Batgirl 6


Today, Michael and Drew are discussing Batgirl 6, originally released December 28th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS!

Michael: Everyone loves a good ol’ fashioned superhero team-up, but what’s rarer is the superhero/supervillain team-up. Are they permanently at odds and butting heads or can they find a common ground? Do they even really need to fight at all, or can they just kind of…agree to hang out?

Batgirl 6 subtitles itself as a “Beyond Burnside Epilogue,” but outside having Barbara Gordon flying back from China and one brief mention of her adventures there this is very much a standalone issue. What Hope Larson and Rafael Albuquerque actually give us is a Gotham version of Snakes on a Plane: sans snakes, with plants. Babs just so happens to be on the same flight back to the states as Poison Ivy, who has a prehistoric, rotted flesh-smelling plant in tow. Ivy didn’t expect her plant pal — Aristolochia pugnaculi – to wake up so she teams up with Batgirl to stop the beastly plant from crashing plane. Continue reading

Batman 43

batman 43

Today, Drew and Michael are discussing Batman 43, originally released August 12th, 2015.

It seems like so many of these interpretations [of Batman] are somebody’s favorite. And the truth be told is that they all feel like it’s the same character. Regardless of how different they might be or how separate they might feel, they all feel like they’re Batman. They all feel true to the core conceit of what that character is.

Dan DiDio

Drew: As diverse as Batman stories can be, they’ve always shared some core tenants of who the character is and what he stands for. Or, maybe we need to be more specific — there have been a few different Batmen over the years, with some variation in guiding principles (and origin stories), but Bruce Wayne has always stood for the same things. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on this series has been a slow indictment of each of those guiding principles, from Batman’s relationship to Gotham to exactly where he falls on the “superstitious and cowardly” spectrum, but this issue takes away something even more central to Bruce than all of these things combined: his drive as a detective. Indeed, that seems to be the linchpin that makes Bruce Batman — without it, he’s almost unrecognizable. Continue reading

Batman 16

Alternating Currents: Batman 16, Drew and ShelbyToday, Drew and Shelby are discussing Batman 16 originally released January 16th, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Drew: One of the most thrilling things about Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was the surprisingly strong case it made for Joker’s way of thinking. Obviously, we aren’t meant to agree with his murderous methods, but any time he’s given a chance to explain his worldview, he actually makes a pretty compelling argument. The effect was a surprisingly nuanced take on the nature of freedom, drawing our attention to just how untenable Batman’s outlook is, as well. Scott Snyder manages a similar trick in Batman 16, making Joker’s argument alluring, even as his methods are utterly horrifying. Continue reading

Nightwing 15

nightwing 15 DoF

Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Nightwing 15, originally released December 19th 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

death-divScott: Superheroes are defined by the things they care about most. Whether it be a loved one, a city, or a planet, there must be a something that compels them to fight, something for which they can be held accountable. Their physical abilities may make them Super, but it is their desire to protect the things they care about that make them Heroes, and what differentiates them from other physically powerful figures, like villains or, say, sidekicks. The success of Nightwing as a series ultimately depends on whether Dick Grayson can shake the notion that he is a sidekick, fighting to save Batman’s Gotham rather than something of his own.  In Nightwing 15, with the threats against Dick’s beloved Haly’s Circus beginning to have real consequences, it finally feels like he is blossoming into a Superhero in his own right.
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Nightwing 14

Alternating Currents: Nightwing 14, Drew and ScottToday, Drew and Scott are discussing Nightwing 14, originally released November 21st 2012.

Drew: As a former sidekick, it’s difficult for Nightwing to define his life without Batman. This is as true outside of the mask as it is behind it — just try to define Dick Grayson without mentioning Bruce Wayne. This makes Dick’s investment in Haly’s Circus (the one part of Dick’s origin story that doesn’t involve Batman) make a lot of sense — it’s his best shot at agency in his life. Dick seems poised to begin a new chapter in his civilian life, yet his costumed life finds him pulled inextricably back towards Batman, as some of Bruce’s oldest foes demand Nightwing’s attention. Continue reading

Birds of Prey 0

Today, Shelby and (special guest writer) Lindsey Peterson are discussing Birds of Prey 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Birds of Prey 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.

Shelby: A difficult aspect of writing a comic book has got to be maintaining the balance between new and old readers: specifically, keeping both sides happy. You want to keep the long-timers happy; without their readership, you wouldn’t have been successful in the first place. But, you need to keep your books at least a little bit attainable to attract new readers; if your readership doesn’t grow, you won’t continue to be successful. With half of zero month behind us, we’ve seen examples of origins that bore us with nothing new and origins that confound us with no background knowledge given. Then we have my favorites, those titles which have struck that delicate balance between old-hat origin and current story arc connections. Birds of Prey is definitely in that last camp.  Continue reading

Cram Session: Batman 1-8

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.

Scott Snyder’s current run on Batman in both character- and author-defining work. It also manages to rope every other superhero in Gotham into its orbit, and the Night of the Owls sweeps through 11 different series this month. Batman is the hub. It’s also the strongest title in the bunch. Read every issue twice, then read them all again six more times, then watch our video recap.

Cram Session: Detective Comics 1-8

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.

If you’re already reading Batman, then you might not see the point of another series featuring the characters as the hero. Or, you could be like the Retcon Punchers and have read every issue and still don’t see the point of this series. Well you don’t have to read it to find out what happened in issues 1-8.

Detective Comics 7

Today, Peter and Patrick are discussing Detective Comics 7, originally released March 7th 2012.

Peter: Tony Daniel has a great history with DC Comics. He has written and/or drawn some great books. In fact, he drew one of my favorite books, The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #13. His art couples with a great story, and unfortunately, results with the death of Bart Allen. In his new run of Detective Comics, Daniel does a great job with the art, hands down, giving it that noir, shadow-y feel that I would expect in a detective story. However, Daniel is still leaving something to be desired from a story point of view. I have enjoyed some of his previous writing, such as Battle for the Cowl, or even Detective Comics #1, but as his story progresses and comes to a close in the second story arc, I’m still dazed and confused as to what is going on and why should I care.

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Detective Comics 1-6

Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Detective Comics 1-6, originally released September 7th, 20122, October 5th, 2011, November 2nd, 2011, December 7th, 2011, January 4th, 2012, and  February 1st, 2012.

Patrick: I’m a bit of a completionist. Any time I take up a new hobby, I have to fight my collectorly urges and pace my intake of that hobby. When I discovered Green Lantern in the Fall of 2010, I was fortunate enough to be working a high-paying administrative gig. I threw down laughably large amounts of money on every trade paperback with the words “Green” and “Lantern” printed on them somewhere. They weren’t all classics, but damn it all, I wanted to know what was going on. DC Comics understands this impulse so very, very well.  That’s why there are four series in the New 52 starring Batman (Batman, Detective Comics, Batman and Robin and The Dark Knight) with seven other series that have already featured Batman in prominent roles (Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman, Batwing, Catwoman, Justice League and Justice League International) and a few where I assume he’ll show up sooner or later (Red Hood and the Outlaws and Birds of Prey). DC is in the goddamned Batman business.  Continue reading