Cram Session: Avengers 1-10 – Origin Bombs

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

Jonathan Hickman has been ramping up to some world-altering shit. We’ll be digging into Infinity with zeal, but it means catching up with both Avengers and New Avengers. We started our coverage of the bi-weekly Avengers with issue 11, and if you want to join us there – here’s a video recap to get you all situated.

Cram Session: The Rise of the Third Army

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

You’re planning to read the Wrath of the First Lantern, right? It’s Geoff Johns and company’s last hurrah with those characters, so you BEST to pick it up. But if you want to understand every second of that even — and we know you do — you’ve got to get a grip on what came before. If you missed any part of the Rise of the Third Army (and we pay attention to our analytics – none of you are reading Red Lanterns), we’ve got like 20 issues worth of dense GL plotting to catch you up on.  

Red Lanterns 16

red lanterns 16 3rd

Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Lanterns 16, originally released January 30th, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: You know that feeling when you finish a good book and you just want it to keep going? The story is done, but you just like the characters and the world they live in so much that you just want to keep spending time with them. I get that A LOT. I tend to be more character-focused when it comes to narratives, so it makes sense that, in my head, every narrative becomes a hangout story — one where the lack of plot makes the only draw the likableness of the characters. Red Lantern 16 has the appropriate lack of plot to make a proper hangout story, but lacks the key component of even a single likable character. The result is a palpable waste of time, as unpleasant as sifting through a bucket full of flaming blood rage-puke. Continue reading

Green Lantern Corps Annual 1

green lantern corps annual 3rd

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Green Lantern Corps Annual 1, originally released January 30th, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Shelby: The Green Lantern Corps is having a very “out of the frying pan, into the fire” kind of day. This issue’s got a lot of moving parts, so I’m just going to dive right in.

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Red Lanterns 15

Alternating Currents: Red Lanterns 15, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Red Lanterns 15, originally released January 2nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: Last month, Shelby and Mikyzptlk raged about how Red Lanterns 14 seemed to misunderstand the very concept of rage. While I’d love to suggest that that response was fully intended as a clever “you are there!” meta-text, that stuff is really only satisfying when the text itself actually works. When done well, the various corps should act as a shorthand for emotion, giving you a quick and dirty sense of the character’s motivations. Unfortunately for Peter Milligan, rage isn’t a particularly relatable emotion — in fact, its irrational nature makes it totally un-relatable. I don’t envy the task of pulling something compelling out of the Red Lantern corps, so I can almost excuse the fact that he wants to make his characters driven by something other than rage — except that it ultimately serves to make the characters less compelling by removing literally the only thing I know about them. This leaves Red Lanterns 15 populated by characters with no apparent motivation in situations I neither fully understand nor care about.

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Red Lanterns 0

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Red Lanterns 0, originally released September 26th, 2012. Red Lanterns 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Shelby: The worst thing about grief is not the pain, not the loss, not the sadness; it’s how easy it is to hold on to. Grief is the gateway drug of emotions; it leads you to harder stuff, like sorry, despair, or rage. Grief is a passive, wallowing place, but rage is an emotion of action. A man who’s rage is so intense it burns away the grief which spawned it (as well as all other emotion) is a man who can accomplish terrible things.

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Green Lantern Corps 12

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern Corps 11, originally released August 15th, 2012.

Patrick: “Don’t trust the authority.” It’s a theme that runs rich through the Green Lanterns mythos. And it’s not just the Guardians you can’t trust. Your mentors (Sinestro, to a lesser extent Abin Sur), your peace keeping force (the Alphas), even your greatest heroes (“Halallax” – which is what Shelby and I like to call Hal when he was infected with the yellow): everyone’s out to get you. For a series with such anarchist underpinnings, Green Lantern Corps has an unshakable belief in the fundamental goodness of their group. This issue kicks both of these conflicting ideas into high-gear.

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Green Lantern Corps 11

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Green Lantern Corps 11, originally released July 18th, 2012.

Shelby: The current run of the Green Lantern Corps is largely about dissension. It’s a powerful force that any dissenter will tell you is necessary, usually to achieve freedom from oppressors. But it’s also a tool which can be wielded against the oppressed to scatter their forces and further cement the power of the oppressors. So far, the dissent Guy and John sparked has played into the hands of the Guardians, aiding them in their plans to destroy the Corps to make way for the Third Army. This issue might mark the turning point when things finally spiral out of their controlling, blue hands.
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