Batman Knightcast 24: BATMAN #413 and DETECTIVE COMICS #580

Chris Franklin and Ryan Daly review BATMAN #413, a fill-in issue by a creative team that would've been far, far better than the last one; and then DETECTIVE COMICS #580, the first installment of yet another Two-Face two-parter.

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Music from the Batman and Batman Returns original motion picture soundtracks by Danny Elfman. Additional music: “Eyes Without a Face" by Billy Idol; "Turning Japanese" by The Vapors.

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9 responses to “Batman Knightcast 24: BATMAN #413 and DETECTIVE COMICS #580

  1. Mid-listen, but I want to say I watched the Masters of the Universe movie a couple years ago and it’s everything you want it to be. I chronicled the experience as a sort of live-blog over several posts. It starts here:
    And ends here

  2. I know this is *supposed* to be a Batman podcast, but my favorite part of the episode was the tangent on the “Worthy Cap” action figure, and Marvel Legends in general.

    Like Chris, I’m a big “toy guy” myself, but I’m starting to get to point where I really have to justify buying “new” action figures. (like Marvel Legends) and sooner or later, I’m going to have to choose between just collecting vintage or modern… Because I can’t do both.

  3. When I bought Detective 580 off the stands it was a nice history lesson for me. I didn’t know anything about the Paul Sloan Two-Face at the time. I also hadn’t read the newspaper strip story where Harvey/Two-Face was an actor. Really cool that Bill Finger (probably, could have been someone else I guess) managed to merge the actor Two-Face into the regular Batman story line with Sloan. Honestly, it was a lot better than Batman year two, although I agree it didn’t match up to some of Barr’s other stuff. I did like it better than the Joker/Catwoman story, which I hated. Also, in retrospect, it does suffer in comparison to what comes after it, too.

    As for Batman 413, I didn’t like the cover for one simple reason : Batman isn’t on it! The story is ok, but like you guys said, it was better than the Collins stuff and in my opinion, better than the Starlin stuff that comes after. Strangely, I love the cover to 414, but 414 is one of my most hated issues of Batman. Can’t judge a comic by its cover!

  4. Fun show, my little chickadees.

    I love that 413 cover it’s so colourful, and while we have the spooky Japanese figure, it’s like Batman is the demon. It may help that I don’t have the Transformers reference to distract my tiny mind, I’ve never so much as seen a toy never mind read a comic or watched a film. The cover is so stylish and different to the norm, Ed Hannigan really was on fire back then. Anyway, we differ, but Chris, you don’t have to apologise for not liking something.

    Regarding something Chris said, I hate to speak up for MAC but of course it’s easier to be consistent with characters when you’re just writing a single issue than when you’re penning several.

    Seconded – Power Man/Iron Fist is indeed awesome.

    The Detective Comics cover is awful. It’s like Bingham has gone for a movie or paperback approach but not pulled it off. It’s the Two-Face figure, he’s too scrunched up.

    Jim Baikie, who died a couple of years ago, was a Scottish artist best known for his 2000ad strip Skizz with Alan Moore. Annie Halfacree is a Brit too, she lettered various things at Marvel UK.

    As for the interiors, while the callback to the Paul Sloane business was fun, neither story is very memorable, I think I’d rather be reading about Magpie. Still, it’s all better than the Jim Starlin stuff that’s upcoming. As for Son of the Demon, never read it, I cannot stand the al-Ghuls, they’re just second-rate Bond villains.

  5. Impressive Podcast. Most Impressive. Yep He-Man was a good movie. For what it was. So it was a 4th world movie basically? Cool …so James Tolkan is playing Turpin then. That kind of works. Guess that makes Dolph Orion. Frank as Darkside, etc. It makes since. Ah the cover is fine. The Samaria is interesting. The Ninja mask is cool, but Ninja’s never existed as we see them. The costume came from Japanese plays that had the men in black look to move set peace’s. And the audience learned to ignore them.

    Thus when one acted as a Ninja it shocked the crowd. Real Ninjas were just any one trained to kill. Some were Samurai that killed that time when needed. Or any one who could sneak in. Mostly warring cloths of the time. Since some one running around in all black would be noted. Samurai are a lot closer Mostly solders but well trained and changed into the honor bound warriors. With the poems and code of Basido. Anyway looks like a cool pod cast. Did I mention I have a U Tube channel? That’s Liz Anne Oswalt. Kind of a fun little mystery. I’;m not a big fan of the writer, but I like what she did with Typhoid Mary.

    And I like ware Robin went from her.

  6. Great podcast Ryan and Chris. To be honest though, I was not too enamoured with the Batman story. I felt with was a basic enough story, and the whole bit with the Japanese criminal at the start of the story seemed unnecessary padding, especially when he did not appear again. It was an ok Batman story but not great.

    The Detective Comics story was good, except as you said, the art probably let it down a little. I remember Ed Brubaker brought back Paul Sloane as Paul Sloan in his Detective Comics run in a great storyline that involved a lot of the rogues, including Two-Face. May be a while before you get to that story though!

    Look forward to the next instalment of the Knightcast.

  7. “So you wanna talk about Batman, now?” “Sigh, I guess.” A hilarious moment, because dang it, you guys were having such an interesting conversation about the other comics from this month, I was fine if you wanted to keep going a little longer. And oh my goodness, that New Cap/Captain storyline is a classic. Anyone else notice the parallel in JLA/Avengers when Superman held Mjolnir briefly, commenting he could barely control it like Cap did in that issue of Thor? So awesome.

    Hey, I guess there’s more Thor to discuss. Why else would we have Simonson’s Kurse on that comic’s cover? What? Oh, THAT’S the samurai! Never mind. I read it back then, and had forgotten this issue enough to think Dwyer’s first pro work was on Cap. It’s a nice preview of what’s to come from him. And I’ll take a Jo Duffy story any time. I need to go hunting for more of her stuff.

    The second Two-Face is a clever twist, and I didn’t know about the history before reading this story, so it was fun at the time. But yeah, there’s some bonkers weapons and countermeasures in this story. I’m used to it from Barr, so I rolled with it.

    Now, I have twin daughters, but not identical, so thankfully they couldn’t be recruited by Two-Face. When you started discussing that point, I overthought it big time.
    “Maybe there’s only a couple sets of twins that work for Two-Face, but they deliberately change their hair to look different each time.”
    “Do the twins work for other criminals, but never the same one at the same time unless it’s Two-Face?”
    “Would Two-Face make his goons get plastic surgery to look like twins?”
    “In today’s world, is there a whole section on Craigslist devoted to hiring twins for *big opportunities* in Gotham?”

    Dang, I enjoy hearing you guys together on the same podcast! Guess I’m hooked.

  8. Listening to this podcast was my first experience with both of these stories. As I was listening to the “museum robbery” plot, I thought about it from my position as someone who works at a museum. Even before you concluded the outline, I was thinking, “Why would anyone rob an exhibit while it’s on display? It would be much easier to rob a traveling exhibit anywhere else along the journey. Call Moxxon Trucking!” It should have been obvious to Batman that it was an inside job. Even disregarding the limited number of suspects.
    Now that we don’t have Mike W. Barr to kick around anymore, I’d like to share some thoughts. First, the “Batman AND Robin” thing. This was rather a novelty at that time. Batman, and Detective Comics, had featured the title character without his sensational character find of 1940 for a decade and a half. With the editorial decision to return to the Dynamic Duo, Barr et al. went back to the well and tried to create their own stories in the tradition of Finger, Sprang, and Infantino. This not only jarred with what we Batman readers had been used to, but joined with the decision to “re-cast” Jason Todd, the carefully established world of Batman lost its cohesiveness.
    I accept that I am a “pre-Crisis” DC fan, and that it’s easy blame “the Crisis” for anything one doesn’t like about DC comics. In the case of Batman, the lack of a definitive “starting over” point muddied the waters for too long. For instance, many of the Batman and Robin stories you’ve covered on this podcast have been pretty generic Batman and Robin stories, with a “default” Robin, i.e., Dick Grayson’s Robin. Editor O’Neil and his writers never convincingly established a personality for their Robin, or his relationships with Batman, Alfred, Gordon, etc. Which leads me to my major complaint about Barr’s Batman stories. There were no personalities. Barr likes writing mysteries. He did nothing with the characters, which was a big waste of the legacy he took on. Starting in the late 1970s, the editors (Levitz, Wein) and writers (Englehart, Wein, Conway) carefully established and fleshed out characters like Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Jim Gordon, Selina Kyle, etc. They introduced new characters that became permanent fixtures of the Batman world like Lucius Fox, Julia Pennyworth, Arthur Reeves, Harvey Bullock, Hamilton Hill, etc. Wein was particularly adept at introducing characters and laying down blueprints for future issues in his stories. Barr did not do any of this. That may have been a deliberate choice, in order to create “timeless” stories, but I missed that sense of a greater Gotham. Even Doug Moench, though I did not care for his Bat-tales, explored the relationship of Bruce, Jason and the Gotham City Social Works Office!
    They had a Jason Todd. Written by Conway, Moench, and even Alan Moore for one story, he had a distinct character and personality. (Moore got him particularly well!) They introduced a “new” Jason Todd, and nobody, least of all the readers, knew anything about him. His dad was killed by Two-Face? He never knew that? Was he close to his dad? Did his dad love him? Did his dad teach him how to steal? Did his dad abandon him? Anything?!!
    All right. On with the podcast!

  9. Maybe you’ve addressed this on the show, but I just read the issue for myself.. have you considered leaping ahead and covering “Retroactive 1980s Batman”? It’s a Mike W Barr tale featuring the Reaper, Batman, and Jason Todd. It’s clearly intended to slot in retroactively right after Year Two.

    Just a thought. Loving the show!!

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