Batman Knightcast 6: BATMAN #403

Ryan Daly and Chris Franklin review BATMAN #403, which continues the story of Tommy Carma, the imposter Batman. Also, listener feedback from episode 5.

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Music from the Batman and Batman Returns original motion picture soundtracks by Danny Elfman. Additional music: “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club.

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30 responses to “Batman Knightcast 6: BATMAN #403

  1. Ryan, that was the Warner Books edition, I have that too. DKR, Watchmen and Saga of the Swamp Thing were the foundation for DC’s trade business, and released with different covers from the Warner editions.

    Clint was a spin-off from the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, itself a parody of TMNT, which again parodied Frank Miller. There were hundreds of those “Three Adjectives and an Animal” parody comics, most of which never had more than a slightly clever title. Some of the later ARBBH issues featured art by a pre-Sandman Sam Kieth and Ty Templeton (not together).

    Very Dick Tracy with the record company bad guy named Spindle.

    That “Vicky Vale” soundbite got old very fast. Glad you’re not doing it any more. It could have made a good running gag if you did it once per episode when she appears, but … no.

    They probably have a whole wing at Arkham just for people that claim they’re Batman.

    Chris makes an excellent point. Even back then, rudimentary biometrics existed, and WayneTech and Batman would have an advanced version for the Cave and the Car.

      1. I vaguely remember reading that Warner, which did DC’s bookstore distribution back then, wanted covers that were more “book” and less “comic”.

  2. Well that Vicki vale bit was fun good thing it’s a one off.

    Another good episode this stoyline is intersting
    I feel this would have been a good episode for the animated series if they had adapted it the themes feel really right up there ally abd I couid imagine it being called karma as title

    I actually like Arkham in the outskirts of Gotham as it makes it a place that where these villains are put there’s a sense the city wants to forget about them but they keep getting out couid also tie in the haunted house element that Morrison brought as a really Erie place that no one is really sure if there is some dark force there.
    also I couid see that reason the villains keep getting out as the city really dosent want to spend a lot of money on it abd it is constantly needed to be updated so even if they get money from donations from Wayne it wouldn’t be enough abd the villains found those places where they can get out.


    Story-wise, why the hell does Batman not invest in a remote kill switch for the Batmobile?!?

    Also, I wonder what the property values are around Arkham Asylum? I assume rock bottom, because the minute someone breaks out, they leave a trail of bodies. You try and staff a Blockbuster franchise in Gotham when the Killer Moth or Croc are killing your part-timers every other week. Maybe I kinda buy that AA touches Wayne Manor, Bruce probably bought up thousands of acres for pennies on the dollar.

    Great episode boys!

  4. Oh, and Ryan–I think the needle drop this episode was a bit of a stretch, but who cares when the song is that catchy? On a related note, how has there never been a super villain called Karma Chameleon?!?

      1. Now we’ll never know what this episode would’ve sounded like with “I’m Not the One” by the Cars playing at the end.

  5. Fellas,
    Couple of general questions:
    1) As readers, is the layout of Gotham important to you? Are you fans of the No Man’s Land approach where it was all spelled out or do you prefer things to be wherever they serve the story best? For Franklin, because he’s old school: were you a fan of the Metropolis is the city by day/Gotham is the city by night thing?
    2) Who is your favorite Bruce Wayne? The Dandy Fop? The publicly sort-of-absent-minded guy who surprises everyone in the Wayne Boardroom with moments of brilliant clarity? The BvS one? Keaton’s?

  6. That Demon mini by Matt Wagner is the menu item that sounds like a perfect blend of delicious ingredients but ends up being nearly completely inedible, leading to you throwing it at the subway tile wall behind the chef and then getting banned from the restaurant until new owners take over.

    It stays in my collection because it explains how Harry ended up in hell which is a big part of the Alan Grant ongoing set up.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I mistook this for the Hellcast. As you were.

  7. Max Allan Collins really didn’t think much of Batmobile security did he – first he has the thing taken for a joyride by a nutter, then he has the tyres nicked.

    I cannot wait until we get past these issues, there’s street level and then there’s ‘about as interesting as something very dull indeed’. Batman without any of the fantastical elements is pointless (see the Nolan films – or not, I couldn’t get past the first borefest). Cannell TV shows had a certain bearability when starring a charmer like James Garner, but I don’t want mundanity in my superhero comics.

  8. Gotham’s tectonic plates keep shifting and it’s possible the Asylum moved close to the Manor once. That’s what happens when you build a city over an abyss.

    I should know. I live in a city built on a swamp. Like New Orleans it’s sinking, man, and I don’t wanna swim.

  9. Out of my three pack, I remember preferring the art on #402, but the story in #403. It struck me as odd that Collins would pick up the false Batman thread so quickly, but given my difficulty in acquiring all the parts of multi-chapter stories, I was glad to grab both tales in one package. I liked the journey through whatsisface’s madness, Vale’s criticism of Batman to Bruce’s face, and the poignant ending. Denys Cowan did solid work here, and I wonder if this wasn’t ultimately his audition for The Question. I liked this cover better than #401, at least.

    Rob’s praise of Alan Davis on Detective reminds me of how much I would have preferred him on the second Aquaman mini-series instead. I guess Batman kind of needed Davis in 1986, but I feel Aquaman would have benefited more from the same very brief run, and Year Two with McFarlane was just around the corner anyway.

  10. I have to confess that Jason Todd’s early years are a significant gap in my DC knowledge. The fact that he originally had a distinctive costume is news to me. Would you be able to point me to an image?

  11. Happy to see the nod to Uncanny 213, a childhood eye-opener to the X-Men. Davis and Neary present possibly the best Wolverine/Sabretooth skirmish.

    I’m alright with the ease in which Tommy procured a genuine Bat-suit because I’m not a big fan of Batman donning a cape and cowl over his Iron Man suit. I remember the blue/grey/oval Batman being more blue-collar. Instead of sticking his costume in a fancy hyperbaric chamber to submerge until needed, Bruce had spare uniforms ready for whenever it was time to work. After the Batmobile, he was probably more upset about the loss of a utility belt.

  12. Great episode. In regards to Bruce Wayne taking Vicky out for dinner at 3am, perhaps Mr Wayne arranged the restaurant to remain open longer since Vicky had to work late? One of their mutual relationship similarities that they both work late hours? I think that is a good no prize :)

  13. Re: Teen Titans and Outsiders x-over with Robin taking the lead over Batman

    Preach on Chris Franklin! Great story and IMO defining moment for Dick Grayson that has gotten lost in the solo-Nightwing years.

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