Today, Spencer and Shane are discussing Convergence: The New Teen Titans 1, originally released April 22th, 2015. This issue is part of Convergence. For our conversations about the rest of Convergence last week, click here.
Spencer: I think most of us take on certain comfortable roles when we’re among our friends. Sometimes, though, things change, and those roles no longer suit us, but they’re so firmly entrenched among the group dynamic that they can be impossible to escape. Marv Wolfman and Nicola Scott’s Convergence: The New Teen Titans finds this happening to the Teen Titans. After a year spent under the dome, the Titans are attempting to take their relationships to new places, but find themselves caught up in the same old roles and conflicts that have always defined them. Continue reading →
Interviewer: So, why do you write these strong female characters? Joss Whedon: Because you’re still asking me that question.
This exact change may be a tad apocryphal. The rhetoric is too biting, too effective, even for a wordsmith like Whedon to toss out on the fly. The quote comes from a speech Whedon gave on gender equality, and it’s the well-scripted button on the top of an extremely well-crafted, well-reasoned argument for normalizing equality. The reason his response cuts so deep is because it is an intuitive truth. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve patted artists on the back for not being lecherous fuckers, or how frequently we need to sing the praises of a writer that creates female characters with real agency. We are so used to the imbalance between quality female characters and quality male characters that simply resisting this trend is often greeted as progress. This needs to change. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and Drew are discussing Teen Titans 16, originally released January 30th, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Shelby: What is the point of being a villain? Some do it out of greed, like the Penguin, others for a cause, like Poison Ivy. Then there’s the Joker, who’s just a psychopath. The source of his villainy is insanity; he is chaos incarnate. You’d think that would make it easier for writers to use the Joker in their stories. Just think of the craziest, most out there plan, add some gratuitous murder and cruelty, and you’re done, right? Wrong-o. The Joker is chaos, but he’s directed chaos. He has an end point in mind, there is a “reason for his madness.” Batgirl plays with the core idea that the Joker’s latest spree is based on love with a twisted wedding. Batman and Robin also ties back to love, either the love of Robin for Batman or the love of a son for his father, depending on whether or not you believe the Joker knows who everybody is. Teen Titans and Red Hood, however, have a tougher time showing us that central theme of love, so that at the end of the issue I’m left wondering, “what was the point?” Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and guest writer Pivitor are discussing Red Hood and the Outlaws 16, originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Mikyzptlk: As we all know, there are A LOT of comics out there competing for our dollars. Books like Scott Snyder’s Batman or Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman attempt to push the boundaries of reader expectation and deliver tales that are legitimately astonishing to behold. I’ve given two examples from one publisher from barely over one year of publishing, but there are even more possibilities just as astounding from publishers such as Marvel, Image, Vertigo, IDW, Oni Press, Archaia, and more! That said, not every comic is great, and with so much out there to consume, it’s getting harder to convince myself to continue to spend the $2.99 a month on a book that lacks the quality of its competitors.
Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Teen Titans 15, originally released January 2, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.
Scott: “Joker is a psychopath like you’ve never seen before, but he usually likes to talk a lot before acting.” These are Batgirl’s words of encouragement that there’s still time to save Red Robin from the Joker. I’m not sure her inclusion of the word “but” is necessary; if the suspense thriller genre has taught us anything, it’s that being a psychopathic killer and talking for too long go hand in hand. But the Joker really takes it to a new level in Teen Titans 15. The lasting image of this issue is that of the Joker wheeling out a chalkboard to help explain the complexity of his evil plan to Red Robin.
Drew: We read a lot of comics at Retcon Punch. One of the best thing about reading so many comics (besides, you know, reading so many comics) is that when we do pick up the odd issue of a title we’re not reading — usually for a crossover event — we still kind of know what’s going on. We may not get every reference to what has happened before, but because we’ve seen glimpses of, say, the Red Lanterns in Green Lantern: New Guardians, we kind of know what’s going on with them when we pick up Red Lanterns 13. This works well enough for stories set in Gotham or Oa, where our coverage of related titles is relatively robust, but it breaks down if crossovers are happening in our blind spots. The Superman and Young Justice groups happen to both be blind-spots for me, which makes jumping into a title like Superboy at issue 14 a particularly disorienting experience. Continue reading →