Nightwing 21

nightwing 21

Today, Scott and Spencer are discussing Nightwing 21, originally released June 12th, 2013.

Scott: Obsession can be a very dangerous thing. For Superheroes, letting emotions dictate the decisions they make often muddles the line between justice and personal satisfaction. Dick Grayson is obsessed with Tony Zucco, a man he rightly feels deserves punishment for murdering Dick’s parents. But Dick has shown that he will go to any lengths to get to Tony, even if it means compromising many of the things Nightwing stands for. Nightwing 21 finds Dick Grayson venturing further into the realm of moral ambiguity, with implications as fascinating as they are frightening.
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Nightwing 19-20

nightwing 19-20

Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 19-20, originally released April 17th and May 15th, 2013, respectively.

Scott: Moving to a new city is hard. Finding the right place to live, learning your way around town, making friends, it all takes time. Unfortunately, Dick Grayson doesn’t have much chance to settle into his newfound home in Chicago. He’s in the Windy City with a purpose- to find the man who killed his parents- and he’s hardly welcomed with open arms. Nightwing 19 and 20 serve as a beginning to a new chapter for Dick, away from the torpedo of death and depression that Gotham has come to represent for him. New life is breathed into Nightwing, courtesy of a gust of wind off of Lake Michigan, and it is something to behold.
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Age of Ultron 4

age of ultron 4 AU

Today, Patrick and Ethan are discussing Age of Ultron 4, originally released April 3rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.


Patrick: One of the things I’ve absolutely loved about picking up monthly comics is that I’ve had the opportunity to get know the work of a ton of great writers and artists. It pains me a little to think of how few people will ever read a funny exchange written by Jeff Lemire, and how few people will never see Adam Hughes masterful acting simply because they don’t read comics. Drew, Shelby and myself have been at this for over a year — I like to think we’re in the club now — and I have this brand new skill of identifying someone by their work. Brian Michael Bendis, the writer behind Age of Ultron is notorious for his massively decompressed stories, and between this series, Guardians of the Galaxy, and his X-Men books, I feel like I can spot his handiwork a mile away. But Age of Ultron is a special case, and its glacial pace allows almost every issue to be a Bryan Hitch vanity project. This makes it kind of tough to discuss in the same way we discuss other comics, but it’s clear now that this is the series’ identity – the problematic obsessions with character development and plot and theme are mine and not Ultron’s. Retcon Punch needs a new way to talk about comics. Alright, let’s see what we got. Continue reading

Age of Ultron 3

age of ultron 3 AU

Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Age of Ultron 3, originally released March 27th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.


Mikyzptlk: In any post-apocalyptic scenario, you can either give in to the destruction that surrounds you or you can find that one last sliver of hope to hang on to. The first two issues of this event have mostly centered on a group of defeated heroes who are on the verge of giving up hope. The resistance, if you could even call it that, was rudderless and quickly losing its steam. It was all quite depressing, if not in a fascinating kind of way. The latest issue of Age of Ultron reveals that perhaps not all hope is lost and, armed with a shiny new plan, our heroes start on a path that can hopefully lead them to victory.

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Sword of Sorcery 4

Today, Taylor and Nate are discussing Sword of Sorcery 4, originally released January 23rd, 2012.

Taylor: Corporations have had it hard lately — at least as far as PR goes. With the rise of the Occupy Movement, people became more sensitive and informed when it comes to the doings of some of the mega-businesses that manage our economic future. Never before in history have these companies been scrutinized with such skepticism on their ability to create a fair and profitable world. The CEOs and chairmen who run these cash cows similarly have a problem when it comes to how they are perceived. When most people envision a CEO they picture a greedy W.A.S.P. sitting atop his sky scraper, caring only about the bottom line. Whether warranted or not, powerful businessmen have been demonized by the public at large and in all likelihood will continue to be as long as they exist. But what if those who run these companies were actually actively involved with the very demons we make them out to be? Sword of Sorcery 4 explores this question and since demons are involved you know an appearance by John Constantine is required.

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Interview with Gail Simone: April 15th, C2E2, Chicago

This past weekend, Peter and I were able to attend Chicago’s C2E2 and meet some of our favorite writers and authors. Not only did we get to meet Gail Simone, author of Batgirl, she was gracious enough to do an interview. Turns out, she is even cooler than I realized.

Check out Drew and Patrick’s review of Batgirl 8 here!

Shelby: How has your mentality changed from writing Barbara Gordon in the chair in Birds of Prey to writing Barbara Gordon as Batgirl again?

Gail: I’ve always been a fan of Barbara Gordon, as most everybody knows, I loved her as Batgirl and was crushed when she was shot in the stomach by the Joker. I liked the idea that John Ostrander came up with, that she would become Oracle, it was a story of a character that took something horrible that happened to her and decided to do something great with her life anyway. I enjoyed writing that, and I like writing a really smart character that has compassion and wants to do good things, and as far as those personality traits, they’re still there in Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. We’re just telling stories of her when she’s younger, not as sure of  herself; she’s recovering from a very deep trauma, and so it’s kind of cool in the Batgirl book to be able to get into her character so deeply compared to when she’s part of a group in Birds of Prey. We go through how she feels about seeing her mom for the first time after all these years, getting her first apartment she’s not sure she can afford yet, having a roommate and not being able to get the job of her dreams because people don’t think she can do it because she’s too young, even though she’s super smart: all those are fun. Then at night we get to create all new villains for her and have her go out as Batgirl, and the joy she can’t help but feeling at being able to do that again is really fun to write, too. That’s not something we see a ton of either; the joy of being a superhero, even though it’s tough and you get beat up a lot and it’s scary and all of those things, being able to get up and get around and do something physically active like that, that’s nice to show her joy. So it’s really fun and it’s just a different approach in terms of telling a much more personal story that’s not a part of a team.

Shelby: You mentioned the stuff that happened in the Killing Joke, which, I mean, The Killing Joke is considered to be one of the Batman must-read books for obvious reasons, it’s an incredible story. As a writer, what was it like to touch on such a pillar of the Batman universe, and also what was it like creatively and personally to have Barbara revisit those events in the most recent arc?

Gail: The stuff that happened to her in The Killing Joke is major, as far as her character goes, so to not touch on it was something … let’s put it this way, I really wanted to touch on it because I wanted to tell the story of recovery from trauma, not being magically wanded out of it. So, the best way to do that is to touch on the traumatic event that happened. I do go through these feelings and emotions as I’m writing these characters because I have to in order to imagine how they are feeling; you do feel a little bit of that pain and that stuff, too, but you have to step back as a writer to try to get these things across in the best way possible for the reader. And it’s always an honor anytime you get to use a character someone you really admire created, or a storyline someone like Alan Moore, who you’re such a huge fan of for so long, wrote; I start to feel like my life is a little surreal at points, you know? I never would have imagined, as a young girl especially, that I would be writing Barbara Gordon, and certainly in my days as a hairdresser I never would have imagined I would be writing dialogue and storylines for Barbara Gordon, let alone touching on a story written by Alan Moore, so it does feel surreal.

Shelby:  One more quick question for you. You kind of touched on this a little bit in your first answer, but what do you miss from working on Birds of Prey?

Gail: I miss writing a team book like that just because when I first took over Birds of Prey my goal was to show that a female buddy book could be done, and it could be done without constant slap fights over boyfriends and bitchy gossip over each other and stuff like that, that we could tell stories about more important things. These girls, whether or not they agreed on every aspect of each other, they could come together and do something good as a team for society. So, that was my goal, and I’m very proud that we could do that, that it did gain such a fan following, and I thank all you guys for reading that, it’s amazing, it’s made my life amazing, and my ability to stay and do what I love, so I appreciate that. But, I definitely miss it, and I like writing team books but this gives me time to stretch some other muscles which I also enjoy.

Shelby:  Awesome, thank you SO much for your time today. I know, it’s the last day of a con, it’s busy, and you’re kind of overwhelmed with the whole weekend so I appreciate that.

Gail: Of course, but C2E2 is always amazing;  there are just so many supportive fans, people really getting into the New 52 now. The New 52 panel was just filled to capacity with people that were excited about what was going on. And after all winter in my office staring at a computer monitor, coming out and being in a large group like that and feeling the energy, it was very revitalizing for me too, so now I’m ready to go home and do some more writing.

Shelby: Awesome, thank you so much for your time!