Green Lantern / Red Lanterns 28

green lantern 28

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Green Lantern / Red Lanterns 28, originally released February 5, 2014.

Inigo: I do not think you will accept my help, because I’m only waiting around to kill you.
Wesley: That does put a damper on our relationship.
Inigo: But, I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top.
Wesley: That’s very comforting, but I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait.
Inigo: Is there any way you’ll trust me?
Wesley: Nothing comes to mind.
Inigo: I swear on the soul of my father: you will reach the top alive.
Wesley: Throw me the rope.

-The Princess Bride

Patrick: Trust is a tricky intangible quality — often you don’t know it until you see it. There’s no magic switch you can throw to make someone trust you, and — more tragically — no switch you can throw to trust yourself. It’s both hard-won and easily lost. Robert Venditti and Charles Soule use the newly minted Red Lantern Supergirl to explore how issues of trust are slowly eroding the Greens, the Red and both of their leaders. Turns out all the Rage, Will and Hope in the universe don’t mean shit without Trust. Continue reading

Red Lanterns 27

red lanterns 27

Today, Mikyzptlk and Spencer are discussing Red Lanterns 27, originally released January 29th, 2014.

Mikyzptlk: Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Clark Kent and Lois Lane Diana Prince. Ted Kord and Michael Jon Carter. The pages of DC Comics have been filled with romances of all shapes and sizes, but few have been more volatile than the pairing of  Guy Gardner and Tora Olafsdotter. Have you ever been involved with someone that you know isn’t right for you, but you just can’t help but want to be with them anyway? Yeah, that’s Guy and Tora for you. While the New 52 reboot has left longtime fans of this on-again-off-again couple with questions as to the extent of their relationship in current continuity, Charles Soule seems ready to explore the couple that once was. Flaws and all.  Continue reading

Red Lanterns 26

Alternating Currents: Red Lanterns 26, Drew and MikyzptlkToday, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Red Lanterns 26, originally released December 31st, 2013.

Drew: I’m a pretty logical person, which means I tend to be suspicious of emotional reactions — especially in high-stakes situations. That is, until I learned about an array of studies that suggests that our “gut” — our emotional responses to options laid before us — may be more reliable than conscious, logic-based decisions. Turns out, our emotions might be useful, after all. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the various Lantern Corps, which draw their powers from their own emotions. I’ve always thought it was strange that those characters were defined by one emotion — is Hal Jordan even allowed to feel love, rage, or compassion? — which goes double for the Red Lanterns. How can you constantly be feeling rage? With Red Lanterns 26, Charles Soule sets out to examine exactly what happens when you take the rage out of a Red Lantern. Continue reading

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

Red Lanterns 16

red lanterns 16 3rd

Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Lanterns 16, originally released January 30th, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: You know that feeling when you finish a good book and you just want it to keep going? The story is done, but you just like the characters and the world they live in so much that you just want to keep spending time with them. I get that A LOT. I tend to be more character-focused when it comes to narratives, so it makes sense that, in my head, every narrative becomes a hangout story — one where the lack of plot makes the only draw the likableness of the characters. Red Lantern 16 has the appropriate lack of plot to make a proper hangout story, but lacks the key component of even a single likable character. The result is a palpable waste of time, as unpleasant as sifting through a bucket full of flaming blood rage-puke. Continue reading

Red Lanterns 15

Alternating Currents: Red Lanterns 15, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Red Lanterns 15, originally released January 2nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: Last month, Shelby and Mikyzptlk raged about how Red Lanterns 14 seemed to misunderstand the very concept of rage. While I’d love to suggest that that response was fully intended as a clever “you are there!” meta-text, that stuff is really only satisfying when the text itself actually works. When done well, the various corps should act as a shorthand for emotion, giving you a quick and dirty sense of the character’s motivations. Unfortunately for Peter Milligan, rage isn’t a particularly relatable emotion — in fact, its irrational nature makes it totally un-relatable. I don’t envy the task of pulling something compelling out of the Red Lantern corps, so I can almost excuse the fact that he wants to make his characters driven by something other than rage — except that it ultimately serves to make the characters less compelling by removing literally the only thing I know about them. This leaves Red Lanterns 15 populated by characters with no apparent motivation in situations I neither fully understand nor care about.

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Red Lanterns 14

redlantern14-3rd

Today, Mikyzptlk and Shelby are discussing Red Lanterns 14, originally released November 28th, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Mikyzptlk: You know, I used to love Peter Milligan. Back in the day, he wrote X-Statix, one of the most interesting books that Marvel has ever printed. But then, Red Lanterns came a long and really hurt my appreciation of Milligan. Similarly, I used to love the Red Lanterns. They used to be one of the most interesting Corps in the emotional spectrum. But then Milligan came a long and REALLY hurt my appreciation of them. Continue reading

Red Lanterns 13

Alternating Currents: Red Lanterns 13, Drew and Patrick-3rdToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing the Red Lanterns 13, originally released October 24th, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: Let’s be frank: Red Lanterns is not on my pull. I’m willing to tolerate a lot of the goofiness inherent in the Green Lantern universe, but blood-vomiting rage-monsters just doesn’t sound like fun. As I read through this issue, I couldn’t help but compare the Red Lantern Corps to the Hulk. It’s an easy comparison to make: both are powered by anger, and (until recently), both lose control when super pissed. The danger with that basic formula is that it turns both the Hulk and the RLC into forces of nature — horrible natural disasters that I can’t even fathom rooting for. For the Hulk, writers have often mitigated this by allowing Hulk to retain some of Bruce Banner’s heart; he still won’t hurt the ones he loves. More important, Bruce actively avoids Hulking-out; he knows it’s dangerous for everyone around him and he does everything in his power to prevent it from happening. Peter Milligan has a different solution, giving the Red Lanterns renewed sentience via some kind of blood baptism, but eliminating their heart from the equation altogether. The effect is that they charge into situations — like the one depicted in Red Lanterns 13 — knowing full well that they’ll probably just kill everything. It’s hard to empathize with that.

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Red Lanterns 0

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Red Lanterns 0, originally released September 26th, 2012. Red Lanterns 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Shelby: The worst thing about grief is not the pain, not the loss, not the sadness; it’s how easy it is to hold on to. Grief is the gateway drug of emotions; it leads you to harder stuff, like sorry, despair, or rage. Grief is a passive, wallowing place, but rage is an emotion of action. A man who’s rage is so intense it burns away the grief which spawned it (as well as all other emotion) is a man who can accomplish terrible things.

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