Batman Knightcast 17: DETECTIVE COMICS #575

Chris Franklin and Ryan Daly review DETECTIVE COMICS #575, the first part of “Batman: Year Two” and the final issue penciled by Alan Davis. Plus listener feedback on last episode’s much-beloved Batman #408.

Let us know what you think! Leave a comment or send an email to: or

Like the BATMAN KNIGHTCAST Facebook page at:

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK.

Subscribe to BATMAN KNIGHTCAST on iTunes:

Or subscribe via iTunes as part of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST:

Music from the Batman and Batman Returns original motion picture soundtracks by Danny Elfman. Additional music: “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range; “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult; “Don’t Change” by INXS.

Thanks for listening!

50 responses to “Batman Knightcast 17: DETECTIVE COMICS #575

  1. I’m pretty sure that I’m in the minority here, but I prefer Year Two to Year One. There’s something wrong, to me, with trying to ground in reality a man who goes out dressed as a bat to fight crime, but doesn’t end up shot and killed in his first night. Batman, by his nature, is a fantastic character and this feels like a Batman story. Year One felt like a Punisher story, with a more flashy costume and less guns.

    1. Year One was Miller’s most natural, humanistic script to date, which nicely grounds the story; it’s the art that really hammers it home. If it were drawn by *anyone else*, it wouldn’t be quite SO grounded.

      Speaking of being in the minority, I like Todd’s upcoming run. Crude and ill-fitting to what came before but still fun to look at.

      Love the much-loved copy scanned for the gallery!

      1. Thanks Michel. I was saddened to see my copy of #575 had slipped down under the rest of the comics around it, wrinkling it in the bag. It’s what I get for being cheap and not boarding everything!

        But it’s my original copy, so even if I come across a better one, I’m still going to keep THAT one!


      2. You know, I would probably have liked Year One better if it was set in the Dark Knight Returns Elseworlds rather than the ongoing continuity. You’re right, though, the art sells the ultra realism of it.

    2. I can see that. I think Nolan almost pushed Batman too far into reality myself, especially in live-action. He was skirting that line for sure. I think Michel’s right that Mazzuchelli’s completely grounded art helps sell Year One. Had someone else drawn it, it may have fallen apart.


      1. I might have mentioned it before, but would you believe Trevor Von Eeden was the first one offered top draw Year One? Turned it down. That possibility will never fail to blow my mind.

        Re: Miller/Barr. I forgot where I read this so the details are very fuzzy but Miller, Steve Gerber, and *I think* Mike Barr were all working together on some sort of project including the “trinity” characters. Maybe Miller was slated to draw Barr’s script? Maybe Gerber was going to work on Wonder Woman? All plans were scrapped due to Crisis maybe? Again, I barely remember the details, but I don’t think Miller and Barr were strangers to one another’s work. You’d think their work would be more in tune!

          1. Oh, right, it was pitch season for Superman. According to Chaykin, Byrne had it in the bag from the word go.

            Barr/Miller/Gerber also had some sort of other connection with the late 80s industry newsletter (It was called… “WAM!” or something like that? Jeez, my memory is failing me something fierce today. Part of me suspects I might be pulling all this out from thin air. My apologies.)

            Whatever it’s worth, Marvel’s VOID INDIGO was Gerber’s repurposed Hawkman pitch. Great, THAT I remember.

            Another great episode, btw, guys. I agree, Year Two would’ve been best served without the actual Year Two demands.

      2. Nolan definitely was too concerned with making The Dark Knight films real. I remember one scene had Batman in a car park barely able to move his head due to the armoured cowl. Just joyless stuff. One film was enough for me.

  2. I think I may have missed you guys. So glad to have you guys back. It’s like you’re reborn; men of thirty again!

      1. Pretty soon Chris will be able to slow down time – but only if he’s trapped in a cavern on an alien planet

  3. Ryan hit on what was my major beef with Y2 at the time: the idea there was a costumed vigilante in Gotham before Batman. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. I have always liked Mike Barr as a writer, especially on Batman, this was an ill-conceived idea and should have not gone forward. Plus, as you also discussed, tonally it’s so far removed from Year One. I’m picturing new readers coming to Batman comics because of Y1, and then moving onto Y2, and going, “Wait, what the hell is this?” And we haven’t even gotten to McFarlane yet!

    Chris, I appreciate you listing all my shows before reading my comment in the LF section. My intro is so long it is reaching Queen of Dragons-esque proportions.

    Also, loved Chris’ Dan Didio impersonation. He is truly the Rich Little of the network.

    1. My Dan DiDio is very similar to my Ray Ramano…and Paul Spataro. 😉

      There were quite a few Batmen in operation in the Post-Crisis DCU. The very Bronze Agey Barr Batman, MIller’s uban vigilante, Collins’ Adam West with an edge Batman, and the sardonically sly straight man over in JLI. For all the work DC did to make Superman consistent with the advent of Byrne, it was sheer chaos with Batman.


  4. Detective #575 is special to me for being one of the first superhero comic books my parents got me. Three decades later, Alan Davis’s art continues to impress such that I leapt at this year’s Reaper from Mattel.

    I have to wholeheartedly disagree where the Reaper’s concerned. The more Gotham and Batman are brought to present ages, the more reasonable it becomes for there to have been a prior vigilante, obscured by less prevalent media and closer to that time period when Batman busted caps. I liked their generation gap, and Reaper’s armor and arsenal in comparison to Batman’s “under-armor” and non-lethal gear.

    Where this issue lost me was at the end. Moral questions get mixed. Batman using Joe Chill’s gun only works when the owner’s around, but Batman using any gun belongs in a different story where he’s struggling not with the Reaper but with Gotham’s seemingly unrepentant or irredeemable criminals. Reaper pwning Batman should have left him instead with the question of becoming a more warlike Batman.

  5. Chris, for the love of Bill Finger, *PLEASE* stop referring single issues as “floppies.”

    Don’t you know that’s a dirty word to some fans? They’re COMIC BOOKS! Say it right.

    If you say that word again, I’m counting on Ryan to bring out… “THE WHIP.”

    1. Geez, I didn’t know it was such a sensitive issue! I say it with love and affection, because that’s how I really like to read my comics. And, it’s an easier distinction than saying “comic book” to me that could be a trade, a treasury, a digest or even a digital version. They are all comic books in my head space, as long as they have sequential art and text.

      Anyone else have a problem with the term floppies? If so, I’ll be sure to mention it more often. 😉

      1. Just go back to some earlier episodes of Views From The Longbox (specifically, the “Superman Catharsis” episode, if I’m remembering correctly) and Hey Kids, Comics!

        (Not to drag Mike and Andy into this discussion, but they both seemed have far less kind things to say about the word “floppies” than I did)

  6. I think it would have been more in step with the urban vigilante vibe and the history of the comics and pulps to instead heavily base the Reaper off of the Shadow.

    A big slouch hat over a skull mask; a cloak and a pair of pistols to mercilessly gun down criminals. It would have been a neat touch to say that the Batman’s crimefighting predecessor was basically a pulp-style costumed hero with the pulps’ murkier kill-the-baddies morality.

    If you want a story that tests Batman’s no-kill rule and would play to the tragedy that motivated it, it only makes sense that he should have to battle a gun-wielding vigilante, not one with scythes.

  7. Your belief that you’re past the low point of the era you’re covering is touchingly naive. Your subconscious minds have done an overly good job at erasing Batman:The Cult from your memories, I guess.

    A Batman Year Two worthy of the name would have to be as much about how Gordon (and Dent) cleaned up Gotham than whatever Batman is doing (probably learning how to fight criminals with gimmicks and powers, inventing his arsenal and toolkit.)

    1. I haven’t read “The Cult” in a long time, but I remembered liking it. The art is gorgeous, of course! Plus, Starlin actually makes Jason useful, and a good Robin…which is something he doesn’t do in the main Batman title, as we shall see!

      But I like your idea for a true Year Two. Getting outside of the weeds of what was given us, what you describe would have been the logical progression from Year One.

      1. I agree with Jeff: “The Cult” was horrendous. Just awful. Read it the first and only time about 5-6 years ago (I had the tpb) and I almost threw the book at the wall after I got done. It’s additionally so bitterly disappointing because Wrightson’s gorgeous art deserved a better story.

  8. Since nobody else mentioned it, I have to say I really appreciated you tribute to the (now sadly) late, great Len Wein. Yes, indeed, he wrote some outstanding Batman stories, and like you said, he wrote stories for pretty much every major character in the Big 2. He really left an indelible mark on superhero, horror, etc. comics from the early ’70s onward. A personal favorite is one you mentioned, the Untold Legend of Batman. To me, that is still the canonical Batman, not the later stuff – i.e., I don’t really acknowledge the reboot that was done in Year 1. Gene’s point above basically echoes what I said in a comment for your earlier show covering Batman #407: I look at Year 1 as basically a really good Elseworlds story.

    Which leads me to the matter at hand, Year 2. To some extent, I’ll join Gene in his minority position. I say to some extent, because I like Year 2, but I’ll acknowledge that Year 1, just as a story – without any continuity considerations, or whether it’s the “real” Batman or not – is probably better. But to me, Year 2 still feels like “my” Batman, the Batman that’s closer to the pre-Crisis canon (as reflected in the history compiled by Wein in Untold Legend).
    Also, I kind of like the Reaper, and really don’t see a problem with the existence of a pre-Batman costumed vigilante in Gotham. I think it’s actually a pretty interesting retcon, and I like how Brennert put him to use in that Black Canary origin he wrote.
    All that said, I don’t like Year 2 without reserve, but I think I’ll leave my own criticisms for later episodes, because I’m interested in seeing how much they’ll jibe with your views.

    1. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to even comment on this episode, mostly because I don’t want to go all negative all the time on the hosts, but your comment about Year 2 feeling like “your” Batman (even if Year 1 was better, ignoring any “continuity considerations”) seems a decent place for me to offer my two cents, for whatever they’re worth….

      While I actually agree that Year 2, specifically as sold as a continuation of Year 1, was a mistake, I feel that Ryan and Chris are entirely wrong to place the blame on Mike Barr. Absolutely, go ahead and blame Denny O’Neil for the role he played (or should have played) as the editor. No objection there. Personally, I think Frank Miller holds the lion’s share of the blame for writing a story that simply *did not work* within the confines of the otherwise-existing DC universe. As a stand-alone story, Year 1 is great. But it clearly *never* worked as any “definitive origin of Batman” in a wider DC universe in which Batman was not the only superhero ever (to that date). Mike Barr, who had indeed been writing Batman for years and knew the character and his world well, should absolutely NOT be faulted for writing an “early Batman” story that worked better within the then-existing universe.

      Indeed, in response to comments about his apparent instructions to create this as a follow-up to Year 1, noting that he got the Year 1 *script* to work with… remember that even that was just a script, and not the completed story that we eventually saw. At least some of Barr’s “inconsistencies” with Year 1 may reflect the finished story more than what he was working from. To the extent that this may be true, this again would be the fault of the editor, rather than Barr. Barr deserved far better treatment that our hosts gave him this time around.

      That said, Barr absolutely DOES deserve blame for the aspects of this story that didn’t work *internally.* Comments about the way Batman jumps from defeat after his first battle with the Reaper to his grabbing the gun that killed his parents, for example, are entirely valid.

      Anyway, I hope that’s not too harsh. I really have enjoyed this podcast, and look forward to future episodes.

      1. I blame comic editors for a lot of things. Ultimately, they are in charge of the course of the book. or several books in O’Neil’s case here. I hate to dump on either Barr or O’Neil, but I think we put quite a bit of blame in Denny’s lap for not have a cohesive direction despite saying he did in his “From the Den” column in this very issue. If O’Neil wanted to stay with the “gritty ubran drama” angle from Year One, he should have instructed Barr to go in that direction. Or he should have made Year One a standalone, out of continuity story. But in the early days of Post-Crisis continuity, everything pretty much counted as the new, locked-in, airtight, ironclad gospel. It’s how we ended up with Hawkworld beginning all of Hawkman’s woes when it should have been either an Elseworlds, or set WAY back in Hawkman’s past, before his time in the JLA, etc. Instead it was used a springboard for new adventures, contradicting stories only a few months old.

        I personally don’t have a problem with Miller’s Year One Batman becoming the later DCU version, but there should be some gradual steps in between. To go from pouch belt, leathery Batman to ovaled, blue cape Batman in a few months is a bit hard to swallow. But again, that’s where the editor should have stepped in.


  9. Another excellent episode. I’m basically in 100% agreement with you concerning “Year Two”: It’s a complete mind-ef to consider this a coherent follow-up to “Year One,” the Reaper’s design is pretty awesome anyway, and it makes zero sense for Batman to pull out Joe Chill’s gun at the end. I also agree—though it had never occured to me before—that this story would be a lot more successful if it weren’t labeled “Year Two” and would just be another flashback Batman story (say, a story arc in “Legends of the Dark Knight”). I also think—and I’m sure you’ll get to this with the next issue—that is suffers greatly from the change in artists. Apart from the fact that Davis is miles superior to McFarlane (never mind that their styles aren’t even similar), I always think it makes comic books look cheap and disorganized when they can’t keep a coherent creative team through the entirety of a supposedly important story arc.

  10. The feedback for this episode made me wonder:

    Have we considered that Dick getting “Fired” in #408 could be a direct, or indirect, reference to Batman constantly threatening to “Fire” Carrie Kelly in The Dark Knight Returns.

    Also, Vicki Vale was drawn by Breyfogle developing pictures in a bra and panties in the storyline leading up to Tim Drake’s reveal as Robin. She had a men’s dress shirt on, opened to show her undergarments. It’s not nearly as misogynistic (or frankly, as disturbing) as Miller’s script. But, what is the deal with men turning her into the beginning of a letter to Penthouse Forum?

  11. Not having read Year 2 before, I’m interested to see where the story goes from here. In particular, I’m looking forward to what you have to say about Year 2 in relation to Mask of the Phantasm, because Phantasm is one of the first things that came to my mind after looking at the gallery images, before listening to the episode.

    When it comes to the gun, I’m solidly in the camp that believes Batman would never use one, and that he leapt too quickly to that solution in this issue. If Barr wanted to go in that direction, then he should have upped the stakes a bit more. Actually, that could have been a way of using Leslie in this story. Perhaps, she stumbles upon the Reaper exacting his brand of justice, and she intervenes on behalf of his victim, which lands her in the ICU and gives Batman better motivation for wanting to take down the Reaper. Of course, you still run into the problem of Leslie not having yet earned that kind of relationship with Bruce. Then again, Robin’s recent shooting might rob such an approach of its effectiveness.

    Instead of going for the gun, I think it would have been more interesting (at least, from a fanboy perspective) to see Batman invent some of his classic Bat-gadgets to counter the Reaper. An “origin story” for those gadgets would have made for a fun side story, in my opinion.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode.

  12. Glad to have a new episode of Knightcast guys! The Mattel Reaper is fun. And it makes the Batman that came with the Red AzBats somewhat useful.

    Not sure if it’ll come up later, but on my first theatrical viewing of Mask of the Phantasm, I took it to be a poor man’s Year Two, with some gender roles swapped.

    Also, I’ll go to bat for Damian. I love him. I know a lot of you guys don’t and that’s fine, but I get a kick out of him mixing with Supergirl, The Steph Brown Batgirl, The Titans (Ravager-Rose Wilson in particular) and Jon Kent. Personally, I think he worked a lot less when paired up with his own father, rather than Dick Grayson. To me, that accounts for the whole Grant Morrison writing Damian (being better) than Peter Tomasi writing Damian.

    And again, thanks for playing the trailer!

    1. I’m glad you like Damian, Derek, and feel passionate enough to defend him. I think you and I had a similar conversation at Heroes Con while you kept me company waiting to talk to Jerry Ordway. It seems like fans are split pretty evenly on him, with most of us old guys disliking him. But you’re younger than me!

      But I’m going to die on that hill with the character. To me he’s the Cousin Oliver who was added to the series without need. What could Oliver do that Bobby couldn’t? Same for Damian and Tim. He displaced Tim, which is his biggest transgression, in my opinion. Tim is my second favorite Robin, and he was demoted to sub-sidekick. And I’m sorry, Red Robin is a stupid name for a super hero. Yum.


  13. It is great to have Knightcast back as both Chris and Ryan have the knack of putting interesting questions to the audience, such as whether Barr’s Year 2 is a proper sequel to Miller’s Year 1. Thematically, no. However, to be honest, while Miller’s story is great, for me personally, I prefer my Batman to go up against his rogue gallery rather than go down the gritty route set up in Year One. Unless the mob bosses have some character, like the Roman in Year One or Boss Thorne, having the Mob go up against Batman often leads to pretty dull stories. So Barr’s aesthetic would be what I would lean more towards, the colourful and over the top characters for Batman to go up against, like the Reaper.

    Thinking on it though, you could get to that stage from a start in Year One. Year Two (and I use the terminology of Years here, even though with that pesky timeline, if would be a lot more condensed – perhaps Act One and Act Two would be better?) should be the rise of the super villain. Then, Year Three (or Act Three if you prefer), would therefore become the Long Halloween/Dark Victory Saga, with the Crime Bosses making their last rise against Batman and the new super villains before meeting their defeat, and ending with the incorporation of Robin into the Batman mythos. That would be my head canon on the early years of the Batman.

    Year Two is an interesting enough story though, but it does have that one flaw, Batman deciding to use a gun to fight crime. As commented in the podcast and above, this does not jibe with the Batman character that we know now. The only way I could justify this is that it is still Batman in the early years and maybe he still has the childish notion in the head that crime can be stopped dead in its tracks and it is up to Batman to take whatever steps that are necessary to halt it in the quickest way possible. It is not the only story that Bruce makes such an immediate leap without considering the consequences – Denny O’Neill’s Venom had Bruce react to a few defeats by taking the Venom drug straight away without considering the effect on him. I guess, psychologically, Bruce is still stuck as a child and wishes to settle matters by whatever means necessary, no matter how silly it seems on mature consideration.

    It is good you acknowledge the death of Len Wein – I was going over some of his old stories following the release of Micheal Bailey and Andrew Leyland’s Overlooked Dark Knight and some of the stories crafted were amazing. I especially liked the fact that he was not afraid to bring other villains that would not be associated with Batman, like Hawkman’s Gentleman Ghost or Flash’s Captain Boomerang. I also loved his run as editor, Doug Moench’s stories of The pre-crisis Batman, moving from Batman to Detective, are a seamless run of good stories and bubbling sub-plots, all steered by Mr Wein.

    Great podcast and looking forward to the next one.

  14. This was a story I only flipped through briefly in trade and never did a thorough read on because I could tell just from a skim that I didn’t like it for a multitude of reasons (though for the record my initial gripe was the fact that the Reaper screams FEAR THE REAPER! every time he shows up.)

    So again with the excessive focus on the fact that the timeline doesn’t match. I did my rant last time about the extent of my not caring, so I’ll acknowledge that it in fact doesn’t fit and leave it at that.

    The thing is, there are some good ideas in this that I think it could have been made to work. So take the Reaper. I actually don’t have an issue with the idea that there was a masked vigilante in Gotham before Batman, BUT I think if you’re going to do that it needs to be from around the turn of the century. Think of a Jack the Ripper style mystique around a guy who gutted criminals. That would fix a whole lot of issues around this character’s existence prior to this story, at least for me.

    Secondly, not only do I not take issue with the idea of Bruce having at some point considered using a gun, I actually think there’s a lot of meat to a story where he comes dangerously close on being on the other side of the gun that cut down his parents. But, I’ll say again, I’m ok with Bruce considering a gun. But not Batman. It’s a story, a dark turn, a near tragedy that can be part of his journey towards putting on the cowl but once he has made the choice it needs to be among his founding principles. This is why it’s ok that Bruce almost shoots Joe Chill in Batman Begins: because he’s not Batman yet.

    Oh, and I’ll plug it again. Ryan, your whole thing about Bruce not being able to have closure and still be Batman made me want to remind you to watch the Gotham episode from season 2, This Ball of Mud and Meanness. It’s a fairly stand alone episode and hearing your feelings on this matter I REALLY want to hear your feelings on that episode. I’ll even go so far as to say that if you do, I’ll stop bringing up Gotham in the comments… I may still defend it if somebody ELSE brings it up though. I’m not responsible for that.

  15. I am very late to the game so apologies.

    I loved this series when it came out and I picked it up off the shelf. Part of it was the dynamic art and cover. (Yes, back then Batman wielding a gun was so striking that a static image like this still resonated). But part of it was that this was a bit of a return to norm from Year One. This wasn’t grim and gritty and grounded. This was a bit more garish.

    And for me, even as a teen, I knew that there was no way that DC was going to turn their back on the more gaudy aspects of the mythos. We were always going to have Killer Moth and Calendar Man and Signalman. Those guys couldn’t (and shouldn’t) exist in the Miller-verse. But they were going to live in DC and this felt like a baby step towards the usual. The Reaper isn’t Egghead … he could exist in a Miller-style world.

    I also loved the fact that this book include Thompkins and eventually Joe Chill. These were characters I grew up with. Chill being gunned down by his men when he reveals he ‘created’ Batman in a Silver Age story was head canon for me (where the heck did I read the back then? Batman 40s-70s? A digest?). So I was glad Barr brought him and that story back too.

    Now when I read it, perhaps because I read things way more critically, I see the plot holes and continuity gaffes which you guys reviewed so well. I’m glad I have the trade. I reread it now and then. I do marvel at the art (even the McFarlane stuff a bit). But this isn’t Year One. It’s not even in the same time zone.

  16. I will be precise with my complaints. They are all on Barr. The biggest is the damn gun. In the story, and in the story behind the story, the gun that was used to murder the Waynes has become a fetish object. Barr can’t let it go. Apparently Davis couldn’t let it go. And Bruce can’t let it go. It is bad enough that Joe Chill conveniently leaves his weapon behind. It is worse that young Bruce takes it. And keeps it! And builds a special spring-loaded storage space for it! In the portrait of his parents!
    Furthermore, this weapon, which (presumably) has not been used in nearly twenty years, is in perfect working condition! This story is nothing but a forced set-up to get to “Batman with a gun.” Not just “a” gun, but “that” gun. You guys commented that many of Barr’s Batman stories seemed to be written this way. That is, trying to force these characters into specific story points. For instance, the girl. Not only is she related to the big bad, AND she’s best friends with Bruce Wayne’s only friend, she’s leaving tomorrow to become a nun! Not going to graduate school, not joining the Peace Corps, not going to Rabbinical School, or even a ministry, she’s going to become a nun. And probably some 19th century-type of convent that pretty much ignores the reforms in the Catholic Church.
    Back to the gun. Batman gets beat up and barely escapes with his life. Okay, Bat-writers, what does he do next? Research his opponent? (Active 20 years ago, so there ought to lots of stuff at GCPD HQ, and the archives at the Gotham Gazette.) Re-stock his utility belt with smoke bombs and knockout gas? (He had them last year.) Patiently track his quarry and use his opponents strengths against him? Nope. He goes for the fetish.
    Chris, you stated a couple of times that you don’t want to knock these stories all the time. And you’ve both mentioned how sometimes the comics we used to love don’t stand up to close scrutiny. The thing is we, Ryan, and Chris and all who listen, like these comics, and characters, and concepts. We really appreciate them, and when characters we like are made to do things that seem out-of-place, or contradict the traits we found endearing, well that feels like we’ve been cheated.
    Besides, I’m pretty sure that O’Neil or one of his compatriots had already written a Batman story where the villain tries to manipulate Batman into using a firearm.
    One more thing re: Len Wein. He wrote or edited many of my favorite Batman tales. Here’s a salute to his four-part “Bat-Murderer” story in Detective Comics c. 1974.

  17. And a big amen to everything Ward says. This is just one bad gimmick story.

    I’m also one who doesn’t like Batman not being Gotham’s first vigilante, it totally dilutes his impact… I want him to be the spark for the city getting weird. I don’t want earlier Heroes, I don’t want a city that was cursed at the foundations, or demons and tribes. That’s all rubbish.

  18. Thanks, among other things, for the Len Wein tribute. I think I can announce it now, Gimme That Star Trek is doing an episode on his Gold Key comics early in the new year. Just to show how far-ranging his work was.

  19. To start with, I appreciate that I am not alone in my preference for the ideas of Batman Year Two eschewing the “more grounded” type of story. Batman is a major part of the larger, crazier DC universe. The idea that he exists in his own little bubble, isolated from the magic and super science of the rest of the universe is a no-sell for me. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. Batman can’t exist in the shared universe only when it’s convenient and be the only hero in the world when it’s convenient.

    On another controversial note; I am an older fan and I do like Damian. Yes, he’s a little jerk, but I want him to be a jerk. It’s a fun dynamic change, especially once you apply the caveat that all of his bravado is nothing more than a kid pretending to be tough. This kid is never honest about his feelings, but he’s kind of a terrible liar about it when you know him. It’s why Dick, Jon, Jason, Bruce, and especially Alfred all see through him. It’s seeing his earnest desire to do good and those rare moments of vulnerability where he’s just a kid with people like Maya Ducard that makes it all worthwhile. I also like that he brings a bit of friction to the family dynamic as opposed to an ascended fanboy like Tim which probably isn’t helped by (This is going to be even more controversial) I don’t like Tim Drake. He’s not interesting to me. Dick is the ray of sunshine. Jason is the son Bruce loved the most and who he feels he failed. Barbara is the one who made herself. Steph is another ray of sunshine, but she’s also willing to rebel if she needs to. Damian is the brat. Tim is… Tim’s just sort of there.

    Maybe I’m just conditioned to more easily accept a character like Damian because I have a background with anime and that sort of loving-but-dishonest-about-it character type that he represents in my head. It also helps that he’s grumpy when I read Super Sons and I get to enjoy him and Jon being the worst, best friends ever; or that the best, worst friends ever? Either way, their dynamic is delightful.

    And now to my last point. This one might be the most crazy. I think Bruce Wayne’s secret identity might be the worst kept secret in Gotham City. I’m pretty sure every cop, escort, model etc. already knows that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same guy, and they’re just not saying anything. Now I’m sure this starts and ends as just my own little fanon, but I tend to think Bruce isn’t as good at maintaining his secret as he likes to think he is and everyone else is too invested in him doing what he does to stop him. After all, how many times have we seen a variation on “Jim Gordon’s known for years” before we accept that Batman’s not as good at keeping his secret as writers claim?

    Anyway, that’s enough sacrilege for one post. I enjoy the heck out of the show. Keep up the good work

  20. Just finished my semi-epic re-listen to all 17 episodes of KNIGHTCAST. I enjoyed it even more the second time around.

    I have fond memories of buying these comics back in the ’80s and mostly enjoying them. While the Post-Crisis BATMAN & DETECTIVE both had raging continuity problems, especially in regard to Year One/Year Two, they still seemed to be telling stories about the same Batman I had been reading since the mid- ’70s. That would soon change in the aftermath of the death of Jason Todd, but at the point you guys are covering it was still possible for The Batman to smile and Robin to make terrible puns and it all seemed like business-as-usual.

    I had to sell most of my “floppies” (There ya go, Chris!) about 15 years ago and have been slowly replacing some of my favorites in hardcover & trade paperbacks whenever they become available and finances permit.

    This month I picked up the new DARK KNIGHT DETECTIVE collection reprinting the Barr/Davis run and I had such a great time revisiting those stories that it inspired me to order the companion volume BATMAN: SECOND CHANCES and the long out-of-print FEAR THE REAPER trade.

    So now I can really follow along with Ryan & Chris as they prowl the mean streets of Gotham City! Looking forward to getting some new episodes of KNIGHTCAST soon.

    “Groovy” Mike

  21. I like Damien as Robin to Dick Grayson as Batman. I prefer sidekicks to be adopted sons like biological sons.

    I hate the Teen Titans cartoon. As an Anime fan it offends me when people describe it as Anime like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *