer: “Redemption” can be an awfully selfish pursuit if the person seeking redemption is more interested in clearing their own name and conscience than about alleviating the pain they’ve caused others. I certainly wouldn’t accuse Damian Wayne of being selfish, but he is young, and still learning just what, exactly, redemption and forgiveness are all about. In Robin: Son of Batman 6, Patrick Gleason uses the events of the past five issues to teach Damian an entirely new definition of redemption, one focused more on others than himself. Continue reading →
Today, Ryan D. and Drew are discussing Saga 31, originally released November 25 2015.
Ryan D: The hiatus is over! Superstar creative team Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples have been keeping themselves rather busy since issue 30 released a million years ago in July, hitting Comic Cons and embarking upon new series. Though Vaughn’s mini-series We Stand on GuardoutsoldSaga in the month of it’s debut, the Eisner-winning space opera returns with a new chapter which promises to keep returning readers satiated with its signature bend of absurdly imaginative and developed characters in an ever-expanding universe. Continue reading →
Today, the Ryans are discussing Jughead 2, originally released November 18th, 2015.
Ryan M.: Nobody likes a smart ass. Of all the things adults said when I was a kid, this may be the most full of shit. Everybody like a smart ass. They are funny! They say what they want without worrying about decorum and, in doing so, disrupt the mundane. The truth is, what “nobody likes” is being disrespected. And to tell a sass-filled kid that they have the power to undermine you is to further offer them power. In Jughead 2, the new regime at Riverdale High is struggling to regain the upper-hand over King of the Smart Asses, Jughead Jones.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Dark Knight III: The Master Race 1, originally released November 25th, 2015.
Drew: Under the subject of “staying on topic,” the Retcon Punch style guide reminds writers that any piece we write is a discussion of a specific issue of a comic, not a discourse on a creative team, series, or character. That’s a guideline that I stand by as something that keeps our discussions focused and open-minded — my opinions on any prior issues take a backseat to my reactions to this one. Indeed, DKIII might just provide a perfect example of why that focus is so important: we’d all love an opportunity to write about the legacy of The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller, or the enduring symbolic potency of Batman, but that would hardly make for a satisfying commentary on this particular comic. Then again, DKR, while formally remarkable in many ways, is most interesting as a response to the Batman stories that came before it — it’s very much a reaction to that legacy and context. Moreover, it was such a watershed moment for superheroes that virtually every superhero comic since then has needed to reconcile with it. That legacy proves inescapable for DKIII, which might actually work to this issue’s benefit. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 1, originally released November 25th, 2015.
“Hey Liz, how’s your telescope?”
“I don’t know Kelsey, how’s your mom’s pill addiction?”
30 Rock, “Reunion”
Patrick: By the time the third season of 30 Rock rolled around, the audience had grown used to Liz Lemon’s put-upon-nerd persona. It makes her a hyper competent underdog and immediately endearing in the world populated with sociopathic ego-machines like Jack, Jenna and Tracy. That’s what makes the set-up for the the episode “Reunion” so tantalizing – Liz plans to go to her high school reunion to prove to the people that used to bully her that she made something of herself. The problem, however, is that Liz was even more of a bully back to them, and whatever alienation she felt at the time was totally deserved. All of the jabs and jokes that she saw as self defense actually drove people away. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 1 introduces us to the titular Moon Girl, and leans in to her outsider status, but may go too far, presenting her less like a misunderstood kid and more of a jerk.
Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Bizarro 6, originally released November 18th, 2015.
Michael: With the countless stories we have read or watched we have (most likely) seen the same number of finales. We’ve seen finales we’ve loved, ones that are easily forgettable and, of course, the ones that the general public can’t ever seem to forgive. We are all our own experts on the “art of the finale.” Heath Corson and Gustavo Duarte treat their Bizarro finale with the same unique and fun approach that they’ve taken with the series thus far, while still playing to the finale tropes we recognize. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Tokyo Ghost 3, originally released November 18th, 2015.
Drew: There’s something violating about an “averted happy ending” — endings that dangle a “happily ever after” in front of the audience before cruelly snatching it away. Vertigo is probably the most well-known example of this, but there are countless others. It’s an effective choice — we’re conditioned to expect happy endings, so denying us that happy ending at the last moment is always surprising — but it’s often brutal on the audience, who just wants resolution for the characters. It would be misguided to suggest that Tokyo Ghost 3 presents an averted happy ending — the central conflict has barely begun, let alone concluded — but I couldn’t help but feel just as violated by the loss of that “happily ever after.” Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Mark are discussing Godzilla in Hell 5, originally released November 18th, 2015.
Spencer: Godzilla in Hell is one of the most unusual series I’ve had the pleasure of reading in quite a while. There’s little in terms of backstory or continuity between issues, and almost no dialogue or copy of any kind, making each issue a spotlight for the artist and their take on Godzilla’s afterlife. About the only thing tying each story together is the idea that, even in Hell, Godzilla is nigh unstoppable, tearing through every challenge Hell can throw his way through sheer stubborn force of will alone. It only makes sense, then, that Godzilla in Hell‘s conclusion would turn even this trope on its head, creating a scenario where Godzilla’s only chance at victory is to surrender. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Michael are discussing Uncanny Inhumans 2, originally released November 18th, 2015.
1. strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.
Patrick: In light of the recent nuking and un-nuking (or possibly re-nuking) of the Marvel Universe, readers are reasonably expecting some straightforward adventure storytelling. What better way to get back to the basics of these characters than by comfortably setting them in a familiar world? But writer Charles Soule seems to be after anything but “comfortable” — only two issues in and it looks like he just wiped most of the Inhumans out of existence. The series is possessed by this insane confidence, with little regard to how strange, mysterious or even unsettling it becomes. They’re not joking around when they call this thing “uncanny.” Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing New Avengers 3, originally released November 18th, 2015.
Spencer: Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval’s New Avengers is rather explicitly a book about problem-solving; the very purpose of Sunspot’s revamped A.I.M. is to use their resources to solve crises on a global scale, and the bulk of the second issue was spent breaking down the threat of Life-Minus like a math problem in order to find a solution. It seems appropriate then that, with the concept of problem-solving having been thoroughly established, Ewing and Sandoval shift the focus of issue 3 to exploring the effectiveness (and morality) of various approaches to solving problems. Continue reading →