This article containsSPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Spencer: When I was a kid, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d have answered “Batman.” Growing up on the Adam West series, I didn’t recognize the tragedy that fuels the character — I only saw the potential for adventure. As someone who was bullied a lot as a kid, I think I was especially attracted to the justice of Batman, the idea that the good guys always won and that the villains always got what was coming to them. For many — both children and adults — comics can serve as an oasis or an escape, but at times they also just serve to highlight, to painfully drive home how unfair the real world actually is. That juxtaposition lies at the heart of Batman: Creature of the Night. Continue reading →
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
Drew: Joseph Stalin likely never uttered this phrase, but while its provenance may be dubious, it’s hard to argue with its sentiment. We’ve all experienced this personally; individual deaths carry with them the nuance and beauty of the decedent’s death in a way that dozens of deaths simply can’t. Each of those deaths are felt singularly by the loved ones they affect, to be sure, but the rest of us can’t really fit the sum of those tragedies into our brain. They become, for lack of a better term, a statistic. This is why war stories are so rare in superhero comics — the higher death count doesn’t necessarily equal higher emotional stakes, so killing swaths of civilians runs the risk of making any one of those deaths lose whatever oomph it might have on its own. Writer Tom King seems keenly aware of how easy it would be for the victims of “The War of Jokes and Riddles” to become statistics, taking pains to emphasize just how deeply Batman feels each of those deaths. Continue reading →
In 2008, Marvel Studios introduced Tony Stark to the big screen in “Iron Man.” 4 years, one sequel, and new Thor and Captain America franchises later, we are a week away from “The Avengers.” This is the first time a studio has created separate movies for each team member, leading into a full-fledged, comic book team movie. Will it work? More important, could it be done for a DC team? What would it take for a full-fledged Justice League movie? Retcon Punchers sound off. Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Patrick: Oh, it’ll work. I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind that The Avengers is going to work. It’s release geniusly coincides with the weekend of Free Comic Book Day, so fans of the movie may find themselves wandering into their local comic shop. Once inside, they’ll inevitably stumble on Marvel’s big cross-over series: Avengers vs. X-men. We laugh at the corporate buzz-word “synergy,” but this is some impressive fucking synergy.