Cram Session: Avengers 1-10 – Origin Bombs

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

Jonathan Hickman has been ramping up to some world-altering shit. We’ll be digging into Infinity with zeal, but it means catching up with both Avengers and New Avengers. We started our coverage of the bi-weekly Avengers with issue 11, and if you want to join us there – here’s a video recap to get you all situated.

Cram Session: The Rise of the Third Army

It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.

Retcon Punch got you covered.

You’re planning to read the Wrath of the First Lantern, right? It’s Geoff Johns and company’s last hurrah with those characters, so you BEST to pick it up. But if you want to understand every second of that even — and we know you do — you’ve got to get a grip on what came before. If you missed any part of the Rise of the Third Army (and we pay attention to our analytics – none of you are reading Red Lanterns), we’ve got like 20 issues worth of dense GL plotting to catch you up on.  

Green Lantern Corps Annual 1

green lantern corps annual 3rd

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Green Lantern Corps Annual 1, originally released January 30th, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Shelby: The Green Lantern Corps is having a very “out of the frying pan, into the fire” kind of day. This issue’s got a lot of moving parts, so I’m just going to dive right in.

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Green Lantern: New Guardians 16

new guardians 16-3rd

Today, Shelby and Patrick are discussing New Guardians 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Shelby: It’s finally time for Kyle Rainer to learn to master the power of love. He’s saved it for last because it is the most difficult, but why is that? Surely rage or greed or even fear would be much harder to command and control. While the more negative end of the emotional spectrum is difficult to control, it is easy to feel. I know I feel ready to puke red-hot plasma just about every morning on the commuter train to work. The difficulty of love lies in the challenge of letting yourself experience love. It’s an emotion that be very painful to the person feeling it; sometimes it’s just easier to block it out entirely. Kyle learns the hard way: you can’t master an emotion you are afraid to let yourself feel.

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Green Lantern Corps 14

Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing the Green Lantern Corps 14, originally released October 10th, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Shelby:  Big crossover events are fun. We like to see various creative teams working together on one story, and large-scale epic stories are an exciting change of pace. A major downside of an epic crossover, however, is having to get your characters to where they need to be. This shuffling of players is necessary, and can be handled in a way that’s still interesting and engaging. Peter Tomasi has got players moving into place and even gives us some major plot pieces in the process, but the end result still falls a little flat.  Continue reading

Red Lanterns 13

Alternating Currents: Red Lanterns 13, Drew and Patrick-3rdToday, Drew and Patrick are discussing the Red Lanterns 13, originally released October 24th, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: Let’s be frank: Red Lanterns is not on my pull. I’m willing to tolerate a lot of the goofiness inherent in the Green Lantern universe, but blood-vomiting rage-monsters just doesn’t sound like fun. As I read through this issue, I couldn’t help but compare the Red Lantern Corps to the Hulk. It’s an easy comparison to make: both are powered by anger, and (until recently), both lose control when super pissed. The danger with that basic formula is that it turns both the Hulk and the RLC into forces of nature — horrible natural disasters that I can’t even fathom rooting for. For the Hulk, writers have often mitigated this by allowing Hulk to retain some of Bruce Banner’s heart; he still won’t hurt the ones he loves. More important, Bruce actively avoids Hulking-out; he knows it’s dangerous for everyone around him and he does everything in his power to prevent it from happening. Peter Milligan has a different solution, giving the Red Lanterns renewed sentience via some kind of blood baptism, but eliminating their heart from the equation altogether. The effect is that they charge into situations — like the one depicted in Red Lanterns 13 — knowing full well that they’ll probably just kill everything. It’s hard to empathize with that.

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Green Lantern 13

Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing the Green Lantern 13, originally released October 3rd, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: Who does a fugitive turn to for help? It’s a question we’ve seen a million times, as characters keep getting wrongly accused and keep needing just one chance to clear their names. It’s a compelling story, but it isn’t exactly the most relatable reason to have a character reach out to someone. With Green Lantern 13, Geoff Johns avoids this issue by recasting the question as the much more relatable “who do you tell when something big happens in your life?” The result is a story that keeps the focus tight on Simon Baz, even as the action continues to balloon. Continue reading

Green Lantern Annual 1

Today, Drew and Peter are discussing the Green Lantern Annual, originally released August 29th, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage. 

Drew: I have a confession: before the relaunch, I had never read a single comic written by Geoff Johns. Moreover, I had never read a Green Lantern story of any kind. However, all of other Retcon Punchers had read all of Johns’ work on Green Lantern, from Rebirth through Brightest Day, so his titles came with very high praise. It quickly became clear why: he’s unrivaled in developing complex mythologies. His work on Green Lantern has broadened its universe immeasurably, nesting decades of comics history into an elegant mythology that manages to make more sense than it has any business doing. At the same time, his tendency to draw out individual plot points to take up entire issues occasionally tried my patience. The Green Lantern Annual finds Johns at his best, delivering all of the insane mythology and plotting, and doing so at such a breakneck pace to please even the most impatient readers.

Oh, and GOOD GOD are there ever plot points to spoil here, so read the issue first, or proceed with caution.

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