Spencer: A defining trait of She-Hulk has always been control — becoming She-Hulk gave Jennifer Walters confidence, and she could fully control that form to the point where she remained Hulked-Out 24/7. Much of the tragedy of Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon’s Hulk has been watching Jen lose that control as a result of the trauma she underwent in Civil War II, but Hulk 5 shows that Jen’s situation is actually far more circular and complicated; she didn’t just lose control because of her trauma, but her trauma hit her so hard because she lost control in the first place. Continue reading
We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Captain America Sam Wilson 20, Daredevil 18, Mighty Thor 17, Ms. Marvel and Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat 16. Also, we’re discussing Amazing Spider-Man 25 today and we’ll be discussing Deadpool The Duck 5 on Wednesday, so come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Today, Drew and Ryan D. are discussing Black Panther 11, originally released February 22nd, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Drew: Comics is a medium of juxtaposition. We derive meaning from seeing two images next to one another, understanding some causal link that only exists in our minds. The magic, then, is crafting those images such that the reader can piece together the causality in a natural, intuitive way. That includes both the content of the images and the arrangement of those images on the page, which is remarkably complex. Indeed, in his seminal Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud points out that arranging panels is so complex “that even seasoned pros will sometimes blow it.” While the clarity issues in Black Panther 11 have more to do with content than layouts, I feel this sentiment is particularly apt, as the issue was drawn by not just one, but a veritable army of seasoned artists. It’s odd to argue that this artistic team failed to make this issue clear, but I’m afraid that’s really the lynchpin upon which all of this issue’s problems turn. Continue reading
Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Daredevil 17, originally released February 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Spencer: Our mission statement here at Retcon Punch has always been to foster thoughtful discussions about comic books, but there’s another idea that’s always factored heavily into our work as well: everyone’s unique perspective contributes heavily to their interpretation of any given book. It’s an idea that kept popping into my head as I read Charles Soule, Ron Garney, and Matt Milla’s Daredevil 17, because my feelings about this issue are heavily influenced by my feelings about Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s previous run with the character. I can only imagine that this story reads far differently to anyone without that attachment. Continue reading
Today, Ryan D. and Michael are discussing Daredevil 15, originally released January 11th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Ryan D: Sometimes I forget a simple fact about Matt Murdock: he is a tricky dude. Seeing as he does not have quite as spectacular of a power set as many of our better-known Marvel heroes, Murdock relies a great deal on trickery and misdirection to best many of his foes. Off the top of my head, I recall times when he has faked his own and Foggy’s death, had Danny Rand dress up as Daredevil to help keep his own identity secret, become the Kingpin and leader of the Hand, and even become a drifter in Upstate New York. Matt has something new up his sleeve in the new arc of Charles Soule’s Daredevil, featuring a slightly different tone and art than the recent arcs of this run. The question is: did the Man without Fear bite off more than he can chew with this scheme? Continue reading
Spencer: Despite the name, She-Hulk has never settled for just being a distaff counterpart. Jen’s occupation, abilities, and especially the confidence and control they’ve granted her have always set her far apart from Bruce Banner, allowing Jen to carve her own niche within the Marvel Universe. Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon’s Hulk 1 finds many of the aforementioned qualities that have always defined She-Hulk violently ripped away from her, yet even then, Jen manages to cling to her individuality. While Banner’s Hulk was a creature born of anger, Jen’s Hulk is born of fear, anxiety, and trauma. Continue reading
Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Daredevil 12, originally released October 12th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.
Spencer: What is art? I suppose if I had to answer that question, I’d say that art is something one creates that’s intended to elicit some sort of emotional reaction, but even that incredibly broad statement doesn’t cover the full spectrum of what art is, or isn’t, what it can or can’t do. What truly is or isn’t art is subjective, yet the debate rages on; in a way, it even defines the conflict between Daredevil and his new villain, Muse. Muse just wants Daredevil to like his work, while, of course, Matt doesn’t because his work is murder. Can murder be art? Muse certainly seems to think so, and in his mind, that justifies everything he does. Continue reading
Today, Ryan D. and Spencer are discussing Daredevil 4, originally released February 24th, 2016.
Ryan D.: Sometimes, as a lover of comics, I feel like I need to make even my objective voice take a step back. A friend asked who my favorite superhero is. I answered with Daredevil. I love DD for the fact that he is very mortal in a multiverse of gods and supermen. His human story of a boy who grew up blind and parentless while still having the temerity to finish law school and start his own practice is just as compelling as his mask. I related to the Irish-Catholic-American guilt with which the character often struggles, and I love that, unlike many characters who guard the earth from cosmic threats such as Galactus, Daredevil just wants to keep his neighborhood safe. The noir-rich Brubaker and Bendis runs on the series opened my eyes to places I did not know superheroes could go, and the Mark Waid return to the swashbuckler proved to be a delight.
But we have a “new and improved” Daredevil now, one who has One More Day‘d away his previously very public identity, who now sits on the side of prosecution instead of defense and even totes a sidekick. Taking my step back and knowing that this run has no intentions of being the DD of yore, I have been interested in seeing when the character, plot, and art might all fall into their respective, complimentary rhythms, and I am unsure as to whether issue number four takes any steps forward or backward in this regard. Continue reading
Charles Soule was a virtual unknown when he started on Swamp Thing in 2013. Since then, he’s written some of comics biggest characters, from Superman and Wonder Woman to Deadpool and Wolverine. December saw him tackle the man without fear with the launch of a new volume of Daredevil. Drew sat down with Soule to go through issue 1 page by page, so get your copy handy and join us on the Commentary Track. Continue reading
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Daredevil 1, originally released December 2nd, 2015.
You might know me as Matt Murdock, defence attorney, here to help. That guy’s gone.
Matt Murdock, Daredevil 1
Drew: We’re living in the age of the comics auteur. We may not have yet settled exactly who the auteur is in a work that is written, drawn, colored, lettered, and edited by five (or more) different people, but so long as they work together in largely uninterrupted runs, we don’t really need to. That is to say, we may not be able to assign auteurship to one individual on, say, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run on Daredevil, but we can appreciate that they brought a distinct set of sensibilities to the character that are unique to their collaboration. On the whole, I think this is a good thing — it allows creators to play to their own strengths and follow their own interests — but it makes the prospect of following a beloved run particularly daunting. What works for one creative team might not work for another, which means that anything from costumes and character designs to theme and overall tone might be subject to change. Indeed, with the freedom (and perhaps pressure) for each team to bring their own take on the character, those changes are unavoidable. Daredevil 1 features plenty of changes from its previous volume, but writer Charles Soule and artist Ron Garney quickly set about showing why those changes are going to work. Continue reading