The Art Fails the Cast of New Super-Man 15

by Mark Mitchell

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

Gene Luen Yang hasn’t shown much interest in subtlety throughout the run of New Super-Man, but even by those standards New Super-Man 15 is remarkably direct. Multiple times during the action, characters directly address the differences between the West and China. These differences — language, cultural, and especially political — come into literal conflict when the Justice League of China brawls with the Suicide Squad. It’s not subtle, but it is exciting. All of the action, plus the Kong family’s domestic drama continuing to build, makes for the most thrilling issue of New Super-Man to date. Continue reading

Chinese Folklore Makes Revelations Fresh in New Super-Man 12

by Mark Mitchell

New Super-Man 12

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

I’m a big theme park nerd, so the 2010 announcement of Shanghai Disneyland was big news. For anyone who followed the development and construction of Disney’s first resort in mainland China, the guiding design principle you heard over and over from those involved in the project was “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese” — melding the spirit of Chinese culture with the best of Disney. New Super-Man was launched by Gene Luen Yang 12 issues ago with a similar promise, to pair the best elements of superhero stories with Chinese folklore to create something entirely new. New Super-Man 12 is the first issue to really deliver the full potential of that promise. Continue reading

DC Round-Up: Comics Released 1/11/17

dc-roundup69

How many Batman books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing All-Star Batman 6, Detective Comics 948, Flash 14, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 12, New Super-Man 7 and Wonder Woman 14. Also, we’ll be discussing Gotham Academy Second Semester 5 on Tuesday, so come back for that! As always, this article containers SPOILERS!

slim-banner4 Continue reading

Green Lantern 29

Alternating Currents: Green Lantern 29, Drew and SpencerToday, Drew and Spencer are discussing Green Lantern 29, originally released March 5th, 2014.

Drew: We often talk about “close readings” in our discussions, but the most rewarding works of art are interesting from far away, too. When zoomed out, you can appreciate the broader form and plotting, while when zoomed in, you can appreciate the moment-to-moment mechanics that make those larger parts work. Indeed, it’s this scalability that allows stories to remain interesting in spite of our familiarity with Joseph Campbell’s monomyth — at some scales, the non-essential details don’t matter at all, but at other scales, they’re the only thing that matters. Any halfway decent discussion of a work of art needs to focus on multiple scales, but certain works of art strongly suggest one scale over the other. More formulaic stories — an episode of Law & Order, for example — tend to offer more rewards for those looking at the details (and certain boredom for anyone looking at form). I’d argue that the controversy of LOST‘s finale stems largely from confusion over the suggested scale — is this a show about a weird island, or about the people who encounter it? — which may have changed from episode to episode. I’d argue that that ever-shifting scale is part of what made that show so great, but there’s no denying that abruptly changing gears can bring discomfort, even if it reaps the kinds of rewards we see in Green Lantern 29. Continue reading

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

Green Lantern 26

Alternating Currents: Green Lantern 26, Drew and Mikyzptlk

Today, Drew and Mikyzptlk are discussing Green Lantern 26, originally released December 4th, 2013.

Drew: Any 8th-grade social studies student can tell you that colonialism is a sticky subject. Many decry the loss of indigenous cultures, but how do you weigh that against the boon of western medicine? Are we morally obligated to preserve human culture at the cost of human life, or vice versa? That question only gets stickier when you take those other cultures into account — perhaps they value these things differently than their would-be colonizers. These are questions that have tormented philosophers for centuries — exactly the kind of thing Hal Jordan might blunder into unwittingly. Green Lantern 26 finds Hal struggling to impose his rule on Dekann and while he succeeds, his victory suggests a disturbing new status quo within the Green Lantern universe. 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

Green Lantern 24

green lantern 24

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern 24, originally released October 2nd, 2013.

Shelby:  What does it mean to lose the will to fight? To be willful is generally not a compliment; usually it means someone who does what they want, when they want without any consideration of the consequences, but on it’s own will is drive and motivation. That’s why I’ve always been so pleased with the way Blue Lanterns (Rest in Peace) need a Green Lantern to mount an offense: hope is fine and all, but hope without the will to do something about it is merely inaction. Robert Venditti kicks off the Green Lantern Lights Out event with a bang, both literally and figuratively, as Relic descends upon Oa and we contemplate the consequences of truly losing the will to do anything.
Continue reading

Green Lantern 23

green lantern 23

Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Green Lantern 23, originally released August 7th, 2013.

Patrick: I moved out to Los Angeles because I wanted to be a television writer. If you want to be a lumberjack, you move to the forest, right? I don’t have much in the way of family on the West Coast, and I knew that distance from those that I loved was just going to be part of this bargain I was striking. The idea of giving up family for my art was romantic — I could live an idealized life of creativity and yeah I’d suffer for it, but I’d be suffering for a reason. When my older sister had her second kid, however, I was on a plane to Atlanta: I wasn’t going to miss out on meeting my nephew. It’s love, and it’s a primal motivator. No matter how much you will it away, love can dictate your actions. It’s the sort of thing that will make Hal Jordan drop the fight that he’s right in the middle of to check on the girlfriend he swore off to defend the corps. Continue reading

Green Lantern 22

green lantern 22

Today, Shelby and guest Mike are discussing Green Lantern 22, originally released July 3rd, 2013.

Shelby: There’s a lot of baggage to be had with the way women are depicted in most forms of media. Comic books get it especially hard, as they existed for so long as a form of entertainment drawn by men for a male audience. Robert Venditti is only on his second issue as writer of Green Lantern, but already I find myself slightly uncomfortable with his depictions of the women in the book. I have a sneaking suspicion it is more a result of the pervasive attitude towards women in comics and their role in the Green Lantern universe as a whole, and less a reflection of the creative team’s own attitudes, but that doesn’t make me have any more fun reading this title.  Continue reading