Drew: They say a man is known by the company he keeps. For Batman, we might think of the bat-family — Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and the various Robins and Batgirl(s) — but we also think of his rogues gallery. Indeed, Batman has long been defined by the villains that he fights, but I’ve always thought of that as “Batman,” the idea, not Batman, the character. Indeed, the fact that Bruce is perpetually locked in battles with his nemeses has always seemed more a curiosity of circumstance than of design — Batman doesn’t kill, and they keep breaking out. Batman 17 puts that assumption under the microscope, asking just what his perpetual battle with Joker might say about Bruce. Obviously, SPOILERS after the jump.Continue reading →
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.
Sure, you’re reading Batman. Did you realize there are like 20 other issues that contain Death of the Family stories? How can you possibly understand the mind-bending reveal in Batman 17 without those volumes of additional content? Here’s how: we collected every single issue of the Death of the Family — all but the very last — so you can be totally, 100% caught up. (All of our coverage of individual issues can be found here.)
Today, Mikyzptlk and guest writer Pivitor are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Mikyzptlk: As we all know, there are A LOT of comics out there competing for our dollars. Books like Scott Snyder’s Batman or Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman attempt to push the boundaries of reader expectation and deliver tales that are legitimately astonishing to behold. I’ve given two examples from one publisher from barely over one year of publishing, but there are even more possibilities just as astounding from publishers such as Marvel, Image, Vertigo, IDW, Oni Press, Archaia, and more! That said, not every comic is great, and with so much out there to consume, it’s getting harder to convince myself to continue to spend the $2.99 a month on a book that lacks the quality of its competitors.
Today, Mikyzptlk and Scott are discussing Nightwing 16 originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Mikyzptlk: “BOOOM” “KAKOOOM” “BOOOOOM”That is the “sound” of the Joker blowing up this series to smithereens. I’m sorry, have I gotten ahead of myself? Let me explain. A good fictional narrative will take one or more characters from point A, to B, and eventually to, you guessed it, point C. If we, the audience, are lucky, we’ll get a few good themes tossed in along the way as we watch our characters grow and progress throughout the story. A big theme behind Nightwing of late, has been “you can never go home again.” In Dick Grayson’s case, “home” was Haly’s Circus, and his recent life has been consumed with rebuilding it. It’s too bad then, that in the course of two issues, The Joker has not only destroyed Haly’s Circus, but made the series practically pointless and completely lacking of any payoff.
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
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Batman 16 originally released January 16th, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Drew: One of the most thrilling things about Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was the surprisingly strong case it made for Joker’s way of thinking. Obviously, we aren’t meant to agree with his murderous methods, but any time he’s given a chance to explain his worldview, he actually makes a pretty compelling argument. The effect was a surprisingly nuanced take on the nature of freedom, drawing our attention to just how untenable Batman’s outlook is, as well. Scott Snyder manages a similar trick in Batman 16, making Joker’s argument alluring, even as his methods are utterly horrifying. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 15 originally released December 19th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Drew: Back when I first read Red Hood and the Outlaws 0, I was in awe of the backup revealing the Joker’s role in Jason’s life. I wasn’t sure at the time whether or not I truly believed Joker’s story (he’s not the most reliable narrator), but the thought that it could be true was a fascinating idea. One of the things that struck me about that story is that it more or less confirms that Joker knows who Batman (and by extension, the rest of the bat-family) is, a notion that has been at the forefront of the Death of the Family event. I’ve staunchly defended the possibility that the Joker is bluffing, but this issue’s focus on his relationship with Jason makes that outcome seem as remote as ever. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Nightwing 15, originally released December 19th 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Scott: Superheroes are defined by the things they care about most. Whether it be a loved one, a city, or a planet, there must be a something that compels them to fight, something for which they can be held accountable. Their physical abilities may make them Super, but it is their desire to protect the things they care about that make them Heroes, and what differentiates them from other physically powerful figures, like villains or, say, sidekicks. The success of Nightwing as a series ultimately depends on whether Dick Grayson can shake the notion that he is a sidekick, fighting to save Batman’s Gotham rather than something of his own. In Nightwing 15, with the threats against Dick’s beloved Haly’s Circus beginning to have real consequences, it finally feels like he is blossoming into a Superhero in his own right. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Michael are discussing Batman and Robin 15, originally released December 12th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Shelby: I have some friends who have a young daughter who has just reached the age of willfully not listening. The other day she wanted to use some scissors, which she never has before. Her mom told her not to, but she just didn’t listen. It’s ok, she didn’t get hurt at all; the point of the story is that her mom was looking out for her, trying to keep her safe, and despite that she wouldn’t listen to her. Even when it’s for their own good, once kids think they know better than their folks, there is no telling them otherwise; they only way they’ll learn is by being wrong. A lot of times, being wrong means getting hurt, and Damian is definitely about to learn a lesson about being wrong.
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 →