Today, Michael and Taylor are discussing Wonder Woman 2, originally released July 13, 2016
Michael: Wonder Woman was a unique entry of The New 52 and the same can be said of the Wonder Woman of DC Rebirth. After a “bad breakup” Greg Rucka returns to DC fueled by his passion for everyone’s favorite Amazon. In a lot of ways, Rucka is having his cake and eating it too. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Nightwing 18, originally released March 20th 2013.
Scott: It’s a bad time to be Dick Grayson. He perhaps lost more than anyone in the Death of the Family, with Joker destroying Amusement Mile and undoing all of the hard work Dick put into Haly’s Circus. At the end of Nightwing 17, he finally found some comfort in the words of Damian Wayne, who was promptly killed in Batman Incorporated 8, leaving Dick with even greater grief. Even a man as level-headed and generally unfazed as Dick might start to question the fairness of these events- why he keeps getting punished when he hasn’t done anything wrong. But of course, when it rains, it pours, and Nightwing 18 only manages to torture Dick further with more terrible news. 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.
Michael: What you don’t show is as important as what you do show. If a story is told well, you can thankfully take this writerly aphorism for granted. We’re free to focus on what we are shown, because it’s gripping and we care about these moments over others. The rest — the implied events — blends into the background. It might be important. It might be necessary we know about it, but it isn’t right in front of us, on the page, and that’s OK. Unless that story is Before Watchman: Ozymandias 6, then it’s not OK. Every grinding gear of a story must be on display. It’s my own fault. I crave the supplemental information and shifts in perspective — I’m just upset when it doesn’t work out.
Today, Michael and Drew are discussing A + X 5, originally released March 6th, 2013.
Michael: Superhero comics tend to take themselves very seriously. They have to. Crime, justice, the duality of man — these are big themes that require sober moments. This might have something to do with the marketability and general popularity of dark graphic novels that differ starkly from older stories that have some ingrained silliness. These short team-ups are a perfect palate cleanser — especially since as of late, I’ve been reading comics that bite off more than they can chew, philosophically. A+X #5 gives us an unabashedly ridiculous story followed by an ostensibly serious story packed with lame jokes. While I enjoyed the first attempt with Iron Fist + Droop, the second with Loki + Mr. Sinister missed the enjoyability boat on both the comedic and dramatic front.
Today, Patrick, Mikyzptlk, Shelby, Michael, Drew and Jack 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 →
Patrick: In a sequence that perfectly epitomizes how I feel about the Ozymandias mini-series, Adrian Veidt holds a press conference as his alter ego. He removes the mask and the costume, revealing to the assembled reporters that Ozymandias and Adrian Veidt are one and the same. He says that all non-Doctor-Manhattan heroes have effectively become irrelevant — a sentiment echoed at one point or another by just about everyone in the Watchmen universe. Vedit can accomplish more good as the head of Vedit Industries, which prompts one reporter to ask “So, this is all about the money?” Never mind that this isn’t at all what Vedit was saying, he addresses the question head-on, bluntly saying “In this end… isn’t everything?” That reads as a rather cynical explanation for Before Watchmen, but interestingly, Veidt can’t keep his word about staying out of costume, donning the cape again to fight petty crime during the police strike. The message? It’s all about money… except when superheroes are involved: then it’s about something else.
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 →
Shelby: You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. When it comes to delicious, delicious cake, you can either have it in your hands or eat it so it’s gone forever. Sometimes, your only options are mutually exclusive of each other, and you just have to decide which option you value more. Unless you are Darwyn Cooke: then you will manage to find a way to satisfactorily appease every concern I have regarding the conclusion of Minutemen, even when the answers I want seem to contradict each other. Continue reading →
Today, Michael and Patrick are discussing Batman and Robin 16, originally released January 16th, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Michael: A series is generally more gratifying when it subverts expectations without betraying our understanding of the characters. In a New 52 series like Batman and Robin, this balance is difficult to achieve; readers demand a basic level of fidelity to beloved genre tropes and character traits, but expect narratives that stand up to the scrutiny of a savvy, cliche-fatigued audience. This issue doesn’t drop any groundbreaking twists, but it works deftly within a familiar framework