Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 3/15/17

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Captain America Sam Wilson 20, Daredevil 18, Mighty Thor 17, Ms. Marvel and Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat 16. Also, we’re discussing Amazing Spider-Man 25 today and we’ll be discussing Deadpool The Duck 5 on Wednesday, so come back for those! As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

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Daredevil 17

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Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing Daredevil 17, originally released February 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Our mission statement here at Retcon Punch has always been to foster thoughtful discussions about comic books, but there’s another idea that’s always factored heavily into our work as well: everyone’s unique perspective contributes heavily to their interpretation of any given book. It’s an idea that kept popping into my head as I read Charles Soule, Ron Garney, and Matt Milla’s Daredevil 17, because my feelings about this issue are heavily influenced by my feelings about Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s previous run with the character. I can only imagine that this story reads far differently to anyone without that attachment. Continue reading

Daredevil 12

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Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Daredevil 12, originally released October 12th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: What is art? I suppose if I had to answer that question, I’d say that art is something one creates that’s intended to elicit some sort of emotional reaction, but even that incredibly broad statement doesn’t cover the full spectrum of what art is, or isn’t, what it can or can’t do. What truly is or isn’t art is subjective, yet the debate rages on; in a way, it even defines the conflict between Daredevil and his new villain, Muse. Muse just wants Daredevil to like his work, while, of course, Matt doesn’t because his work is murder. Can murder be art? Muse certainly seems to think so, and in his mind, that justifies everything he does. Continue reading

Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 3/30/16

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We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Daredevil 5, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 5, and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 6.

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Daredevil 4

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Today, Ryan D. and Spencer are discussing Daredevil 4, originally released February 24th, 2016.

Ryan D.: Sometimes, as a lover of comics, I feel like I need to make even my objective voice take a step back. A friend asked who my favorite superhero is. I answered with Daredevil. I love DD for the fact that he is very mortal in a multiverse of gods and supermen. His human story of a boy who grew up blind and parentless while still having the temerity to finish law school and start his own practice is just as compelling as his mask. I related to the Irish-Catholic-American guilt with which the character often struggles, and I love that, unlike many characters who guard the earth from cosmic threats such as Galactus, Daredevil just wants to keep his neighborhood safe. The noir-rich Brubaker and Bendis runs on the series opened my eyes to places I did not know superheroes could go, and the Mark Waid return to the swashbuckler proved to be a delight.

But we have a “new and improved” Daredevil now, one who has One More Day‘d away his previously very public identity, who now sits on the side of prosecution instead of defense and even totes a sidekick. Taking my step back and knowing that this run has no intentions of being the DD of yore, I have been interested in seeing when the character, plot, and art might all fall into their respective, complimentary rhythms, and I am unsure as to whether issue number four takes any steps forward or backward in this regard. Continue reading

Commentary Track – Charles Soule Discusses Daredevil 1

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Charles Soule was a virtual unknown when he started on Swamp Thing in 2013. Since then, he’s written some of comics biggest characters, from Superman and Wonder Woman to Deadpool and Wolverine. December saw him tackle the man without fear with the launch of a new volume of Daredevil. Drew sat down with Soule to go through issue 1 page by page, so get your copy handy and join us on the Commentary Track. Continue reading

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Alternating Currents: Daredevil 1, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Daredevil 1, originally released December 2nd, 2015.

You might know me as Matt Murdock, defence attorney, here to help. That guy’s gone.

Matt Murdock, Daredevil 1

Drew: We’re living in the age of the comics auteur. We may not have yet settled exactly who the auteur is in a work that is written, drawn, colored, lettered, and edited by five (or more) different people, but so long as they work together in largely uninterrupted runs, we don’t really need to. That is to say, we may not be able to assign auteurship to one individual on, say, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s run on Daredevil, but we can appreciate that they brought a distinct set of sensibilities to the character that are unique to their collaboration. On the whole, I think this is a good thing — it allows creators to play to their own strengths and follow their own interests — but it makes the prospect of following a beloved run particularly daunting. What works for one creative team might not work for another, which means that anything from costumes and character designs to theme and overall tone might be subject to change. Indeed, with the freedom (and perhaps pressure) for each team to bring their own take on the character, those changes are unavoidable. Daredevil 1 features plenty of changes from its previous volume, but writer Charles Soule and artist Ron Garney quickly set about showing why those changes are going to work. Continue reading

Thor: God of Thunder 17

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Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Thor: God of Thunder 17, originally released January 15th, 2014.

Shelby: Sometimes you have to sacrifice what you want for the greater good. If it’s the happiness of just you versus the happiness of many, you just gotta bite the bullet and go for the greater good. It sucks, but it’s the right thing to do, and generally there is some consolation found in that. But if the greater good you’ve sacrificed your happiness for actually leads to even greater suffering, where does that leave you? I can tell you this much; it leaves me with a very unsatisfying end to the latest arc of Thor: God of Thunder.
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Thor: God of Thunder 14

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Today, Ethan and Shelby are discussing Thor: God of Thunder 13, originally released October 9th, 2013.

Ethan: If you’re like most people, when someone asks you what type of music you prefer, you reply “oh, most kinds” or “I’m not picky” or “pretty much anything except [insert genre name].” That said, no matter how coy you are about your favorites, when you find a band that really grabs you, that buzzes to your bones in just the right way – a way that feels a little bit like it must be unique, like it was kinda-sorta written for you specifically – it’s a wonderful thing. So for at least one tour cycle you’re set, maybe you see them live, maybe you wait after the show to get some autographs, and you hear the music in your sleep. But when the interval ends, when the band goes off the grid to put together their next album, there’s room for trepidation. What if their new songs don’t have that special texture that the old ones do? What if they sound EXACTLY the same and there’s no new magic? Well, as far as I’m concerned, Jason Aaron is facing off with a very similar situation in Thor: God of Thunder #14. His first God-Bomb arc knocked it out of the park with great big ideas like faith and deity, and the current question is whether or not he can do it again using dwarves, elves, and goats. Continue reading

Thor: God of Thunder 13

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Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Thor: God of Thunder 13, originally released September 18th, 2013.

DrewA reviled leader returns, shocking a land that had long ago moved on. OR A beloved leader returns, rescuing a land that had long ago lost its way. Depending on your political ideology (and location) those statements could equally describe Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin, Newt Gingrich, or Hillary Clinton. The point is, nobody is the villain in their own story, though they may widely be seen as such by others. It can be hard for people to understand how their political savior is seen by others as pure evil, and it’s exactly that kind of superlative exaggeration that has devolved modern politics into tribal chest-thumping matches. Thor: God of Thunder 13 isn’t quite even-handed enough to confuse anyone about who the villain is, but it does provide a thrilling introduction that has us rooting for that villain…at least until he starts killing babies. Continue reading