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Episode 235

With very little news to discuss, the team takes time to discuss the comics more in depth than usual when covering Batman #34 and Detective Comics #968. Listener comments continue to be about Tom King’s work on Batman as well as which members should leave the group in Detective Comics. Be sure to leave your comments below.


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  • Dustin Fritschel

    From Bret:

    What’s up TBU crew? Hope you had a pleasurable 2 weeks or so.Thanks again for reading my Thesis paper last “issue” (episode). I do appreciate it. So thanks again for humoring me more than Chewbaccas mom did about 2 years ago now.

    Anyway, I promise this will not be long winded, unless you want it to be??? ( stated with a Doctor evil finger by your mouth) I’m also terrible at keeping promises. So again I apologies. Read what you want, shame me if you must. It’s all for poops and giggles anyway!!! ( that was for Stella)

    So I love the questions you all say to one another after each issue. They are thought provoking and can sometimes be very humorous. So I thought I would contribute with some questions to be answered of my own. These questions may contain spoilers to any reader or listener that may be paying attention .

    Topic 1: we’ve all been Jurgened!

    Have you been reading Action comics? Now I know what you’re thinking, this is a Batman podcast not a Superman podcast. But here me out. Jurgens has written and contributed to Batman Beyond ATLEAST so let’s look at this from a Batman writer perspective shall we….I want to know your take, if you’ve been reading action, on this past Mr Oz arc. Please share your thoughts after my Oz discussion.

    My thoughts are that we have wanted to know who Mr Oz was since Rebirth.. nay!!!… I believe he made an appearance before Rebirth in the Lois and Clark book… but anyway, we’ve wanted to know for over two years who OZ is? Tons of rumors from Ozymandius to Superboy Prime to who the heck knows have spiraled around worse than Helen Hunt in the movie Twister! Which, what has happened to her btw?

    Anyway, what does the reader get??? Spoilers people coming your way like a Hypochondriac saying “I got this!” So be prepared….. Oz is Jor El, not an alternate timeline Supes poppa bear… but the real deal. Ripped from Kryptons womb right before the explosions and the carnage and whole end of days thing. He’s the real slim shady! And better yet, Jurgens made him a terrorist!! Well isn’t that special!!!!

    Basically, Jor El wanted his son to see the bad in humanity so that he would leave before the major poop hits the fan… probably in doomsday clock. Jor El didn’t “tell” people to be terrorists, he just gave them the option to be terrorists and they said sure. That’s the arc people!!!! Awful!!! I’d rather watch Gordon Shumway try to eat cats!

    But as we know, Superman wouldn’t leave his baby girl, his honey bear, his mamasita…. And Jon too of course. But hey, Jor El or Oz isn’t really bad. it was his staff that made him that way. And then, Jor El just disappears faster than the Chevy Chase Show.

    The end. Everything you’ve been waiting for and speculating on for two years gone like a fart in the wind. We have all been Jurgened… do you agree? Now you may be thinking, what is it like to be “Jurgened”? For those that don’t know what it’s like to be Jurgened…. it’s when this really cool idea for a story comes up that you’ve been waiting for…for like 2 dang years… and then it turns out that the story is crap and meaningless. That’s Jurgened. To be Jurgened is to care about a story and have the conclusion turn out to be JR from Dallas standing in the shower talking about how weird his dream was…. that’s Jurgened!

    Jurgened is finally understanding why chicken tenders are called chicken tenders once you let one caress your face. Or waiting for Tootie’s braces to come off in “the Facts of Life” but the episode doesn’t even hit on it at all there just off now!!!! What the hang man? And I feel like this has happened numerous times from Danny boy now, so please correct me if I’m wrong…

    Anyway, if you haven’t already please share your thoughts on the Oz Effect. And, can you think of other stories where you have felt Jurgened? Those stories could be Jurgen stories or stories from other writers or even tv shows or movies.

    Topic 2: Batdrake meets Hypertime, it’s the sequel to Girl meets World and Boy meets world. It’s completing the trilogy.

    Anyway, I still loved the arc but the ending was a bit flat to me. It left me with questions that I hope you can answer or atleast share your thoughts. I feel like we had a build up to some amazing ideas like Conner Kent, where is he? Brother eye has come again! But earlier than the senior citizen discount at the Sizzler.

    Batdrake trying to fix his future… and then……. Hypertime. Hypertime? Really? Now this isn’t quite being Jurgened since the story was still ok and had some key ideas even though it didn’t end exactly how I would have liked.

    BUT, Shouldn’t Hypertime have started working as soon as Batdrake arrived back in Young Tims timeline? I’m not a pro of Hypertime so any help would be appreciated. All that I basically know is that anything goes with Hypertime, which btw I thought Hypertime was outlawed by D.C. Brass. Outlawed like crystal Pepsi in the 90’s or ecto cooler for that matter.

    Also, why wouldn’t Batdrake tell Tim what Batwoman does before he Hypertimes out of there? Just tell him what she does to ruin everything. I feel like that would be the smart thing to do, since he’s uber smart Batdrake from the future that can take out all the Gotham Knights and Doomsday with his keen intellect.

    But instead he says, “you’ll see in just a few short weeks”, as if it’s some time of weight loss program. Just tell Tim what she does for Pete’s peppers! So if not already discussed earlier, what direction did you wish the ending went? Do you wish Batdrake would stick around longer in this timeline, excluding the possibility of him in super Sons that is… mainly sticking around in this book.

    Side note: Do you enjoy what the millennials are calling detective comics now? They call it Tec. Will you ever call it that?

    Topic 3: Titans…. cause Nightwings in it

    Spoilers!!! So the build up since Titans Hunt is that Donna Troy is the big bad… from the future. Really? I feel like I’ve seen this one before…..And she’s upset because… everyone dies…. really?

    Maybe it’s because I feel like we’ve seen some other future peeps coming back to the past lately, circa Batdrake as one of them, but what is going on in Titans? If Nightwing was not in it, would you read it? And if you haven’t already, please share your thoughts on Titans.

    Topic 4: all I need is a miracle. All I need is you.

    Mr Miracle, by Tom King, who writes Batman so…… he’s kind of a big deal right now. I would just love to know your thoughts if you’ve been reading it. Personally, I think he’s implying that depression is the anti life equation. And the person that can escape everything may not be able to escape death or depression.

    Topic 5: little Red riding Hood

    Spoilers people spoilers!!! Do you guys like smart bizzaro and do you want him to stay? Why would the Gotham Knights capture Jason Todd and take him to Belle Reve? That part makes no sense to me. Could you explain? Why wouldn’t Jason just talk to them and tell them what’s going on?

    Topic 6: Star Wars… cause the series is amazing

    When C3PO says the line “thank the maker.”, which is what he says whenever he is upset or gets out of trouble, is he talking about “the maker” as in Lord or God or some type of God… OR is C3PO literally thanking Darth Vader which is who literally made him? I don’t know personally. I can’t answer. Like the late great Harry Potter once said to Sauron on the star ship enterprise, Help me TBU you’re my only hope.

    Sorry it was long again. It’s been two weeks since my last confession. -Bret

    • Ian Miller

      I’m not a millenial, but I like calling Detective Comics “Tec.” Detective Comics is also really long to type in fast-paced internet discussions. 🙂

  • Ian Miller

    I am with Dustin – no shipping for Bruce and Diana!

    I’m very curious about the Telltale game comics. The Injustice comics are a weird juggernaut – I don’t know who is reading them or talking about them, but they are still being published. Gage said on Twitter than Telltale is unlikely to get the same kind of thing, since the Telltale games are so tightly story based, but I’m hoping it does a good job with this elseworlds take, with a tighter focus on fewer villains and more Batfamily type interactions.

    I didn’t enjoy Batman #34 very much at all because the Batman and Catwoman scene was bickering, not bantering, and I really dislike the former and prefer the latter. Regarding the Selina/Talia fight, I think the whole “X is best fighter, therefore they will always win, and if they beat fighter Y, then they can beat anyone who fighter Y has beaten” line of analysis is misguided. Not only is that not how fighting works, it is not how good storytelling works. Fighting isn’t a math problem, and so I’d rather have a story than a fantasy fighters league.

    I have a few hard feelings about using the name “Tomorrow Tim” in my review, because Tynion says he just calls him “Bat-Tim,” which is so much easier to type. But I do appreciate Stella noticing my alliteration. I agree that Lonely Place of Living felt incomplete/a bit unsatisfying. Yes, Bat-Tim was defeated, but we didn’t see very much reconnecting between Tim and the Gotham Knights, and Steph was completely absent, even though she was on the cover (betrayal!) I think we’re going to get a few flashforwards in Fall of the Batmen, to resolve the story we saw in the Batwoman issue. I will say: I’m firmly in Tynion’s corner – he’s my favorite Bat-writer of the past 6 years, but I’m very worried that all the setup he’s doing will not have satisfying payoff, even if he gets his planned 30 more issues to reach issue #1000 (which I very much hope he does).

    Ooh, congrats to Jessica for retweet by Snyder!

    Hi five back, Stella, for enjoying Superheavy! Interesting point about long-term fans vs new fans. I didn’t get that feeling with Black Mirror, so maybe it’s a n52 problem. Though even now, after 6 years of continuity, I don’t like Batman’s voice in All-Star Batman or Metal. I do agree with Ed that the line-wide status quo is a real weakness of the current Batman title. The problem is twofold – we’re still stuck in the place where the answer to the engagement was kept a secret in solicitations, so I think the line-wide stuff should be hitting in December, January, and February. The other fold of the problem is Metal – it’s sucking all of the energy out of the the status quo tie-ins or crossovers that otherwise might support what King’s doing. The Bensons are doing their best in Birds of Prey to support him, but everyone else (Teen Titans, Nightwing, etc) has been sucked into Metal or are doing their own thing (coughBatgirlcough). We’ll have to see what Detective does now that Tim is back, since I think Tim deserves to have a reaction to Bruce’s choice. I do think that double shipping is making Tom King’s stuff for Batman weaker – his strength is these very carefully planned 12-issue miniseries. When you’re doing twice a month, it really decreases your ability to think through all the stuff that makes Tom King’s work so distinctive in Vison, Omega Men, and Mister Miracle.

    Oh, man. You KNOW I have to protest Willingham on a Tim book. I know Willingham didn’t really want to kill Steph off in War Games, but I don’t think his original run on Robin was very good even divorced from War Games. Dustin immediately redeems himself with his Bryan Q. Miller suggestion, though. Scott Lobdell…no. Lobdell is the biggest reason people hated Tim in the n52 with his treatment in the Teen Titans. BQM I think won’t happen, because he’s deeply into TV right now.

    Oh, dear. Looks like next week’s comments are going to be really heavy.

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  • TBU

    From Brett:

    What’s up TBU crew!

    I got more questions to discuss because after reading DC comics, the discussion is the next best part. Would you all not agree?

    To think 15 years ago, the most fun and exciting thing to do would be to stay up late, drink alcohol, and party. A wife and 2.5 kids later, the most fun thing to do on a Friday night is to read comics and talk about them! Reminds me of the cereal aisle at a grocery store. Just walk down that dang aisle and watch all the various stages of life from fruity pepples and trix to bran flakes and cracklin oat bran. Anymore, The hardest part of comics is finding people to talk with about them.

    Anyway, Apologies for another lengthy email. Feel free to not answer the questions and tell me to leave you alone already or just treat the questions like a Buffett and pick what you want. Just don’t forget the sesame chicken and an egg roll…. and maybe a fortune cookie to end with!!!

    1) justice league metal tie in ( spoilers)

    With the events of the most recently Justice League metal tie in, we saw Cyborg “connect with the multiversal matrix” ( or something like that), and somehow follow Ravens voice through his “field of dreams”, to put himself back together and free the other league members. Cyborg came to a realization that he is a much better coach than….. whatever he’s been lately… watch tower computer expert/ telephone poll. Boo-yah!

    Who knows? Anyway, i truly felt something for Cyborg that I haven’t felt for a long time. When Cyborg and Raven had that moment, that hug, I actually felt like Cyborg was a legit character again, my apologies to any Cyborg fan out there.

    Now, for my question, with the issues happening in Teen Titans right now, which for those that don’t know, the leadership has been switching between Damian and Starfire, and the fact that the book is kind of awful, would it be pretty cool to have Cyborg join the Teen Titans as a “coach”? Granted, old continuity had him on the Teen Titans but not since before New 52 I think….Would you read the heck out of that Teen Titan’s book?

    I say DC has Cyborg as like a “professor x” if you will, but of the teen titans, and Damian can still be the field leader, like a “Cyclop” as well as Starfire if need be. But only if they cancel that awful Cyborg book!!! This way, we still would get our monthly dose of Cyborg somewhere. And yes, he would leave the Justice League so he would need to be replaced as a member. He can pop in when needed, which is what he does now anyway. What do you think of my potential book offer since I know D.C. is obviously listening to the pod right now?

    And if you like that idea, who would you want to see replace Cyborg in the Justice League? Personally, let’s bring back Martian Manhunter and return this sucker back to the good old days. Whose with me? My runner up… if we need a different character running the watch tower that is smart we could have Mr Terrific or what about Vibe? If they need someone who can teleport places with a bit of intelligence, maybe him? I don’t have a ton of Vibe knowledge other than the TV show to be honest.

    2) In the Batman Who Laughs( spoilers), which I loved by the way, who do you think he was talking to wrapped up in the chair and do you think we will ever find out?

    Personally I’m going Damian, as in our Damian. The Batman who laughs made his Damian a Crow so would it stand to reason that he may have the feels for this Earths Damian too? Maybe he’s trying to get him to drink the Kool Aid? My runners up in the mummy wrap are: Alfred, who hasn’t been seen lately through this, and Hawkman since Hawkman Found is coming next month. I was hoping that the Batman who laughs would be the Batman from the Killing Joke that went across that line and killed Joker. That wasn’t the backstory for those that didn’t read it. But it was still pretty interesting.

    Spoilers….I don’t know if I can get behind the idea of three different jokers all at once, which wasn’t in this issue. But I bring it up for a comparison. this idea that the person who kills joker, maybe becomes him as his last joke through a chemical that is released from a dead joker…. that’s a cool idea to me and one I “could” get behind if I HAD to. This idea could explain three different jokers, like a disease getting passed from one person to another. The others died and left another in there wake.

    What are your thoughts on that idea and possible three joker ideas in the future? Do you like the idea of three jokers? Do you like the idea has I laid it out? Or do you simply hate the ideas of multiple jokers period?

    3) I loved Batman 35 except for Catwoman somehow defeating Talia. That really doesn’t make sense to me. From like age 5, her dad fought and killed her over and over again. Then resurrected her in the pit. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. So, how could someone, who we may classify as the best swords-person in the world be defeated by Catwoman? It’s a stretch to me. However, here is my counter. Even the Cleveland browns get a win a game, or every 100 years the cubs win a World Series, or a billionaire racist can run a country…. we get the idea. Maybe Catwoman was lucky or caught her off guard? Who knows…

    But the Nightwing and Damian interaction, as well as Catwomans take on Bruce being stuck as a vengeful 10 year old boy but loving him anyway, the issue really did have its moments. I really liked it. Think about it… Talia loves the detective, the Batman… but Catwoman loves Bruce. That was really awesome and poetic to me in a way. And the end, Damian asking if Bruce is happy and Bruce says, “I’m getting there.” Nice!

    After this issue, are you leaning more or less towards them officially getting married? And if they get married, will Catwoman still be permitted to steal vast jewels and riches even though Bruce could just buy her whatever she wants? And would Alfred allow all the cats in the mansion? I personally think the set up is for a a Nightwing/ Damian book with Bruce taking a leave of absence for a while, whether it’s due to what Thomas Wayne told him in the Button (making Bruce question being Batman), whether it’s a honeymoon, whether he gets hurt, but I think Dicks leaving Bludhaven for a bit, not sure on that but I thought Blockbuster made a deal with him and Nightwing is going to leave… I could be wrong though. So I just feel like we are aligning for a Nightwing and Robin run.

    Do you agree or disagree? Either way, would you like Batman going in that direction for a bit, of course not permanently?

    4) detective fell flat to me. I don’t want to see the victim syndicate again. However, I am intrigued that it appears Tim is now very accepting of becoming Batman, in hopes to do it differently. We shall see. This issue was hard to get a read on. It wasn’t bad or good to me. Maybe I’ll have more questions in the future..

    5) Dooms Day Clock spoilers: please please please tell me that the TBU will review and discuss each issue of Dooms Day Clock? I know it’s not Batman Centered. But it’s supposed to be pivotal in the entire universe. AND with All Star Batman, which was monthly, gone, AND Dooms Day clock also being monthly, it seems like it just fits. Any thoughts into that?

    I would love to hear your takes! You guys always have great discussion and insight into the bat books that get me thinking of things I didn’t before. I respect your opinions and would love your take on this huge DC universe shaping event even more so than Metal in my opinion.

    Spoilers Ahead to anyone not interested in knowing anything about Dooms Day Clock!!!! If you read it, who do you think Rorschach is? We see from his hand that he is possibly African American. My first thought was Rorschach had a son and didn’t know it as I was reading it at the time.

    Maybe Ozymandius wanted a Rorschach for fear purposes, like a Batman if you will, and he created him again through his son, which could explain some mannerisms of the character, the way he talks, sounding like him as the One character says. Thus, Rorschach’s son may have adopted the mantle. A guess only. Then, I tried to think of any characters in the Watchmen universe that were African American and the only one that comes to mind is the news stand kid that reads comics?

    So he is another option. I think is name was Bernard or something. Maybe they are ironically one and the same? The next one was his psychiatrist, but he was old and fat, so I said no to that one. However, and I will not take credit for this next idea since this one I heard online. But in Watchmen, there is ONE panel that shows the psychiatrist desk with a mug on it that says DAD.

    Point is: maybe it’s the psychiatrist son? He could have gotten access to his dads notes on Rorschach. It’s a stretch but an interesting one I never thought of. AND leave it to Geoff John’s to find a small subtlety in a comic and spin it into something bigger. A Rebirth of a character if you will. Like the green lanterns, or flash, or Rebirth I general.Thoughts on Rorschach?

    And I loved the end with Superman. I feel like it’s implying that Manhattan was messing with time throughout the New 52. I know we all have assumed that since Rebirth but I feel like it’s giving us proof now. Thoughts on the end with Clarks parents? I think it was straight from Morrisons Action Comics right?

    Sorry for gobbling on for so long. I hope you guys enjoyed your turkey and families at Thanksgiving. Rested and recovered for the holiday stretch!!! Thanks for all you do!!


    PS I’m going to take some guesses. Ready? Dustin is a surprise Black Friday shopper and goes out at 8 pm thanksgiving night to get the best deal, while Ed only goes after the Cyber deals including Cyber Monday, Stella simply drinks coffee and sleeps in Black Friday morning while telling people to get the items she wants for her. And everyone gets them for her! Am I spot on?

  • Jéssica Nilo

    Thanks, Ian! Also, Dustin, thank you for the support! One day I’ll clone you and replace some of my superiors with Super-Dustins.

    Following Ian’s cue with “Metal sucking all of the energy out of the the status quo tie-ins or crossovers that otherwise might support what King’s doing”, has anyone else realized how the event sent DC’s editors to hell and back? A bunch of titles needed fill in artists, some creators needed to take breaks, and everything is just gone and ignored and meaningless once the tie in is over. Besides, most art for the Gotham Resistance looked rushed, I’ve seen some artists say that they had 2 weeks to finish everything. One of the great examples being Stjepan Sejic drawing Dick with a goatee and then having to erase it all before publication, but they left it in one panel of Suicide Squad. A bit of a deadline nightmare, or so it seems.

    I also promised Brett I would answer his questions about Rorschach here, so here I am. I actually enjoy the psychiatrist’s son theory and I think it would make sense, but I firmly hold my ground on the Renee Montoya theory simply because her debut was on 1992, the same year Doomsday Clock is taking place. Multiverse-dislodged Renee perhaps. I feel like at this moment all we are able to achieve are wild guesses, so I’m willing to wait on it.

    • I’m honestly pretty surprised that DC isn’t handling Metal better. The were ramping up to it for ever. I’m really curious to know what caused the time crunch – possibly some of the creator changes going on – I know the Bats out of Hell storyline felt incredibly padded, and it would make sense to me that it was basically just vamping so that Christopher Priest could get his Justice League run started.

      I’m really curious to know how Metal will look next summer in the rearview mirror – I know we look back at Night of the Monster Men and Justice League vs. Suicide Squad and say, “Oh, yeah, those happened,” and not much more. Will Metal actually matter?