Midnighter and Apollo 3

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Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Midnighter and Apollo 3, originally released December 7th, 2016. As always, this article containers SPOILERS.

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Mark: Throughout the first three issues of Midnighter and Apollo, Steve Orlando has proven his love for the obscure corners of the DC Comics universe by incorporating his favorite elements at every opportunity. The most successful of these moments are like Midnighter and Apollo 1‘s Subway Pirates cold open, and don’t rely on the reader sharing his same pool of knowledge to enjoy. Midnighter and Apollo 3 is the first time in Orlando’s work that I’ve felt on the outside looking in. It’s alienating in a way I wasn’t expecting, but maybe gives me a better understanding of why Midnighter remains such a niche character. Continue reading

Midnighter and Apollo 1

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Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Midnighter and Apollo 1, originally released October 5th, 2016. As always, this article containers SPOILERS.

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Mark: The creative pinnacle of Midnigher and Apollo 1 for me is the moment Extrano makes an appearance. Extrano is one of those embarrassing gay characters introduced in the 80s. Limp wrists heavy with scarves, Extrano played the part of perfectly inoffensive gay best friend for everyone, called himself “Auntie,” and, don’t worry, contracted HIV (because of course he did). He may be the first openly gay superhero, but there’s a reason Extrano was shoved shamefully to the back of the comic book closet. Extrano was a character defined by his gayness, one note played over and over until he was inevitably given HIV, because what else are you going to do with a gay characters in the 90s but make him a victim of the gay plague? Continue reading

Midnighter 7

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Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Midnighter 7, originally released December 2nd, 2015.

Mark: Well, shit. After complaining about the anti-climactic fight between Frankenstein and Superman in Action Comics 47, writer Steve Orlando does not make the same mistake in Midnighter 7′s climactic matchup between Midnighter and Prometheus. This is a knock down, drag out battle that serves as an appropriate follow-up to last issue’s shocking reveal. Continue reading

DC Round-Up Comics Released 8/4/15

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Retcon Punch is on Summer Hours, which means we’re going to be writing fewer in-depth pieces for the month of August. But we’re addicts at this point, so we need a place for our thoughts on all those comics we can’t stop reading. Today, we’re discussing Midnighter 3, Detective Comics 43, Batman Beyond 3 and Green Lantern 43.

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Midnighter 2

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Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Midnighter 2, originally released July 1st, 2015.

Michael: As it has been said many times on and off the comic book page, superheroes (mutants, meta-humans or otherwise) are the next step in human evolution. The hyperbolic comparison of superheroes to gods is almost as commonplace as any one political party calling the other Nazis or Hitler. The former argument/thesis is probably grounded a little more in reality however. Superheroes’ elevated abilities and roles of authority do necessitate a whole new set of rules. It might not exactly be fair but then again, “fair” is not really a pre-requisite for this life of ours. Midnighter 2 takes a look at how those supergods and corporations look from below – from the human perspective. Continue reading

Wonder Woman 30

Alternating Currents: Wonder Woman 30, Taylor and DrewToday, Taylor and Drew are discussing Wonder Woman 30, originally released April 16th, 2014.

Taylor: The internet is an amazing tool. The rhetorical nature of that comment is almost so great that it’s remarkable, but I think it’s occasionally a good exercise to step back and take stock of the amazing things that make up our world. In the recent past the internet has caused real social change given its ability to unite people behind a singular cause. In particular, the movement for gender equality seems to be gaining more and more steam, as both women and men are able to voice  their experiences with prejudice in their daily lives. Comics, being a reflection of the world of which gave them birth, are also picking up on this trend. It seems only natural that Wonder Woman, a title which features an empowered female lead, would eventually weigh in on this subject. However, the subtlety and grace with which it broaches this topic in issue 30 is both unexpected and wonderfully wrought, making for an memorably understated episode.

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Wonder Woman 29

wonder woman 29Today, Patrick and Scott are discussing Wonder Woman 29, originally released March 19th, 2014.

Patrick: Twitch Plays Pokemon allowed thousands of people all over the world to play one game of Pokemon Red together. This means the poor game was getting thousands of simultaneous inputs from players across the globe all with different agendas. Cultures sprang up on Reddit around specific Pokemon (which were all nicknamed hilarious things because actually typing a name in the game resulted in total nonsense) and weird little quirks of playing the game cooperatively (most famously, the Cult of Helix Fossil worked tirelessly to get the character to use a context-specific item in all contexts). Shit got weird, but it was a weirdness of consensus, a horrible democracy that gave shape to what “Twitch Plays Pokemon” means. This is largely true for long-lasting comic book characters as well — they pass through so many hands that the meta story of how they came to be can often eclipse the in-world origins. That’s why all your favorite heroes are irreconcilable messes of conflicting stories and ideas, and mixed together into one semi-coherent identity. Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman looks to change that for the titular heroine, giving her purpose, direction, vision and identity without having to wait for thousands of players to agree on the same input. Continue reading

Superman/Wonder Woman 6

superman wonder woman 6Today, Scott and Taylor are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 6, originally released March 12th, 2014.

Scott: Why are Superman and Wonder Woman together? Anyone remotely tuned in to the DC Universe has wondered this at some point in the past several months. On the surface, it seems perhaps too convenient, or little more than an attention-grabbing ploy. Realistically though, doesn’t the relationship make perfect sense? People date the people they spend the most time with. A 20 year old college student is most likely to date another 20 year old who goes to the same college. So, in a time when Justice League duties seem to be dominating many heroes’ lives, it’s only appropriate that Clark and Diana, the two most similar Justice Leaguers, would get together. The real question is, what does their relationship have to offer us as readers? If Clark and Diana are going to be spending a lot of time together just by the nature of their jobs, does a romantic relationship add anything to the story? With Superman/Wonder Woman 6, Charles Soule sets the record straight — the relationship and, thus, this book, is more than the sum of it’s parts.

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Wonder Woman 28

wonder woman 28Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Wonder Woman 28, originally released February 19, 2014.

Scott: What works out for one person often effects someone else negatively. Recently, I was getting ready to go on a long trip, so I lined up a subletter to stay in my apartment. It was going to be perfect. Until, that is, she got an offer to house-sit somewhere else and backed out of our deal. It worked out well for her, but it left me scrambling. What I’m trying to say is, never celebrate a plan until it’s complete, because it can always be derailed by someone else’s plan. I’m not trying to advocate Murphy’s Law or anything, but as Wonder Woman 28 teaches us, most plans are foiled, and even when your goal is within grasp it can still blow up in your face.
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Wonder Woman 27

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Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Wonder Woman 27, originally released January 22nd, 2014.

Scott: What’s a reasonable attention span? Could anyone actually sit through all three hours of The Wolf of Wall Street without their mind wandering at least once? I doubt it. The average time between commercial breaks is seven minutes, and I have trouble staying engaged that long. I’ve been working a lot with preschoolers over the past few months and I can tell you that getting a three year old to stay focused on a task for even one minute is a challenge. It’s just so easy to get distracted by the thought of a snack or going to play outside. Well, much like a three year old’s brain, the hectic world of Wonder Woman is full of distractions, ready to yank you away from that thing that was so interesting just one minute ago. Brian Azzarello keeps things moving at such a pace that you might just forget about the thing you were just…Sorry. I lost my train of thought.
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