Trees 12

Alternating Currents: Trees 12, Drew and RyanToday, Drew and Ryan are discussing Trees 12, originally released August 19th, 2015.

he·ro

/ˈhirō/
noun
noun: hero; plural noun: heroes

  1. a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
  2. the chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.

Drew: I think I’ve always thought of those two definitions as functionally identical — we acknowledge heroes in real life for the same qualities we admire them in fiction — but a closer look reveals a rather profound difference in how much agency is required to satisfy these two definitions. That is, the first definition is about deeds performed by the would-be hero, whereas the second definition is more about the heroes place in the narrative; no agency is actually required. It’s no surprise to me that the morally grey characters of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees don’t satisfy the “noble qualities” clause of the first definition, but I was a bit more surprised to discover how passive they all have been. The biggest turning points in this series find the characters completely passive, from Professor Bongiorno’s acceptance of his own murder to Marsh’s decision to not sound the alarm about the Svalbard poppies. Issue 12 still features plenty of characters boxed in by their circumstances, but also gives Creasy the opportunity to actually do something. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics 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. Some comics fall neatly in the the categories “DC” or “Secret Wars” — these comics don’t! Today, we’re discussing Guardians Team-Up 10, Silk 6, and The Infinite Loop 5.

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Star Wars Round-Up: Star Wars 8 and Kanan – The Last Padawan 5

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Today, Patrick, Michael and Spencer discuss Star Wars 8, and Kanan – The Last Padawan 5.
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Patrick: One Star Wars series wraps up a story arc while the other kicks off a fresh one! They’re interesting points of comparison: Kanan 5, being the end of something, delivers information and catharsis, with a clean thematic unity, while Star Wars 8 more tepidly tests the waters, both in terms of theme and plot. Luckily, both issues are emotionally honest, and brimming with personality.

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DC Round-Up Comics 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 Bizarro 3, Black Canary 3, Dr. Fate 3, Green Lantern The Lost Army 3, Justice League 43, Martian Manhunter 3 and Robin: Son of Batman 3.

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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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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 49

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Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 49, originally released August 19th, 2015.

“Let’s get ready to rumble!”

-Michael Buffer, Ring Announcer

Patrick: Michael Buffer started using his signature phrase in 1984. It’s short, it’s sweet, and belted out in Buffer’s distinct tenor, it can bring a crowd to their feet. The dude trademarked the phrase in 1992, and since then, he’s gotten paid for every single time it’s used. It’s estimated that the phrase is worth $400 million – that’s $80,000,000 per word. Why should a single sentence — no matter how powerful — ever be worth that kind of money? Because the pageantry involved in the pre-fight ritual ends up being more important that the fight itself. Hype is an art form. No one calls out “let’s get ready to rumble!” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 49, but the issue is so singularly obsessed with hyping one specific rumble that it’d be easy to forgive the creative team for invoking Buffer’s cash cow. And even though they haven’t: I’m ready.

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DC 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. Today, we’re discussing Green Arrow 43, Gotham Academy 9, Batman Superman 23, Action Comics 43, Constantine The Hellblazer 3, and Starfire 3

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Lando 2

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Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Andy are discussing Lando 2, originally released August 12, 2015.

Patrick: When you think about Lando’s role in the original trilogy, it’s hard to see him as an active player in the drama. His pivotal turn in The Empire Strikes Back boils down to him sending Lobot a text. Think about his role freeing Han from Jabba’s Palace – he infiltrates Jabba’s guard and then… does what? The man is a maestro at seizing opportunity, just so long as that “seizing” doesn’t really look like anything. But damn it all: be basically thwarts the will of the Emperor to Darth Vader’s face and lives to tell the tale. Charles Soule and Alex Maleev translate that effective inaction to the comic book page in Lando 2, using trappings two separate genres to their advantage, and then punctuate the whole thing with Lando’s opposite: an agent that never stops being active. Nearly every single element of this issue, from the pacing, to the coloring, to the dialogue, to the antagonist, serve to highlight what exactly makes Lando so damn special.
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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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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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