Compassion vs. Selfishness in Green Arrow Annual 1

by Spencer Irwin

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

Spencer: Early in Green Arrow Annual 1, Oliver says that “on Christmas everything turns out exactly as it should.” It’s a nice sentiment, but that’s exactly what it is — sentiment. The world doesn’t magically change just because it’s a holiday, and holidays can, in fact, be very depressing times for many people. If Christmas is a special time, it’s because people make it that way, and the desire to do so is the clear line that divides Green Arrow and Count Vertigo. Continue reading

Advertisements

Green Arrow 24

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Green Arrow 24, originally released June 8th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: It’s a unique experience to watch a set of creators leave their mark on an established character in real time. Though Benjamin Percy works with a handful of different Rebirth artists, none compares to the chapters that are drawn by Juan E. Ferreyra. Under their direction Green Arrow is returning to the socialist hero of yore in a unique Rebirth fashion. Continue reading

Green Arrow 19

Today, Michael and Spencer are discussing Green Arrow 19, originally released March 15th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Michael: Putting aside your differences and working together towards a common goal is such a simple idea to grasp, but not always as easy to enact. As human beings, we are complicated and fragile things and easily allow our emotions to stand in the way of progress. Sometimes it helps to have a third party tell us to get our heads out of our asses and just do the work. Continue reading

Green Arrow 25

green arrow 25Today, Spencer and Shelby are discussing Green Arrow 25, originally released November 6th, 2013.

Spencer: Much like Wonder Woman or Batwoman, Jeff Lemire’s run on Green Arrow has been steadily building its own mythology that feels completely removed from anything else going on in the DC Universe. Despite that, Lemire’s still managed to make Ollie’s connections to the Justice League of America and Roy Harper work within the context of his larger saga, but he isn’t so fortunate with this month’s Zero Year story. The tie-in feels pointless, and it’s only the new character of John Diggle that anchors things to the book’s ongoing plot at all. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 20

Red Hood 20 redux

Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 20, originally released May 15th, 2013.

Spencer: Our past can be a burden, but it can also be a gift, and while some things are out of our control, most of what determines how we view our past is how we learn from our mistakes, live with our regrets, and learn to forge on. For Red Hood, Arsenal, and Starfire, their past falls into both camps; a shared history of tragedy is what initially drew these three together and cemented their friendship, but their own inability to reconcile their pasts and find a way to deal might just end up driving the Outlaws apart instead.

Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 19

red hood 19

Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 19, originally released April 17th, 2013.

Patrick: Drew and I were pretty big fans of Red Hood and the Outlaws when we marathoned the first 8 issues to prep for the Night of the Owls. We’ve enumerated our reasons for liking it so much in an alarming number of articles since then, always apologizing for the state the series is in currently. It became a slog – that whole arc with Kori’s old spaceship crew and her sister, the Death of the Family – all of it seemingly worked against our good will for the series. We even went so far as to drop it from the Retcon Punch pull. We gave up on Jason Todd. Which makes Roy Harper a much better friend than we are.

Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 15

Alternating Currents: Red Hood and the Outlaws 15, Drew and ShelbyToday, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 15 originally released December 19th, 2012. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Drew: Back when I first read Red Hood and the Outlaws 0, I was in awe of the backup revealing the Joker’s role in Jason’s life. I wasn’t sure at the time whether or not I truly believed Joker’s story (he’s not the most reliable narrator), but the thought that it could be true was a fascinating idea. One of the things that struck me about that story is that it more or less confirms that Joker knows who Batman (and by extension, the rest of the bat-family) is, a notion that has been at the forefront of the Death of the Family event. I’ve staunchly defended the possibility that the Joker is bluffing, but this issue’s focus on his relationship with Jason makes that outcome seem as remote as ever. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 14

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 14, originally released November 21st, 2012.

Shelby: I’m in an interesting position reviewing Red Hood and the Outlaws. I didn’t start reading this title until the last arc with Kori and her home planet. I missed out on those first few issues that Drew and Patrick raved about. Even without reading those first issues, I can understand what they liked in this book; these are three very unique characters, and together they form a very unique team. But I feel like all the last handful of issues has done is show me what this book could be instead of just living up to its potential.
Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 13

Alternating Currents: Red Hood 13, Drew and ShelbyToday, Drew and Shelby are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 13, originally released October 17th, 2012.

Drew: I hate recommending art. From movies to books to music, I think there’s something really presumptuous about the statement “you’d like this.” Moreover, I hate what recommending that art says about me, especially if the person I recommended it to didn’t like the art in question. This may all stem from a particularly traumatic recommending experience where, while staying overnight at my cousins, I insisted that we all watch the TGIF programming bloc — a mainstay of my Friday nights at home. For whatever reason, this particular Friday aligned with all four shows delivering episodes uncharacteristically romantic in nature. I’m sure it was as tame as a kitten fight, but it struck my young mind as profoundly inappropriate — at least in part because I was acutely aware that my aunt had already banned The Simpsons in her household, which seemed unfathomable to me. As if to intentionally make me feel more devious in my tastes, at the conclusion of the night, she remarked, “well, that’s really not the kind of thing we like to watch around here.” The absurdity of being made to feel TGIF was inappropriate aside, I still get incredibly nervous when someone consumes art on my recommendation. That feeling is only exacerbated in cases of serialized narratives, where the sampled episode/issue may not be indicative of what you actually like about it. That’s more or less the feeling I have introducing Shelby to Red Hood and the Outlaws with issue 13. Continue reading

Red Hood and the Outlaws 12

Alternating Currents: Red Hood 12, Drew and PeterToday, Drew and Peter are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 12, originally released August 15th, 2012.

Drew: We tend to talk a lot about writers here at Retcon Punch. We certainly pay attention to the art, and have often found rewarding things to discuss when doing so, but we always seem to come back to the writer. Writers have so much control, particularly over the kinds of things we like to talk about here — character development, voice, plotting — but forgetting how much influence the artist has over the final product is a mistake. It’s like valuing a film or playwright’s input over that of the director or actors’; sure, it make sense in theory, but you don’t have to see too many community theater productions of Shakespeare to know that even the best scripts can be muddled in the wrong hands.  It’s unfortunate that it often takes examples like the community theater to emphasize the importance of the other collaborators, and it is also unfortunate that this issue is one such example. Continue reading