Dead Drop 4

Alternating Currents: Dead Drop 4, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Dead Drop 4, originally released August 26th, 2015.

Drew: Endings always take a bit of finesse, but Ales Kot set his ending to hard mode in Dead Drop 4. He had to do all of the regular ending things — wrapping up the plot, landing on a resonant theme, giving every character a satisfying final beat — but he also had to introduce a new agent to do it; not only to maintain the pattern established in the first three issues, but because all of his other agents had been incapacitated. That’s no easy task, but Kot cleverly uses that need to his advantage, bringing in a character that is as much about tying up loose ends as this issue needed to be. 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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Weekly 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. Some comics fall neatly in the the categories “DC” or “Secret Wars” — these comics don’t! Today, we’re discussing Boy-1 1, Descender 6, Velvet 11, and Howard the Duck 5.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 8

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Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 8, originally released August 12th, 2015.

Taylor: I recently watched a video of a man who walked, without any safety harness, across a rope suspended 1,000 feet in the air. It’s an impressive feat, if not in bravery, then at least in balance. One wrong move, too much weight to one side, and that guy becomes a smear on the ground. In this case balance is obviously important, but for me it highlights how balance is important in almost everything do. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 8 similarly reminds that balance is important in a different way. Keeping in perfect equilibrium the nuttiness of Squirrel Girl and the gravitas of Thor, this issue expertly walks a fine line between comedy and adventure. And while it might not be nearly as breathtaking as slack-lining, it’s every bit as impressive.

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Secret Wars Round-Up: Issues released 8/11/15

secret wars roundup13Retcon 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 Secret Wars 5, A-Force 3, Ghost Racers 3, Inhumans Attilan Rising 4, Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos 3, Planet Hulk 4, Secret Wars Battleworld 4, Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde 2, and Years of Future Past 4.

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Batman 43

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Today, Drew and Michael are discussing Batman 43, originally released August 12th, 2015.

It seems like so many of these interpretations [of Batman] are somebody’s favorite. And the truth be told is that they all feel like it’s the same character. Regardless of how different they might be or how separate they might feel, they all feel like they’re Batman. They all feel true to the core conceit of what that character is.

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Drew: As diverse as Batman stories can be, they’ve always shared some core tenants of who the character is and what he stands for. Or, maybe we need to be more specific — there have been a few different Batmen over the years, with some variation in guiding principles (and origin stories), but Bruce Wayne has always stood for the same things. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on this series has been a slow indictment of each of those guiding principles, from Batman’s relationship to Gotham to exactly where he falls on the “superstitious and cowardly” spectrum, but this issue takes away something even more central to Bruce than all of these things combined: his drive as a detective. Indeed, that seems to be the linchpin that makes Bruce Batman — without it, he’s almost unrecognizable. Continue reading

Mad Max: Fury Road: Mad Max 2

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Today, Mark and Drew are discussing Mad Max: Fury Road: Mad Max 2, originally released August 5th, 2015.

Mark: One of my favorite things about Max Rockatanksy is that despite being crazy he’s an incredibly pure hero. There’s a trend in pop culture that seems to be sunsetting where every hero was an anti-hero. Yes we were rooting for them, but in the context of the real world we wouldn’t have been. But as interesting as anti-heroes can be, it’s hard to beat a straight-up hero. Indiana Jones is a scoundrel, yes, but he only wants to do the right thing. Ethan Hunt is blowing up in movie theaters right now in a fifth Mission: Impossible film. Max is the same way: yes, he has flaws but his motives are incredibly true. There’s something fundamentally appealing about these characters in a way anti-heroes can’t compete. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 8/4/15

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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 We Stand On Guard 2, Groot 3, The Fade Out 8, The Wicked + The Divine 13, and Outcast 11.

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Secret Wars Round-Up: Issues released 8/4/15

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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 Ms. Marvel 17, Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows 3, Civil War 2, Infinity Gauntlet 3, Giant Sized Little Marvel AvX 3, and Red Skull 2

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Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 7/29/15

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Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, Drew, Spencer, and Patrick discuss Daredevil 17, Jem and the Holograms 5, Universe! 3, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 4, and Material 3.

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Drew: What do people think of when you tell them you read comics? Do they assume you’re reading about Spider-Man and his friends? Do they think you mean “serious” graphic novels? Do they ever ask about newspaper strips? The point is, in spite of what genres we may chose to pigeonhole them in, comics are insanely diverse right now. Case in point: this week’s round-up. We’ve got superhero action, for sure, but we also have everything from irreverent comedy to twisted horror. More importantly, this week finds all of these series at different points in their narrative lives, from beginnings to ends to everything rolled up in one. That may mean that not everything on this list will appeal to everyone, but it also makes it likely that everyone will find at least one thing to like in this week’s comics. Continue reading