Thanks for all who have listened to our inaugural episode focused on, of course, Batman. We try to mention as many specifics as possible, but it’s often the case that issues, artists, or more come up and we don’t have all of the specifics we need right in front of us. So we hope you enjoy these show notes.
David Simonton begins the episode asking cohost Chris Kirby how he got into comics. This leads to a discussion of first comics ever purchased. Chris’ memory is shaky but he definitely remembers the comic above — Daredevil 158. While not considered a part of the classic Frank Miller run on the character, this issue does hold a special place as the first issue of the series penciled by Miller.
Likewise, David’s first comic was a random issue of Weird War Tales. The first specific issue David remembers buying is…
…and he never looked back after that.
But BOTH David and Chris remember reading Spidey Super Stories and watching Spidey’s brief appearances on The Electric Company.
Then, on to something new, something old, and something random.
James Tynion IV’s iteration of Batman leads off the conversation. Chris feels the run is derivative of previous runs (including the look of Grant Morrison’s issues) while David is impressed by how much Tynion has improved since his run on Detective Comics.
Should Batman and Detective continue each other, basically making Batman essentially a bi-weekly comic? This was the way of things during much of the 80s. Superman did the same thing with four (at one time five) books at the same time. David and Chris debate the pros and cons.
Does anyone understand who Robin is anymore? David and Chris agree that the character has become confused and confusing even to veteran comics readers. Why is Drake a viable superhero name? And why was there an adult Robin running around in All Star Comics decades ago? Is it time to streamline some Bat-continuity again?
Favorite Batman runs? Chris says Moench and Mandrake.
Meanwhile, David takes things further back for his favorite run with writer Gerry Conway and artist Ernie Chan:
Note for future reference: David doesn’t like Lex Luthor.
Chris hedged his bets and had a fallback favorite run: writer Alan Grant and artist Norm Breyfogle.
Chris then asks for the worst creative team ever to work on Batman. David’s first thought is…
Greg Rucka is an amazing writer, no doubt, but the Cataclysm and No Man’s Land storylines kept going…and going…and going. Solid art. Solid enough story…just stretched out WAAAY too long.
For Chris, the choice is hands down: anything associated with Max Allan Collins.
David a Chris completely agree with this assessment. David says it best: “These are the issues that will make you sit down and contemplate your life.”
To close out, the discussion turns to favorite Batman villains. Chris’ is an unusual choice from Batman Special #1: The Wrath.
David counters with another obscure villain: Black Spider.
And does anyone remember The Spook? Or The Wringer?
This leads to a discussion of Batman villains and the tendency to just throw as many at Batman as possible with very little time for character work or new creations.
And finally, we give Tom King his due. Any writer who can make Kite Man interesting is a rare find.
Have you listened to the episode? Give it a shot and share your thoughts with David and Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org