Batman Knightcast 37: BATMAN #253 and #259

Continuing from yesterday's episode of FW Presents, Ryan Daly and Chris Franklin celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Shadow's print debut. On this episode of Batman Knightcast, the fellas showcase BATMAN #253 and #259, both of which guest star The Shadow.

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Music from the Batman and Batman Returns original motion picture soundtracks by Danny Elfman. Additional music: “The Shadow Suite" by Jerry Goldsmith; "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship.

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13 responses to “Batman Knightcast 37: BATMAN #253 and #259

    1. I did remember THAT, thank goodness. It makes for a great little story beat in the Mr. and Mrs. Superman story that covers the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle on Earth-Two as well!


  1. Chris somebody has to do SOMETHING on Joker Clown Prince of crime! IS it perfect? But it beat the living Hell out the comic code while never quite breaking it and THATS what made me wanna be a writer.

  2. Another excellent show, ta very much! I’ve never read either Shadow story (indeed, any Shadow story), but had heard of them and I always imagined they must be epic tales, with a meeting of two giants. I had a look at them for this show. The first story, in the desert, was definitely the lesser of the two – the Shadow is really unimpressive, an off-stage laugh with lots of bullets. As you say, he didn’t really add anything. Hippies playing Speed Buggy. Not scary.

    Am I the only one who can’t see the Shadow on covers, look at his schnozz, and giggle at his catchline, ‘The Shadow knows’?

    So that amazingly good ink on the banknotes, I’d have gone looking for one Dick Giordano.

    As Chris likes to note the spelling mistakes, I think he missed ‘dowtown Gotham’ in the first story.

    The hood who was leaning on a lamppost, OK, he should have been called George Formby, but O’Neil goes for ‘Al Gromm’. A joke for Al Milgrom?

    I do like the idea of a regular cast of actors playing the supporting characters throughout Batman comics – I think the older Mildred Miller was played by the same contract player who gave us retired opera singer Cathy in Detective Comics #397.

    I noticed that Batman 253 had ‘From the secret annals of the Batman’ by the credits, while 259 went for ‘From the combined files of The Batman and the Shadow’. Was this a Shadow thing, I’ve not noticed such melodrama preciously.

    The Shadow’s role in the story didn’t make much sense, but obviously Denny was a fan and the Shadow series needed a boost. I just can’t get behind a gun worshipper, I suppose, and again, he doesn’t seem very impressive. I think I need to read a proper Shadow story, with Margot and his helpers.

    I enjoyed Chris’ chat about Irv Novick hugely, more please.

    Of the two covers, the first was the best, and I like the brown background, it was unusual.

  3. Great show, guys!

    Informative, too, because I don’t think I knew that The Shadow ever made a *second* appearance in BATMAN, or any DCU comic for that matter. I always assumed issue #253 was the backdoor pilot and then THE SHADOW series started.

    Regarding Chris’ comment about avowed hippie Denny O’Neil dunking on hippies, I would say that often the harshest criticisms come from the people within that very same group, because they recognize the most negative aspects of others in themselves.

    I know I say this about pretty much everything, but man it would have been cool if DC had done a Shadow treasury like they did for Dick Tracy. Kaluta and Frank Robbins at treasury size, woooo!

  4. Great episode again, men. Thank you. My wife pointed out that even if she doesn’t hear whose comment you’re reading during the feedback, she can tell which ones are mine by the sheer number of clauses per sentence. I’ll try to do better.

    Always wear eye protection when fighting crime.

    So, I understand Batman didn’t want the handgun. Did he have to just throw it aside where anyone could pick it up? I’m really tired of the trope where the hero dramatically throws his gun aside and walks away. It’s so irresponsible. Daniel Craig, I’m looking at you.

    I used to have the same negative opinion regarding accretion on the simplest and greatest origin in comics — i.e., who the Batman is and how he came to be. But I don’t mind anymore. In real life, a hundred influential moments shape the big turns in our paths. We don’t remember all of them, and we certainly don’t relate all of them when someone asks, “So, Jim, why’d you become a dirigible pilot?” So Batman can have all those influences, too. You can still tell the origin with one panel of Crime Alley, one panel of Bruce training, and one panel in Thomas Wayne’s study.

    Thanks again, Chris and Ryan!

  5. I only just recently discovered this podcast while looking for a replacement for “Return to Cybertron”, which was cancelled in February, but I love it so far!

    Although as a Bat-Mite fan, I can’t help but wonder when you guys will cover the Bat-Mite stories like “Legend of the Dark Mite” & the one-shot special “Mitefall”, among others.

  6. Great episode. Finally catching up – I just want to add that I agree with Chris’s comments about Irv Novick. I think he is an excellent storyteller – and always enjoyed his stories growing up. Not my top artists like Aparo or Adams, but I knew I was getting quality when I saw his name. I do have to say that I liked him better on Batman than the Flash though. But only recently did I discover some of his golden age work. I read some of the Shield from public domain which were really very impressive. But I have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE his Brave and the Bold covers of the Silent Knight!

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