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Episode 155


TBUCP E155 Pic

Join Dustin, Ed and Stella as they cover the last two weeks of news and reviews. What was included with the solicitations announced? Will Batman #40 be delayed? All of this and reviews of Batman and Robin #39, Batman #39 and Batman Eternal #46-47 are covered. We switch up our special features after the reviews, so stick around to see what is in store going forward. Be sure to leave your comments below.

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  • Terry Hughston

    Hey guys. Great episode. There is just a few things that I wanted to say that might be some redeeming factors for Batman Eternal #46. First, while I think the inclusion of Ra’s al Ghul was questionable, I did really like the “future” sequence that Batman sees, especially the part where Ra’s asks directly “Is Batman Eternal?” I think the writers should have made a bigger deal out of this question even if not using Ra’s to do it since I think this has always been the main point behind Batman Eternal anyways. Apart from being just a celebration of Batman’s 75th anniversary, I’ve thought all along that Eternal was meant to be an examination of the larger Batman mythos and questioning if there is anything new for Batman after 75 years for us as readers and if the in-universe world needs a Batman forever. I won’t say that the series has lived up to this question, but I’ve thought it was always supposed to be the whole point of Eternal.

    Also, just a quick thought about the continuity issues with Ra’s/Damian/Batman. The explanation that makes the most sense in my mind (and the one that has been worked out in my head all along as an explanation for how Eternal plays into the return of Damian) is that the events of several issues of Batman & Robin (specifically issue #33) take place over a larger period of time. We see in issue #32 (Batman & Ra’s al Ghul) and the Robin Rises: Omega issue, the fight between Ra’s, Batman and Godfrey from Apokolips. Towards the end of that battle, Ra’s falls in the ravine and then the Justice League shows up to fight off the parademons. Finally, after the battle, Bruce goes to the Justice League Satellite to get his Hellbat suit to fight Darkseid and the rest of the Justice League shows up to stop him. Bruce eventually gives up and goes home. The next panels show Superman coming to comfort Bruce at Wayne Manor and eventually the rest of the Bat-Family shows up to discuss Bruce going to Apokolips. My supposition, is that Batman Eternal (and maybe Endgame too) takes place between those two pages. So, Damian gets take to Apokolips and Ra’s falls in the ravine, but it is still some time (after Eternal in my mind) before Bruce goes to rescue Damian and bring him back.

    I know that this explanation sounds like a stretch, but I think it makes sense without a need for Damian to die again in Batman & Robin #40 or for Bruce and Damian to have a falling-out in that issue either. It also explains this interaction with Ra’s too because it happens after the last time the characters met but before Batman goes to Apokolips. It also explains why Damian isn’t in Eternal at all, because Bruce hasn’t yet gone to rescue him. Of course, the easier thing to do would have been just to leave the Ra’s reference out of Eternal #46 altogether, but it makes still makes sense this way.

    However, I think the writers were in a tough spot with regarding the inclusion of Damian because when Eternal started, Damian was still dead from our standpoint (the writers may or may not have known). But, if Damian had appeared out of nowhere in Eternal, we would have had to come to terms with Robin Rises taking place simultaneously with Eternal which would have been too complicated as well. So, there was really a no-win scenario regarding Damian. But, I think Eternal happening in between issues of Batman & Robin (and perhaps in between pages as I described) just makes it all gel together in a way that makes sense if it is a stretch.

    Sorry for the long comment, but thanks for the hard work you put into the podcast.

  • GF Green

    Thanks for a very enjoyable podcast guys. I am new to reading comic books but have been a Batman TV/Movie fan since I was a kid which was a very long time ago (like Adam-West-A-Long-Time-Ago). I thought you might like a new comic readers perspective on the reboot/renumbering/continuity issues you were discussing.

    When I decided to start reading comics again I knew that a lot had changed from the BAM! POW! BOOM! days. Dick Grayson isn’t Robin? Whats up with Red Robin/Nightwing/Damian and who is Oracle etc.? When I read the monthlies I was confused and was missing half the story. To catch up I picked up a few of what my research said were the ‘classic’ books from the interim (80s and 90s) but they didn’t really help and I almost gave up.

    However, when I got the Court of Owls books I noticed that they were part of something called The New 52, like the comics, and really started to get what was going on. I read a few more trades and then monthlies and I started to get more and more references and understood the stories better. So I am one of the people that got on board because of New 52, between the availability of the trades and the relative recency of the reboot I got comfortable. If I had to catch up on 20 years of story line, ugh.

    I can see though, if in a year or two the characters got totally changed I would get upset. Seems to me every decade or so sounds about right before a reboot. It is natural to link them to the decade more or less anyway.

    I don’t care about what number a book is as long as I can get in at the start of a story. Having Batman 35 be Endgame Part 1 works fine. Couldn’t care less about the number, it is all about the story and the ability to find the right number to get in on the beginning.

    In terms of continuity all I can say is if the writing is good I am inclined to give more leeway than if the writing is bad no matter how it is explained away. For example, it took me a while to get used to the idea that Dick Grayson isn’t Robin (yeah, been a long time) but I get a kick out of Damian and am loving Grayson so I got over it pretty quick. I get that it was all explained perfectly well over the years but if I didn’t like the updates I would reject it. But if I am already disliking the writing any continuity nit would take me out of the story.

    Anyway, just my $0.02. Sorry for the long comment.

  • Albert V.

    Hey guys another good pod in the books, Dustin i was elated to hear that your going to have listener q&a every episode now and that it makes your day when you get a comment or question. On the same note every time i write in to btu and it is discussed, i pause, rewind, and stop my girlfriend from whatever shes doing to have her listen, it makes my day so thank you guys for doing what you do.

    At the time im writing this i have just read batman eternal 48, I’m almost ashamed to admit that the last 3 issues i have immediately flipped to the last page before reading to see if anything of substance will be revealed and of course there isnt because come on this is Batman Eternal. At this point i am not looking forward to year 2 of eternal and God help me if the last panel of the last page of issue 52 is a tease to year 2 with nothing being revealed…my question to you guys is…. are you looking forward to eternal year 2?

  • Stella

    After reading Batgirl #39, then Secret Origins for a second time, THEN going back to Batgirl #35, I discovered that Secret Origins is in line with what the writers set up in #35, as Babs explains that she met Frankie 3.5 years ago in physio.

  • John Mxyzptlk

    I just wanted to point out that on this podcast, Stella has made 331 Spider-Man or Marvel references over the past five years. Even though this is a Batman podcast, she just can’t seem to help herself. And I wish that people would RELAX about Damian. He’s not going anywhere. It was a pretty ridiculous and convoluted way that he got resurrected, in the first place. So why have Batman go through so much to get Damian back, only to kill him off again? It wouldn’t make any sense. Dustin and Ed, keep up the good work. And Stella, you’re AWESOME.

  • John Mxyzptlk

    And obviously Damian won’t be getting killed off again, because he’ll be getting his own ongoing series. I just wanted to point out how silly that theory was. I’m pretty sure that Jim Gordon will be the one wearing that New Batman robotic suit, during Scott Snyder’s next story arc.

  • Michael DeLozier (rhymes with “enclosure”)

    Hello Dustin, Ed, and Ms Marvel,

    Thanks for another great episode; and I will keep my comments shorter this time, as I actually just have a question. When is Batman #40 actually coming out? I subscribe to Batman through DC, and received an insert with issue #39 stating that I would receive Convergence: Shadow of The Bat in April and May; but everything I see online states that Batman #40 is being released on April 29th. I don’t want to wait three months for the finale of Endgame. Can you please clarify when Batman #40 is coming out (at least as if the recirding of the podcast)? Thanks for all of your hard work and insights to keep us informed.

    • Dustin Fritschel

      We had already recorded before you got your comment in, but never fear, as the first order of comic news is in fact clarification of that very question. Stay tuned on Friday for the answer.