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Episode 233


So Catwoman has given her answer. Do we agree with the result or are we wishing it was something else? All-Star Batman comes to an end and over in Detective Comics, Tim is fighting an evil future version of himself. Lots of discussion points for the group of books this time around and then we have a fan theory presented to us that may just change everything. Be sure to leave your thoughts below!

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  • Dustin Fritschel

    From Dark Knight:

    Shouldn’t he be ashamed of letting the war happen in the first place causing a lot of casualties including Kite Man’s son. Also joining Riddler’s team who is a child murderer and fighting for his side. Did the Riddler plan on getting shot by the Joker potentially killing him and ending his stupid plan? Wasn’t the whole point of the War of Jokes and Riddles was to kill Batman. What about the $1 billion dollars? I think the entire arc was just filler for Selina’s answer. I’m personally not a huge fan of Tom King’s take and interpretation of Batman so I’m worried about Bruce’s and Selina’s relationship.

  • Bixby

    Unfortunately, like all of Rebirth, I’ve been left very let down by this story arc. With a title like “The War of Jokes and Riddles” the potential for an elaborate turf war with chaos and mystery between these two powerhouse villains was completely missed. Instead we got a dull, droning, slowburn of a story filled with meaningless murder, dinner parties, and attempted face stabbing. In fact, there is almost no explanation for Riddler’s motivation which means we have Batman’s core belief system compromised with plenty of murder, including the death of a child for, literally, no reason at all. Ultimately Bruce should be far more concerned with telling Selina that he got all face stabby with Riddler, attempting murder, than the fact that Joker stopped him. Why does Riddler need to have Joker laugh? Why would Joker stop face stabbing Batman from ending the war and ruining himself? Other than Janin’s art work this arc was a big missed opportunity.

    Well… she said yes…so there’s that

  • Dustin Fritschel

    From Bret:

    Hi all!!! This is my first time writing in, so I apologize for the length of email ahead of time but I thought it would be a good discussion and I have a lot on my mind!!!!

    I Love the podcast. Just jumped in listening this past year, probably a little over a year now. But great job to all involved and thank you all for what you do!!!

    Holy Rusted Metal TBU, I Can’t believe you guys have been doing this for almost a decade! That’s amazing! Congrats to all involved again from the podcast to the reviews, the website, you name it! That truly is dedication and love to all things Batman related. Dare I say ……..hell yeah!!!!

    So I thought I would write in about a few topics on my mind lately. Please discuss if you have time, share your thoughts and shame me if need be. I’ve been a bat fan most of my life but have now read religiously for the past two years all titles related and before that periodically as I have had time. I’ve been catching up on the “important” new 52 bits and pieces when I have time as well.

    Anyway….

    Topic 1: War of Jokes and Riddles

    From seeing the different reviews from many different reviewers, as well as listening to other podcasts, Like a blind man at a urinal, the reviews on TK’s War of Jokes and Riddles run are all over the place.

    Here is my take. Again, Feel free to shame me if you would like.

    I feel the “bad reviews” mainly are coming from a different expectation of what the reader was going to get. Meaning, it’s called A “war” and a war was barely seen. Little action was visualized and it truly didn’t seem like a war but more a discussion about a war. And I personally don’t understand this argument towards awarding the run “bad”.

    Readers and critics are basing there thoughts of an arc off the title and that they feel bamboozled. So everyone appears skeptical of TK right now.

    My counter to that argument…..

    Have you ever seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang? Great movie you guys should watch it!!!!

    How about the Bond movie Quantum of Solace? Not too bad

    Or how about my favorite Christmas movie Die Hard?

    Or even Reservior Dogs? I don’t think there is even a reservior or a dog in the movie…

    My point is, I love the movies but I’m sorry the titles have very little to do with the story.

    Die Hard was amazing and I still don’t truly know what it means to “die hard” or even to “die another day” or to ” die hard with a vengeance” but I still loved the movies!!! Sure, people die in the movie…. but the title doesn’t match the movie. And Sure, we have a “war” between the joker and Riddler, but we really don’t “see” a war.

    They are still great movies and this was still a pretty good story. And frankly TK’s arc had a background centered around the war that just happened to have the title about the war. It was a war on the surface but the guts were something much more, which is every arc on Batman right now.

    The war of poops and giggles to summaries was basically just the reader watching Bruce have the worst pillow talk ever completely centered around “a war” to get to his point at the end of the arc. And honestly, Bruce may be great at many things, but I think we can all agree that pillow talk is not his forte.

    Selina needed to know Bruce’s dirty little secret and he was leading her, as well as the reader, there. The war, was only a title and readers shouldn’t destroy the arc because you wanted something different but they should destroy it for the writing and about what was in it…. if that makes sense. Don’t destroy it because of what you thought was going to be in it or wanted it..

    I’m sorry so many expected more violence but in the end we get a proposal. That dang King M. Night shama-longa-ding-donged us all in the end.

    personally, I feel those that wanted a war but got a long winded proposal, an origin of kite man, with a war sprinkled around it, that’s the art of story telling, especially Tom Kings version of story telling.

    How are we surprised? He’s been doing this since Omega Men and Vision…. why all the hate now? Is it the Adam Sandler effect? Are we just tired of watch Billy Madison , but as a golfer, or as a football player, or as the son of Satan, or the thousands of other movies that he does that are all the same? Is this what’s happening with TK right now?

    Topic 2: Tom Kings Writing

    Bringing up the next point. I hear many critics, reviewers, and podcasts argue about TK and how he never comes right out to tell the reader what’s going on, where the story is going, and tries to get the reader to think throughout the story. To that I say, they are correct. But what’s wrong with that?

    King doesn’t come out and tell you the answer to his stories, he makes you ponder, discuss, and try to figure out where it’s going. And for anyone out there trying to ask TK on twitter about where the story is going and later gets pissed because he doesn’t answer or replies with some retort like “Batman is”, why would he answer any of your questions? What does he have to gain by spoiling plot points on twitter? He’s not going to tell us anything online nor does he have too. That’s ridiculous.

    Maybe a straight forward story about Batman is better? But we’ve had that already and he’s giving us a new take.

    But we are certainly getting a different style of storytelling from TK than we have seen on Batman for a while now and I’m ok with that. It’s different than detective, which is amazing right now by the way (possibly my favorite Batman arc since Rebirth right now)…. but I want the books to be different. Different styles and different looks at Batman.

    Side note: I want a Bat-Drake book!!! I personally love Tim as Batman, not Batman Beyond. And want to find a way to continue to get more Bat-Drake stories.

    As for the “war”, after listening to an interview with King in July, this was supposed to be a 12 issue Maxi outside of the book, a stand alone. DC brass changed it to be in his Batman run and he had to clip it down to 8 total ( including the interludes). point is: more action, more conclusions, more reasoning may of been taken out to make it fit. So what many other readers wanted could have been in the cards all long. But again, this is what we got instead. And it was still pretty dang good in my humble opinion.

    After everything I said to this point, if it had to be cut down, which it was, and if it was centered around the proposal as the “main event” than I think this story truly could of been told in 3 to 4 issues, excluding the interludes. Would readers have been pleased if it was shrunk down to 5 total issues and renamed “the proposal”? Maybe…. but there is only one thing we can all count on in this world and that is that we can’t make everyone happy….

    So poops and giggles was a bit too long for me. It drug on a bit. Maybe if it was 12 issues TK could have sprinkled in more action here and there. But I still feel it was a good story overall

    Topic 18 ( sorry probably feels like that now):
    The big overall idea of the war of poops and giggles

    A big take away from the entire arc to me was not the proposal, which I had no doubt she would say yes, but it was the end with the joker. That was the moment, the culmination, the entire main idea TK was trying to show us all.

    Joker stopped Batman from crossing the line. TK made it clear in numerous ways that Batman was in a clear mind, knew what he was doing, and wanted to kill Riddler. And may I add, a vicious stab through the face!!!!

    Who does that? Who stabs someone in the face? You have to have gone bat poop crazy to stab someone in the face. Am I right?

    To stab someone in the face, I take that as a man who snapped and went dark. That moment we witnessed is truly what made Batman who he is right now.

    That’s what King gave us from this arc and I feel it keeps getting over looked. If Batman kills Riddler that way, we are looking at a broken psychopath no better than the Joker or any of the others. This is what he needed to tell Selina. This is why she is hearing all this crap again. She was there for the war but never saw Batman cross the bat poop crazy line. So he’s laying it all out there for her. Take him as he is Selina just don’t mind all his scars, physical as well as emotional.

    Topic alpha 0:

    The Riddler started a war for basically nothing at all. 100’s died for what??? To make joker laugh??? Batman was set up and got a child killed. And can everyone online give Batman a break about that already.

    I hear so much complaining about how awful Batman is now since he let 100’s die as well as a child. It took Batman days to stop deathstroke and deadshot. This was probably year 1 or 2 of his career. Who starts there career at anything perfectly?

    He made mistakes like anyone and learned along the way. And again, in my opinion this is just people picking on TK. Why???

    This isn’t the first time bats has let people die. How about brother eye in the Batman Beyond future. Didn’t he make or at least help make that which destroys millions if not more?

    Or how about dark metal right now? Amnesty bay drowned!!!! Gotham and metropolis with the doomsday people walking around and giant pillars of people !!!!!

    Detroit, coast city!!! I’m sure since Batman decided to look into this metal no one has died at all in any of those cities???? ( cough cough sarcasm)

    Again, probably millions if not more have died in dark metal right now from Bruce looking into the nth metal. So can we just take a step back and realize that Batman is human and not a god and can make mistakes.

    Topic 97: the main idea in the war

    Batman lost it and was stopped by a man so twisted and insane that Batman truly questions if he is any different than the people he puts away. This was the moment of the entire arc. This could be the very reason why Batman always brings the joker back to Gotham, as well as every last bad guy. Batman was saved and maybe every last one of them can be saved too.

    I give this arc an 8 out of 10 because of the ending. The amount of thinking I’ve had to do because of what Batman tried to do and because Joker stopped him…. its everything!!!!!!! And every article, podcast, review, I feel like it just skims over that idea. What TK wrote, right or wrong, gave us part of Bruce’s foundation of Batman for like ….. EVER!!!

    Topic 114: the Finale

    Who is the character of “Batman” in your opinion?

    Is Bruce Wayne the mask and Batman who he really is ….or…. is Batman the mask and Bruce Wayne who he really is?

    I feel this is an important concept in reading any Batman book. Because that’s important to how you write the character.

    I think TK writes the character this way…. that he fundamentally wants to be Bruce Wayne but he can’t. To King, Bruce Wayne is who he is and desperately fights to be that….. and Batman is the mask. But thats not how most people see Batman. Most writers and people see the character as physically being Batman now and he pretends to be Bruce Wayne.

    I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I’ve always grown up thinking the same thing. But if this is how TK writes him, it makes reading the character in this book enjoyable but in a different way if that makes sense.

    He makes Batman more human. TK made Vision more… human if you will. A robot/ android more human. Well, even though Batman is truly Human, he really hasn’t been “human”. More ” super” than human. He’s been more “machine ” than human to a degree. King is doing the same thing ultimately. He’s making Batman human again.

    Anyway just some thoughts about Batman recently. Sorry it was long winded. Thanks for the soap box and keep doing what your doing.

    P.S.

    We know cat woman did not kill all those people before I am Suicide. Batman knows she didn’t, but does GCPD? Point is: not only is Talia in hiding where they are going but I bet cat woman’s friend Holly is there too. Clear her name before they get married. Just a thought… I don’t think she’s been “cleared” yet.

    Thanks again

    Bret