Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Suicide Squad 20, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Shelby: You all know how much I love a good anti-hero. That character that walks the line between good guy and bad, who’s only looking out for himself and will help you out if your ideals happen to line up with his. He’s got a moral compass, it just doesn’t point north all the time. I love the anti-hero because he is so much more complex than your strictly good/bad guy. Suicide Squad takes the idea of the anti-hero and asks, “what if they were all supervillains forced to be ‘good guys’?” The result is either an interesting look at the dynamics of good and bad or an exercise in masochism, both for the characters and the reader. Honestly, I’m not quite sure which is more accurate.
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Justice League of America 3, originally released May 8th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Justice League of Americais a series starring the “world’s most dangerous” superheroes. However, since the start of this title, these dangerous heroes have mostly been sitting around, talking to one another. Some, like myself, didn’t mind this all too much, while others didn’t exactly feel the same way. Regardless, the last issue promised us some good old fashioned fisticuffs. This issue delivers on that promise, but it spends the rest of the issue in a virtual standstill as far as the overall plot goes. There have been some developments as far as the team itself is concerned, but is that enough to excuse the lack of significant plot progression? Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Justice League of America’s Vibe 1-3, originally released February 20th, March 20th, and April 17th, 2013 respectively.
Patrick: Superheroes are legendary. The greats — like Batman and Superman — are name brands both in their own universes and in our own. One of the recurring themes in the New 52 has been heroes grappling with their own relevance in a world so densely populated by superheroes. Aquaman is a great example of this – the character is the subject of near-constant ridicule, all in an effort to make his struggle to be “cool” explicit. Geoff Johns has turned that character around in the last couple years, and even when the storytelling hasn’t been at its best, the idea of Aquaman as a impotent fish-enthusiast has basically disappeared. Johns lends a little bit of that credibility to the first couple issues of the series devoted to DC’s ultimate underdog: Vibe. Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and Michael are discussing Justice League of America 2, originally released March 20th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Motivations, we’ve all got them. It’s what drives us to do whatever it is that we do. Geoff Johns is intent on letting us in on what drives his characters in his latest series. Not only that, but it seems that he’s using these motivations to drive the story forward. That leaves us with yet another issue that is mostly a bunch of characters yammering on. Fortunately, what they are yammering on about is fairly interesting, and the story that’s unfolding is getting more intriguing by the page.
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Aquaman 17, originally released February 27th, 2013.
Patrick: When I originally got my friend Taylor into comic books, I suggested Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing series. Taylor was intrigued, saying that the idea of a Captain Planet made of Plants seemed like a really fun book to read. Of course, Snyder’s Swamp Thing has more to do with elaborate mythologies and alternate futures and cool stuff like that, but that idea stuck with me. We read so few comic books about superheroes that stand for anything. Our heroes are driven by revenge or obligation or circumstance to fight crime, but none of them end up championing any causes – they just keep fighting whatever supervillains pop up to challenge them. After the events of Throne of Atlantis, Aquaman finds himself wedged uncomfortably between the roles of superhero and supervillain. What other choice does he have than to enact his own values and forge his own path?
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Justice League of America 1, originally released February 20, 2012.
Patrick: Are you fucking ready? No, seriously: ARE YOU READY FOR THIS SHIT? Justice League of America has been hyped to high-heaven – apparently our appetite for books called “Justice League” and written by mega-creator Geoff Johns know no bounds (remember how he also wrote the Justice League International annual? You better remember that one; it’s referenced here.) So, okay, we’ve all done our homework as prompted by DC, right? We’ve looked at the line-up and been all like “whoa, Martian Manhunter’s going to make this group really strong” and “Catwoman’s really more of a bad guy” and ‘WTF is Vibe? LOL!” Issue one serves to put your questions into the mouths of Steve Trevor and Amanda Waller – almost perfectly emulating the experience of waiting for this series to come out.
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing Suicide Squad 15 originally released December 12th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Patrick: It’s always uncomfortable watching a couple fight. It’s even more uncomfortable when they’re both homicidal clowns. It’s even even more uncomfortable when it’s presented in this month’s issue of Suicide Squad. Continue reading →
Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Team 7 2, originally released November 14th, 2012.
Taylor: Teams are in. Everywhere we look in today’s society, teamwork is emphasized as being one of the most important skills to develop. When you apply for a job, employers want to know how well you work with others and what your contribution to the team will be. Sports stars are lauded for the ability to swallow their ego and function as a member of a team that functions as one unit. And speaking of teams, we can’t ignore the recent Avengers movie which was one of biggest team love-fests to ever grace the silver screen. Hell, even Batman, the quintessential solitary dark night, learned to work on a team in Christopher Nolan’s latest film. Indeed, it seems that the way of the lone wolf — your Clint Eastwoods and wandering Ronin — is a thing of the past. Given this favorable disposition towards the idea of teamwork, it seems like DC’s Team 7 would be an instant hit. But as the second issue demonstrates both in its plot and it its execution, sometimes getting a team to work together effectively is harder than it would first appear.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Justice League 12, originally released October 17th, 2012.
Drew: We’ve talked a lot about the five year rule here at Retcon Punch, and while we certainly have our gripes with how it affects continuity, I think we all understand why they did it. Giving every character some past allows them to maintain certain aspects of their pre-relaunch history, but does so without committing to anything specific. This gives writers a great deal of flexibility, without shutting the door for any future writes. Having a mysterious past also allows writers to pull out unknown details to add emotional weight to the proceedings. Doing this runs the risk of coming off as clumsy or cheap, but in Justice League 13, Geoff Johns provides an excellent case study in how to pull it off. Continue reading →
Today, Mike Logsdon and Shelby are discussing Team 7 1, originally released October 10th, 2012.
Mik: Hey all, Mikyzptlk here, but you can call me Mik (with a long “I”) if, you know, you’re into the whole brevity thing. With that out of the way, let’s get cracking. Going into Team 7, I know next to nothing about this team. I know that it was originally a Wildstorm book but that’s about it. Except for The Authority, I tended to stay away from most of what Wildstorm had to offer. That being the case, I normally wouldn’t be interested in this book but DC has done a few clever things to get me interested. First off, they’ve added a few familiar faces from the DCU into the mix and, more importantly, they’ve set the book in the early (and mostly shrouded) years of the The New 52. ZERO Month did a good job of filling in some of the details of the first 5 years of the new DCU but there are still A LOT of gaps to close. Continue reading →