Thunderbolts 15

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Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Thunderbolts 15, originally released September 18th, 2013. This issue is part of the Infinity crossover event. Click here for complete Infinity coverage.

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Shelby: I’ve got a big project at work right now that is causing my team some major headaches. Half the guys do their own thing, causing the other half no small amount of frustration. I feel I don’t have the time to do my portion as well as I would like, which leaves me extra frustrated as well. It’s easy to forget that we’re all on the same team, with the same goal: finish this project so we don’t have to work on it anymore. It’s even trickier for the Thunderbolts, in that they aren’t actually on the same team, they don’t actually have the same goal. Also, they’ve got a little alien problem.

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Age of Ultron 5

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Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Age of Ultron 5, originally released April 10th 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

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Shelby: Why is it always time travel? If you have a science-y plot in a comic book (especially a Marvel book, it seems) odds are pretty good that time travel with either be the basis of the conflict or the solution. Personally, I hope we never figure out how to travel through time. Travel to the past, and the most innocuous action could alter the future in unimaginable ways; travel to the future, and your knowledge of what will happen will color the actions you take in the present. It all seems too risky. It would appear that Brian Michael Bendis disagrees with me; not content to limit himself to one kind of time continuum manipulation, Age of Ultron 5 has the team traveling to the past AND the future to resolve this Ultron problem. What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading

Age of Ultron 4

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Today, Patrick and Ethan are discussing Age of Ultron 4, originally released April 3rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

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Patrick: One of the things I’ve absolutely loved about picking up monthly comics is that I’ve had the opportunity to get know the work of a ton of great writers and artists. It pains me a little to think of how few people will ever read a funny exchange written by Jeff Lemire, and how few people will never see Adam Hughes masterful acting simply because they don’t read comics. Drew, Shelby and myself have been at this for over a year — I like to think we’re in the club now — and I have this brand new skill of identifying someone by their work. Brian Michael Bendis, the writer behind Age of Ultron is notorious for his massively decompressed stories, and between this series, Guardians of the Galaxy, and his X-Men books, I feel like I can spot his handiwork a mile away. But Age of Ultron is a special case, and its glacial pace allows almost every issue to be a Bryan Hitch vanity project. This makes it kind of tough to discuss in the same way we discuss other comics, but it’s clear now that this is the series’ identity – the problematic obsessions with character development and plot and theme are mine and not Ultron’s. Retcon Punch needs a new way to talk about comics. Alright, let’s see what we got. Continue reading

Age of Ultron 3

age of ultron 3 AU

Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing Age of Ultron 3, originally released March 27th, 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

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Mikyzptlk: In any post-apocalyptic scenario, you can either give in to the destruction that surrounds you or you can find that one last sliver of hope to hang on to. The first two issues of this event have mostly centered on a group of defeated heroes who are on the verge of giving up hope. The resistance, if you could even call it that, was rudderless and quickly losing its steam. It was all quite depressing, if not in a fascinating kind of way. The latest issue of Age of Ultron reveals that perhaps not all hope is lost and, armed with a shiny new plan, our heroes start on a path that can hopefully lead them to victory.

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Age of Ultron 6 PREVIEW

age of ultron preview

Age of Ultron 6 comes out on April 17th, 2013 and is written by Brian Michael Bendis with Art by Brandon Peterson and Carlos Pacheco. Click here for our complete Age of Ultron coverage.

The superheroes live up to their end of the foreign exchange program by sending the Avengers to Ultron City. I expect most of the issue will involve Iron Man getting black-out drunk and hooking up with an Australian chick in a hostel and Captain America calling home to ask for more money. Also Hulk smashing, because: obviously.

Preview a couple pages after the jump. Continue reading

A + X 1

Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing A + X 1, originally released October 31st, 2012.

Patrick: We here at Retcon Punch haven’t made any decisions about Marvel NOW. The concept is so different from DC’s line-wide relaunch with the New 52, but the spirit is the same: “it’s okay, new readers, we’ll tell you where to start.” So it’d be downright hypocritical of us not to give some of these titles a fair shake. We appealed to our readers for suggestions on which series to cover (haven’t cast your vote? like voting twice? here’s a link to the poll!). Whatever ends up happening, we’d like to wait until there are a few issues in the bank before launching into the close readings – but then I picked up A + X. The format of A + X is simple: two unrelated stores, each featuring one X-men and one Avenger. Combining of both Avengers and X-men summons all kinds of insane continuity concerns, not least of which being the A vs. X series that ran this summer. But the Q&A section jammed into the title page works to alleviate those fears:

Q: So, where do these stories take place in each character’s continuity?
A: STOP THINKING SO MUCH! It fits in where it fits in! It’s enough to know that these stories ROCK! Now, GET READING.

A little bossier than I prefer my comics, but okay – let’s put that to the test. Without context, and with no deep knowledge of these character’s continuity, do these stories ROCK?

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