Visions of Something Greater in Superman 5

by Spencer Irwin

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

Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis open Superman 5 with a vision. Zod fantasizes of a New Krypton, of a world where all of Krypton’s survivors have united, where Zod and Superman have made peace despite their “ideological divide.” Superman, too, experiences a vision in this issue, one just as lofty. While these two men may share visions of something greater than themselves, though, it’s those pesky ideological differences that continue to drive them apart. Just because you dream of something better doesn’t mean the steps you take to get there are justified. Continue reading

The Reader Knows Too Much in Action Comics 996

by Michael DeLaney 

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

Action Comics 996 has me thinking about our expectations and interactions with an individual comic book issue. As readers, we are operating in a dimension above the characters on the comic book page. We are omniscient in that we know what Lois and Superman are up to in their separate times and spaces. Unlike Superman, we know that Zod’s son lies in wait for our hero because of Dan Jurgens’s cover for the issue. Since Lor-Zod’s appearance is a foregone conclusion, does that “spoil” the story at all? Does it diminish the final page reveal? Continue reading

Form Trumps Myth in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 37

By Patrick Ehlers

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

My Green Lantern fandom often feels like a relic from a time before I truly understood what I loved about comics. I love the limits of the medium — the way an artist has to imply light and sound and movement and time all on a still page which literally possesses none of these qualities. So much of a comic story, for me, is in how it is told, rather than what it’s telling. But Green Lantern is a myth-making franchise, and the moment-to-moment storytelling can often be measured by the twists and connections it makes to its own winding history. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 37 eschews that entirely, pulling one of Superman’s Big Bads into the ring for some refreshingly innovative visual storytelling. Continue reading

Booster Gold Steals the Spotlight in Action Comics 993

By Michael DeLaney

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

The “Superman time travels back to pre-blown up Krypton” story is so frequent of a tale that DC should make a hardcover collection of them all. A bit more than a trip to way back when, Action Comics 993 touches on the elusive mysteries of Mr. Oz and Doctor Manhattan. 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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Superman/Wonder Woman 5

superman wonder woman 5

Today, Taylor and Shelby are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 5, originally released February 12th, 2014.

Taylor: When I first moved to Chicago a little over six years ago I was desperate for cash and ended up applying for a job at a local tea and coffee and chain. My roommate at the time, and current Retcon Punch editor Patrick, was in the same straights as I, so he applied as well. We both got jobs but we were told we couldn’t work at the same location because we were roommates. The best we could figure it, the company was worried about our personal life bleeding over into our work life. At the time it seemed silly to us, but in retrospect it’s maybe a good policy for the company to adopt. After all, you never want a friendship or relationship getting in the way of your job. This proves especially true for romantic relationships and it only seems natural that Superman/Wonder Woman would eventually get around to the exploring this idea. In issue five, Clark and Diana are forced to confront this issue head on while also dealing with some invaders from Krypton’s past.

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Superman/Wonder Woman 4

Today, Taylor and Scott are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 4, originally released January 15th, 2013.

Taylor: When you’re Superman and/or Wonder Woman nothing is ever simple. This idea extends to basically every part of their lives, from their work as heroes all the way down to their most intimate experiences. Given the circumstances of their lives, it’s amazing that Clark and Diana have the stamina to maintain a romantic relationship. The two lovers had been blessed with keeping their relationship a secret from almost everyone they know, save a few confidants, but now their secret is out now and all that they have built together could potentially come toppling down under the weight of the world’s scrutiny. Issue 4 of Superman/Wonder Woman sees our favorite power couple split up by narrative space and the work of two distinct creative teams. The result is an issue that meditates on the desire to keep things simple while everything else becomes increasingly more complicated.

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Superman/Wonder Woman 3

Today, Taylor and Mikyzptlk are discussing Superman/Wonder Woman 3, originally released December 11th, 2013.

Taylor: The holidays are a strenuous time. For all of the good that comes with them (family, friends, food, secret trips to the store for booze) there’s a lot of hard work that comes with them too. Travel is difficult, parents ask awkward questions, and for a lot of people choosing gifts for those they care about is especially difficult. How will you know they’ll like it? Are you spending too much (or  too little)? Does this gift sum up our relationship? You would think that for superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman these daily worries of the common man would be of no concern. However, in the third issue of the series this proves untrue, as Wonder Woman and Superman continue to develop their relationship in a way that’s recognizably human. Oh, and they have to deal with a crossover from the Phantom Zone who possesses the power to kill Superman and enslave Earth. Just your average holiday gathering.

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Action Comics 23.2: Zod

Alternating Currents: Action Comics 23.2: Zod, Drew and Jennie

Today, Drew and guest writer Jennie Seidewand are discussing Action Comics 23.2: Zod, originally released September 11th, 2013. This issue is part of the Villain’s Month event. Click here for our Villains Month coverage.

villain divDrewThe final shot of “Face Off,” Breaking Bad‘s season 4 finale, is absolutely devastating, revealing exactly what lengths Walt was willing to go to in order to survive. It’s a paradigm-shifting twist, one that challenges much of what we thought we knew about the character, and one that risks alienating the audience by keeping them in the dark. It’s an incredible feat that that reveal doesn’t fly Breaking Bad off of the rails — one that can largely be attributed to the fact that the series had long been about Walt’s lies and desperation, and about testing the audience’s sympathy for him. Writer Greg Pak employs a similar tactic in Action Comics 23.2: Zod, keeping the audience in the dark about Zod’s crimes until long after the fact. Unfortunately, without four seasons of incremental steps towards that crime, the reveal lacks any actual surprise. Continue reading