Last week, Geoff Johns announced that issue 20 of Green Lantern will be his last. Johns has been writing Green Lantern since the Rebirth mini-series that restored Hal Jordan as the main Green Lantern. Over the course of a decade, Johns has expanded the Green Lantern mythology to enormous sizes. The reach of the Green Lantern Universe has been considerable, eventually coming to occupy four titles in The New 52 library. With Johns’ departure, Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps), Tony Bedard (Green Lantern: New Guardians) and Peter Milligan (Red Lanterns) will also be stepping down. What’s next for the Green Lanterns? Welcome to the Chat Cave. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick, Mikyzptlk, Shelby, Michael, Drew and Jack are discussing Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special 1, originally released February 6th, 2013.
It’s Valentine’s Day, which means that we here at Retcon Punch are going to do our best to pretend we’re not angry, misanthropic nerds for one day to discuss the six love stories laid out in the oddly titled Young Romance: The New 52 Valentine’s Day Special. As we like to foster as much conversation as possible here, we’ve pulled in six of our sappiest, most sentimental writers to hit these stories one at a time. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
Mikyzptlk: You know, I used to love Peter Milligan. Back in the day, he wrote X-Statix, one of the most interesting books that Marvel has ever printed. But then, Red Lanterns came a long and really hurt my appreciation of Milligan. Similarly, I used to love the Red Lanterns. They used to be one of the most interesting Corps in the emotional spectrum. But then Milligan came a long and REALLY hurt my appreciation of them. Continue reading →
Drew: Let’s be frank: Red Lanterns is not on my pull. I’m willing to tolerate a lot of the goofiness inherent in the Green Lantern universe, but blood-vomiting rage-monsters just doesn’t sound like fun. As I read through this issue, I couldn’t help but compare the Red Lantern Corps to the Hulk. It’s an easy comparison to make: both are powered by anger, and (until recently), both lose control when super pissed. The danger with that basic formula is that it turns both the Hulk and the RLC into forces of nature — horrible natural disasters that I can’t even fathom rooting for. For the Hulk, writers have often mitigated this by allowing Hulk to retain some of Bruce Banner’s heart; he still won’t hurt the ones he loves. More important, Bruce actively avoids Hulking-out; he knows it’s dangerous for everyone around him and he does everything in his power to prevent it from happening. Peter Milligan has a different solution, giving the Red Lanterns renewed sentience via some kind of blood baptism, but eliminating their heart from the equation altogether. The effect is that they charge into situations — like the one depicted in Red Lanterns 13 — knowing full well that they’ll probably just kill everything. It’s hard to empathize with that.
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.
Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing StormWatch 0, originally released September 5, 2012. StormWatch 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Patrick: It’s interesting to me how frequently comic books want to convince me that a secret battle has been raging for centuries. Guardians, The Court of Owls, The Rot – they’re all tied up in this sense of infinite history. But when the comic in question employs relatively new characters zipping around outer space and the entire publishing line has a “superheroes have been around for no more than five years” rule, that becomes a trickier sell. The song and dance that does eventually extend the StormWatch history back through the ages is either a Herculean feat of planning and foresight, or a cleverly observed play on words.