The Missing Angels of Angelic 2

by Mark Mitchell

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

Once again, the cuddly appearance of the characters in Simon Spurrier and Caspar Wijngaard’s Angelic 2 belie their darker, more manipulative intentions. When we met the Mans at the end of the first issue, they seemed like friendly potential allies to young Qora. But like everyone else Qora has encountered, the Mans have ulterior motives — they think Qora holds the secrets to fully reviving their god, Ay, and they manipulate her into entering the toxic mists in hopes of learning more. Yes, they pair her with one of their own, but it’s one they find useless to their own society. The Mans have low expectations that Qora will find success, but what’s a dead Monk to them? Continue reading

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Godshaper 6: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Drew Baumgartner

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

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Spencer: It’s a marvelous thing to watch a series come into focus — to reach that eureka moment where you finally get what a creator is trying to say, where a series’ message finally clicks. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper 6 has been one of those moments for me, a finale that brings all the themes the series has been exploring together in a satisfying, yet completely unexpected fashion. Continue reading

Angelic 1: Discussion

by Spencer Irwin and Mark Mitchell

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

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Spencer: Simon Spurrier may just be the best world builder working in comics today. We here at Retcon Punch are continually impressed by Spurrier’s ability to birth creative new world after creative new world, each with its own rules, vernacular, and aesthetic (thanks to the talented artists he’s enlisted), each feeling far vaster than the stories Spurrier decides to tell in them, each reflecting systematic problems, abuses, and issues we face here in the real world. Following on the heels of The Spire and Godshaper, Angelic finds Spurrier and Caspar Wijngaard using a world of sentient animals and oppressive lore to tell a story about the dangers of blind faith. Continue reading

Accepting or Rejecting our Personal Identities in Godshaper 5

by Spencer Irwin

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

Our race, sexuality, or gender are usually major parts of our personal identities, but because of the prejudiced society we live in, they can also end up as impediments in life if we’re non-white, queer, or non-cis/non-male — essentially, if we don’t meet the status quo. In Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper, being a shaper has always worked as a metaphor for all these “other” identities, which makes Ennay’s reaction to an offer of a god of his own — which would free him from the stigma of being a shaper — all the more interesting. Continue reading

The Spectacular Status Quo in Godshaper 4

by Ryan Desaulniers

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

Godshaper weaves a tale of discrimination with gorgeous parallels to our current day within a new universe. Period. While parallels exist here between the “Dark Materials” series, the comic lives in its own plane, dealing with social issues in a novel, resonating way. While issue four does not break down any new walls in this series, the base-line for this comic is so consistent and lovely and revealing that I don’t even mind. Continue reading

The Role of Organized Religion in Godshaper 3

by Spencer Irwin

Godshaper 3

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

I recently read Dear Prudence column featuring a letter from an atheist who still enjoyed going to church because of the traditions and social aspects. This probably seems almost blasphemous to those who look to religion as a path to salvation, but it turns out that there are many who look to religion to meet other needs entirely. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface run with that idea in Godshaper 3, as they examine the role of organized religion in a world where everybody already has their own personal deity. Continue reading

Weekly Round-Up: Comics Released 5/10/17

Look, there are a lot of comics out there. Too many. We can never hope to have in-depth conversations about all of them. But, we sure can round up some of the more noteworthy titles we didn’t get around to from the week. Today, we discuss Godshaper 2, Green Valley 8, and Rock Candy Mountain 2. Also, we discussed Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel 1 on Friday, and will be discussing The Fix 9 on Tuesday, so come back for that! As always, this article contains SPOILERS. Continue reading

Godshaper 1

Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Godshaper 1, originally released April 12th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: Power, as they say, makes the world go round. Whether it be fame, money, authority, or any other form of strength, some sort of power and influence is behind just about every dealing in the world, no matter how large or how small the stakes. Simon Spurrier and Jonas Goonface’s Godshaper aims to explore the nuances behind the use and abuse of power, but what’s remarkable is how the creative team does so, consolidating nearly all forms of power to one central metaphor: a personal god for each citizen whose might determines their standing in society. Continue reading

The Spire 4

spire 4Today, Spencer and Patrick are discussing The Spire 4, originally released October 28th, 2015.
Spencer: Racism and discrimination are more complicated issues than I could ever properly tackle here, with or without a word-limit. What I do know is that, while good ol’ fashioned mustache-twirling racism is certainly still alive and well, a bigger problem may just be the stereotyping and “othering” of anyone perceived as different. It’s the persistent, false perception of black children as being “older” than their white contemporaries, for example, that leads to cases like Trayvon Martin, and that’s only one example amongst a nearly uncountable number. These kind of false perceptions can exist even in those who claim to be tolerant and open-minded. The ways that prejudice and oppression persist even in a supposed land of “equality” has always been a major element of Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely’s The Spire, but it takes center stage in issue 4. Continue reading

Marvel Zombies 1

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Today, Taylor and Drew are discussing Marvel Zombies 1, originally released June 10th, 2015. This issue is a Secret Wars tie-in. For our conversations on the rest of Secret Wars last week, click here.

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Taylor: Whenever the subject of bleak and/or depressing stories comes up, I’m quick to point out that Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is perhaps the paragon of the genre. The book follows a man and his boy in an apocalyptic landscape as they struggle to survive in a world devoid of almost all life. While the narrative itself is heavy, what makes the book truly depressing for me is that it deals with the question of why try to survive at all. The book asks the uncomfortable question: if life is nothing but a struggle, why continue living it? Similarly, Marvel Zombies 1 has me considering these same questions. However, unlike the The Road, Marvel Zombies does spare some room for hope among the horror. Continue reading