Green Lanterns 37 is a Clumsy Parable

by Patrick Ehlers

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

“I conducted my own investigation because no one listens to me. I got away with it because no one looks at me. Because, unless I have your reports, your coffee or your lunch, I’m invisible.”

Peggy Carter, Agent Carter

Patrick: Part of what I love about the short-lived Agent Carter television series is that, when it wants to, it can be thuddingly obvious about its themes and values. Peggy is a bad-ass super-spy often overlooked — or worse, taken advantage of — because she is a woman in the 1950s. The show loves putting these blatant statements of gender theory in Peggy’s mouth, but only once the show itself has actually demonstrated what she’s describing. It makes for an exhilarating story that embodies complicated values: having fun and having something to say at the same time. Green Lanterns 37 has an awful lot to say, but has not quite mastered how to have fun saying it. Continue reading

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Unclear Intentions Frustrate in Brilliant Trash 1

by Mark Mitchell

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

For everything I like about Tim Seeley and Priscilla Petraites’ Brilliant Trash 1, I find it a frustrating read because I’m not entirely sure of its intentions. Seeley (who shares story credit with Steve Seeley) is clearly disaffected with modern society’s dumbed down discourse — the pages of Brilliant Trash 1 are splashed with images of Twitter, Facebook, and BuzzFeed proxies hawking articles with headlines like “Low Income, But Low in Cum! The Poor Fuck For Their Dinner” — but it’s not clear to me who the target of his derision is. Is it the people or the institutions?

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Relatable Moments Make For Great Fun in Green Lanterns 35

by Mark Mitchell

Green Lanterns 35

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

It’s great to see Tim Seeley having fun again in Green Lanterns 35 after spending so much time in the joy-deprived and muddled world of his Nightwing run, and introducing Bolphunga into the mix lets Seeley cut a little looser than he did in Green Lanterns 34.

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Green Lanterns 34: Discussion

by Michael DeLaney and Mark Mitchell

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

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Michael: Sam Humphries has passed the Green Lanterns torch but the flame still burns strong. Green Lanterns 34 marks Tim Seeley’s second issue with Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz and explores how hard it is to maintain a steady job while you’re on call to save the universe 24/7. More importantly, it highlights the ugly truth that no matter how heroic you are, if you’re brown in America you’re still seen as second-class citizens. Continue reading

Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor 1

Today, Mark and Patrick are discussing Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor 1, originally released June 7th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Mark: I’m an enormous fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, so I was super hyped leading up to the release of last year’s Fantasic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Written by J.K. Rowling herself, Fantastic Beasts promised to be another opportunity to immerse myself in a world I love. As the film worked its way through its first act, I found myself less than entranced; why should I care about any of these characters, other than the movie telling me I should? What is anyone’s motivation? But I watched hopefully. Once the exposition was out of the way, surely things would improve, right?. But slowly, as the rest of the film unspooled, a pit of melancholy grew in my stomach. This entertainment I was really looking forward to? It’s bad, and that’s a bummer. Continue reading

Nightwing 13

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Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Nightwing 13, originally released January 18th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Mark: There’s a moment in Nightwing 13 that clearly encapsulates the little, niggling issues in this current arc of Tim Seeley and Marcus To’s Nightwing that prevent me from really embracing the book like I want to. It’s a small moment, to be sure, and it’s easy to gloss over thanks to the stronger WHAM-BAM-BOOM elements in the issue. But the devil is in the details, and the difference between a good book and a great book is usually mere inches. Continue reading

DC Round-Up: Comics Released 1/4/17

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How many Batman books is too many Batman books? Depending on who you ask there ain’t no such thing! We try to stay up on what’s going on at DC, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of DC Comics. Today, we’re discussing Batman 14, Green Arrow 14, Midnighter and Apollo 4, Nightwing 12 and Shade the Changing Girl 4. Also, we’ll be discussing Superman 14 on Monday and Green Lanterns 14 on Wednesday, so come back for those! As always, this article containers SPOILERS!

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Nightwing 11

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Today, Mark and Spencer are discussing Nightwing 11, originally released December 21st, 2016. As always, this article containers SPOILERS.

Mark: Being written by a member of the team that created a New 52 MVP contender in Grayson, the expectation was that Nightwing would continue that series’ characterization of Dick Grayson as, essentially, the most awesome person alive. Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janin’s Grayson leaned heavily on Dick’s “Best Ass in Comics” reputation. Their Grayson was sexy, funny, smart, and could kick ass—basically, he was perfect. And while it should have been impossible to write an ongoing series about a seemingly flawless character, King and Seeley made it work month after month. But now almost one full year into Tim Seeley’s solo run, it’s clear that Nightwing is its own beast. The question, then, is who is this Dick Grayson? Continue reading

Nightwing 9

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Today, Spencer and Mark are discussing Nightwing 9, originally released November 16th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Spencer: If you go back and read my reviews of recent Nightwing issues, I’m on record as calling this run “grim” more than once. I’m still a bit puzzled as to why writer Tim Seeley has filled Dick with so much angst, but at least Nightwing 9 is an acknowledgement of this trend, and seemingly an active move away from it. It’s a refreshing look at why Dick Grayson is such a powerful character in the first place. Continue reading

Batman 7 and Nightwing 5

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Today, Patrick and Spencer are discussing Batman 7 and Nightwing 5 (aka, parts one and two of “Night of the Monster Men”), originally released September 21, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: If I had to guess conservatively, I’d say that we’ve covered a billion crossover events over the last four years on Retcon Punch. These kinds of stories always beg the narrative question “why?” The commercial question is a lot easier to answer: I’m reading Batman, and I’m certainly not going to skip an issue of Batman, so I might as well pick up the attendant issues of Nightwing, Detective Comics, and whatever else might be participating in this story. The result is usually a tonal mess, superficially tying together the storytelling styles of a disparate set of teams with some arbitrary commonality. “Night of the Monster Men” cuts a different swath through the series bearing its banner, uniting them under one writer, the always excellent Steve Orlando, and a unified artistic vision. Continue reading