How to Maintain a Balanced View of Technology in Nightwing 46

by Spencer Irwin

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


I’ve spent a lot of time recently making fun of “Alexa” and other similar voice activated assistants — the idea of willingly installing what ultimately amounts to a wire-tapping device in my own home seems patently absurd to me. Yet, I can’t deny the fact that I carry a smartphone with me at all times, a device that not only has similar surveillance abilities, but the power to track my every movement as well. I guess the question I should really be asking, then, isn’t “why would someone willingly buy a device like this?,” but “what would it take to make someone willingly buy a device like this?” Sometimes it’s convenience, sometime it’s the unparalleled access to information, and sometimes it’s simple denial. All these seem to be in play in Benjamin Percy, Christopher Mooneyham, and Lalit Kumar Sharma’s Nightwing 46, as Blüdhaven embraces technology that’s clearly attempting to data-mine the entire city. Continue reading

The Social Media Nightmare in Nightwing 45

by Michael DeLaney 

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


I try to ignore how attached I am to social media, my smart phone and the like, because the reality of the matter is both frightening and depressing. Benjamin Percy taps into that real fear in Nightwing 45 with his villain Wyrm. Wyrm is literally a computer virus, but what he represents may be the targeted marketing and social media manipulation. Continue reading

Serious Issues: The Janelle Asselin Controversy pt. 1 – Context

Serious Issues: The Janelle Asselin Controversy pt. 1 - Context

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

This notion is a kind of unofficial mantra for Retcon Punch. We fully embrace that our perspectives are limited, which is why virtually everything we publish features at least two writers and an open comment section. It’s an attitude that serves us very well when discussing works of art, where interpretation is paramount, but makes us decidedly less good at journalism, which aims to transcend interpretations in pursuit of facts.

We’ve largely shied away from reporting news (honestly, there are so many sites for comic news out there already), and while we will wade in every once in a while, our cross-talk format results in longer gestation times than the twitter-assisted news cycle tends to have patience for. We’re happy to focus on discussing comics and leaving the news to other sites, but we felt like we needed to speak up about the Janelle Asselin Controversy and fallout. This story is obviously bigger than the facts in question — something that might warrant the kind of longer, slower conversations we do here — and more importantly, it addresses issues that matter to us personally. Continue reading

The Green Team 1

green team 1

Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing The Green Team 1, originally released May 22nd, 2013.

Patrick: Ethan and I both live in LA, but since I live in Hollywood and he lives in Culver City, we don’t make the cross-city trek very often to see each other. To compensate for this totally-surmountable distance between us, we’ll send texts to each other that basically mirror the kind of nonsense conversations he and I will have in the comment sections of our articles. He sent me this link last Friday to a great Wondermark comic about Batman. (Totally worth the click, FYI.) Basically, the strip pokes fun at Bruce Wayne’s application of his vast fortune to fight crime through superheroics, and not through research and philanthropy and politics and charity. It’s not a totally fair assessment of how Bruce spends his money — he does invest a lot of money into Gotham infrastructure — but the point is crystal clear: aren’t there better uses of fortunes than outfitting a Batman? Art Baltazar and Franco’s The Green Team looks like it’s going to address this question head on, but then veers into dully familiar superhero territory.
Continue reading

Op-Ed: In Defense of “In Defense of Pickiness”

Retcon Punch begins the long journey up its own assLast week, I wrote an Op-Ed inspired by a twitter conversation I’d had with a complete stranger about Detective Comics 8. That conversation ranged into some interesting topics including taking risks in art and how best to support comics as an industry. I disagreed with many of the arguments that twitterer had presented, so I took the opportunity to present my response in that piece. I was hoping presenting my ideas clearly and civilly would be a way to continue the conversation, both with that twitterer, my fellow Retcon Punchers, and our other readers. Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that twitterer’s thoughts on the piece, so I tweeted him the link:

last month’s twitter conversation about #DetectiveComics still has me thinking, so I wrote an Op-Ed on it:

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Op-Ed: In Defense of Pickiness

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