Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern Corps 20, originally released May 8th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Patrick: It might be pure, dumb circumstance that this issue of Green Lantern Corps came out a full two weeks before this epic run of Green Lantern stories comes to a close. The cover of this issue brashly proclaims that the story within is an “epilogue.” And it is – in the strictest sense, everything that happens in this issue takes place immediately after the crossover has been resolved. Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin’s preemptive coda challenges the very idea that a Green Lantern story could end and explores a deeper truth about what we want, what we need and what we expect from serialized storytelling. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing Avengers Assemble 15AU, originally released May 8th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Ethan: It’s always tempting to poke fun at other cultures. Humans seem evolutionarily predisposed to draw lines between Us and Them, and in the present, enlightened point in the development of our species, we like to use humor to act on that where our paleo-ancestors might have used a nice, big stick. Humor’s got more uses than pushing others away though; sometimes it’s a good way to navigate the gap between the familiar and the different, and to draw people together. All of this is a bit overblown for introducing this issue. What I’m really trying to say is that writer Al Ewing really went to town on those silly Brits in this issue. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Ethan are discussing Wolverine and the X-Men 27AU, originally released April 17th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Taylor: Expect the unexpected. On a scale of one to ten that measures cliché sayings that enrage me, this one is at about a 9.3. How can you expect the unexpected? By its very nature a person can’t prepare for the unexpected. If something is unexpected that means you cannot see it coming, so how can you prepare for it? I understand that some of the charm people derive from this saying comes from the very paradoxical nature of it that I hate so much. However, I think a lot of people have forgotten this aspect of the saying in eschewing its true meaning. Rather, those who employ the saying often seem to use it as a way of preparing people for wild times ahead, not caring that the dribble coming out of their mouth is useless and confusing. However, occasionally this phrase is useful, like when you really have no idea what to expect from your present circumstances. I think time travel is one of the times when it’s safe to say you should expect the unexpected if for no other reason then temporal mechanics are wonky. So when Wolverine and Sue Storm travel back in time in Wolverine and the X-Men 27 AU, I think it’s safe to use the phrase I deplore so much.
Spencer: Tragedy and loss are inevitable parts of life. We can’t escape it, but we can deal with it, and how we do so tends to reveal our true priorities and who we really are deep inside. Continuing Green Lantern: New Guardian’s habit of turning crossover issues into journeys through its characters’ psyches, writer Tony Bedard uses not one, but two tragedies—the destruction of the planet Korugar and the “death” of Hal Jordan—to shine a light deep inside Sinestro, Carol Ferris, and Kyle Rayner.
Age of Ultron 8 comes out on May 13th, 2013 and is written by Brian Michael Bendis with Art by Brandon Peterson. Click here for our complete Age of Ultron coverage.
Marvel’s previews for these things are getting increasingly obtuse. Okay, what do we have here? Someone in the Iron Man armor sorting through images of Ultron’s destruction. The logical question – who’s in that armor? Unless Tony’s had a rough couple weeks, that ain’t him. I’ll get the ball rolling with wild speculation: LOST’s John Locke.
Also, the cover suggests we’ll see some of Sue and Wolverine’s adventures in the past. That could be fun.
Today, Drew and Ethan are discussing Avengers Assemble 14AU, originally released April 10th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
…it’s not who you are underneath, it’s what you do that defines you.
-Rachel Dawes, Batman Begins
Drew: I remember laughing out loud when I first heard Rachel’s lecture to Bruce in Batman Begins. It’s not that the scene was poorly acted, or even that the sentiment was that offensive, but that its underlying “who you are on the inside doesn’t count for much, after all” message flew in the face of essentially every 90s movie, from Beauty and the Beast to She’s All That. Of course, the message here is about action vs. sentiment — talk is cheap, if you will — rather than about superficiality, which makes it a more appropriate, if sensitive, topic for comics. It’s sensitive because we care about who our heroes are underneath. Does Superman’s moral strength come from never failing to want the right thing, or from never failing to do the right thing? Many fans may balk at finding out Superman has immoral thoughts, while others may find a squeaky-clean mind entirely unrelatable, making the very act of pulling back the curtain a precarious one. You might expect this discomfort to be smaller with more down-to-earth human characters, but as Al Ewing demonstrates in Avengers Assemble 14AU, the opposite might be true. Continue reading →
Today, Ethan and Taylor are discussing Ultron 1, originally released April 10th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Ethan: In the aftermath of terrible, unexpected events, it’s good to find comfort in familiar places and situations. Ultron’s instant and total takeover of the world qualifies as a pretty terrible and unexpected event. For the lead character of Ultron #1 – Victor Mancha – this catastrophe is a unique blend of insult and injury. Not only has Ultron killed off Victor’s former teammates the Runaways, but Ultron is also Victor’s father. Add to this the fact that a visitor from the future once warned that Victor would bring about the destruction of the world and the death of its heroes, and you’ve got a pretty complete package of misery. Writer Kathryn Immonen and artist Amilcar Pinna explore how Victor copes with all of this by returning to his roots as a teenage hero.
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Age of Ultron 5, originally released April 10th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.
Shelby: Why is it always time travel? If you have a science-y plot in a comic book (especially a Marvel book, it seems) odds are pretty good that time travel with either be the basis of the conflict or the solution. Personally, I hope we never figure out how to travel through time. Travel to the past, and the most innocuous action could alter the future in unimaginable ways; travel to the future, and your knowledge of what will happen will color the actions you take in the present. It all seems too risky. It would appear that Brian Michael Bendis disagrees with me; not content to limit himself to one kind of time continuum manipulation, Age of Ultron 5 has the team traveling to the past AND the future to resolve this Ultron problem. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern 19, originally released April 10th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Patrick: It’s hard not to see Volthoom as an author surrogate. This is a creature who feasts off the emotional turmoil of the Green Lantern characters and can alter their pasts with a snap of his glowing, iridescent fingers. So why is he the bad guy? Comic book fans are very quick to turn on creative or editorial teams when it seems like the choices they’re making threatens what the fans hold dear. Scott Lobdell mentions that Tim Drake was never Robin? “Oh fuck that guy.” Dan DiDio says the Crises never happened? “Well, he’s an idiot anyway.” Fans harbor such ire for creative missteps that it (unfortunately) makes sense to make the character who re-writes history the bad guy. But what about the writers we love – where are they represented? There are writers that live and die with these characters, why should they be solely represented by a universe-stomping big-bad? Green Lantern Corps 19 provides the antidote for just that.
Mikyzptlk: Last year, Geoff Johns gave us The Villain’s Journey in Justice League 9, 10, 11 and 12. While that story was mostly bemoaned here on Retcon Punch, Johns has been delivering a much, much better version of “the villain’s journey” since his Green Lantern run first began nearly a decade ago. Almost as much as Green Lantern has been the story of Hal Jordan, it has been the story of Sinestro. Just as we’ve seen Hal’s resurrection and journey of becoming the “greatest” Green Lantern, we’ve seen Sinestro’s resurrection and journey of becoming the greatest Green Lantern antagonist. However, Johns has also shown us that Sinestro, while a fantastic villain, is much more complex than just that. To Sinestro, his aptly sinister actions were always intended for the greater good of the universe, and while those actions were twisted, he eventually found himself wearing a green ring once more. Even with that ring, we’ve still gotten a mixed-bag from Sinestro. Issue 19 of Green Lantern dives deeper into Sinestro’s motivations, and attempts to explain why he’s capable of being the title’s greatest antagonist and ally all at the same time. Continue reading →