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Episode 170

TBUCP E170 Pic

Dustin, Ed and Stella are here to cover all of the news from the past two weeks including variant covers for Dark Knight III, Harley Quinn getting another title, Batman and Robin Eternal updates, Batman Day and more. In-depth reviews for Detective Comics #44 and Batman #44 are covered before showcasing the rest of Bat-Books from the past two weeks. After commenting on Listener Feedback, we have a couple of small discussions including one regarding a new TBU Top 10. Be sure to leave your comments below.


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  • Avery

    Since i got married in August I’ve begun buying my comics almost exclusively digitally now just to save space. I’m pretty sure that the variant covers do come with them. They are cool to look at for sure but it kind of defeats the purpose especially because you can share them within the app so the concept of rarity just flies out of the window. So I guess in short I don’t really understand the point of it either.

    However the real reason I’m writing is to ask… are you not reading Injustice!?! It’s amazing! Years 1 and 2 rank up there as some of the trades that were the most fun and exciting to read in my opinion. Year 3 was a little bit of a decline but I think Year 4 has found its groove after the writing change and I am so pumper for Year 5. I think you guys would like it. I was reading it in print up until I moved to digital but I think one thing that I really love with the digital firsts is that they come out more often. So it’s easier to stay engaged in the story. My pull list is pretty stacked so sometimes 30 days wears away at whatever the crazy cliffhanger from the last issue may have been. Having the book come out (at the most) 2 weeks apart is really a great way to capture and keep readers in my opinion.

    Here’s another question I have. I have this groupchat setup with a lot of my friends where we discuss comics and other such amazing things. we were having a discussion recently and an interesting point arose that i thought was interesting. Some people like their Bruce/Batman to be flawless and perfect, almost super and others, like myself like to see Bruce’s flaws and his humanity. I wanted to see where you guys and gal fall on that spectrum. Do you like the Batman that can’t lose, or do you like to see the man that is completely aware that he could lose but still goes into battle anyway?

    Anyway sorry for the long post, love you guys!

  • Loved the podcast, as usual. A few comments!

    1) Brian Azzerello co-wrote Batman 44, so that’s why it probably feels a bit different than the usual Snyder goodness.
    2) I was fascinated to hear about page count in contracts – that would make sense with the strange scheduling with Capullo, since Snyder has said many times that Capullo keeps up with the schedule.
    3) I’ve liked the Harper Row one-shots that Snyder’s written, especially the one in memorial of Damian after his death.
    4) I agree that a lot of the characters in Batman Eternal were really nice to see, and have sadly dropped off the face of the map since that series ended. For all its problem (and there were many), I really loved the feeling that I could drop in on Gotham and see how these guys were doing every week for a year. Really looking forward to Batman and Robin Eternal to have at least six months of something similar.
    5) A thought I’ve had before on the Eternal concept – it’s a lot like the massive Bat-crossovers, like Knightfall, or No Man’s Land, or War Games (or the upcoming Robin War), only you don’t have to pick up multiple titles to follow it. I think it’s a more casual consumer-friendly way of getting people interested in new characters.
    6) As a massive Stephanie Brown fan, I feel you on wondering if she’ll be featured in Batman and Robin Eternal. But I do think that she has been popping up reasonably frequently, considering that for the first three years after she was created by Dixon, she only showed up a few times in Robin. So we’ve actually gotten some good appearances – she’s been basically a regular in Catwoman from #42-46, with announced appearances in Batgirl and at least one panel in the preview for Batman and Robin Eternal. Of course, I would love to see more of her, as long as the team that got her did her justice. For example, I would not at all like her to continue as a regular in Catwoman with the new team, given the way Tieri wrote her back in 2008.
    7) I really like Jim as Batman – it gives the impression of development, of consequences. I liked Dick as Batman a lot as well. However, I don’t see it changing permanently. Just wanted to add a vote to the pro-Snyder-direction of Batman side. 🙂
    8) However, I must immediately desert Ed and vote for Babs and Dick together. That being said, I’m really liking the new Kori series by Conner, Palmiotti, and Lupacchino (because it feels like Harley Quinn’s lightheartedness without the constant murder). I view the things that happen to various incarnations of Robin in the Teen Titans titles as only tangentially important, since they mostly take place outside of Gotham and often massively out of character. 🙂
    9) To give some unorthodox candidates for best Batman writer – Bryan Q. Miller in Smallville Season 11 wrote a really cool alternate universe but utterly recognizable Batman. 🙂 Greg Rucka’s run, during the Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive era with Sasha Bordeaux is a favorite of mine.
    10) The lack of ability to track digital sales is infuriating. This is a multi-industry problem – it affects books, DVD, streaming, etc. There’s no real sense of how any of these things are doing outside of often artificially generated and journalistically inflated “buzz.” The sales article sounds really interesting! Will be looking forward to reading it.

  • I typically do not post comments, but I figured “why not”!? I’ve been enjoying your podcast for years now and love the cohesion that you guys, and lady, have. Every episode is as entertaining as the previous, and all three of you certainly make my commute to work enjoyable to the point where I actually look forward to driving when there is a new pod available.

    I’ll keep this short, but a brief history of myself since this is my first comment. I have been an avid batman fan (shocker) since the early 90’s- to the point where I have a full Batman sleeve tattoo to include some of my favorite artist’s work- mostly Alex Ross and Bruce Timm. The first movie I actually remember as a child was the 1989 Keaton movie. I first jumped into comics during the Knightfall arc and haven’t looked back since. It was only till recently when I started to expand my comic reading beyond Batman-related titles. The stories are appealing a lot less to me now-a-days. I went from spending around $80 week on books (like Dustin, I am a completionist who needs variants and full runs) to around $20 because I have been so turned off by what is going on within the DC Universe. With the cancellations of a whole lot of great titles such as Batman & Robin and Nightwing (Grayson does not live up to the Nightwing title in my view), I have begun to pick up a lot of Image titles. Not to worry Dustin, I do not collect or read Marvel titles either!

    Listening to your podcast, it seems that I am in the minority, because I enjoy the darker stories a lot more than the light-hearted ones. Jim Gordan taking over as Batman has completely turned me off of the Batman and Detective titles. Normally, when a character “dies”, I like to see it impact the universe by lasting longer than a few issues…but I cannot wait for Bruce to don the mantel again. I gave Jim a chance by reading the first two issues of Batman and Detective, but it can’t end soon enough. I literally only read the Batman title to see where what Bruce is up to. I adored Dick as Batman during the Morrison run, but Snyder is not performing as well in my opinion. Scott Snyder needs to move on and get back to his earlier years of Batman writing- without screwing up any more origins.

    My last comment based on my taste for the “darker” titles is that you need to read Injustice to see why it is crushing digital sales. The series is extremely entertaining. I read it as an Elseworlds title and it is one of the books that I look most forward to every week. I love seeing the strategic alliances created and destroyed throughout the title… and I am not a gamer, so the video game had no impact on me downloading these books. It would be nice to see the digital sales numbers, because there are books that I download rather than buy from my LCS to include Injustice.

    Oh, and I guess I’m team Babs, although I really haven’t read enough stories that include Koriand’r to make a fair comparison. I liked Dick’s relationships in Bludhaven and New York more than both of them to be honest!

    Thanks again for providing such outstanding entertainment!

    • My question: What are your more “dark” favorite Batman stories? Most of the ones that I enjoy originated in the late 80’s/early 90’s such as Legends of the Dark Knight: Venom; Batman Cult; The Killing Joke (sorry Stella); DKR; and so forth.

      Question #2: Are you ready to have Bruce back under the cowl, or do you feel that it is too early?

      Question #3: Who is your favorite out of Bruce’s love interests? I vote Talia prior to be killed and revived in the Lazarus pit till she went completely crazy.

      That is all!

  • Boomer Deane

    Dustin and company… LOVE YOU GUYS- I’m a new listener (started about 3 weeks ago) but instantly hooked. my father never read comics but he put me onto BTAS when I was very young (about 4) and I’ve never looked back since… (I’m 27 and he even had me watch the Adam West and Burt Ward episodes just to allow me to establish a notion that there are different eras and artistic takes on characters no matter who they may be)… without dragging on with my backstory, the batman mythos held me all through burton, schumaker and nolan. I didn’t start with the comics until feb 2014, where I started with Morrison’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, and then jumped to Long Halloween, then Dark Victory. All three I thought were just purely amazing takes. After that I tried to follow the majority of publications from there in a linear story effort… which is very tough, and obviously doesn’t always work out depending on what volumes you try to guess follow which (however after a few you can do some research and find out which arcs you should read before or after others), yet the journey and the attempt provides a rich experience.

    now for my question… of all of you guys favorite story arcs that haven’t yet been explored in the DCAU… which would you each like to see brought to the animated screen? personally I think a Black Glove arc variation could be very entertaining…. not to give anything away but the dynamic of that entire story (the isolation experiment, Simon Hurt, Joker, Jezebel Jet, The League, etc.) I think could become something special. I believe they dropped the ball with Batman vs. Robin (I thought the Court of Owls deserved a way better and way more solo storyline) but what are ya gonna do? Again you guys are great… thanks!

  • Michael DeLozier (rhymes with “enclosure”)

    Hello Dustin, Ed, and Stella,

    Thank you for another enjoyable and thought-provoking episode of my favorite podcast.

    And now, since it hasn’t been discussed by anyone else at all; here is my view on Scott Snyder’s work in Detective Comics and Batman. I preface my comments by letting you know that I immensely enjoyed the Black Mirror and Court of Owls storylines; in fact, it is because of your podcast reviews that I have a subscription to Batman, which started near the end of the Court of Owls arc.

    However (and Ed may wish to stop listening now), I have become increasingly disenchanted with Snyder’s Batman run since then, starting with the non-ending to Death of the Family to the overly-long and meandering Zero Year rewrite of Year One (which Snyder originally stated would not be a retelling of Batman’s origin) to the complete transformation of everything in the Joker’s history during Endgame. Not to mention the wildly stereotypical amalgam of everything that is currently thought of as “progressive” that is Harper Row. What has cemented my dislike for Scott Snyder’s run on Batman was a realization that I had when you were discussing Snyder possibly writing a Two-Face story on the podcast. I do not want to see Snyder’s take on Two-Face for the reason that became clear to me while I was listening: Scott Snyder is not writing Batman stories.

    I will explain.

    Snyder doesn’t use major characters such as Alfred, or even Robin, claiming that he doesn’t write Robin well, I think it is quite a different reason altogether that he eschews these established characters for his original characters such as Harper Row and Julia Pennyworth. He is not writing stories about Batman and characters in the Batman universe; he is writing stories about characters that he has created that he can dress in the appropriate costumes. This explains a lot. Since Snyder has taken over on Batman, Bruce has no concern over his son’s whereabouts or well-being in the Batman title. He has as little contact with Alfred as possible, with Alfred missing in action for most of the run. He has no problem with Harper Row using guns. He has a new origin story. And the existing villains are completely different from any previous incarnations. I think that Snyder has a detective character that he thinks will work well as Batman, and he has built this new world around that character. And I think that explains his takes on villains such as the Joker and the Riddler. He has created characters that he thinks will fit well in the personas of these villains. So the Riddler becomes the master of Gotham in Zero Year, and the Joker becomes some ageless, eternal evil that has long-range plans rather than the psychopathic, completely insane (but, ultimately, not immortal) killer he has always been before. This is precisely why I don’t want to see Snyder’s take on Two-Face. He stated something along the lines of, “it will be completely different from anything that you’ve seen before.” Yes, I’m sure it will be, as I think that Snyder has gotten another story idea that he thinks will work better with Two-Face than one of his original villains; and Snyder will remake Two-Face into whatever he needs to be to make the story work, whether it is in character or not.

    I think that Snyder is a very talented writer, and that when he is working with original characters that he is very entertaining. I am just no longer a fan of his work on Batman anymore, as I don’t feel that Batman would be the type of person to use clones with artificially induced memories to carry the mantle of Batman. I think that Batman would hand over the reins to someone like Dick Grayson or Terry McGinnis. Batman has always been unique because he is a normal man. If you start enhancing Batman with cybernetic programming and cloning, you are losing the essence of the character. And I think that Snyder has lost the essence of the character because he is writing a story with characters that he has created, and the central character is not Batman. But, much like Johnny Bravo, the suit fits.

    Of course, this is all just my opinion; your mileage may vary. And it is safe for Ed to listen again now.

    I realize that this is a long comment, so if you choose not to read this in its entirety on the next podcast, I will certainly understand. But I would like to hear your thoughts on my main contention that Snyder is not necessarily writing Batman stories.

    As always, thank you all for the hard work that you do to keep us up to date and involved in the comics.

    And, on a final unrelated note, for all of those who have left iTunes reviews in the past and want to leave another; if you edit your original review, it will repost in iTunes with the new date. It just takes a few days to update. So all of you who have left reviews long ago, be sure to update your podcast reviews, and be sure to click on the five star rating for the podcast as well.