February 14th is about three things: socks with hearts on them, discount chocolates on the 15th, and corny Valentines cards for your friends. We can’t really share the first two with you, our loyal readers, but boy can we share the third! A couple years ago we made a bunch of corny Valentine’s Day cards, and we had so much fun we did it again last year. Because we’re once, twice, three times a lady, we’ve done it again and made a new batch of Valentines for you all. Feel free to print and pass them out to the nerds you love the most, just keep our name on them, huh? More after the break.
Today, Shelby and Mikyzptlk are discussing Aquaman 18, originally released March 27th, 2013.
Shelby: Aquaman 17 seemed to mark a new direction for our favorite King of the Seven Seas. Already tired of dealing with the political machinations of his new throne, he seemed ready to devote himself to the ocean, because fish don’t give a shit which political party you represent. I was intrigued where this would take the story; would it turn into a Captain Planet-esque crusade to protect ocean-life? Would that be lame, cool, or just enough of both to be enjoyable? As it turns out, all my speculation was for naught; despite Arthur’s desires, he finds himself mired more and more tightly in the politics of the throne. Continue reading
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, Shelby and guest writer Mogo are discussing Justice League 17, originally released February 20th, 2013, This issue is part of the Throne of Atlantis crossover event. Click here for complete ToA coverage.
Shelby: When I was in drama club in high school, we put on a lot of older comedies with the entire plot revolving around one basic misunderstanding. That one misunderstanding would compound exponentially (as misunderstandings are wont to do), and before you know it, you’d have a wacky, 2-hour situation involving mistaken identities and hiding in closets. At the end of the show, everyone would reveal themselves, and, with a good chuckle, the guy would get the girl, the plucky sidekick friends would hook up, and everyone lived happily ever after. In ComicBookLand, where two superheroes can’t bump into each other on the sidewalk without getting into a fight and destroying a city block, misunderstandings are never so innocently comedic. Justice League 17, the finale of the Throne of Atlantis, is no exception.
Today, Patrick, Mikyzptlk, Shelby, Michael, Drew and Courtney are discussing Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special 1, originally released February 6th, 2013.
It’s Valentine’s Day, which means that we here at Retcon Punch are going to do our best to pretend we’re not angry, misanthropic nerds for one day to discuss the six love stories laid out in the oddly titled Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special. As we like to foster as much conversation as possible here, we’ve pulled in six of our sappiest, most sentimental writers to hit these stories one at a time. Continue reading
Today, Michael and Mikyzptlk are discussing Aquaman 16, originally released January 30th, 2012. This issue is part of the Throne of Atlantis event. Click here for all of our ToA coverage.
Michael: Nothing gets me going like a dramatic reveal. I love stories wherein tables are turned and even villains fall in and out of virtue. In comics, a strikingly juxtaposed panel can make a subtle twist even more shocking. There’s something thrilling about being duped by a brilliant turn. We’re told something is true, relevant, or congruous, only to find out that some or all of these things don’t matter, and yet the story is somehow better for it. It may be that we enjoy the release of tension or delight in dashing our assumptions that makes these betrayals so enjoyable, but part of what makes them effective is context. What the hero knows determines how new information changes him. Issue 16 of Aquaman delivers some really solid twists from Geoff Johns with vivid art from Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons to back it up, but our heroes are so clueless and mired in chaos that the impact of these bombshells are hard to gauge. Continue reading
Today, Shelby and Michael are discussing Aquaman 15, originally released December 26th, 2012. This issue is part of the Throne of Atlantis event. Click here for all of our ToA coverage.
Shelby: Events are tricky things to handle. On the one hand, you have an opportunity to tell a story on a broader scale; you can involve more characters and build bigger plots. You also get a chance to lure readers to new titles, which can either be see by readers as an introduction to something new, or a cheap trick to make us give DC more money. To some extent, both are true. The real trick to an event, though, is figuring out how to distribute your story, and Geoff Johns is making some choices with Thrones of Atlantis that I find to be interesting to say the least. Just a heads up to you, our gentle readers: don’t make the same mistake I did. If you haven’t read Justice League 15 yet, put this down, go read it, and then come back, otherwise Aquaman 15 isn’t going to make a lick of sense.
Drew: Confession time: I dropped this title after issue 4. My only sense of what is going on in this title is the zero issue, and reading the reviews on this site. For the most part, “The Others” storyline has been hard to follow from just summaries, as it focuses heavily on characters I know in name only. The only thing I’ve really gathered from those reviews is that 1) the art is fantastic, and 2) there’s room for disagreement about whether or not Aquaman is actually the villain of this title. Picking up the action in issue 13, I can say for sure that both of those statements are definitely true.
Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 12, originally released August 29th, 2012.
Peter: The multi-issue story arc is an ungainly creature. What should the first issue look like? How about the last? What shape does it take in the middle? I tend to read my comics the way I think DC wants me to: one at a time, the week they come out. But sometimes that episodic reading does a disservice to the story. That’s why someone decided to collect them into graphic novels. “The Others” is definitely one of those stories that I am going to have to go back and read as a whole from start to finish to get the full effect. Geoff Johns has crafted something that definitely will flow together better as a whole, because frankly, this is a roller coaster of emotion and story.
Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Aquaman 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.
Shelby: Despite what you are currently reading, I don’t really think of myself as a writer. Art was always my schtick, the only writing I did in school was academic papers and the occasional bullshit artist’s statement. I’ve been a reader, however, since I was 4, so I’m pretty good at figuring out what I like in a story. I know that sometimes exposition is necessary to advance the plot or give character insight, and I think there are natural ways to present that information within the story. Comics, though, have such opportunity to show me what I need to know instead of just telling me, I sometimes don’t quite know why writers chose to have their characters just standing around gabbing when they could be doing something so much cooler to give me the info I need.