Creator vs Creation in Daredevil 608

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

“I did not ask for the life I was given. But it was given nonetheless.”                                                                 Mr. Eko, LOST

No one ever asked to be born – we emerge from the womb and are saddled with struggles specific to our circumstances. In Daredevil 608, Mike Murdock emerges from the ether/Matt Murdock’s imagination and has to deal with a world that doesn’t want to acknowledge his existence. Thus, he takes some aggressive measures to make them acknowledge it. Continue reading

The Mercenary Gamers of Leviathan 2

by Michael DeLaney

Leviathan 2

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There is a not-so-subtle “might makes right” mentality that is associated with America. Our overprotectiveness of the Second Amendment, the immense firepower of our military, and just the general “America Fuck Yeah” of it all often makes us look arrogant and overconfident. In John Layman and Nick Pitarra’s Leviathan 2, we see that arrogance and overconfidence of the American military-industrial complex in action. Continue reading

Justice League 7/Adventures of the Super Sons 2: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Michael DeLaney

Adventures of the Super Sons 2:Justice League 7

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Spencer: No two people experience the same piece of media the same way. That’s actually the entire foundation of what we do here at Retcon Punch — we exist to examine the different ways our various writers interpret weekly comic books.  Two books released by DC this week dive into this theme as well — Adventures of the Super Sons 2 explores how the same stories led two members of the Gang down very different life paths, while Justice League 7 finds three very different people reacting to some harsh truths about the universe in very different ways. Both drive home the same point: our natures and preconceived notions often have as much to do with how we interpret media as the actual media itself does, for better or for worse, no matter what the creators’ original intent may be. Continue reading

Nightwing Annual 1 Takes on Fake News

By Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

We’ve all heard the sayings “Knowledge is power” or “The truth will set you free”, but what good is that when that knowledge is so easily weaponized and the truth is blatantly denied? Nightwing Annual 1 continues Benjamin Percy’s “Dark Web” arc with Nightwing taking on the literal embodiment of fake news. And while a certain president might use that term to mean “bad press”, what I’m referring to – and what Percy is focusing on – is the targeted online disinformation that swayed many Americans to vote for that president in the first place. Continue reading

Scarlet 1 Bridges the Narrative Gap

By Michael DeLaney

 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The medium of comic books isn’t an ancient indecipherable text, but it does have its own language that is learned and acquired by readers over time. Along with the significant portions of sequential art, readers must become accustomed to multiple forms of word-based storytelling. In Scarlet 1, writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Alex Maleev, and letterer Joshua Reed showcase an additional storytelling device not often seen in comic books. Continue reading

Vader is a Glutton for Punishment in Darth Vader 20

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala is easily one of the worst parts of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, but it is my favorite part of a Darth Vader comic book. When you remove Hayden Christensen (and George Lucas) from the picture, the emotional weight of the former Skywalker is fairly significant. Such is the case in Charles Soule and Giuseppe Canuncoli’s Darth Vader 20. Continue reading

The Separation Anxiety of The Amazing Spider-Man 4

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Say it with me now: “With great power comes great responsibility.” The phrase that the house of Spider-Man was built on has taken literal form as “Back to Basics” continues in The Amazing Spider-Man 4. Only in the wacky world of comic bookdom could we have two separate Spider-Men: Great Power & Great Responsibility (Superman Red & Superman Blue?) created as the byproduct of science.

Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley continue to explore what these essential qualities of Spider-Man/Peter Parker look like when put under separate microscopes. For brevity’s sake I will refer to “Great Power” as Spider-Man and “Great Responsibility” as Peter. Without his responsibility, Spider-Man is actually more successful than he’s ever been – depending on how you measure success. Continue reading

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden 5 Finds the Parallels Between Criminals and Children

by Michael DeLaney

Usagi Yojimbo The Hidden 5

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden 5 is a great reminder of how the comics medium can be/should be very intentional with its imagery. In film the term “match cut” refers to a transition where two shots are paralleled (matched) by their action or subject matter. Stan Sakai uses this technique in the middle of Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden 5 to reiterate the kind of villains that Usagi is dealing with. Continue reading

No One is Infallible in Justice League 6

by Michael DeLaney

Justice League 6

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The Justice League is often elevated to a status akin to the gods of myth: immensely powerful, iron-willed and nearly unstoppable. The Trinity of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman is at the head of that pantheon of gods, with two veritable immortals and one mortal man who we consider incorruptible and infallible. With the epic cosmic stakes of Justice League 6, we are reminded that no one is infallible, and that a little humility might actually save the universe. Continue reading

Ideologies Collide in Superman 2

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Michael: Brian Michael Bendis continues to prove that he has an excellent handle on the mindset and disposition of The Man of Steel. Superman is a tireless force for good who refuses to see the glass half empty. This steadfast optimism even applies while he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone in Superman 2. Continue reading