Compassion vs. Selfishness in Green Arrow Annual 1

by Spencer Irwin

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

Spencer: Early in Green Arrow Annual 1, Oliver says that “on Christmas everything turns out exactly as it should.” It’s a nice sentiment, but that’s exactly what it is — sentiment. The world doesn’t magically change just because it’s a holiday, and holidays can, in fact, be very depressing times for many people. If Christmas is a special time, it’s because people make it that way, and the desire to do so is the clear line that divides Green Arrow and Count Vertigo. Continue reading

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Machinations Abound in Green Arrow 33

by Spencer Irwin

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

Machinations abound in Green Arrow 33. The issue finds Oliver Queen back home in Seattle Star City, ready to once again protect his home and prove his innocence, but for the moment Oliver seems to be the only person in the city without some sort of master plan — but not without a trump card. Continue reading

A Strong — But Not Perfect — Finale in Green Arrow 31

by Spencer Irwin

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

Green Arrow 31 brings Oliver’s “hard-traveling hero” journey to an end in a satisfying, uplifting manner, helping Oliver earn a new reputation amongst the superhero community while also reminding him of the unique role he plays within it. Likewise, Ollie and Black Canary fulfill their missions, destroying the Ninth Circle’s satellite and rescuing Wendy/proving Ollie’s innocence, respectively. This issue does what it needs to to be a successful finale, yet there’s a few nagging details that keep it from being quite as strong as the installments that proceeded it. Continue reading

Green Arrow 24

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Green Arrow 24, originally released June 8th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: It’s a unique experience to watch a set of creators leave their mark on an established character in real time. Though Benjamin Percy works with a handful of different Rebirth artists, none compares to the chapters that are drawn by Juan E. Ferreyra. Under their direction Green Arrow is returning to the socialist hero of yore in a unique Rebirth fashion. Continue reading

Green Arrow 19

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Green Arrow 19, originally released March 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: Putting aside your differences and working together towards a common goal is such a simple idea to grasp, but not always as easy to enact. As human beings, we are complicated and fragile things and easily allow our emotions to stand in the way of progress. Sometimes it helps to have a third party tell us to get our heads out of our asses and just do the work. Continue reading

Batgirl 49

batgirl 49

Today, Michael and Drew are discussing Batgirl 49, originally released March 2nd, 2016.

Michael: DC Comics has (sort of) clarified what its upcoming “Rebirth” is, and it has been changing my reading of every comic I’ve read from them in the meantime. It’s still anyone’s guess as to what kinds of changes “Rebirth” brings to the DC line, but we are definitely at the climax/resolution threshold of each title’s story. Case in point: the semi-continuity-resolving, Inception-ish issue that is Batgirl 49. Continue reading

Black Canary 8

black canary 8

Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Black Canary 8, originally released February 10th, 2016.

Mark: One of the privileges of adulthood is the opportunity to choose your family. Even if you love your immediate family, the family that raised you, as you grow older and move away you build another sort of family — a family comprised of friends, romantic partners, mentors, work colleagues, and so forth. This new family is your social circle, the ones your rely on on a day-to-day basis as an adult. No matter your childhood, this chosen family is an essential part of being an adult, of being independent.

The great gift and the great tragedy of life is that people can flit in and out of our lives seemingly at a whim. I moved to LA with no job and no friends, but have lucked into the most wonderful circle of human beings imaginable. Still, some friends with whom I was once super close have become more like acquaintances, and through no fault of either party. What can you do? Life moves you in one direction, and your friend in another. So even in adulthood, as much as we choose our family, life still finds a way to intervene. Continue reading

Black Canary 4

black canary 4

Today, Spencer and Mark are discussing Black Canary 4, originally released September 16th, 2015.

Marge: “You liked ‘Rashomon.'”
Homer: “That’s not how I remember it.”

The Simpsons — “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo”

Spencer: By now, anybody with even the tiniest bit of pop culture-savvy is familiar with the concept of an unreliable narrator. Much like the various storytellers in “Rashomon,” an unreliable narrator believes their own personal version of the truth, even if it doesn’t necessarily jive with the experiences of everyone else present. Comics are a particularly fun medium through which to explore unreliable narrators, because the juxtaposition of words and images means that the creative team can explore two different versions of the truth at the same time. This seems to be Brenden Fletcher and Pia Guerra’s intention with Black Canary 4 as they recount Bo Maeve’s backstory, but unfortunately, the differences between Maeve’s version of the truth and reality are never quite clear enough to be effective. Continue reading

DC Round-Up Comics Released 8/19/15

dc roundup6

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 Bizarro 3, Black Canary 3, Dr. Fate 3, Green Lantern The Lost Army 3, Justice League 43, Martian Manhunter 3 and Robin: Son of Batman 3.

slim-banner4

Continue reading

Black Canary 1

black canary 1

Today, Mark and Drew are discussing Black Canary 1, originally released June 17th, 2015.

Mark: It’s well-worn wisdom that you can’t run away from your past. Humans are an accumulation of their past experiences, no matter how much we wish it weren’t so. And if that’s true for real-life humans, you know it’s doubly true for fictional characters. Any character setting out to start a new life will invariably have their past catch up with them.

Now using the alias D.D., Dinah Lance is on the road with the fortuitously named band Black Canary as their lead singer. But whether it’s the sins of the past coming back to haunt her, or if trouble just has a way of finding her, Black Canary can’t seem to make it through a show without D.D. taking out some baddies. Continue reading