TreasuryCast #3 – Limited Collectors Edition C51: Batman

TREASURYCAST #3 - Limited Collectors' Edition C51: Batman's DAN GREENFIELD is back talking about treasury-sized Batman! This time it's LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION #C51, featuring the Ra's Al Ghul Saga by Denny O'Neil, Neal Adams, Irv Novick, and Dick Giordano!

Check out images from this comic by clicking here!

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21 responses to “TreasuryCast #3 – Limited Collectors Edition C51: Batman

  1. Wonderful episode fellas! I’ve only read these stories in the trades and now I realize I’ve been missing the full experience. I had the opportunity to have lunch with Denny O’Neill, his wife, & some others at an academic seminar a few years back and he could not have been nicer or more gracious. Your enthusiasm for this story is infectious. I do wish we would get back to this Batman more often as opposed to the humorless, near-psychotic “hero” who has come to predominate.

    I may have missed it, but who would Dan have cast as Batman & Robin during this era? Maybe Warren Beatty or Clint Eastwood as Batman?

    Here is the Oliver Queen vs. Ra’s duel mentioned in this episode:

  2. Well, it’s official now, this is definitely my favorite F&W podcast – and that’s not a knock at any of the other shows, I’ve been enjoying quite a few of them; but I’m just finding the discussions here so engaging, and they always get my mental wheels turning.
    Anyway, on the issue at hand: this is one of the many Treasuries for which I vividly recall seeing the house ads, but never saw on the magazine racks when I was a kid. If it had appeared, I know I would have begged my mom or dad to get it for me, because I totally agree with both of you about that cover: it’s gorgeous and captivating. I recall being fascinated by it just in the house ads. I wondered if Robin was really dead, and if that beautiful aloof woman in the background was perhaps his killer. Fast-forward over 30 years later, I made it a point to get the Tales of the Demon tpb that reprinted this cover.
    You’re both right about this being such a cinematic story, and that it would have made a great movie. It leads me to a question I’ve often asked: why wasn’t this story simply used as the template for any of the more modern Batman movies? The story is certainly better than most of the Bat-cinematic outings we’ve had thus far. Not to digress too much, but on a similar note I’ve always thought the secret to making a good, memorable Conan movie is to just take one of Howard’s original stories as adapted by Roy Thomas in the comics – they’re already story-boarded and everything in the pages of the 4-color comic or Savage Sword.
    By the way, on the casting for this hypothetical Batman v. Ra’s movie, while I think Christopher Lee and Caroline Munro aren’t bad choices for the al Ghuls, I always thought a slightly younger Peter Cushing, or even Vincent Price, would have been perfect to play Ra’s, while to me, given the way Adams drew her with such a willowy physique, Jane Seymour would have been a perfect Talia.
    Also, I definitely agree with Dan that the four issues included in this Treasury are the best of the entire original Ra’s story. Completist that I am, I appreciate having everything in the trade reprint, but I’ll readily acknowledge that you can fully enjoy it without the extra installments.
    To sort of reiterate: another good one, fellas. Keep ’em coming!

  3. What can I say? Another terrific episode about an awesome book with a wonderful guest. Dan, as usual, was a great guest for this material, bringing knowledge and passion for the Darknight Detective’s story.

    The whole Ra’s al Ghul saga is rightly one of the best extended Batman stories in the character’s long history. As much as I did enjoy the Christopher Nolan Batman films, it bums me out that we probably won’t get something like this adapted to the big screen anytime soon now. The art by Adams and Novick is already outstanding; I can only imagine how great it looks on the larger format Treasury scale. I’ll have to get this one eventually.

  4. Rob and Co.,
    Another great show, lads! Rob and Dan have re-sold me on something I already loved. Well done.

    Looking forward to more.

  5. Ooh phooey, you convince me I should finally read this story – maybe it’ll make me like Ra’a – and one issue in missing on ComiXology.

    Maybe Neal Adams swept past one of those Lamb’s Navy Rum magazine ads Caroline Munro appeared in, I imagine they were in US mags as well as UK ones… the ones with her dripping wet in a scuba outfit.

  6. I had this one as. Kid and loved it. It introduced me to Ra’s and to Talia (swoon).

    You guys hit all the right spots. Robin getting gunned down, Ra’s in the cave, Batman eventually beating up Ubu, Ra’s returning to life from the pit. Those images are all chiseled in my brain.

    But the part I love best is the sword fight. You are right that a cowled but shirtless aBatman should be ridiculous. But it all works perfectly.

    And Talia kissing Bats and slipping him the scorpion antidote that way. That’s my favorite part of my favorite part. As a kid, I could on,y think ‘wow’.

    Thanks for covering. Brought back memories!

  7. Fantastic episode! Speaking of alternate realities, I’m not sure Dan and I aren’t parallel universe dopplegangers, because I kept nodding my head to everything he said in this episode!

    I remember seeing the cover for this treasury in some of my earliest comics, and it freaked me out! Robin looked dead! Batman looked pissed! And who was this girl? And that creepy old guy?

    I picked up this issue sometime in the late 80s and have treasured it ever since. I read most of those stories here before getting the old Tales of the Demon TPB, and I have to agree this “cut” of the story is tighter and actually works better.

    I was so happy to hear I wasn’t the only one who saw so much Bond in these stories. I always think of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” as the theme song to the Ra’s saga. I can just see quick cuts to the the different panels during the “duh ta duh, duh ta duh, duh ta duh” sequence in the song. And of course the famous kiss during the nice violin solo toward the end. Lee has always been my go to Ra’s (with Terrence Stamp a close second, think about it), but Caroline Munro is a perfect Talia. As a Hammer guy, I approve!

    Speaking of that kiss, the BTAS guys did a great job adapting this into a two-parter, with a script from O’Neil on the first part. And they said “Raish”…so that’s how I say it!

    Anytime Dan wants to talk Batman, you let him Kelly!!!


    1. Neal Adams discussed this story on the latest episode of the comic book central podcast & he pronounced it “rahs” – the debate continues

  8. First, thanks for keeping me company at the gym. I was wondering what I would listen to in my effort to distract myself from the cardio and you and Dan provided me with a fun conversation.

    Feel free to use that as a pull quote. “BETTER THAN CARDIO!” – Michael Bailey

    In all seriousness I love this show. Like a lot. You can really tell that Rob loves these books and that enthusiasm is infectious. So infectious I have found myself searching eBay after each episode hoping to find an inexpensive copy of that episode’s subject. Usually I come away defeated because my God in heaven do people want some money for these treasuries.

    There’s another pull quote for you. “MAKES ME WANT TO SPEND MONEY!” – Michael Bailey

    I have always loved these initial Ra’s Al Ghul stories. I have them in a variety of formats including the awesome high quality reprint mini-series from the eighties and the equally awesome black and white reprint in the SHOWCASE PRESENTS BATMAN Vol. 6. Thanks to my lovely wife I will soon be able to count this Treasury in that collection. Ra’s is a fantastic villain. In fact there are days when I look at humanity and think, “You know…he has a point.” It’s that complexity and being able to see his viewpoint so clearly that elevates him as a Bat villain. All of Batman’s great villains reflect some aspect of his personality and Ra’s represents Batman’s desire to save his city on a global scale. His methods are extreme but come from the viewpoint of a man who has lived a hundred lifetimes.

    I mean I’m forty and have no faith in humanity. I can’t imagine what that would be like after centuries of watching mankind drop the ball again and again.

    I think the current election is getting to me.

    Anyway, great episode and I am looking forward to the next one. If you ever want a co-pilot for a Superman installment I am available.

  9. Great, great stuff! I love this podcast! I really enjoy your take on these books!

    Growing up in the ’70s, these books were a treat! I was very fortunate enough to get most, but not all of them. When the volume that reprinted Action Comics #1 came out, the young female clerk at the 7-11 initially charged my dad 10 cents, as she was looking at the price on the cover reproduction until he pointed out the $1.00 actual price in the upper corner. She was taken aback that a comic, no matter the size or content, have a $1.00 price on it.

    To think I almost passed up getting this particular edition when it originally came out (when I was 10 years old) because I already had all but one of the middle chapters in the initial comic book form already, but yes, there was something about that wraparound cover. My mom concurred; and agreed to buy this for me.

    My memory is hazy; and I can’t invest the time to corroborate it, but I have a vague memory of seeing a picture of Bob Kane taking this particular book onto the set of one of the Batman movies; so even he must of held this story in high regard.

    I love the ending to the story; but what I didn’t know until getting back issues of Batman was that Batman #245 (not reprinted in this edition) wrapped up a plot point to the story; also done by O’Neil and Adams. The story in Batman #245 was however included in the ’80s The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul #4, the mini series which again reprinted this classic story arc.

    I gather your list of those requesting to be potential co-hosts is growing; and add me to the list if possible. I hope you’ll indulge me though for commenting on any recollections and opinions of particular editions via posts.

    I can’t wait for the next and future episodes!

    Chris Karnes
    Batman ’66 reviewer/Batgirl to Oracle podcast

    1. I’ve seen that picture of Bob Kane, and you’re right, it was tucked under his arm on the Gotham set at Pinewood Studios. But it was probably Kane trying to take credit for one of his “ghosts” work. 🙂


        1. Google images isn’t finding this shot. I think it was in the “Making of Batman” book from 89. Time to check the library!


          1. Chris, YES! *applauds* Thanks for finding and sharing it!

            I couldn’t shake the thought of this pic connected with this Treasury edition; but if I hunted for it, I likely would’ve started on the wrong path.

            Rob, for me this was just a sliver of a fragment of a memory. Thanks and thanks for your show just triggering memories. If I don’t get a chance, best wishes for the coming holidays and all the best for the coming year.

            (Chris, sorry; couldn’t find a “reply” on the post where you attached the pic.)

  10. Great show, gentlemen. My thanks…

    I remember hearing Neal Adams explain about the inspiration from Christopher Lee and the Dracula cape during a Kevin Smith “Fatman on Batman” interview over a year ago. And when I envision Batman practicing with the cape in front of the mirror, I also picture him a moment later starting to look disappointedly at his stomach, sucking his gut in, and re-enacting the “Mr. Bean” skit where Bean is preparing himself to meet the Queen – because that is where my mind goes sometimes…

  11. Another great episode Rob. When I first encountered R’as in the Batman comics, which would probably been around the Contagion/Legacy period, I was not overly impressed. However, when I read the TPB of the O’Neill stories from the beginning, I saw what you both you and Dan were bringing across in your podcast – the cinematic, James Bond like qualities of the story (although, like yourselves, it was really the Neal Adams drawn stories which had the bigger impact, stories drawn by other artists paled in comparison to those drawn by Adams).

  12. I’ve never been able to flip through this treasury, so I can’t speak to the presentation, but I’ve gazed lovingly at house ads for this book and enjoyed these stories in trade paperback. Ra’s al Ghul was my favorite Batman villain when I cared about Batman and his villains, and I say “Raysh” because that’s how David Warner said it once the cartoon came out. I think Neal Adams prefers “Rays,” but I’d argue it’s up to the tongue of the speaker to decide.

  13. I’ve only just started listening, so haven’t read the comments, so excuse me if anyone else has pointed this out – but in relation to what Chris was saying about Danny O’Neil liking a Christmas story, he also did one in Green Lantern/Green Arrow 113. I don’t recall whether or not there was a Christmas star, but it certainly fits the pattern.

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