Green Lantern: Lights Out

Lights Out

Today, Mikyzptlk and Spencer are discussing Green Lantern 24, Green Lantern Corps 24, Green Lantern: New Guardians 24, Red Lanterns 24, and Green Lantern Annual 2 , originally released October 2nd, October 9th, October 16th, October 23rd, and October 30th, 2013, respectively. 

Mikyzptlk: Here at Retcon Punch, we try our damnedest to cover all the cool stuff that’s going on in comics. The only problem is there are only so many of us and a shitload of great comics. That being the case, things tend to fall between the cracks every now and then, as was the case for the Green Lantern-centered crossover event, Lights Out. With that said, it’s up to Spencer and I to give this event the Retcon Punch treatment it deserves. Lights Out serves as a the first big event in the GL books since the new creative teams took command. Ultimately, Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, Justin Jordan, and Charles Soule deliver a story that seemingly picks up right where Geoff Johns and company left off, while shaking up the status quo enough to send our characters off in some new and interesting directions. Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 23

new guardians 23

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 23, originally released August 21st, 2013.

DrewThere’s an old joke about a man who goes to the doctor, and after running several tests, the doctor returns with his diagnosis written on a piece of paper. He gives the man the paper, but instructs him never to read it, and is then rudely kicked out of the office. The man is similarly shunned when he shows the paper to his boss, his friends, and his family, but each time, they tell him not to read it himself. The joke can build for however long the teller likes, but eventually, the man shows the paper to the pilot of a plane in mid-air, and the pilot insists that the man exit the plane immediately. The man opens the door, and facing certain death, finally decides to read the diagnosis. He pulls it out of the pocket, and it is promptly blown out of his hands and out the door. When done right, we’re lead to believe that there’s an actual punchline, but ultimately, the “joke” is on us — it only exists to fuel our frustrations. I doubt that is what Justin Jordan set out to do in Green Lantern: New Guardians 23, but as Relic begins showing his own piece of paper around, there’s a similar feeling that the story is shutting us (and only us) out of the information that ultimately drives the narrative. Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 22

new guardians 22

Today, Mikyzptlk and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 22, originally released July 17th, 2013.

MikyzptlkAs you know, all of the GL books have recently begun new directions with new creators. Kyle Rayner’s new direction involves babysitting the “New Guardians” and he’s recently run into some trouble. Sure, there’s Relic, but while I’m enjoying much of this book, the real trouble that Kyle has run into is that his book has been hijacked (again) by the main events of another book. Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 21

new guardians 21

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 21, originally released June 19th, 2013.

Jingle bells / Batman smells / Robin laid an egg / Batmobile broke its wheel / and the Joker got away.

-Traditional.

Patrick: I know there are variations on the above. There are the small variations, like the difference between “broke its wheel” and “lost its wheel”; and there are the big variations, like the difference between the Joker getting away and dancing ballet. We’ve all been that little shit – belting away over a chorus of vanilla Jingle Bells. While it’s mostly nonsense, there are a few simple truths buried in those lyrics. The first being that superhero stories are simple and repetitive, but the second being that that the superhero trappings are all it takes to make the story engaging. If the “police car” broke its wheel and the “bad guy” got away, it’s not the same story. A new creative team on Green Lantern: New Guardians trots out all the all the trappings of the Green Lantern universe and threatens to do something new with it, before doubling back to the space operatics we’ve come to expect. Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 20

new guardians 20 wrath

Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 20, originally released May 22nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.

Spencer: My first experience with a major creative team shake-up was back in 2007 when Geoff Johns ended his run on Teen Titans. It was the first book I had ever followed monthly, and I walked around for weeks with an empty feeling in my stomach after I heard the news. Nowadays it feels like creative teams change almost daily, and I’ve developed a thick skin out of necessity, but every once in a while a change will hit me like it’s 2007 all over again. Tony Bedard’s departure from Green Lantern: New Guardians is one of those changes, and this final issue epilogue is such an effective goodbye that I feel completely justified about how much I hate to see it end.

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Green Lantern: New Guardians 19

new guardians 19 wrath

Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing New Guardians 19, originally released April 17th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.

Spencer: Tragedy and loss are inevitable parts of life. We can’t escape it, but we can deal with it, and how we do so tends to reveal our true priorities and who we really are deep inside. Continuing Green Lantern: New Guardian’s habit of turning crossover issues into journeys through its characters’ psyches, writer Tony Bedard uses not one, but two tragedies—the destruction of the planet Korugar and the “death” of Hal Jordan—to shine a light deep inside Sinestro, Carol Ferris, and Kyle Rayner.

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Green Lantern: New Guardians 18

new guardians 18 wrath

Today, Shelby and guest Pivitor are discussing New Guardians 18, originally released March 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.

Shelby: Be true to yourself. It’s the sort of lesson a pre-teen protagonist would learn at the end of an after school special about peer pressure or cliques or something like that. Disney Channel-sentimentality aside, the idea of recognizing who you are at your core is an important one to me. It took me about 28 years, but I think I’m finally figuring myself out, finally learning what really motivates me to be the person I am. Is this core me something that I’ve always had inside me, or has the life I’ve lived shaped it? If my life had taken a number of very different turns, would I be a completely different person, or would this core me be the same?  Continue reading

Green Lantern: New Guardians 17

new guardians 17 wrath

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing New Guardians 17, originally released February 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.

Shelby: There are times it’s important we don’t let our emotions get the best of us. Emotions are beautiful, terrible, irrational things that can lead us to commit wonderful, stupid acts. While acting on our emotions alone can be totally awesome, sometimes we gotta let cooler heads prevail, and let reason dictate our next move. The Guardians, evil little bastards though they may be, were half right; sometimes dispassionate logic is the correct choice. Volthoom, of course, takes the opposite approach; he is powered by emotion, the more he can make everyone feel the better off he’ll be. So, on a scale from Guardian to Volthoom, where does our favorite master of the emotional spectrum fit?

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Green Lantern: New Guardians 16

new guardians 16-3rd

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing New Guardians 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Shelby: It’s finally time for Kyle Rainer to learn to master the power of love. He’s saved it for last because it is the most difficult, but why is that? Surely rage or greed or even fear would be much harder to command and control. While the more negative end of the emotional spectrum is difficult to control, it is easy to feel. I know I feel ready to puke red-hot plasma just about every morning on the commuter train to work. The difficulty of love lies in the challenge of letting yourself experience love. It’s an emotion that be very painful to the person feeling it; sometimes it’s just easier to block it out entirely. Kyle learns the hard way: you can’t master an emotion you are afraid to let yourself feel.

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Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual 1

new guardians annual

Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual 1, originally released January 9th, 2013. 

Mikyzptlk: Okay, I need to get this off my chest. This issue bugged me. Now, that isn’t to say that I hated it but it really managed to piss me off at the end. Before I get into anything else though, I just want to say that I absolutely loved the characterization that I got out of this issue. Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, Saint Walker and Arkillo were an absolute joy to read and I look forward to the developments seen in this issue carrying on throughout the rest of the series. That said, let’s move on to my overall point. Much like a good joke, a good narrative fiction will have a series of setups and payoffs. A writer will introduce a concept early on in a story to then use and explore it later on hopefully making their efforts as a writer worth your efforts as a reader. In that vein, if I had to describe this issue as a “Knock-knock” joke, it would go something like this: “Knock Knock.” “Who’s there?” “I don’t know, ask some other guy.” Not too funny right? In fact, some might find it a bit frustrating and “some” might just be me.

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