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Episode 191

TBUCP E191 Pic

The gang is here to cover the past two weeks worth of news. A Chinese Batman? More Midnighter comics? Hugo Strange is a good guy? Is Tim Drake becoming the heir to the Dick Grayson sex symbol? All this and in-depth reviews of Batman #2 and Detective Comics #936 are in this episode. Be sure to leave your thoughts below!


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  • Ian Miller

    Great cast as usual! Looking forward to hearing Stella’s adventures at the Con! 🙂

    Regarding Tim in the last two years before Flashpoint – I really agree with Dustin about middle aged men writing grown women throwing themselves at a teen boy – I’d go much further than saying it’s “interesting,” and say it’s quite distasteful. Tim is a teen boy’s fantasy – but he’s meant to inspire all of us because he’s a kid who, even before tragedy touched his life, cared enough about Batman to try to help him. Making him just the object of desire for a lot of female villains is lazy writing, and really marred what was otherwise a very fun series in Red Robin. (Side note: Some people thought that Gates of Gotham hinted that Tim and Cass were romantically inclined – I never bought it, but that’s mostly because I’m a huge TimSteph shipper, as anyone following my comments knows 🙂

    Regarding Batman and sexism – I would agree that many writers of Batman have been sexist. I (unsurprisingly) have a strong disagreement with the idea that Stephanie Brown wasn’t ready to be Robin. The story, as written, dictated that she couldn’t stay Robin, because editorial had already decided she was going to die, the writers were forced to come up with an arbitrary, idiotic, and unfair storyline which painted everyone involved in an out of character and negative light. Bill Willingham, the write for Robin at the time, has said that he really wanted to keep Stephanie as Robin (http://www.warrocketajax.com/2012/08/27/episode-127-programmed-hanky-panky-fbill-willingham/), and sales numbers indicated that there was definitely interest in that. Even after she was fired, there was significant evidence that she was a worthy candidate – Ed Brubaker in Catwoman wrote that Catwoman was impressed with Steph (Catwoman #34).

    Anyway, my (totally not surprising) thoughts! 🙂

  • Gerry Green

    Another great podcast guys, thanks.

    You brought up the Hanna-Barbera books and I just wanted to give my thoughts about the ones I’m reading.

    I had high hopes for the post apocalyptic Wacky Raceland but it turns out to be unreadable. There are some good ideas but it is confusing and hard to get a handle on anything that is happening. Scooby Apocalypse is much better but the Scooby gang hasn’t gelled. They are all fighting with each other and the characters, particularly Daphne, are terribly inconsistent. I’m not surprised at the drop off in sales. I haven’t been reading Johnny Quest so I can’t comment on that.

    The big surprise in the group has to be The Flintstones. I bought it as a goof, just to see how bad it would be. I was amazed at the quality of the writing. The first issue was full of humor, drama, developing complex personal relationships as well as interesting and ironic situations. There is no reason for this comic book to be as good as it is other than just good old-fashioned writing .

    My new favorite book has to be Detective Comics. As you guys mentioned the art has been amazing from the start. You talked about the suddenness of Kate’s Dad becoming a traitor, I see this as a good sign for Kate becoming a permanent part of the book. Kate loses her biological family and turns completely to the Batfamily. I do agree that being sloppy with everyone’s identities may come back to haunt future writers of these characters. I’m prepared for some head spinning retcons in the future.

    My musings as to whether Batman is sexist or not… As you guys pointed out the attitudes of any fictional character are a function of the writer responding to whatever cultural issues they think are important or relevant at their time in history. This is true for sexism, racism, patriotism, homophobia etc. Most comic book writers are straight white American males and even when they are trying to be sensitive they can come across as pandering and out of touch especially when they are trying to comment on something they don’t have any life experience with. While it is historically interesting to see members of the dominant culture trying to come to terms with diversity it also squeezes out other voices that, as it turns out, are far more interesting. Has Batman ever been written by a woman? It would be really interesting if DC gave a female writer time to redevelop Batman and the Batfamily. We shouldn’t give a hoot about protecting our privilege, great art is more satisfying

    • Gerry Green

      Edit to above: Hanna-Barbera isn’t doing Johnny Quest, it is Future Quest. My bad.

    • Ian Miller

      Totally agree about Detective Comics! (Haha. I’m just full of non-surprises!) It’s amazing what the extra time has allowed Alvaro Martinez to produce compared to his already excellent work during the weekly Eternal series. I’m not convinced myself that secret identities within the Batfamily are as much a concern anymore (of course, I also continue to insist that Steph know’s Bab’s identity :).

      I can’t remember any well-known female Batman writers. I wonder how much of that is deliberate choice, and how much is self-selection by preference – after all, both Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV were students of Scott Snyder, and (at least apparently) got very similar opportunities, but Tynion has skewed towards writing a mix of Batman family members (Batman and Batwoman, Harper Row and Tim Drake, etc), while Bennet has focused on more exclusively female characters and ensembles. I would be interested in seeing what Gail Simone might have done with Batman during the height of her Birds of Prey career (today, I feel like she would focus too much on villains), or what Genevieve Valentine would do with the character (though she has express frustration with Batman as a character in interviews, she also wrote really great appearances in Catwoman and Batman and Robin Eternal).

      • Donovan Morgan Grant

        Devin K Grayson wrote the first 30-40 issues of the Gotham Knights title that was specifically created to feature the Bat-Family. I highly recommend it

        • Ian Miller

          Oh, yes! I forgot about Grayson – she wrote so prominantly for Nightwing that her other work is sometimes unjustly forgotten – thanks, Don!

  • Chris Karnes

    Just a general comment: Great insights from you all! Excellent podcast!

  • Adam Kennedy

    I was wondering if any of you have seen the Killing Joke adaptation and if you had any thoughts about it? What would you like the next animated Batman movie to be?