Your source for all things related to the Dark Knight


Episode 181

TBUCP E181 Pic

The gang of Harleys is here, and we aren’t talking about the newly announced mini-series! Over the past two weeks, a lot of has happened. Snyder and Capullo could have left Batman, DC is relaunching the books again and a Flash/Green Lantern story called Rebirth is the topic of discussion. All of that plus solicitations and reviews of Batman #48 and the latest issues of Batman and Robin Eternal. Be sure to leave your thoughts below!


Liked it? Take a second to support The Batman Universe on Patreon!

  • Evan G

    Ed, as much as I complain about his characterization, I like Tim alive and around. I’d still be mad if he were killed, especially if he weren’t brought back within a year or so

    I’m really worried about Rebirth and Tim Drake. They’re rumored to be going in the “movie” direction and those don’t have Tim in them right now, animated or live action

    I mean, Damian leading a Titans team? Really?

    I’d really like Fabian Nicieza back on the character (or even Chris Yost). They both know how to write the character well, and would get me to spend money.

    • Ian Miller

      I agree with Dustin that having a character around is important, since even though their introduction/new origin might be bad or mediocre, without their existence, no good stories about the character can come about at all. So I agree with you that Tim being in the new 52 is good, even if he’s not usually very good in it (though I quite liked him in Eternal, not as much in Eternal volume 2). However, I think Fabian Nicieza ran Tim into the ground twice – first, when he took over after Dixon, and instead of building his relationships, he isolated him and made him a colossal jerk. (To be fair, I think DC told all their creators who were filling in for famous creative teams to make the series end on a downer, as the exact same thing happened with Birds of Prey and Tony Bedard.) However, the second time, he took Red Robin from a series where TIm was building back from that dark place into a team player – one who could collaborate with Batgirl instead of kicking her in the stomach, one who hugged Batman – into one who Batman has to scold for planning murder, and who develops more and more into the type of arrogant know it all who turns people off of new 52 Tim. (Again, to be fair, he’s the one who had Batman hug Tim – but in the same issue, he forced in a ridiculous amount of fan service with Tim making out with Lynx – the whole player Tim character thread in his half of the series was really off putting for fans of the way Tim had deep romantic connections with Arianna and Stephanie.)

  • Logan McLeod

    Guys. The audience suspected that cas killed harpers mom. They finally confirmed it in this issue and also confirmed that harper is the “robin “that was “created” for batman by mother (the entire underlying question of the whole story that they’ve kept touching upon.) “This is my greatest failure (issue 1!)” He’s talking about harper being the result of his dangerous game with mother and him not doing anything about it. You guys missed it. (Nothing even happened? No secret. Are you guys reading?)

    • Dustin Fritschel

      You may be new the the cast, but we did not review issue #18 which is the issue that it was revealed all that you mentioned. During the cast it mentions that we are reviewing #16-17. We have said that Harper’s mom was killed by Cass on a number of occasions including in this episode. So before you ask us if we are even reading the issues, please know which issues we are reviewing as the issue you are talking about will be reviewed on the next episode.

  • It’s always so funny to me how, for months now, the bulk of the podcast swirls back towards what’s gonna happen with Scott Snyder. He’s seemingly become more popular than Grant Morrison. Hell, I would go so far as to suggest that if Scott Snyder’s Batman run wasn’t included at the start of the new 52, the company would’ve done another revamp/relaunch by now. Because what other book had the same level of star power and month-after-month of rave reviews? Geoff Johns’ Justice League and Brian Azarrello’s Wonder Woman were talked about, but only in the same way that a known writer on a big-name book is. Snyder’s Batman is different. I think because even though he made a name for himself during his stint on Detective, he was still very new compared to every other major DC writer new. Johns, Morrison, Azarello and Judd Winnick…guys like that represented the heavy hitters at DC around the mid-2000s, not the late 2000s or 2010s. Snyder’s the future, without him DC’s got nothing but the old guys.

    My point is that the idea of DC doing another reboot or at the very least a relaunch or revamp is very likely because aside from Snyder and Capullo on Batman, what other big-time, talked about books do they have? Harley Quinn sells well, but that’s more owed to the character as opposed to the creative teams in my opinion. Snyder’s Batman, whilst rarely going against the nature of the character IMO, might as well be an entirely separate comic in how its reputation has kept DC above water for the past few years. So even despite the criticism of his stories, it’s still a book everyone’s going to be reading, akin to the Walking Dead or what have you. A better comparison would be the title “JLA” by Grant Morrison, which achieved a very similar status back in 1997. Morrison was a name by that time, but JLA was such a gigantic hit sales-wise, it because DC’s flagship title for years and influenced the scope of the DC Universe and every character connected to it. That helped shift company to something more stable, as it had JLA to look towards as an influence to mirror in terms on innovative storytelling without going against the nature of the characters. Same with The New Teen Titans in the 1980s, which was DC’s flagship title for years.

    So maybe Snyder’s Batman’s massive success is has done more harm than good for DC in that without it DC has little to show for itself. Sure there are unique books like Batgirl, Gotham Academy, Bizarro, Grayson and others, but because they aren’t hitting as hard as Snyder’s Batman, perhaps they can’t wholly exist in an era of the industry when books like Snyder’s Batman are required to help maintain the name of DC Comics. So if the company reboots or relaunches, it’s not at all unexpected. By this point Didio, Lee and Johns have proven that they’ll try anything.

    • Ian Miller

      I think Snyder’s success is massively unbalancing – but it’s not his fault that no other title has caught on to a similar extent, and that DC is extremely craven in its attempts to cash in on anything that hints of success (see also: how many Bat books there are, every time they tie-in to his storylines, and the infinite number of Harley Quinn and Dark Knight Returns titles).

  • Ten years ago was Morrison’s Batman run and Paul Dini’s Detective Comics run. There was also Geoff Johns’ Teen Titans and Green Lantern, Judd Winnick’s Outsiders, Brad Meltzer and Dwayne McDuffie’s Justice League of America. Greg Rucka was on Wonder Woman. There were more famous titles being done by successful creators at the time. Much less the case now.

    • Ian Miller

      What were sales like on all of those things, though? Were they all hitting the 100,000 mark like Snyder is? Or even the 70,000 like Harley Quinn? Sadly, I think DC tends to be more driven by who’s hitting those numbers rather than excellent runs (all of those that I’ve read are definitely high quality).

  • Ian Miller

    Regarding Eternal #16 and Jason’s character development, I am afraid that this new desire to form closer bonds with his brothers and develop his methods of crimefighting away from the more violent side is unlikely to stick. The situation reminds me of the Huntress (Helena Bertinelli, not Wayne) in the early 2000s. She was in a very similar situation to Red Hood in that she had a strong sense of justice and morality, but belived that killing the worst criminals was part of serving that justice. Gail Simone managed to develop her away from those more violent tendencies over three to four years of focused character development (which was sadly undone as soon as she left the title and the Birds were disbanded a year and a half later). For this kind of character development to stick, it takes a writer with a fair amount of influence with a long-term goal and a title in which to write that story. I think, unless someone new gets hold of Red Hood on a title, he’s not going to show much change, unfortunately.

    But who knows. Rebirth could finally give us a non-Lobdell Red Hood series – possibly even a Reds series written by Ed! 🙂

  • Michael DeLozier (rhymes with “enclosure”)

    Hello Dustin, Ed, and Stella,

    Another great podcast, as always. I look forward to every other Friday to catch the TBU comic podcast. I have tried listening to other podcasts, but they always come up short compared to this one. That being said, Ed might want to leave for a while. I have two main issues with the current state of Batman comics, and they both involve his favorite writer.

    Issue one: I can’t decide if Harper Row is the Jar Jar Binks or the Scrappy Doo of the Batman Universe. All I know is that she was foisted on us because some creator decided that the established characters that came before weren’t annoying enough to use, so he unleashed this abomination. I’ve had it with this character; and now Batman and Robin Eternal is trying to give her some reason to exist, which makes it worse. My only hope is that when Snyder moves on from Batman (the character, not just the series), that we will see a lot less of Harper Row; unless it is the story arc “The Extremely Swift and Unretconnable Destruction of Harper Row.” I would buy that in print, digitally, and every trade volume they wanted to put out. Unless it was written by Snyder. Then I wouldn’t be able to afford the seven volumes it would take for one of his smaller arcs.

    Point two: Dustin, in a previous response to one of my comments, you mentioned that a lot of the more out-of-character (or, as I call them, completely nonsensical) aspects of Snyder’s run on Batman could always be retconned out of existence when Snyder is no longer writing the character. Judging from past experience, I don’t think DC would do that. They seem to have a reverence for certain high-profile creators, and will perpetuate those creators’ mistakes despite multiple chances to correct those mistakes through reboots. My case in point is Barbara Gordon being changed from Jim’s daughter to Jim’s niece because Frank Miller didn’t care about Batman’s continuity when writing Batman: Year One. With Infinite Crisis and especially the New 52, they could have easily retconned this mistake, and Barbara would once again be Jim’s daughter, as she was at her origin. But that simple retcon was never done, I suppose out of some deference to Frank Miller. I am just afraid that DC holds Snyder in the same esteem, or higher, and that any ideas or concepts that he has introduced, no matter how insipid, will be off limits to retconning. And I am afraid that Snyder may end up ruining Batman in the comics for a long time after he’s gone with some of his decisions (because God forbid Alfred have two hands again, or Batman acknowledges he has a son or former partners that aren’t gun-toting morons with ridiculous blue hair that are supposedly more technically savvy than Tim Drake; it might disrespect the brilliance of the writer).

    Anyway, I am experiencing a bit of Snyder fatigue. Is it noticeable? And Stella, thank you for not referencing Marvel when Dustin read the word “abomination.” Unless you did. And if you did, stop it! This is a Batman podcast. And Ed can come back now; it’s safe for him to listen again.

    Thanks again for the work you all do to keep us informed and entertained. I especially like the discussions on sales figures; that is a good addition to the podcast. Looking forward to the next show.

  • ^FWIW Gotham Knights #6 (Aug 2000) strongly implied that Jim was Barbara’s biological father after all.

    • Ian Miller

      But I’m pretty sure The Black Mirror heavily implied that she wasn’t.