Logan’s Mind and Body in Astonishing X-Men 3

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Wolverine has always been the perfect blend of superpower and persona. On the mutant side, Logan’s body regenerates from virtually any damage he may sustain. On the persona side, Logan is strong-willed and once his mind is set to do something, there’s little that can get in his way. The marriage of Logan’s unflinching resolve and undying body is poetic in the way each side reflects the other. What exactly that makes of the man’s psyche is the topic of discussion in Astonishing X-Men 3. Continue reading

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Astonishing X-Men 1: Discussion

by Taylor Anderson & Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

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Taylor: About a month ago, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA  championship with ease. So easy was their win, in fact, that many pundits are calling them a super team that practically has the next several championships already won. It’s tempting to think that building such a dominant team is the result of careful planning and deep pockets. In actuality, what brought so many talented players together was a series of fluke accidents and coincidental timing that amount to little more than dumb luck. In much the same way, another super team is also being built, albeit this one on the pages of Astonishing X-Men. That might sound like a haphazard way to build a team — maybe it is — but it’s also a refreshing take on the typical team-up concept.  Continue reading

IvX 1

ivx1

Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing IvX 1, originally released December 14th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Last month’s IvX 0 did a fantastic job of summing up the conflict between the Inhumans and the X-Men and showing why their going to war was only a matter of time. Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Leinil Francis Yu’s IvX 1, though, is the issue where that powder keg finally ignites into all-out war, and war…well, war is ugly. IvX 1 plays up the fun of watching these two groups duke it out, but also the pain and sadness inherent in its scenario. Continue reading

X-Men 3

x-men 3

Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing X-Men 3, originally released July 31st, 2013.

Shelby: I hate a story that drags on too long. As a creator, it’s important to be able to edit yourself; you have to know where you want a story to go and be able to recognize when it gets there. At the same time, it’s just as frustrating as a reader when the story feels rushed. If I’ve settled in to savor a story as it unfolds, a sudden, “…andthenthegoodguyswinordidtheytheend,” is incredibly unsatisfying. A full-stop, wrap-it-up conclusion to a story arc just leaves me feeling confused, like maybe I missed an issue or something. As excited as I have been for Brian Wood’s X-Men, the end of the first arc has me feeling just that: confused and unsatisfied.
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Steampunk Superhero Cosplay at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

It’s sad, but true; none of us Retcon Punchers were able to go to SDCC this year. I have avoided all those  galleries of incredible cosplayers at the convention, afraid they would make me She-Hulk-out in a jealous rage. Instead, my esteemed collegue Taylor and I attended steampunk weekend at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in southern Wisconsin and found ourselves surrounded by creative comic book fans in beautiful steampunk costumes. I appropriately geeked out, and got my picture taken with as many as I could find. Despite missing out on Nerd Mecca, I have my own, unexpected cosplay gallery to share with you all. More after the jump.

I loved The Flash. He had pistons on his legs, and the wings on his hat were exhaust pipes that actually smoked.

Flash Continue reading

X-Men 2

x-men 2

Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Matt are discussing X-Men 2, originally released June 26th, 2013.

Patrick: Until you see it in action, a movie-monster isn’t that scary. You can hear whisperings about the monster’s insatiable appetite, and come across the ruins of the encampment that it has savaged, but it doesn’t really mean anything until you see the Alien burst violently out of your buddy’s chest. Remember how Scream started? With the killer toying with and brutally murdering the biggest name on the marquee. Whatever else was going to happen from that point forward, the audience knows the killer means business. Last month, we got an abstraction of a conflict – a storied shitty history between cosmic siblings. Faster than we can really deal with it, the conflict is in our laps, and everyone gets a good look at what Arkea can do. Consider me convinced: she’s a problem – one X-Men might not be up to solving. Continue reading

X-Men 1

Alternating Currents: X-Men 1, Drew and Spencer

Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing X-Men 1, originally released May 29th, 2013.

Drew: Anticipation is often the enemy of objectivity. Not that I can ever claim to be all that objective, but it can be difficult to evaluate a work on its own merits when expectations have been allowed to brew for as long as they have for X-Men 1. Since the announcement of this title, the all-female cast has been cited for everything from pandering to its female audience to serving as a rare bastion of female role models in comicdom. But, are any of those things what writer Brian Wood and penciller Olivier Coipel actually set out to do? Does that matter? Art shouldn’t have to answer for what people turn it into sight-unseen, but its difficult to talk about this series without some reaction to the expectations it was released into. Hopefully, I’ll be able to tie it back to the series itself. Continue reading

Uncanny Avengers 8AU

Today, Taylor and Ethan are discussing Uncanny Avengers 8AU, originally released May 22nd 2013. This issue is part of the Age of Ultron crossover event. Click here for complete AU coverage.

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Taylor:  The thing about parties is that they’re only fun if you know the people who are going to be there. Now, this doesn’t apply to everyone, some of the more socially fluid among us have an ability to mix and match with anyone. However, for your average Joe, going to a strange party means having to make conversation with a lot of people you’ve never met before and who you will never meet again. What do you do; who do you know; is that beer good; this song is great – become your most-used phrases for a couple of awkward hours. By the end of the night all the names and faces blend together and you’re more than happy to leave without saying goodbye to any of the people you just met but couldn’t care about less. In just the same way Uncanny Avengers 8AU is not a fun issue to read unless you are steeped in the mythology of the Marvel Universe. Even then, there is little that is appealing about this issue for fans of the series, both old and new. Continue reading

All-New X-Men 11

all new x-men 11

Today, Drew and guest writer Charles Cress are discussing All-New X-Men 11, originally released May 1st, 2013.

Drew: Superhero comics have a strange line to walk when it comes to serialization. We want a sense of forward movement — we want the characters to grow and change — but we also want to read stories with them forever. In essence, we want the excitement of serialization (your LOSTs or your Breaking Bads) with the comfort of a more episodic structure (your Seinfelds or your Law and Orders). The problem with that is when something we expect to move forward doesn’t, we notice it. “Wheel spinning.” This is strictly a problem with expectations — nobody would ever accuse an episodic series of spinning its wheels — but Brian Michael Bendis has done such a stellar job at telling a propulsive story in All-New X-Men, it’s a little jarring when issue 11 retraces its steps.

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A + X 2

a+x2

Today, Shelby and (guest writer) James D’Amato are discussing A + X 2, originally released November 28th, 2012.

Shelby: I like fluff. Sure, it’s fun to read something that is very intelligently written and cleverly drawn, and analyze the holy hell out of it. Turns out, that’s kind of our bread and butter here at Retcon Punch. But for every Fight Club, there’s a Zoolander: a vacuous, fluffy bit of nothing that is just dumb fun. A+X is just that fluffy bit of nothing; it pairs up Avengers with X-Men, with no regards to continuity, logic, etc. The whole point of the title is to watch a couple of superheroes kick the crap out of some bad guys, and I don’t have any problems with that at all. The two stories in this issue are a great demonstration of the fact that just because I’m looking for some dumb fun doesn’t mean I want to have my intelligence insulted; there is, after all, such a thing as too dumb.

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