Mikyzptlk: I don’t know about you, but when I was a teenager, I didn’t exactly have a lot of self confidence. High school was especially rough, as it seemed that everything I did was strange or off-kilter in some way. In other words, I felt like a freak. This feeling got worse before it got better, but damn it, it did get better. Eventually, I came to realize that not only was I strange and off-kilter, but everyone else was too. When I realized that I was on the same playing field as everyone else, things got a whole lot easier. Greg Pak’s Action Comics features a Superman struggling with his own “freakishness,” but he may have just found someone to find consolation in. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Mind MGMT 17, originally released November 27th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: I’m normally not the type to start a series with anything other than issue 1, but being an editor for Retcon Punch requires you to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while. I started this series with issue 16, and since it was a one-shot, it felt like an interesting experiment. Analyzing issue 17 feels like an experiment too, but of a different sort. Today, I’ll be trying to figure out what’s going on underneath the surface of issue 17 of Mind MGMT while trying to piece together the events of the previous issues. Hoo-boy. Continue reading
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing The Flash 25, originally released November 27, 2013.
Scott: Have you ever said goodbye to someone outside a restaurant and then proceeded to walk down the street in the same direction as them? It’s weird. That’s what I was expecting out of The Flash 25, since writer/artists Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato are back one last time after penning what felt an awful lot like their farewell issue a month ago. But rather than an awkwardly silent side-by-side walk to adjacently parked cars, this issue feels like a wake-up call. Manapul and Buccellato illustrate (I mean, literally illustrate) the reasons why I’m going to miss them. The issue is merely a tie-in with little significance to Flash as a series, but when these guys are doing the art (as they are for only a portion of this issue), they don’t need much story to turn out something great.
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, Mikyzptlk and Patrick discuss Batwoman 25, Red Hood and the Outlaws 25, Birds of Prey 25, Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion 2, Green Lantern New Guardians 25 and Fables 135
Mikyzptlk: Hey y’all, let’s kick things off with Birds of Prey 25, shall we? Many years ago, Sensei Desmond found a young Dinah Lance in a hungry and homeless state. He gave her a home, taught her how to fight, and, after his death, his dojo. During the Zero Year, Dinah gets mixed up in an affair involving government agents and ninja assassins, but she is able to help said agents track down important intel that could lead them to Riddler. The lead agent John Lynch, then asks her to join his team. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 25, originally released November 20th, 2013
Mikyzptlk: Strife. We’ve all felt it at one point or another. It has a way of seeping into us whether we want it to or not. No matter how patient or level-headed we try to be, we all succumb to the effects of strife every now and then. Dealing with Gods of “stuff,” Brian Azzarello has been able to use his divine characters to push his story forward in a number of ways. As you might have guessed, Azzarello uses issue 25 of Wonder Woman to place a particularly heavy focus on the character of Strife and her manipulative plans. Little does she know, Azzarello and Wonder Woman may just have plans of their own.
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, Patrick and Mikyzptlk discuss Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man 1, Justice League of America 9, Nightwing 25, Green Lantern Corps 25, Suicide Squad 25, Forever Evil: Arkham War 2, Superior Foes of Spider-Man 5, and Rocket Girl.
Patrick: My adventures in trying to make something of the end of the Ultimate Universe (about which I’ve now read exactly three issues), I picked up Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man 1. One of the things that struck me was how much time this issue spend with non-Spider-Man characters. I guess when there are only three series dedicated to a whole universe, they can all feature everyone. Brian Michael Bendis only lets us spend like 5 pages with Spidey, but it’s an extremely economic expression of everything that makes Miles so damn likable. He’s overworked, but still sharp as a tack — plus he’s got the most important quality for any Spider-Man: the affections of New Yorkers. I love this sequence when the cops realize that Spider-Man’s back — Dave Marquez shows such palpable joy on this guy’s face. Continue reading
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Manifest Destiny 1, originally released November 13th, 2013.
“(It is) our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”
John L. O’Sullivan, New York Morning News, 1845
Patrick: The term “Manifest Destiny” is strange – I’m not totally convinced that those words make sense when put up next to each other like that. I mean, I see how you can make one’s destiny manifest: essentially just realizing one’s potential. My objection — I think — is that it’s redundant: both “manifest” and “destiny” can imply that what is going to happen is meant to happen. And maybe that’s all O’Sullivan was going for, he felt that the US was “supposed” to conquer all the lands between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The genius of the term is that it feels as though the right and responsibility to do so is innate – you’ll notice that he doesn’t say that any man, government or god has granted us this opportunity, just “Providence.” Whatever was out there, it was just ours. No question, no doubt, no reason. It’s already a dangerous and intriguing concept, so what happens when you add secret missions and monsters? You get the best kind of alternate-history comic – one that makes you chuckle in recognition and gasp in shock in the same breath. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Shelby are discussing Batman 25, originally released November 13th, 2013
Mikyzptlk: From the moment that Zero Year was first announced, it has been shrouded in mystery. What exactly was the “Zero Year” and how would it change the origin of Batman that we’ve been familiar with for so long? We are now five issues into the story, and while some of the mysteries are becoming clear, there seems to be tons of new ones cropping up left and right. Issue 25 of Batman is no exception. At the same time, we are introduced to a brand new/really old Batman villain that may just be revealing more about our hero than he is about himself at this point. Continue reading
Last week, Marvel Studios announced that it would be producing four original, live-action series for Netflix — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist — and a Defenders mini-series that would theoretically tie them all together. Marvel Studios proved they were capable of conquering the well-established medium of feature-length films, and Agents of S.H.IE.L.D. is already a monster hit for ABC, can they accomplish the same in the untested waters of the Netflix Originals market? What’s in it for them? What’s in it for us? Hell, do you even have room in your heart to love FIVE NEW SERIES? Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Swamp Thing 25, originally released November 6th, 2013.
Scott: Realistically, there are only so many emotional peaks and valleys you can hit in a single, 20-page comic book. A hero can only claim victory and suffer defeat so many times over the course of one battle. Right? Apparently Charles Soule never got the memo. Swamp Thing 25 is a true roller coaster ride, a microcosm of what the series has been like under Soule’s watch. He’s adept at painting himself into a corner with dramatic twists and turns, and then walking right through the wet paint like a total badass. Frankly, he has no time to wait around. If this issue proves anything, it’s that Soule is a man with a plan, and that plan involves shaking things up for good.