Batman Knightcast 35: DETECTIVE COMICS #402 and BATMAN #453

A new episode of Batman Knightcast: NOW WITH WINGS! Ryan Daly and Chris Franklin continue to chronicle two different trilogies starring the Caped Crusader and some of his deadliest rogues. First, in DETECTIVE COMICS #402, Batman encounters Doctor Langstrom again, whose monstrous transformation into the Man-Bat will bring him right into Batman's home. In BATMAN #453, The Riddler doubles down on the evil, endangering more babies and now dogs, too. What's his goal? Why is he so much crazier this time? And what does it have to do the Ceremony of the Bat? So many questions--that won't be answered until next episode.

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Music from the Batman and Batman Returns original motion picture soundtracks by Danny Elfman. Additional music: “Atlantic City" by The Band.

Thanks for listening!

15 responses to “Batman Knightcast 35: DETECTIVE COMICS #402 and BATMAN #453

  1. I love that you guys kept coming back to B:TAS. It just proves this theory that it is the definitive version of Batman in any medium.

    Also, the talk about your experiences with B:TAS warmed my heart, since most in our age range have those distinct memories. That show was a touchstone of a generation, and a shared experience.

  2. Mr. Franklin & Mr. Daly,
    Thanks for another enjoyable episode and also for correcting my breach of etiquette. If I were to cross-talk during class, I would tell J. David Weter I concur with his assessment of B:TAS, but now I know cross-talk would be wrong.

    I’ll try to get these comments out quickly so I don’t forget an assignment like last month. Regarding ‘TEC #402:

    Alfred says, “Master Bruce! If you’re going to go around recognizing chemical compounds straightaway, why on Earth did I throw out my back moving this deucedly heavy Bat-mass spectrometer into the cave?”

    I’m thrilled to see traumatic brain injury receive proper respect in this story. For all I know, Robbins and Adams could have been the first creators in popular fiction to give it such respect. As you point out, entertainment was rife with bonks on the head in those days. I’m imagining Li’l Anj, surrounded by comics and medical texts, reading this and crying out, “Finally!”

    Among all these coincedences, Man-Bat’s “little brother” leading him to THE Batcave bothered me least of all. I could easily see it being the cave with the highest bat population in the Gotham area.

    I agree on how refreshing it is see clumsiness in the middle of the action. I just purchased a collection of part of Englehart’s run on Captain America. In Steve Rogers’ first fight as Nomad, he trips on his cape, enabling the bad guys to escape. In doing so, he may have inspired a later scene in The Incredibles. There are obvious allusions to Batman earlier in the book. As Steve contemplated what kind of hero to become, he remarked that despite the dark costume material he acquired, he wasn’t trying to terrify anyone. He also worried that if a bat flew in the room at that moment, he’d be in trouble.

    Regarding TEC’ #453:
    Nope. Still gross.

    That’s it for now, gentlemen. By the way, if there’s a knock on the door during next month’s episode, that’ll be my pizza being delivered. ‘Til then!

    1. Auuggh! I meant Batman #453! I mixed it up just like Paul. But there’s no reason to be down on myself because of it, darn it!

      While I’m on the topic, I had another thought about Batman #453. Ryan, I totally understand and often participate in the “I read it and enjoyed it when I was a kid, and therefore my critical standards do not apply” waiver program. I was just too old when this one came out for it to apply.

  3. (If you guys liked how KFC altered their acronym to apologise for the Great Chicken Shortage of 2018, you’re really going to get a kick out of the way clothing store “French Connection UK” has – for years – leveraged their initials in advertising over here! )

  4. What would Man Possum’s powers be? To play dead until his opponent gets bored and wanders away?

    I have not read the other two-parter but from the pages you posted I really like Kieron Dwyer’s work. I don’t remember liking it all that much when he first came out, but this Batman has a cool combo of Adams’ weight and Breyfogle’s fluidity.

    I had not heard there was a Batman stop motion movie in the works! I hope it follows the plot (and look) of Mad Monster Party, with Ra’s Al Ghul inviting all the Bat villains to his mountain retreat. Plus musical numbers.

  5. I remember being greatly amused by the existence of the villain called Man Bat. Not sure I’ve ever read a great story that focused on him, though I don’t think I’ve never read these original stories.

    Dark Night, Dark City was an epic story. Glad it’s quietly appreciated by those in the know rather than relentlessly homaged.

    Interestingly, the current Batman run isn’t is dark as Chris thinks. A recent arc by Tynion IV included one of the best defenses of Batman’s policy of non-killing, with the reform of Harley Quinn being a key piece of evidence. And I’ll go on record that Harley fully on the good side is more fun and less tedious than her anti-hero role.

    1. Paul, how’s the pacing in the current Batman comics? The last time I dipped my toe in the water was during Tom King’s run. I liked his direction — and it sounds like I might with Tynion IV — but I got decompression sickness after a while.

        1. The pacing after Joker War is great. There’s a lot happening and Tynion with Guillem March is creating a ton of new characters. It’s easy to mock from the outside, but reading it is fun.

  6. And now you’ve reached the first Man-Bat story I ever read. I keep picturing the fight in the Bat-Cave, and that panel where Batman’s falling but uses the lights to slow down before reaching the ground. Such a beautiful fluid drawing. LOVE!

  7. It’s weird. The summer and early fall of 1990 fell during one of my (as some guy might call it) Batman phases, so I remember buying the Dark Night, Dark City storyline and I remember reading it and I remember thinking it was weird, but I have zero memory of what happened during it. I even read those issues again in 2003 as part of my massive Batman reading project where I read everything (including family and side books) from 1986 to 2002 and I still don’t remember this. And the story sounds neat, so you think it would stick in my head. But, alas, no. Enjoying your coverage of those issues as well as you Man-Bat talk. I have always had a kind of “meh” opinion of Man Bat, except on the animated series and the story reprinted in The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, but, again, your coverage has me itching to read these books.

    Great job as always, gents. Keep up the good work.

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