Before Watchmen – Comedian 2

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Comedian 2, originally released July 25th, 2012. Comedian is part of DC’s Before Watchmen prequel series. Click here for complete Before Watchmen coverage (including release dates).

Shelby: History has never been my favorite subject. There’s something about it that just flows through my brain like water, I can’t seem to retain any of it. I have tried so many times to read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, with zero success; I know I should read it, but it just reads too much like a history book for me to enjoy it. Comedian 1 was housed in American history, in a way I thought was a clever subversion of both Watchmen history and American history. I’ve had a lot of trouble getting into the second issue, however, and I think Brian Azzarello may have crossed the line into too much history for me to enjoy.

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All-Star Western 11

Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing the All-Star Western 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.

Peter: All-Star Western has really embraced its role as a historic book. Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey have taken it upon themselves to not only tell incredible western tales, but to weave them into the greater DC Universe, even if they take place centuries before Bruce Wayne put on the cowl, or Superman strapped on the cape. Two of Gotham’s most notorious criminal organizations are gearing up to collide — of course Jonah Hex finds himself in the middle of it all. Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 11

Alternating Currents: New Guardians 11, Drew and PeterToday, Drew and Peter are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.

Drew: One of the things that keeps me coming back to this title is the diversity of its cast. They aren’t necessarily the most deeply drawn characters, but their personalities rub against each other in interesting ways. More importantly, those conflicts were set as the centerpiece of this title, a rarity in the largely mythology-driven Green Lantern group. After the fracturing of its core team, and a series of half-hearted crossovers, this title was in danger of losing that distinct voice, and becoming another cog in the Green Lantern machine (not that it’s a bad machine, but I think this title is strong enough to stand independently of whatever plotting is tying the rest of the GL universe together). I was heartened, then, to see the team back together in this issue, refocusing on their shared goals. Continue reading

The Flash 11

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing the Flash 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.

Patrick:  Flash 11 (and 10, for that matter) is a bit of a place-setting issue. Francis Manapul and Brian Buccaletto are smart enough to fill these issues with self-contained stories, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that this series is currently in the business of establishing a new breed of Rogues. And they’re not just new to the audience, they’re new to the world of the Flash and — more distressing — new to each other. Thankfully, this is done without the slightest hint of an origin story: these bigger, better Rogues have a history together that’s half what-you-already-know-about-The-Rogues and half total mystery. And all of this villain business unfolds gracefully without ever losing sight of Barry Allen. Continue reading

Aquaman 11

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. 

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Green Lantern 11

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern 11, originally released July 25th, 2012.

Patrick: Green Lantern has long been a game of science fiction escalation. You could make the argument that all serial narratives eventually encounter the problem of having to out-do what they’ve previously done, but I think this series – especially under the pen of Geoff Johns – makes a specific point to jack the stakes up to such a fever pitch as to make earlier adventures trivial by comparison. As the guardians stand on the cusp of releasing their Third Army and Black Hand returns to Earth with a hankerin’ for genocide, this series is wound about a tightly as possible.

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The Vault – Superhero Coasters

The Retcon Punchers spend an awful lot of time looking for ways to celebrate our nerdy obsessions. This means a lot of time sunk into scouring Etsy, Deviant Art, Think Geek or whatever. Sometimes we see things so great we just have to share them… and then clutch them fiercely to our collective chest. Throw it in The Vault.

Website: Etsy

Who Would Love This: Nerdy people who don’t want moisture rings on their furniture

Price: $8.50 per set of four

I drink lots of liquids at home. Who better to guard my furniture from moisture rings than The Flash? These coasters are really cool. They are made from actual comic book pages, on stone. The artist, Popcycled does lots of different ones, both DC and Marvel so you can show your allegiance in the subtlest way. Coaster racks are also available for purchase so these can be more easily displayed in your home. Coasters are something you don’t really see a lot of today, outside of cardboard ones at bars, or your grandma’s house, so lets bring them back! I plan on purchasing some of these real soon. Since these are made from actual comic books, I wonder if the artist would consider custom jobs?

Cram Session: Night of the Owls

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

This is one we’ve wanted to put together for a long time. If you only read one or two of these series and you want to get the skinny on what else happened – we’ve got the video for you. Here’s the whole Night of the Owls presented chronologically.

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Chat Cave: The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises. Welcome to the Chat Cave.

Hey, here’s the unfortunate reality: The Dark Knight Rises is going to be forever linked to the shootings in Aurora, Colorado. Unless you saw a midnight show, your theatre-experience was affected by the actions of one 24-year old with some guns and a gas mask. You had police officers wandering in before all the major action sequences, you looked twice at everyone that walked in. What happened was terrible and we’re going to be hearing and reading and writing and talking about it for a long time. And while we’re not in the habit of covering current events, we absolutely have to talk about the new Batman movie. No one’s trying to be crass, no one’s trying to be dismissive; our discussion is going to be about the movie we all saw this weekend. Let’s try to keep it that way in the comments.

Oh, and f’real: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

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Red Hood and the Outlaws 11

Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 11, originally released July 18th, 2012.

Peter: Red Hood and the Outlaws is a bit of an odd duck. It has the makings of a Bat Family book: it’s got Jason Todd, once Robin the Boy Wonder, now ultraviolent vigilante. It also has two ex-Teen Titans, one of whom apparently was a bad ass space captain, while the other was addicted to heroin. While the early story arcs really focused on Jason, (and the Night of Owls), this current arc is about Koriand’r/Starfire. Turns out, she used to be (and still is) a badass.

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