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Episode 171

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Dustin, Ed and Stella are here to cover the past three weeks of news and comics. What were the solicitations announced for December? How did we like Batman Annual #4? What were the other books that released that deserve to be read? How are we going to cover the new Bat-Books coming next month? Find out as you listen through and stick around for some more talk of our favorite subject, Scott Snyder! Be sure to leave your comments below!


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13 thoughts on “Episode 171

  1. Stella

    I just finished Knightsquest, and it’s interesting that during the conclusion (Robin 7) Bruce says he has lost his muscle memory and cannot just return to being Batman. Compare that with the annual where he’s been away and still has the memory. Is there something to investigate here or is it just an inconsistency?

    1. Ian Miller

      Do you think it’s because in Knightfall, his spine was broken, so all his muscles weren’t used at all, pretty much, whereas in Endgame/Superheavy, he was revived pretty much physically intact (or better), so his muscles wouldn’t atrophy?

  2. Donovan

    In Knightquest he’d been Batman for 10+ years and was coming back from being paralyzed. In the Annual, he’d been Batman for 6(?)+ years and hadn’t suffered quite the same injury. I think it being an inconsistency is possible but then again they are two different scenarios.

  3. Terry Hughston

    Hey, guys. Thanks for another great episode. I had just a few thoughts about some of the things you discussed. First, I really loved the Annual. I agree that we could have seen more stories from the new Arkham Manor but given that they hadn’t even mentioned it in months, I think they did kind of give up on the idea. We knew that it would end eventually and that we’d see Bruce back in Wayne Manor but it does feel a bit disjointed because we haven’t seen it (or really seen Bruce in his apartment outside the Manor) in a while. However, I do have an issue with this that stems from some panels we see in Batman #43. I had honestly forgotten that Bruce didn’t own Wayne Manor anymore because in the panels where we see flashbacks to Alfred explaining Bruce’s history to Bruce after his mind wipe, we see them sitting in a room with a grandfather clock and Alfred even stands in front of the clock just before he’s going to tell Bruce about Batman. I just assumed that this was Wayne Manor and that the clock led down to the Batcave. Maybe they got temporary access to the manor before this (although that doesn’t really make sense if Arkham was still there) or maybe they had an almost identical setup with a clock leading to a secret area in one of their other safe houses. But, that moment seemed to be back in Wayne Manor and I’d forgotten that we’d even need Bruce to get his house back.

    Also, thinking of Alfred in that moment as we see him explain things to Bruce and Superman as well, makes me wonder if there wasn’t another missed opportunity with the Annual in showing us more of Alfred’s mindset in all of this. With Alfred appearing sparingly in Batman, being the man behind the curtain in We Are Robin, and missing out on his reunion with Dick altogether in Grayson #12, I think the annual could have been a great opportunity to find out exactly what is going on with Alfred. We’re never going to see an Alfred ongoing or even a one-shot and it just feels like there is an Alfred shaped hole in the story right now. I’d like to think that we’ll get a better explanation of Alfred’s role during this time at the end of this event or whenever Bruce finally takes back the cowl, but I think it is more likely that Alfred just got sidelined and we never really get any explanation at all.

    Lastly, given Stella’s call for an outcry on the TBU Facebook page, I want to take a minute and say that I’m on Dustin’s side about blooper reels.

    Anyway, thanks for another great episode and I’m looking forward to all your reviews and thoughts of these new books over the next few months.

    PS Team Dick/Kori 4-Ever

    1. Terry Hughston

      I’m just a contrarian curmudgeon sometimes. Haha. Also, I take back my Dick/Kori comment. I said it out of the same contrarian mindset but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I would like to see someone explore the Jason/Babs thing from Eternal more though.

      1. Ian Miller

        But Barbara has too many love interests right now! Much as Stella and Donovan didn’t like the Luke/Babs fling in Batgirl #44, I think it’s nice, and wish she’s just pick someone for more than two issues in a row.

  4. Eric

    Hello Fans…
    I just wanted to chime in and offer support for Dick and…… KORI! I have always preferred this pairing because i see Dick and Babes more as siblings (pappa Bats!) than as lovers. I know that “work-place romances” happen but it always seemed too matchy-matchy convenient for me. On a related side note why is it always/ only Dick Graysons love life that gets talked about? There are other Robins you know! Lets hear some Jason/Tim pairings (perhaps Dami is a bit young)…. I dont have one for Jason but heres a layup to tumblr I always felt the Tim/ Conner pairing made the most sense i mean Tim “loses” a few gf over the years and never once tries to clone them! Dick and Kori Tim and Connor forever!
    Thanks for all your hard work

  5. Donovan

    I’m ride-or-die for Tim and his old flame Ariana Dzerchenko from the old Chuck Dixon Robin title days, but I like the Tim/Steph pairing as well. Tim and Conner..? SURE, why not? Yeah, Conner was dating Cassandra Sandsmark a.k.a. Wonder Girl at the time, but in moment of passion she and Tim kissed as well, so maybe Cassandra could have them on both…

    This is getting rather sordid, isn’t it?

  6. Ian Miller

    And thus why I ignore romantic pairings from the various Teen Titans/Justice League. It’s just messy and too soapy to be really enjoyable, I think. All the cheating and betrayals. They’re supposed to be heros! (Of course, I’m a die-hard Tim/Steph shipper, so I have my biases. 🙂

  7. Kaleb

    So I’ve decided to share my opinion/theory that no one asked for.

    I think the problem with Snyder is that his ego has gotten so far out of control and no editor is brave enough to reel him back in OR they incorrectly think that he can do no wrong and everything he wants to write is gold. At this point Snyder almost refuses to use anyone else’s characters other than his own creations. Snyder’s first major Batman story was his own creation which I believe is partially responsible for the mess that the Batman main story has become. Since Court of Owls was such a awesome story right out of the gate it seems like Snyder was given free reign to do as he pleased. But he couldn’t write Batman without using any of the rogues gallery, so he just starts using classic villians by name only (i.e. Death of the Family, Endgame, and Zero Year). First I think he tested the waters by rewriting a well-loved Bat-Villian’s origin with Mr. Freeze. When no one stopped him there he then took the Joker from being the Clown Prince of Crime to being this Moriarty style character that is more about longterm planning and controlled schemes than mass chaos. He made the Riddler into someone who’s more concerned with being powerful rather than outsmarting Batman and proving himself to be the smartest man in Gotham. Also the entire point behind Zero Year is for Snyder to rewrite Batman’s origin how he wanted it to be, once again showing he won’t use someone else’s character so he slowly is tweaking Batman into his own character. Then after Endgame Snyder goes one step further and literally creates his own Batman with Jim Gordon’s Superheavy version. We’ve all heard Snyder talk about why he doesn’t like to use other Bat Family characters with different excuses for each one, but I’m calling bullcrap on his excuses. He just doesn’t want to to write characters other people created. He says he won’t write Damian because he has sons the same age as Damian and doesn’t feel right doing it. But then he goes and creates Duke Thompson who’s roughly the same age as Damian, kills his parents, and eventually plans to make him the next Robin. Why use the tech-savvy female bat character Barbara Gordon, when you can create your own Harper Row? Why go with the classic Alfred when you can create Julia Pennyworth? Finally why would you write stories about how Jim Gordon Batman would handle a classic Batman Villian when you can just go and create another of your own villians in Mr. Bloom! Honestly I think Snyder is just creating a bunch of characters that won’t be used again once he is off the book because they are unneeded, unwanted, and essentially are nothing more than just recreations of current characters. Aside from all the various Court of Owl characters and possibly Mr. Bloom, depending on how this Superheavy story pans out, all the characters Snyder has created are in my opinion, crap.

    I’m not sorry that this comment was so long lol. Please discuss. Thanks

    1. Ian Miller

      I agree with Donovan – like or dislike him, Snyder has been consistently humble, kind, upfront about giving credit to his collaborators, and grateful to the fans. I don’t think Snyder only uses his own characters – he didn’t create Jim Gordon, or Riddler, or even Julia Pennyworth. And you might as well blame Chuck Dixon for using Spoiler or Bane (which he did, quite a bit). Every creator likes making their own characters, every strong creator creates their own spin on a character (Loeb, Miller, Rucka – compare their Batmen, and you’ll find distinct differences).

      Duke Thomas is 16, not 10 or 12 (source: We Are Robin #4 back material). Barbara Gordon is central to the Bat-family in a way that Harper can never be (at least, not for a decade) – and it’s important that Harper be marginalized (see also: her current anger in Batman and Robin Eternal, which I assume will be a driving force in that storyline).

      Furthermore, Snyder has shown, both before and after the Flashpoint reboot, that he is very interested in bringing characters to the forefront who were being ignored – such as Stephanie Brown in Batman Eternal, and Cassandra Cain in Gates of Gotham and Batman and Robin Eternal. I, for one, greatly enjoy Harper Row (as I’ve said before), and I hope that once Batman and Robin Eternal is complete, we’ll see her pop up in a major ongoing title, just as Stephanie Brown did in Catwoman after Batman Eternal.

  8. Donovan

    I think presenting the situation such as that where you’re talking about Snyder’s ego is too far. The last thing he strikes me as is egotistical, and although one can’t blame someone writing one of the most continuously successful comic titles in the industry for getting a big head, that’s not the case with Scott Snyder in my experience. You can dislike his use or un-use of the characters as much as you please, but making it personal in that way that you have is unnecessary and mean spirited IMO.

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