TreasuryCast #49 – Batman’s Strangest Cases


Rob welcomes back's Dan Greenfield to gab about LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION #C59 - BATMAN'S STRANGEST CASES!

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25 responses to “TreasuryCast #49 – Batman’s Strangest Cases

  1. Point of correction: Chris and I have not covered the BRAVE AND THE BOLD story with Batman and the House of Mystery. Siskoid and Martin Gray covered that story on an episode of FW TEAM-UP.

    I have already recorded a discussion on SWAMP THING #7 that will appear on episode 29 of MIDNIGHT…THE PODCASTING HOUR, so I won’t say much about it beyond my agreement with everything you and Dan said about the story. I think it’s perfectly fitting that the story appears in a Batman treasury story, because it’s really a misplaced BRAVE AND THE BOLD tale that was published in SWAMP THING.

    And on the subject of Swamp Thing knocking out Batman… somewhere in the multiverse, Guy Gardner is laughing.

  2. You guys had me at red tide. As a fisheries biologist, I love me a good red tide tale. I even have an interesting one of my own…. Actually, it’s really only interesting if you find nonlinear models and fish population dynamics to be interesting, so I won’t share it here.

    Despite the lack of harmful algal blooms, I also enjoyed your coverage of the other stories in this treasury edition. The story telling and artwork both look to be top notch. Thank you for sharing this truly interesting collection of tales.

  3. Rob, the name Aloysius is pronounced AL-oh-ISH-us; it is the Latinized version of names like Louis, Lewis, Luis, Luigi, etc. I know of no living person by this name but it has long been a popular name for fictional Irish characters.

  4. Impressive pod cast. Most impressive. The Bats and Cain story was cool. As was the Swamp Thing team up. Bats does look cool under Wrightson’s pen. He did a good job on the comic. Bats defiantly fits in this comic. As would be the Creeper. Moving on The Bat Man no one knows is cool. Giordano has a very good art style. And it works well. It’s a pretty clean style. The last 2 O’Neil stories were cool. I did a U tube vid on his run of Heroes for hire. He was a great write. Sad to hear he had passed. Can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

  5. Top show as ever, Dan’s a great guest!

    That logo ‘Batman’s’ does indeed look awful. But Chris Franklin might like it (see Knightcast…). Why didn’t they just call it ‘The Strangest Cases of Batman’?

    That cover is clever, mind – pay for one page and get a double spread by extending the background and throwing in reprint pages.

    Thanks for the respect Irv Novick received this episode, as you pointed out, with the right inker his Batman looked as creepy as anyone’s – mind, I always loved his Flash work with, if memory serves, Frank McLaughlin.

    I don’t find it so surprising that Todd Klein could draw, heck, we’ve had the odd original Who’s Who and OHOTMU entry by writers… didn’t Mark Gruenwald draw an entire Hawkeye comic? And Todd certainly shows artistry with all his logos.

          1. Required reading for Logo-a-Go-Go is Todd Klein’s blog. He has many essays about the evolution and development of comics logos!

    1. The bent column that forms the “S” is just a smidge too thin. And the horizontal bar part is too high.

      “Remember: When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” –Neil Gaiman

      Given that, maybe I’m being too particular.

  6. An excellent episode, gentlemen! It’s always nice to hear the boss, Dan, on the podcast. And you both brought some excellent insight to this particular Treasury. The funny thing is, I don’t ever remember owning a Treasury comic as a kid, but for some reason, I really remember stories from this issue. Is Batman’s Strangest Cases just in the zeitgeist? Were there reprints of these stories somewhere else? “Red Water, Crimson Death”, “Nobody Knows”, and “A Vow From the Grave” really stuck out to me as stories I remember reading but I have no idea where (or how) I would have read them!

    As said above, even though I never had any Treasuries, I’m really enjoying this podcast series and I can’t wait to hear the next episode with Alex Ross! I really love his Shazam Power of Hope Treasury!

    Keep up the great work!

  7. Great episode fellas! I remember seeing ads for this in some of my earliest comics, and I recall thinking Robin looked kind of sinister. Well, he did to 3 year old me, anyway! Now I think it looks like it could have been yet another Power Records LP cover! I have never seen a copy of this in person, so I unfortunately don’t own this one, although I have all the stories either in the original format, or in reprints.

    The BTAS crew not only adapted the idea of “The Batman Nobody Knows” into “Legends of the Dark Night”, the turned “A Vow from the Grave” into a Killer Croc story and called it “Sideshow”.

    This is a great lineup of stories for sure. And it is really a shame DC gave up the ghost on these collections, because they were THIS close to cracking the code of themed trade paperbacks, a good 10 years before they would even begin to appear, really.

    Always a pleasure to hear Dan talk Batman comics, and not just read his thoughts on 13th Dimension. Looking forward to his upcoming series on the “BIG CHANGE” from residual campiness to creature of the night era Batman!

    I’m glad you clarified Dan is ONE of the biggest Batman fans you know, Rob. I know of one other. 😉

    And congratulations on the big guest coming for your 50th episode!!! YOWZA!!!


  8. Rob & Dan, I’ve loved these stories for years. You two managed to do more than just agree with me about the good parts I already enjoyed (although that’s important). You also found aspects I never noticed before (like Wrightson’s little touches), so that I now enjoy these stories even more. This is why I listen to the Fire & Water Network! I mean, the main reason is the comedy, but the knowledgeable insights make a respectable second place showing.

    I also agree 100% with your points on Batman. These portrayals of the character are far more interesting than the one-dimensional, obsessive, Mary Sue-of-retribution we often get now. Thank you both!

  9. This is one of my most re-read Treasury Editions! Every page is magnificent!
    You discussed briefly the reasons that DC abandoned this kind of book, including publisher Kahn’s aversion to reprints. That seems plausible. I started buying DC comics at just about the time Jeanette Kahn came on board. As a young collector I learned a lot about the hobby from the letters pages in the various comics, and one of the things that I gleaned was that reprints were frowned upon. Consequently, I had an early dislike for comics that offered reprints. (This led me to have an aversion to The Uncanny X-Men for too long!) Looking at the historical perspective, this was the time when Marvel was having to schedule a lot of reprints in their regular books, and fans were getting fed up. DC had some regular reprint books, like DC Superstars, 4-Star Spectacular, and Super-Team Family, but by summer of ’76 those titles were either gone, or featuring new material. The Treasuries must have been treated as a different thing, perhaps as a way of doing high-quality treatments to worthy stories. Maybe more were planned after Batman’s Strangest Cases, but it had the misfortune to be released just before the infamous “implosion.” Soon after this graced the stands, DC slashed its output. This also led to a lot of layoffs. Subsequently, there would have been very few people and very little time to research, cull, and prepare a Treasury sized reprint book.

    1. I just looked at Mike’s amazing world a little more carefully! (Did you think I had all that stuff in my memory?) Judging from the planned titles, as well as the Treasuries, reprints were not the horrid things 12-year-old me believed! Just before the ax fell, DC had two new books dedicated to reprints! Dynamic Classics, and Battle Classics each managed to get their first issues on to the stands. The excellence of the DC library, and its potential, had been recognized as a resource to be mined deliberately, not just to keep a title on schedule. What ever became of that idea? ; )

  10. Thanks for covering what is probably my favorite comic in my collection. I bought it new back in 1978 at my local Harco drugs.

    The text piece was indeed quite a tease back then. All the stories mentioned sounded so exciting, although Gorilla Boss of Gotham City was the only one I had read. Thankfully, thanks to reprints and eBay, I’ve read them all now.

  11. Late to commenting on this one. It’s been … let’s say a bad few weeks for me. But doing things like listening to the always wonderful Treasury Cast always brings me up.
    Otherwise, not much else to say; I never had this book, but I have read a few of the stories elsewhere (like the one with the kids talking about Batman around the campfire – love it!).
    I’ll just highlight something that truly bears emphasis, i.e., Dan’s observation that the Bronze Age is actually the Golden Age. I’ve been saying that for years…

    1. Praying things are getting better for you, Edo. I know what you mean. My family’s dealt with its own challenges this summer. The faith I sometimes talk about has been key, but the network has been an entertaining and even encouraging distraction.

      And I agree on the Bronze Age. The first comic book I read front to back, whether I could understand what I was reading or not, was in the late seventies, and my most intense reading was in the early eighties. So I wonder if my estimation is colored by my nostalgia, but maybe not, because now I think the real peak was earlier in the seventies. I don’t what combination of factors made the comics so good, but they were amazing.

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