Between the commercial success of a near-constant stream of Marvel Studios Avengers movies and the critical success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, there are impossible expectations for Man of Steel. Expectations like reigniting the public’s love for Superman; expectations like launching a blockbuster film franchise; expectations like being any good in its own right. Zach Snyder’s Superman slug-fest has a lot to accomplish. Does it achieve any of that? Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Drew: Like many comics fans, I was incredibly excited by the teaser trailer for this movie. In spite of the trailer’s own prominent reminder that Zach Snyder directed both Watchmen and 300, it felt like this movie got Superman. Indeed, the trailer trades in Snyder’s standard embarrassing music cues and slow-motion punches for meditative statements about Superman’s power as a symbol. Between story credits by Dark Knight Trilogy scribe David S. Goyer and director Christopher Nolan, I dared hope that Man of Steel might be to Superman what The Dark Knight films were to Batman: an operatic drama that understands the defining nature of the hero.
DC has staked their claim on the month of September. Two years ago saw the relaunch of the entire publishing line, and last year saw special “zero” issues for every series. This year, DC is releasing 52 issues featuring villains, old and new, from the DC Universe. There’s no one-for-one correspondence to existing series, and DC hasn’t been the most forthcoming with information about what exactly they’re putting out. There’s a lot to sort through here and no easy answers for what’s going to be worth our time and money. Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
Marvel Studio’s follow-up to the uber-successful Avengers movie, Iron Man 3, came out this weekend to mixed reactions from critics and fans, but it cleaned up at the box office, certifying the longevity of the whole Avengers’ stable of films. The movie also serves a double roll — concluding the Iron Man series while kicking off Marvel’s Phase II. How well did it succeed in any of these capacities? Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Patrick: I had the pleasure of seeing this movie with my little sister, Courtney — who until recently, had been writing about a title-a-week with us. She’s the fascinating case of someone who had never seen any of the Iron Man movies and also has not seen The Avengers. As a self-contained adventure, this worked amazingly well for her. I don’t know how the Marvel Studios guys do it, but they manage to make relatively faithful superhero movies that aren’t steeped in dense mythology. Walking out of that movie, Courtney concluded that Tony’s superpower was “data management,” which sounds like it should be boring. But there are enough ultra-fast-talkin’ sequences and super-computer-assisting-crime-solving sequences to dramatize this super-collation of data in engaging and funny ways. Continue reading →
Last week, Geoff Johns announced that issue 20 of Green Lantern will be his last. Johns has been writing Green Lantern since the Rebirth mini-series that restored Hal Jordan as the main Green Lantern. Over the course of a decade, Johns has expanded the Green Lantern mythology to enormous sizes. The reach of the Green Lantern Universe has been considerable, eventually coming to occupy four titles in The New 52 library. With Johns’ departure, Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps), Tony Bedard (Green Lantern: New Guardians) and Peter Milligan (Red Lanterns) will also be stepping down. What’s next for the Green Lanterns? Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
Crisis on Infinite Earths was a significant event for DC’s universe, but its more enduring legacy might just be the very concept of an expansive, line-wide event. Not all crossover events need to be quite so large — DC has recently seemed more fond of events crossing into small handfuls of titles, and only for a few months at a time. Some of DC’s Vice Presidents may balk at the notion that they seem to like events, but with over a third of their titles recently involved in one of their five ongoing events (with more announced), they’ve become all but unavoidable for fans. We here at Retcon Punch are no exception, but are these events welcome? Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
Gail Simone announced on Sunday (via twitter and tumblr) that she had been let go from her position as the writer for Batgirl in the New 52. We’ve got opinions about this one. Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
The Retcon Punchers weren’t exactly thrilled when Before Watchmen was announced. But then, against all odds, the experiment proved largely successful. The original line-up contained many titles that went well beyond justifying their existence — a few even transcend their inherently exploitative premise. Last week saw the release of Moloch #1 and the announcement of a Dollar Bill one-off. What does this mean for the legacy of Before Watchmen? Any additional titles you want to see?What if there’s a chance to get additional issues of existing titles? Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
Zero month saw the launch of several new titles, including the fantasy-infused Sword of Sorcery. As soon as the issue was released, the return of Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld was overshadowed by controversy surrounding a scene of an attempted rape. Reactions ranged from outrage and disappointment to outrage and disappointment over said outrage and disappointment. The only thing that could really be said about the reactions is that everybody had one. Not to be left out of the dialogue, the Retcon Punchers have their own thoughts on the issue. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Drew: The charge against this issue is largely lead by Chris Sims of Comic Alliance. Sims’ objection basically boils down to two key points: 1) that rape as an overused trope writers use to darken comics needlessly, and 2) that it’s particularly inappropriate in a kid-friendly title. This blogger does a pretty good job of rebutting Sims first point, so I’ll just add that while rape can be misused as a narrative bludgeon — as can death, love, war, hate, or pretty much anything else that makes stories compelling — it doesn’t mean it should be off-limits. Whether or not it was used inappropriately should be determined on a case-by-case basis, so its perceived overuse shouldn’t enter into the conversation at all. Continue reading →
The Retcon Punch editors want to extend a HUGE thank-you to everyone that helped cover all 55 Zero Issues released in the month of September. And an additional thank you to the new readers that have been enriching the conversations in our comment sections. We couldn’t have done it with out you – and really, without you, what would be the point?
In that spirit, let’s all reflect on Zero Month. What were some of your favorite Zero Issues? What were your least favorite? Did any of these issues serve as an effective entry-point for you? What trends did you notice? Are these kinds of line-wide events fun, or a pain in the ass? Welcome to the Chat Cave.