Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos 2

mrs deadpool sw 2

Today, Spencer and Michael are discussing Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos 2, originally released July 8th, 2015. This issue is a Secret Wars tie-in. For more Secret Wars coverage from the week, click here.

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Spencer: One of my best friends and I quite often find ourselves arguing about how “realistic” a story should be. He loves stories that could take place in our “real” world, while they sometimes rub me the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, there’s quite a few stories that benefit from a sense of gritty realism (The Black Hood is an excellent, recent example), but I resent the idea that all stories need to be realistic. Our world is quite often an awful place, and fiction is my way of escaping it — I get a lot of joy out of stories that can break the restrictive rules of our reality. Gerry Duggan and Salva Espin’s Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos 2 is just such a story, one which takes great pleasure in transcending the limits of both reality and traditional narrative structures. It’s a hoot. Continue reading

Deadpool 40

deadpool 40

Today, Taylor and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 40, originally released January 14th, 2015.

Taylor: The old saying goes “art imitates life.” we here at Retcon Punch believe comics to be art, so that means these funny little picture-books imitate life the same as your Van Goghs and Shakespeares of the world. Being things that are published every month, comics are perhaps better suited than other art forms at reflecting life since they can comment on real life situations almost as soon as they happen. Given this, we shouldn’t be at all surprised that a title like Deadpool would find time to comment on life, especially considering it’s unique ability to break the fourth wall and speak directly to readers. But who would have ever guessed that the comic would tackle such a loaded topic as environmental policy? Always surprising, Deadpool once again takes a unique approach to story telling in issue 40 and in so doing, enters a major environmental debate. Continue reading

Deadpool 26

Alternating Currents: Deadpool 26, Drew and Shelby

Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Deadpool 26, originally released March 26th, 2014

Drew: Third-person omniscient perspective is perhaps the most common in all of storytelling, but it’s also the weirdest. That kind of birds-eye-view of a situation we’re otherwise not involved in is utterly unnatural, yet we almost never question it when we read it. Who is it that’s telling us this story? Why are they telling it? Sometimes these questions are addressed in-narrative, but more often than not, we’re meant to accept that our narrator is not a character at all, but some mysterious force that reveals this story to us just for the sake of it. This can get even more complicated in visual media, like comics and film, where the visual narrator can exist independent of the voiceover narration. Deadpool 26 takes gleeful advantage of that complexity, creating a comic that very explicitly feels like a comic, effectively challenging all of our notions as to what exactly that means.

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Indestructible Hulk 19

hulk 19Today, Spencer and Shelby are discussing Indestructible Hulk 19, originally released February  26th, 2014.

Spencer: Our heroes’ greatest enemies are often their polar opposites: While Batman is a dark, brooding creature fighting for justice, his nemesis is a silly-looking clown obsessed with evil; while Superman is the most human alien around, Lex Luthor has foresaken his humanity to stroke his ego; while the Flash always looks forward, the Reverse Flash is caught up in his own past. In Indestructible Hulk 19 writer Mark Waid and his expansive team of artists provide the Hulk with an opposite of his own: while the Hulk is fueled by his rage, Jessup gains power from stealing other people’s anger. Continue reading

Deadpool 20

deadpool 20

Today, Patrick and Greg are discussing Deadpool 20, originally released December 4th, 2013.

Patrick: There’s no single person or institution that’s introduced me to more media than The Simpsons. I didn’t know that it was happening at the time, but my 10 year old mind was being educated in the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling, Francis Ford Copola, Stanley Kubric, Martin Scorsesse, Tennessee Williams, and on and on. But the film that seems to have cropped up the most was Citizen Kane. I can’t possibly convey what my first experience of watching Citizen Kane was like: by that point in my life, I’d seen the same scenes and camera angles and transitions and themes and characters reconstituted a hundred different ways on The Simpsons. It was invigorating and shocking to see everything in its original context, granting new meaning to my favorite old Simpsons episodes, but also imbuing Citizen Kane with a kind of pre-loaded meaning. Deadpool has never shied away from referential humor, but writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn and artist Scott Koblish narrow their focus in the third inventory issue, and convinces us that Jack Kirby’s work is the Citizen Kane of comic books. Continue reading

Indestructible Hulk 15

hulk 15

Today, Shelby and Spencer are discussing Indestructible Hulk 15, originally released November 20th, 2013.

Shelby: Games have rules for a reason. Everyone has to know how to play (and how to win), and rules lay that out. A game without rules is chaos, which for a game like Calvinball is precisely the point. The only rule of Calvinball is you can’t play the game the same way twice: essentially, the only rule is whatever rules are made are to be broken. When there are no rules, you can do whatever you want. Worried about consequences? Why bother, there’s no rule that says there will be any! While it might be kind of freeing to play a game with no rules, when you’re dealing with time, history, and your very existence, rules are pretty damn important. So when Bruce Banner finds himself facing his own past, an irradiated Hulk, a potentially Hulk-less future, and a timestream so broken it can be shaped like clay, he knows he needs to act fast before it’s too late, if it isn’t already.
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Deadpool 7

deadpool 7

Today, Scott and Patrick are discussing Deadpool 7, originally released April 3rd, 2013.

Scott: The first 6 issues of Deadpool adhered to a very specific and bizarre tone. The oddball humor likely turned away nearly as many readers as it won over, but you have to admire Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan for boldly seeing their outlandish resurrected-Presidents arc through. It was an ambitiously weird way to kick off a series, and I found their marriage of subject and tone to be a success. Count me firmly on the side of the “won-overs.” Deadpool 6 established a new arc to occupy the series, but Posehn and Duggan decide to put that on hold for an issue. Because of their tight production schedule, you see, they’ve been forced to release an inventory issue — a print-ready issue that’s been filed away in case of such an emergency — but rather than an issue from this Deadpool run, they’ve dusted off an inventory issue from the late 70s/early ’80s. It’s of course a guise, and Posehn and Duggan are at the helm of these retro-looking pages. While they pass it off as a time-saver, Deadpool 7 must’ve required much more effort from the creative team than a typical issue, and the result is a perfect Bronze Age satire.
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