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The Dark Knight Reads
70 minutes | Dec 31, 2018
Episode 12 – Detective Comics #39-41 (aka Boilerplate Mysteries)
Things start off rough with a very, very racist Batman story, but things get better when Bill Finger cribs the right way to tell a quick mystery story. We can assume he finally read the rest of the stories in Detective Comics. Robin takes two more thumps on the head, we meet Clayface (but not the one you were thinking of) and gangsters are inserted into the story so Batman and Robin have someone to punch. It's two-fisted mystery action! This is pretty much all we can show you without being party to racism. Proof that we read everything out of order, but for cryin' out loud, you can't find this info online. It's the Joker! No, it's... a guy... in a brown... suit... who looks like the Joker.... DARKMAN BUT EVIL Another attack by Brown Suit Man! "That doesn't take a lot of brains." - Devon Bruce Wayne's mouth is HUGE.
115 minutes | Dec 5, 2018
Episode 11 - Divergence 01: The Long Halloween
And we are BACK! Sorry for the long delay, but a mix of equipment failures, changing schedules and a FREAKIN' WEDDING AND HONEYMOON for Barrett really threw the proverbial wrench in the gears. We missed our goal of having this Episode out in October for Halloween, but the boys talk about one of the greatest collected trades ever to feature the Caped Crusader: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It's a corker of a story on all levels with only a few nitpicks in all 13 issues. Enjoy!
68 minutes | Sep 24, 2018
Episode 10 – Batman #1 – Four Thrilling Adventures aka The First Appearance of The Joker
Ways to bury the lede: 1. It's the second appearance of Professor Hugo Strange! 2. It's the first appearance of The Cat(woman)! 3. They finally printed the promised Monster Men story that was supposed to be in Detective Comics months ago! 4. It's the second appearance of The Joker! Batman #1 is the first (and second) appearance of The Joker! He's here! He's here! He's finally here! And he's doing... pretty much the same stuff we've seen every other villain do, but since The Joker is a total nutbar it actually makes sense that he's announcing his crimes and switching from blackmail to robbery to murder and back again. Batman #1 is a quarterly anthology so we move through the stories as fast as possible even though there are A LOT of crazy things happening in each one. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo This was a revision of "Hasn't this boy heard bats can JUMP?... on to CARS?" Later he hangs a victim of a medical experiment by the neck until he's dead and then shoots the drivers of another truck."Yes, this eight year old boy will beat up all these grown adults who I will now untie to PROVE A POINT. Gangster movies are not fun!" Oh, fuuuuuuuuu....
97 minutes | Sep 15, 2018
Episode 09 – Detective Comics #38 : Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder aka An Eight Year Old Witnesses Two Deaths Then Kills Three Adult Men
OMG THIS EPISODE IS BEING RELEASED ON BATMAN DAY 9.15.18!!!! It's the debut of the sensation comics find of 1940! Robin, the Boy Wondaaaahhhh!!! We are regaled with another dramatic reading of an origin story, which then leads directly into an eight-year old boy's revenge fantasy becoming a reality. It's pretty intense if you think about it for a few minutes. Devon and Barrett also chat about the ur-Robins and the TRUE original hero of Gotham City. It's the beginning of the Dynamic Duo! Phrasing. If you think this is bad, wait until Frank Miller gets a hold of this scene. Those are some pretty good cast shadows. A- CLOCKWORK STEAMPUNK CRIME BOSS ERROR ERROR PLEASE REPLACE BAD GASKET The Sensational Killing Find of 1940, Robin, the Boy Murderer!
64 minutes | Sep 8, 2018
Episode 08 – Detective Comics #36 and #37 – Batman Meets Professor Hugo Strange and The Screaming House aka B-, Shows Improvement.mp3
A few weeks ago Barrett asked how long it would take before he enjoyed a Batman story. We found the answer: not very long! Barrett really connected with issues #36 and #37. We are introduced to our first recurring villain to not appear in the very next issue, a character who was intended to be the Moriarty to Batman's Sherlock Holmes: Professor Hugo Strange. Strange engages in a plot that is fairly paint-by-numbers for super villains: cause chaos in a city, use chaos as cover for robberies. However, Strange does not die at the end of this story. Instead, he is captured and put in jail. We'll see him again in the first issue of Batman. Professor Strange will continue to bedevil the Dark Knight through this very day, though he is definitely in the second tier of the Rogues Gallery. The next issue is also stronger that what we've read in previous episodes. While it doesn't introduce any new villains, we do see an improvement in art and story pacing, plus a new legit super science gadget for Batman. Single Point Perspective! AND THEN - HAHAHAHA (repeat) Mr. Kiss Kiss Bat Bat The second panel swipes the first with only one panel between them.
83 minutes | Sep 1, 2018
Episode 07 – Detective Comics #34 and #35 : Peril In Paris and The Case of the Ruby Idol aka Racism for Everybody!
Woof. WOOF. Whoo. Gear up for this episode as Batman faces The Duke of Gold Earth in another very poorly scripted tale of coincidence, rip-offs, terrible traps and general insanity in The Peril In Paris. Then, Bruce Wayne stumbles into a crime and Batman meets some very racist caricatures in Chinatown while opting to fall into trap after trap in The Case of the Ruby Idol. It's a low point in our nacent podcast but next week things get better. Significantly better. We said this character was the origin of The Question, but really he's a rip-off of The Blank from Dick Tracy. UG. This was my reaction reading this comic. Who did Bob Kane rip off for this cover? The Shadow knows... Look at that Bob Kane Batmouth in the second panel. We'd show you more images but the art in Detective Comics #35 is considered a hate crime in some states.
59 minutes | Aug 25, 2018
Episode 06 – Detective Comics #33: Batman Wars Against The Dirigible of Doom aka THE ORIGIN STORY
Way to bury the lede, Detective Comics. While this tale is titled "Batman Wars Against The Dirigible of Doom" it starts with a 2 page story... THE ORIGIN OF BATMAN. Devon does a staged reading of one of the most famous stories in all of comic-dom: the night Bruce Wayne saw his parents murdered! This event propels Bruce into a life of crime-fighting! Of course, this story is followed by pretty terrible Flash Gordon rip-off visuals, a garbage plot, more Batmurder and a LITERAL misinterpretation of "Napoleon Complex". It's another rough one for Barrett and Devon! Enjoy! The world's greatest detective, everybody. This art is particularly terrible. Is that a kid or an adult? That's not how a Napoleon Complex works.
66 minutes | Aug 18, 2018
Episode 05 – Detective 31 and 32 : Batman Vs The Vampire aka Origin of The Line Runner
The Vampire arrives and the Vampire returns in another back-to-back two parter. Bob, Bill and Jerry plot the worst possible retelling of Nosferatu ever conceived, hitting all the major plot points of Dracula without any of the reason or explanation. Also, the vampire is called the Monk and he dresses in a red hood, but not THAT Red Hood. Part 1 is a mess and Part 2 is complete insanity. We won't spoil the end but Batman does something very un-Batman to wrap up this... 'arc'. Also, first appearance of Julie Madison and first appearance of a gorilla in a Batman comic, which will become waaaay more common down the line. Devon and Barrett also somehow managed to not bring up the animated film "The Batman vs. Dracula" or The Confessor from Astro City or any of the other times Batman either crossed paths with or became a vampire... or the times the X-Men fought Dracula for some dumb reason. That part where Batman leaves Julie Madison on the deck of a ship with a monster. That part where Batman gets knocked out by an Oscar statue.
47 minutes | Aug 11, 2018
Episode 04 – Detective Comics #29 and #30 : The Batman Meets Doctor Death aka The Batman Meets “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
The Batman both meets and re-meets and twice defeats a new villain in the first ever TWO-PART BATMAN STORY... though the impact of the return of Doctor Death is diminished since he wastes almost no time before returning from his apparent death. Devon and Barrett really want to like these stories as it's Batman's first legit super-villain but neither one is particularly great. Oh, well, it's fun listening to us trash the bad stuff and lift up the good! Here's Bruce Wayne being super casual about a bullet wound in DC #29: And here's Batman killing Jabah's twin brother in DC #30:
32 minutes | Aug 6, 2018
Episode 03 – Detective Comics #28: Frenchy’s Jewel Gang aka Who Needs Gloves To Fight Crime
Batman returns for his second adventure ever! Can Bob Kane and Bill Finger top the (stolen) story of The Case of the Chemical Syndicate? No! They can't! Thrill as Devon and Barrett regale you with the story of The Bat-man just straight up messing with some fairly petty crooks for no reason! Gasp in amazement as Batman totally throws another human off a roof! Frenchy's jewel gang is gonna get got!
49 minutes | Jul 28, 2018
Episode 02 - Detective Comics #27 The Case of the Chemical Syndicate aka Batman (Really) Begins
The first appearance of The "Bat-Man"! Devon and Barrett cover it all: the story, the art, the STOLEN story, the STOLEN art, the brevity of this important moment, the long-lasting implications of Batman, Bill Finger, Will Eisner, Bob Kane, and four bonus reviews of various retellings of The Case of the Chemical Syndicate! Also, Batman suplexes a human being off a roof in his first appearance so that's awesome.
27 minutes | Jul 21, 2018
Episode 01 – Episode Zero
Episode Zero? What? Why? If this is your first episode, welcome! You're doing this in the correct order. If it isn't, well, you've probably heard "Episode Zero" referenced in another episode. Episode Zero is here to answer basic questions about Devon and Brett's life, what the podcast is about, and how it came to be. Enjoy! We'll get to talking about Batman exclusively soon.
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