Worlds Collide and Teams Clash in Avengers 672

by Spencer Irwin

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

Avengers 672 opens with both the Avengers and the Champions having the same fight in two different places. A new satellite is about to reveal images either confirming or denying proof of the High Evolutionary’s Counter Earth, a planet sharing our orbit on the far side of the sun. Nova and Peter Parker have both been to the planet, but Amadeus and Wasp insist that it cannot exist because it would defy all laws of physics and throw off the balance of the entire solar system. Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz use this scenario — of two planets that cannot share the same orbit without causing destruction — to illustrate the problem facing both of these teams: they can’t be in the same place without tearing each other down. Continue reading

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Echoes of the Past, Pinocchio, and Barf in Captain America 25

by Michael DeLaney

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

Like a meta comic book continuity retcon, Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers’ Captain America titles collapse into one in Captain America 25. One of the last times Marvel published a Captain America 25, Steve Rogers was shot “dead.” While this issue might not be as monumental as “The Death of Captain America,” it is a book that is almost essential as a Secret Empire tie-in. Continue reading

How a War of Language Escalates to Full-On War in Captain America Steve Rogers 19

by Patrick Ehlers

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

There are few political and social movements in my lifetime that have caused my peer group to stand up and say “fuck that whole ideology.” The rise of Trump and white nationalists is one such movement. I do it too — I find the ideas and attitude so repugnant, that I can’t help but extend my disgust to the people who preach it. Whether I’m justified in jumping to such combative language (did I really just use the f-word in the first sentence of a Retcon Punch piece?) the effect is undeniable: I’m contributing to the adversarial relationship that makes it feel like there’s moral gulf between myself and a Trump supporter. And with a chasm between us, how do we ever find common ground? Captain America Steve Rogers 19 asks these same questions, and unsettlingly lands on an answer: war.

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Captain America: Steve Rogers 14

Today, Ryan and Patrick are discussing Captain America: Steve Rogers 14, originally released March 22th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Ryan: Sometimes, if a character is too interesting or too dynamic, they can take over a narrative. I call it the Dawson’s Creek conundrum, since that was a show that was hypothetically built around (and named after) the least engaging character.  It’s not always a problem. It can be fun to have a character enter the story, take over for a bit and then step out, as long as the story knows that it’s happening. In Captain America: Steve Rogers 14, writer Nick Spencer and artist Jesus Saiz have a character taking over, but don’t cede the entire book to her. Continue reading

Best of 2016: Best Artist

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Without artists, all of your favorite characters, scenes, costumes, and locations would just be words on a page. In short, they’re the ones that make comics comics. That’s a lot of responsibility, yet the best artists manage to juggle all of those tasks and inject some meaningful art and style into the proceedings. Whether its a subtle expression or a jaw-dropping action sequence, our favorite artists add the requisite magic to make their worlds and characters real. These are our top 10 artists of 2016.
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Best of 2016: Best Issues

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Episodic storytelling is the name of the game in monthly comics. Month- or even multi-year-long arcs are fine, but a series lives and dies by its individual chapters. From self-contained one-offs to issues that recontextualize their respective series, this year had a ton of great issues. Whittling down those issues to a list was no easy task (and we look forward to hearing how your lists differ in the comments), but we would gladly recommend any (and all) of these issues without hesitation. These are our top 10 issues of 2016. Continue reading

Steve Rogers Captain America 1

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Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Steve Rogers Captain America 1, originally released May 25, 2016.

Patrick: The most troubling thing about any inspirational figure is that they are necessarily mutable. Human beings are never only one thing, but we often reduce them to a single trait or value so that we may incorporate that into our own view of the world. John Lennon believed in peace, Martin Luther King Jr. believed in equality, Steve Jobs believed in innovation. Those are all trite reductions of fantastically complicated people, but it is useful to have avatars of these qualities and principals. Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz’ Steve Rogers Captain America 1 sets out to complicate one of the most inspirational figures in comics — which I feel is a necessary exploration of the Greatest Generation — but the issue is almost more interested in the concepts of inspiration and legacy than the specific twist deployed on the final splash page. Continue reading

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion 1

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Today, Mark and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion 1, originally released January 13, 2016.

Mark: I have to admit, Green Lantern proper and the continuing adventures of Hal Jordan in the New 52/DC YOU, has not captivated me for a few years now. I was, then, incredibly excited when Green Lantern: Lost Army launched in the aftermath of Convergence. Cullen Bunn and Jesús Saíz’s series started as one of the strongest Green Lantern stories in years, and I was very excited to see where it went. Unfortunately my initial enthusiasm was not universal, and the story kind of lost the thread as it went on. So despite DC’s editorial promise to let all of their new books run for at least 12 issues, Lost Army was a victim of DC’s panic in the face of flagging sales. Cancelled after 6 issues, DC promised to wrap up the story started by Bunn in Lost Army with a 6 issue mini-series: Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion, with the departure of Bunn and Saíz, replaced by writer Tom Taylor and artist Ethan Van Sciver.

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Well, “wrap up.” Because, while it may have been explained away as a continuation of Lost Army, Edge of Oblivion is a new #1, for all intents and purposes it begins a whole new story completely divorced from Bunn’s work before. For better or for worse, Taylor has taken the base core of Lost Army (Green Lantern Corps lost in space/time), and gone from there. No more pyramids, no more Mogo being a source for the entire ring spectrum, no more flashbacks to John Stewart’s life on Earth. Continue reading

Green Lantern: The Lost Army 5

green lantern lost army 5

Today, Michael and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: The Lost Army 5, originally released October 21, 2015.

Michael: How do you value one life over another? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? Green Lantern: Lost Army 5 shows us the burdens of being the person in charge who has to make this tough decisions. It also does something that is equally difficult: making John Stewart interesting. Continue reading

DC Round-Up Comics Released 8/19/15

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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.

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