Spencer: Doomsday is a hard character to write. Of course he’s a legendary, unstoppable force, but he’s also a personality-less beast with little depth beyond an insatiable desire to destroy Superman. In short, he was a gimmick, but a wildly successful gimmick; considering all of that, I was quite curious going into this issue about what Greg Pak would do with the character. Much to my surprise, Pak decided to write a Doomsday story about how the monster’s legend affects various generations of his victims. It’s a novel approach, but I admit, some unclear or missing parts of the story make it a bit hard for me to figure out what exactly Pak is trying to say. Continue reading
Today, Patrick and Peter are discussing Worlds’ Finest 4, originally released August 1st, 2012.
Patrick: It did not take long for the good will this series established in the first issue to wear off. Two months ago we were saying “well, I still remain hopeful” and all those things you say when you feel like you’re witnessing a one-time mistake. But issue three doubled down on its mistakes and reduced its leads to painfully dull stereotypes. This month’s outing is only an improvement in that it commits no new sins, but that’s cold comfort when business-as-usual is boring, unlikable characters.
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Worlds’ Finest 3, originally released July 4th, 2012.
Shelby: Often, the hardest review to write is for the really good issues. All I want to do is gush, “IT’S SO GOOD!!!” and I have to force myself to find something intelligent to say. It’s not unpleasant, by any means; it gives me an excuse to spend more time with something I really enjoy, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. The really bad issues, though, are much easier to talk about. I can compose a laundry list of reasons why I don’t like it, and usually don’t have to spend much more time with it than a couple of readings. This month’s Worlds’ Finest falls firmly into that latter camp, and I’m really glad I don’t have to read it anymore than I already have.
Patrick: Last month, I had a great time with the Earth-2 books. The giddy thrill of watching Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman all eat it, coupled with a handful of details that were just different enough from the main world, really sold me on both Earth-2 #1 and Worlds’ Finest #1. But now that we’re settling into the actual stories that these series wish to tell, it becomes apparent that Worlds’ Finest is stuck on some dull details, even if there is a compelling narrative buried below the surface. Continue reading
Drew: Superhero comics are well-known for their entertainment value. We turn to them for wild plotting or impossible feats or insane action. When handled well, they can also be home to themes that resonate even with their non-powered readers. Our favorite titles home in on the themes that resonate most with their characters, offering pointed, deliberate examinations of the human condition. With World’s Finest 1, writer Paul Levitz offers a compelling case for counting it among those titles, as it explores how two very different characters cope with moving on from the loss of their very way of life. Continue reading
Comics have always been stigmatized, from the homophobia that led to the comics code to the perennial perception that comics are for kids. Fans have long tolerated these stigmas, but have recently enjoyed more mainstream acceptance. Between the regular presence of graphic novels on bestseller lists and superheros on theater marquis, comics readers need no longer feel embarrassed for their fandom. At least, not totally. This week, the Retcon Punchers discuss what aspects of comic books still embarrass them. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Drew: This subject is very near and dear to my heart. In fact, one could argue that my first attempt to tackle this subject (posted on my blog devoted to subjects of such social stigmas) set me on the path that led to the formation of this very site. Suffice it to say, I’m maybe a little too sensitive to what people might be thinking about my comic fandom, but those sensitivities aren’t necessarily directly comics related. The thing I’m most embarrassed by is people assuming that I’m the kind of hyper-sarcastic, socially awkward pretentious hermit that has become the stereotype of the modern comic fan, but that has more to do with the culture surrounding comics than anything in the comics themselves. Continue reading