Today, Shelby and Michael are discussing the The Sandman Overture 6, originally released September 30th, 2015.
Shelby: I’m a big fan of Rick and Morty, that cartoon on Adult Swim that’s basically Back to the Future on crack. Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t seen season one of Rick and Morty, you’re best off just skipping past the break to the rest of the post. Anyway, there’s an episode where Rick, the mad scientist grandpa, basically ruins the whole world, mutates everyone into a Cronenberg-esque monster. You think he’s going to have a clever idea to save everybody, but instead he finds a version of the world in a parallel dimension where he solved the mutation problem but he and Morty died. Rick and Morty merely take their places, and go on living in this new dimension. It’s a mind-blowing episode, one of those special moments when you realize a show is much more than a show. Now imagine that, but instead of having to find a new universe, Rick had to create a new multiverse completely from scratch, and you’ve got the end of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Overture.Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Michael are discussing the The Sandman Overture 5, originally released May 27th, 2015.
Drew: Neil Gaiman has never been shy about pulling down the curtains that separate fiction from reality. I might call it “breaking the fourth wall,” but it’s less winking at the camera, and more showing us the puppet’s strings to better appreciate the puppet itself. In that vein, it’s never been hard to see Gaiman as Dream, the raven-haired prince of stories, fighting to maintain order over his dominion of characters, settings, and situations. It makes for some fascinating commentary on the creative process, especially when Dream comes up against forces beyond his control, even within his own stories. That’s exactly the name of the game in The Sandman Overture 5, as Gaiman pulls the curtain back on Dream’s mother and brings in some surprises that even Destiny didn’t see coming. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing the The Sandman Overture 2, originally released March 26th, 2014.
Shelby: There are a few dreams I’ve had in my life that I remember very clearly. Once I dreamt I had to go to a new job, and in order to get there I had to swim underwater. On my first day, we’re swimming and swimming, and I’m running out of air but I have to stay behind my guide. Then I woke up gasping; I had been holding my breath in my sleep. Not too long ago, I dreamt I was in a dark room that was even darker near the door. I had to pass through the darkest part of the room to leave, and as I did, two hands shot out of the shadows and grabbed my arms. That was one that had me bolt upright in bed, and then turn on every light in my apartment. I think these dreams stuck with me because there was a sense of reality to them; I was actually holding my breath, I could almost feel the stranger’s hands on my arms. Dreams are like bits of reality spun together to resemble a sort of whole, a feeling that Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams have somehow captured in their long-awaited second installment of Sandman Overture.
For Valentine’s Day last year, you may recall, we here at Retcon Punch showed you our love with corny, superhero valentines. Obviously, we had to do it again. So, Internet, this is our way of saying Be Mine; please enjoy these free, awesome valentines! Print them, share them, just keep our name on them; more after the break!
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Batwoman 24, originally released October 16th, 2013.
Drew: When evaluating a work of art, I tend to ignore the artist — I’m far too focused on what the art means to me to care about what it means to anyone else, even if that anyone happens to be the one who made it. I think it helps me stay focused on the work in question — it’s all to easy to excuse bad art from an artist you like, or dismiss good art from an artist you hate — and focus on the meaning of a work of art. Occasionally, though, the artist (or the context into which the art was released) dominate the work’s meaning. Van Gogh paintings are presented as springboards for discussions of madness, and Beethoven symphonies simply cannot be performed without someone mentioning deafness. The real-world drama surrounding the release of Batwoman 24 are not nearly so biological, but in many ways, that only makes the issue a more frustrating read.
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Batwoman 23, originally released August 21st, 2013.
Drew: At the end of Batwoman 22, Kate asks Bones for thirty hours to prepare for her planned takedown of Batman. We all suspected that that request might not be entirely on-the-level, assuming that Kate would use that time to set-up her own counter-plan. Issue 23 reveals that we were only half-right — Kate does use that time more for her own personal ends than for preparing for her mission, but how she uses it is entirely unexpected. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwoman 22, originally released July 17th, 2013.
Patrick: We spent last month with The Killer Croc — an oddly blunt instrument for symphony as subtle and sophisticated as Batwoman. A few pages in to this issue, and we become aware that our heroes are searching for Bane to ask him for advice on how to capture Batman. I know Bane’s actually done this before, but it is interesting to see the brutish villains popping up in a more cerebral title. And the party doesn’t end there — the ranks of the good guys and the bad are fleshed out with soldiers and psychopaths. How exactly these opposing forced are going to accomplish their goals is another topic of conversation altogether. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Batwoman 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.
Shelby: Trust is always an interesting concept to explore when masked superheroes are involved. The protagonist’s entire experience is based on a lack of trust: they don’t trust their loved ones to with their secret identity, they don’t trust the existing authority to take care of crime. That the distrust is well-founded doesn’t lessen the fact it’s the foundation of a successful masked superhero. But even the most independent superhero has got to have someone in the corner, some support system of people they trust and can rely on. Unfortunately, Kate seems to continuously find herself faced with people telling her, “you will trust me, whether you like it or not!”, essentially rendering the entire concept meaningless.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Batwoman 19, originally released April 17th, 2013.
Patrick: Early in this issue, DEO Agent Cameron Chase says to her sister: “I think I’m about to do something horrible.” This isn’t an admission of guilt, she isn’t asking for absolution, and she certainly doesn’t want to be talked out of doing this horrible something. But Chase isn’t the only person in this series that’s about to do something horrible. The whole cast of Batwoman imposes personal sacrifices on each other to the benefit of… well, of what exactly? Love? Honor? Duty? The very thing they’re sacrificing?