Scott: Much like nations at political odds, the relationships between superheroes can be delicate. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Justice League 19, which finds our heroes causing a ruckus in the Middle East while also tending to some interpersonal matters. Writer Geoff Johns packs a surprising amount of story into this issue, which continues prior plotlines involving new Justice League inductees and the relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman while introducing an intriguing new mystery. It skirts close to melodrama at one point, but the result is a satisfying mix of new questions and answers, a creatively packaged, fast-paced thriller. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and (guest writer) Evan are discussing Justice League 18, originally released March 20, 2013.
Patrick: I’m always missing something when I read a DC or Marvel comic. The companies and the characters have been around too long and there’s just too much material for me to be well-versed in all of it. That’s not an apology or an admission of any kind – I think we should all accept that readers have a infinite amount of time and money and memory and interest. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone stares at me, mouth agape and says “Oh my God, I can’t believe you haven’t read blank.” Justice League 18 digs deep into the DC archives but also embraces brand new creation and mixes vigorously. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter what you’ve read before. Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and Shelby are discussing Justice League 14, originally released November 21st, 2012,
Mikyzptlk: My complaint with the first 12 issues of Justice League was that there was too much emphasis placed on the action and not enough on the characters. Being a fan of Geoff Johns for many years, I’ve seen what he can do with characters big and small and have read many tales of his that were rich with deep characterization. As year 2 of Justice League is starting to rev up, I’m happy to see Johns starting to focus more on his characterization. Even though this issue isn’t perfect, I’m glad to say that it’s less a Jerry Bruckheimer summer blockbuster and more of a return to what I come to expect from Johns.
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Justice League 12, originally released October 17th, 2012.
Drew: We’ve talked a lot about the five year rule here at Retcon Punch, and while we certainly have our gripes with how it affects continuity, I think we all understand why they did it. Giving every character some past allows them to maintain certain aspects of their pre-relaunch history, but does so without committing to anything specific. This gives writers a great deal of flexibility, without shutting the door for any future writes. Having a mysterious past also allows writers to pull out unknown details to add emotional weight to the proceedings. Doing this runs the risk of coming off as clumsy or cheap, but in Justice League 13, Geoff Johns provides an excellent case study in how to pull it off. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and (special guest writer) Scott Baumgartner are discussing Detective Comics 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Detective Comics 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Drew: I have kind of a strange relationship to Detective Comics. As the original home of Batman, and the namesake of DC Comics, I have nothing but respect for the history of the title — I want to like it. Unfortunately, since the relaunch, the title has been marred by embarrassingly clunky writing, leading it to be the perennial “RetconPunchingBag” until we unceremoniously dropped it after issue 9. Most of that blame falls on the shoulders of writer/artist Tony Daniel, whose overly grim tone and unnecessarily convoluted plotting made the title a real slog. Well then, the fact that Daniel is off of writing duties as of this issue should be a good thing, right? Continue reading →
As an upstart comics review site, one of our primary methods of publicity is tweeting our reviews at creators and hoping for a retweet. This process is made much more complicated (or at least uncomfortable) when the review is openly negative, and impossible when the creators aren’t on twitter in the first place. For last month’s review of Detective Comics, I just started tweeting at randos who had posted positive things about #DetectiveComics, asking them to defend their position. One such rando was game enough to actually engage us, offering several arguments to both why DetCom 8 wasn’t so bad, as well as why our attitude may actually be detrimental to comics in general. As I sat down to write this month’s review of DetCom, I realized that I was much more interested those arguments than in anything going on in the issue. I’d like to use this space to respond to those very arguments. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Detective Comics 9, originally released May 2nd, 2012. This issue is part of the Night of the Owls crossover event. Click here for complete NotO coverage. Not caught up on Detective Comics? No problem! Get up to speed with our video Cram Session.
Patrick: If I had to put my finger on the one thing that made me like Detective Comics less than the rest of the Batman series, I’d say it’s the pointless darkness. In other titles, dark themes and images reflect the twisted nature of Bruce’s obsession with justice or the strained relationship between Bruce and Damian. But every time DetCon reaches for that same darkness, it comes off like precocious child that has borrowed his dad’s power tools. It has all the pieces of something I love – including unlimited access to Batman’s rogues gallery – but cobbles them together into a largely incompetent whole. You almost get the sense that with a little guidance from someone who knows better, Tony Daniel would be able to wield these tools more effectively. With the guiding light of Scott Snyder’s Night of the Owls cross-over, this sense is proven only marginally true. Continue reading →
Today, Peter and Drew are discussing Detective Comics 8, originally released April 4th, 2012.
Peter: If there is one thing I can’t do it’s throw in the towel. I’m a bit of a completionist. Sometimes, it’s really easy for me to finish something because it’s really good. Sometimes it’s really easy for me to finish something because despite it being impossibly hard, I enjoy doing it, and at the end, I feel extremely satisfied, even if completing it was stupidly hard and I probably will never be able to do it again. (Battletoads, I’m looking at you!) But I will say that continuing to read Detective Comics is putting me to the test. Continue reading →