The Bat-Pod

ep # 115 Batman #900 with Sean Ross

June 11, 2023 Batman
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Bill welcomes Sean Ross back to get caught up on current issues of Batman and discuss the monumental Batman #900


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Speaker 1:

This is the BatPod.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to the BatPod, a Batman comic book discussion podcast. On this episode we'll be discussing Batman 130, slash number 900. Swing, quick like Tim Drake, fierce like Damien. Grab your headphones, listen up. You know you love it. Drop the facade Like the Dark Knight detective. They've got some perspective. They're a pure crime fighting collective. It's the BatPod. Welcome to episode 115. I'm your host, bill Beer, and joining me tonight the Jason Todd of the BatPod, sean.

Speaker 1:

Ross, is that because you beat me with a crowbar so that I'd go away?

Speaker 2:

I don't think so. I don't remember doing that. You'd probably remember something like that. Does that mean that I threw you in a Lazarus pit or I hit a source wall?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i think I went away for a little bit like Jason, and then you sent me some kind of green fluid in the mail and I just drank it. I didn't think about what it was, and then I was like, oh, I'm back.

Speaker 2:

You probably shouldn't do that.

Speaker 1:

I should have.

Speaker 2:

It's probably not a good idea. So we had to get back together because a big issue came out. If you haven't heard, it was Batman 900, i guess that's their original numbering and of course that's not going to stay. They're going to go back to, you know, the regular numbering, but it was fun to have. I don't know what's your thought about regional numbering and the new number ones and that sort of thing.

Speaker 1:

I get it. I mean there's no denying the data.

Speaker 1:

Their data tells them number ones, sell more and attract new fans because it's easier to kind of get in mentally on that. So I get why they do it. But they've overdone it to a point both. You know all companies, marvel in particular, super guilty of this. But they overdo it to such a point that it just doesn't even matter anymore. I mean it just it really literally doesn't matter anymore.

Speaker 1:

I had no idea, by the way, that Batman 900 was coming up until I got this issue because I have I do mail order. My box of comics came in the mail and I opened it up and I was like Batman 900, what the hell? And I was like, oh cool, okay, that didn't know that was coming. That's super exciting. And then, of course, i started reminiscing and I'm like, what anniversaries have I been here for? And my first big anniversary was Batman 400, that great Bill Sinkovich blue cover and it's actually the end of the pre-crisis Batman. And so I was there and I was collecting Batman for at least two years before that.

Speaker 1:

But that was my first big anniversary. So I was like, oh cool. So I was kind of trying to remember and not like I couldn't have just looked it up, but I was trying to remember like, okay, 400, i remember clearly 500. And then it all started going downhill, like I know I think 700 may have been the virus, the like contagion issue. I know one of them was like a contagion one And then again, like it's all, just, it's all lost to the years. But yeah, man, this is my, this is my. I've been here for 500, over 500 issues. That's insane.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. And now that you're mentioning it, 400 stands out to me than anything else, just because I don't remember anything like that, maybe you know, it just doesn't stand out. I'm sure when I read it it was like cool, but this one I knew, but not that much in advance. I mean they were sharing that. It was Batman 900. I don't know how I feel about personally. I love that detectives has their original numbering And I don't know if that's going to revert back or what. But but I, like you know, especially if you're collecting it in book form and not digital, having the original numbering is very cool, i think.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i mean, i just honestly file all my Batman's together, so you know they all end up in the same place.

Speaker 1:

But it does suck when you try to look up an issue, like if I'm missing an issue and I'll be like, ah, what am I missing? I'm missing that, let me find the cover, and then it's. I mean sometimes because they did actually reboot Detective with New 52. And then at 2016, you know the rebirth they went back to the original numbering. But if you try to look it up, that original numbering, they kind of they consider, still consider that volume too. I don't mean I don't And honestly I don't care, but it is a pain in the butt. But I do like the long numbering And I think it's kind of neat. Like to see Batman. 900 forces me to go back and think like, oh gosh, man, i've been here, you know, at this point, for almost 40 years with this character And so that part gets me, you know, excited. I like to think back on all the that time spent.

Speaker 2:

Makes you sound kind of old.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God, it's pathetic. Yeah, yeah, all the time and money, are you?

Speaker 2:

telling me you keep all your Batman together. You just shove them in a box, out of order.

Speaker 1:

Well, i mean I, i or is there some order? Yeah, I'm not an animal. I order them.

Speaker 2:

Just making sure they're numerically ordered Yeah. Okay, okay, that would drive me crazy. It was like what Just show them?

Speaker 1:

So I I've literally been collecting since 1983. It laid 82 early in three. So I've been collecting like almost 40 years And I mean I would say, the first good portion of my collecting that's exactly what I did.

Speaker 1:

I would buy comics, I would bag them and then I would just stick them in a box And then I, from memory, would be, like, Oh, I think there's an issue of Wolverine in that box, If I was trying to find an issue and I have to go through my entire collection And then finally at one point got smart and filed alphabetically And then only within like the last few years, finally got smart and organized like a database of my comics, because I was I got really into bin diving And I was buying duplicates like an idiot. I was like, Oh, I know, I don't own this issue. And then I'd go home and like, Oh, I have five copies of this thing, Like damn it, You know. And so I finally have everything in a, in a you know nice spreadsheet and laid out, And so I finally have some order to my life.

Speaker 2:

But you know, Right, i use that CLZ app, which is nice, especially when you're going like bin diving and that sort of thing, and it's like I keep buying the same one.

Speaker 1:

It's funny, though, because I'm looking at the cover of this And I don't know that Batman 900 is going to be as fondly remembered as, say, batman 400. And if it is remembered, it might be controversially, because Zdarski swings for the fences here, man.

Speaker 2:

Well, let's go ahead and let's head to that book.

Speaker 1:

The Bat Pod is a spoiler podcast. Please read the comics we're reviewing so you can enjoy the show.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so our book tonight is Batman 900. But since we've been away for a little while, we're going to jump into what happened at the end of Chips Zdarski's first arc with failsafe. And you know, as that issue 130, you know, batman hits failsafe with this new Genesis element X laser and he creates a small hole in his upper back And then he has some kind of Kryptonian programming chip that he actually slips in that hole. That gives failsafe compassion. Batman gets vaporized by failsafe, which Tim thinks he is killed, but an injured Batman arrives at a different Gotham And at that point we didn't know what Gotham. So what was your thoughts here as that first arc?

Speaker 1:

ended. So I said this you know, on those episodes and I'm gonna I'll probably, you know, say it again failsafe. That arc was fun. The art is stellar, the arc is fun. But it's so reminiscent to me of Tomasi's opening arc on detective where it's like, you know, batman versus everybody, or like Batman versus the unstoppable foe You know it's got a little tower of Babel from JLA in there about. You know, batman, you know, has all the ultimate failsafe for everything And so I didn't love it.

Speaker 1:

But I did like a lot of the beats and it were really good, like I liked the idea of, instead of glorifying that, batman has a failsafe for everything. So Darski was really leaning into like the paranoia of it and the sort of mental distress of it by having the Batman of Zorinah, the alternate personality, which that part was really cool. And then the ending is the bleakest thing maybe ever in a Batman comic because they give failsafe compassion And when he gets compassion the first thing he does is he thinks murder Batman. Like basically the compassionate thing to do in Batman's own mind would be to end Batman's suffering. So I read that as a very bleak ending.

Speaker 2:

Do you think that's what he did? is that he meant to kill him, or he sent him to this earth where there was no Batman?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so there's two ways to read it.

Speaker 1:

There's the very bleak, like he thinks Batman's better off dead, which is just super dark. Or there's the he thinks Batman would be better off in a world that isn't this one, a world where he could build a different life, a world without a Bruce Wayne. But I mean, i can't imagine he purposely sends him to this world because this world is so dark that you know or maybe it's you know he'll rediscover why he's Batman. I don't know. I'm hopeful that, as at the end of 900, you know, there it's we'll talk about it. But you know, obviously Batman's going to eventually end up back in Earth Prime Gotham. I'm hoping Zadarski does address the failsafe of it all and does tie a bow around it that maybe failsafe's plan in the end was to have Batman rediscover his purpose, and so I'm hopeful. But it's definitely it's not my favorite work by Zadarski.

Speaker 2:

Failsafe, kind of just goes away. You don't know where he goes. But the reason that he was activated is because he killed the penguin And the penguin's very much alive, so interested to see if that's going to tie that up a little bit in a nice little bow. But yeah, i was kind of scratching my head when I saw the last panel of 130 and I was like, okay, what just happened? Because I wasn't 100% sure.

Speaker 2:

And then we get in the Newark, the Batman of Gotham. You know, he arrives in this Gotham. No Batman, bruce Wayne has passed away. He has to make his homemade Batman costume. We find a Harvey Dent that's sort of like a robotic judge, jury and executioner. Everything is, you know, mastermind by the red mask. His name is Dorwin Holliday, who is to be the Joker in this world. He's trying to get to and we'll see in this issue he's trying to get to the multiverse to make himself a real Joker. But before I get into that, there was a scene that really made me scratch my head And I wanted to get your thoughts on it real quick, and it was a scene where we see a Superman that was in Arkham and he let free and Superman's just going to get ready and tear into Batman And Batman does this weird thing where he rolls his eyes in the back of his head and says Nightmare, and then Superman just flies away. Was that in regards to something we've seen previously, or was this just? I don't know.

Speaker 1:

He undertakers him. He just he pops out of the coffin, He rolls his eyes back and he's like, oh, And then basically the Superman of this world has been in Arkham and so it's completely mentally deranged. So I think what Bruce's strategy is is that Clark is somebody who responds to authority And so he's going to sort of I mean, it's almost like when you yell at a dog that's barking and you like alpha it. It was a weird moment. Not going to lie, It was definitely a weird take on that relationship And so, yeah, that is a weird moment.

Speaker 1:

I there's so many, this entire Ark, actually Zadarski's whole run so far, And I love Zadarski's a writer, His daredevil run is phenomenal, But his entire run so far has played like a greatest hits album for Batman off speed, Like we have Failsafe, and that reminds us of the overprepared Batman, Tower of Babel, Batman, you know that kind of thing. We get Batman zapped by something to seemingly die but sent to another place which is like end of final crisis. You know the return of Bruce Wayne miniseries where he's traveling through the past up towards the future And it's this weird like off speed. And then the Superman in this world I think is supposed to remind us of two Superman. One is Superman Batman relationship from Dark Knight Returns, you know, which has damaged that relationship for decades.

Speaker 1:

And then the Superman in Flashpoint of all places, where he lands on earth and the government secrets him away and doesn't let him get sunlight And he's just sort of this weird timid alien until they go and free him And even then it's like you don't really know what he'll do next. So I don't know, I don't, I don't really know what to make of it, which is part of the frustration. Like I love Grant Morrison, which means I don't mind some ambiguity in my comics, but you have to give me enough to anchor me so that I don't feel like I'm either missing something or it just isn't as well done as it could be.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I agree with parts of that. It hit me. You know, the first couple of issues of his run I really enjoyed And then it kind of I don't know if you say go off the rails. But when in their direction, i wasn't expecting, but there wasn't anything that made me say, hey, i need to pick up the next issue. I can't stop for a minute. As soon as I get a hold of that, i'm reading it And I never felt like like that at any point, especially in this second arc.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that's a great, a really really great point, Because the teams that were on the book prior to Zadarski especially when Tynan was on it, it was the top of my read pile.

Speaker 1:

Every month, You know when my comics would come in, like literally I'd shuffle through them and Batman was the top of the read pile And Tom King same thing, because that book was so good. Even Joshua Williamson, whose run I don't think is quite as good as those other two, but is still really good top of the read pile. And this has been a bit of a slog And, honestly, in pairing with the current run on detective it's been a bit of a slog Because, while there are moments in that run on detective by Ram V that I love and that I think are brilliant, it's also there are moments where I'm like, what? Like I pick up every new issue and I go, oh, I have no memory of what's happening in this book, And so between the two of them, I'm definitely not as hopped up on Batman as I've been in the past, which, quick aside, makes me even more thankful for World's Finest by Mark Wade and Dan Mora, which is the best book on the shelves.

Speaker 2:

Oh my God, it's great, yes. Well, let's jump into this. I'm going to do a synopsis. You might want to buckle up because it's not a short one. So, batman 900, the Batman of Gotham. Your writer, chip Zadarski. Pencils Mike Hawthorne, jorge Jimenez, miquel Yannine. Inks Adriana Benedetto.

Speaker 1:

Well, you're missing. There's a D in the middle. It's Adriano D Benedetto.

Speaker 2:

I see it, i don't have my glass. That's cool.

Speaker 1:

So I don't know if you're going to leave this in, i have to say it. So one of my favorite things you've ever done is when we were recording and I don't know how, but we started talking about a cable run by Joe Casey or James Robinson and Jose Lathrone, and you called them Lathrone, jose Lathrone, and it is my favorite thing ever And I, for some reason, have been going back to that run And every time I grab an issue I go, oh, lathrone, and it makes me smile every time.

Speaker 1:

Well thank you, I guess.

Speaker 2:

Colors Tamu, mori, romulo Friardo Jr. Letters Clayton Cowles Cover Jorge Jimenez. Associated Editor Dave Welgas and Editor Ben Abernathy. In this issue we are in Arkham, beneath this world's Gotham City. Batman, wraps the bloody arm or his right hand used to be, starts his search for the red mask, also known as Darwin Holiday, in this universe's Joker. On the streets of Gotham, leather wings fly around the city, infecting citizens with multiversal gas. Jewel and Selena Kyle, both wearing masks, fight the man-sized leather wings. Batman cauterizes his wound. Darwin in this world's punchline, used the multiversal energy created by the poison citizens to power up the machine that will transform Darwin into the true Joker. Like his multiversal counterparts At Athena Tower, this world's Alfred tries to contact his wife, dr Leslie Tompkins, while the wealth he or she safely endures. Alfred takes out the guards that are keeping them inside and steals a gun and plans to head outside so he can save as many Gotham citizens as possible, including his wife. Darwin prepares the machine, which now has enough power to send him directly to the moment when the Joker was created. Darwin uses the machine transporting to the moment when Joker first took off his red hood mask and the killing joke. Suddenly, darwin is propelled back to his own Gotham. Unchanged. Batman fights his way through Darwin's Arkham Guards while Catwoman and Jewel continue to battle leather wings. Firefly joins the fight. Alfred opens the door to Athena Tower, letting the citizens blow to safety. Halliday gets back in the machine transporting once more to a puddle in the rain. He tells the Joker he wants to break the way. Joker breaks and the Joker tells him that maybe it was Darwin who broke the Joker. Then three jokers walk away in the puddle in the middle of the rainstorm. Halliday unhooks himself from the machine, tells Punchline that he can't become the Joker, he just creates them. Batman takes out Punchline and he battles Halliday, who now empowered with multiversal energy, making him lightning fast. When Batman tells Darwin that he's crossed worlds to stop him, halliday responds that his job is to make jokers with Batman, that if it weren't for Batman there would be no Joker. Batman tells him that he's learned from this world without Batman It's still full of monsters.

Speaker 2:

As Alfred, jewel and Selena arrive, darwin enters the multiverse through his machine. Batman questions Punchline to learn how to track Darwin. Alfred tells Batman he can't do it alone. Bruce asks Alfred to join him. Alfred tells him he can't leave the world here. He has a purpose and a city to save, and he can team up with Jewel to save it. Selena asks Batman why he didn't ask her to join him. Batman tells her that he has a Selena but that he can't end his crusade until injustice and crime end. Selena kicks him, disappointed with his answer, into the multiverse without the safety belt, using only a tracker to find Darwin.

Speaker 2:

First, batman lands in the world of Batman 89, then to Red Rain, batman, arkham vs Batman, batman, the animated series, silver Age, batman, batman Beyond, kingdom Come, injustice and Batman 66. Connects to each Bruce Wayne. Batman meets all of them, briefly realizing jokers are worse and more sadistic than ever. In the 60s universe. Adam West, batman gives him a utility belt. Next he meets the Dark Knight Returns, batman, who gives Bruce a new hand in a new uniform. Batman leaps once more, finding Darwin in some destroyed Gotham City where the Joker shark swims around at the end of the multiverse. Darwin sends Joker fish at Batman Bruce Battles against them, digging into his utility belt to find some shark repellent. After defeating the shark, batman confronts Darwin. He knocks out Darwin and uses the whole disc to send holiday back to his own universe.

Speaker 2:

Batman is at the end of the multiverse, he realizes that his last few years has been a struggle. Robin arrives, batman and Robin hug, and Bruce thanks Tim for rescuing him. As we see, the many Batman of Zorinah. So Batman 900 there's. There's a lot to take in a lot. The first thing up Batman loses a hand at the end. The last issue, and we, we get that here. How did you feel about that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, again. Weird callback for me to the KGB stark from many, many years ago by Zoparo and Starlin, where KGB cuts off his own hand rather than get caught. It is, i mean, it's extreme and it made you. It made me think oh, there's, they're gonna. How are they gonna wrap this up? like you're not gonna have Batman with the he's not Luke Skywalker, he's not gonna be around Batman with a robotic hand, you know, with one hand. You know, going back to Gotham, like there's gonna have to be some sort of I don't know Hand wavy answer and the, you know the robotic hand is kind of hand-wavy, but they're gonna have to address that at some point. So I don't this. This, it's indicative of this, a whole arc for me. There are these pops of moments where you go, oh, that's interesting, and then not enough of it to make you like it, or Too much of it. You went on it. No, no, no, no, you went too far with this.

Speaker 2:

The one thing we did get a few years ago is we had and nobody probably remembers that but but Alfred actually lost a hand, oh yeah but can you remember how we got it back? or it was sort of like it just hand wavy toward A sort of thing.

Speaker 1:

Cuz give him like a robotic hand or something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah but it's never come into play and It's never been brought up.

Speaker 1:

It's still not even certain that he's dead. Remember, at the end of death metal, it seemed like they had brought him back and and then all of a sudden he was kind of back in the comics, but then he wasn't. I don't, it's all a mess. It's all a mess, but but we need to dive into this issue, man, because there are some Really cool but also some really bizarre things. Do you want to start with the cover?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we get a cover here. You know, batman is fighting the red mask and it looks like the citizens of Gotham are behind him. I mean, everything is in red behind him. It wasn't a bad cover, but it's not great right It's not no, no, it's not a non Legacy, non number, nine hundred type of great.

Speaker 1:

It just looks like an average cover to me, yeah well drawn, like compositions, nice It's, it's not a bad cover at all. But if you said to me, hey, we're gonna celebrate one of the nine big anniversaries for Batman with this, i'd be like, oh, like, oh, okay. So yet another reason why I was surprised. This was a big deal issue. Because even when I got the issue in my comics in the mail, i saw the cover and I thought it was just another like.

Speaker 2:

It didn't strike me until I looked at the 900 in the corner you know, some covers get me to stare at it for a few minutes. This I Looked at it was like okay, and I went on. It wasn't anything Particularly bad about it, but it just wasn't what you would think. Oh, this is. If I show you this cover in Five years and said, oh yeah, that's the classic yeah. Batman number 900, legacy 900 cover and I loved I mean there it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, greg in. Well drawn, but just doesn't feel Monumental no, maybe it's almost like they, i don't know.

Speaker 1:

I mean, clearly they knew that 900 was coming up, but it was. It's just strange, it's, and that kind of sets the tone for the comic. I mean any issue where Batman's arm has been cut off and he has to cauterize the wound and yell at himself not to pass out while he does it right kind of an interesting moment. But it Weirdly falls kind of flat in this issue, like it doesn't. It's just like one thing he has to do on the way to where he's going And it doesn't seem like it's really that big of a deal Yeah it's not gonna slow him down any yeah, this is a strange issue And I know there's a lot happening in it.

Speaker 1:

I kind of want to zero in on a couple of big ideas. Okay, so the yeah, that's first one I want to zero on. Zero in on is an idea I love That eventually goes to something I don't. But I want to start with the part where I love and I love the fact that the red hood in this universe Darwin Holiday is is effectively the Joker, without the insanity, or at least without the Joker version of insanity.

Speaker 1:

I mean, clearly he's insane, he murders people, but but he's. He's this brilliant, ruthless man and I love the idea that he's like oh, i've always had this whole inside of me, no matter how much I've succeeded, and it wasn't till I saw this other Version of what I could be that I realized my full potential, like, like, i'm afraid, and this other version of me is beyond fear and love. I'm Respected and loved, but this other version of me doesn't care about that. He's a force of nature and I want to Break myself and become him. I thought that was a super cool idea. So that, so that first moment where he peeks in on the killing joke moment.

Speaker 1:

I thought was super cool, right up until the moment where Joker seat goes like well, who are you? and like, then it's gonna spin into something I don't really like. But what were your thoughts on the idea of a Sane Joker?

Speaker 2:

well, i like that. I didn't see this coming. I didn't think that this red mask, i didn't get the connection that. The red hood sort of thing, i didn't think it was gonna be. You know, this is Before it becomes the Joker. This is who Dar one holiday is. It's a very interesting concept. The thing that isn't super interesting to me, i don't know the idea. I liked it when he peered in to look, you know, into the multiverse and that you saw The red hood and taken off his helmet. But when we go beyond that It doesn't seem, i don't know. It sort of goes off the rails for me because I don't understand. He wants to become the Joker. He has this idea of I can become the Joker, but he's like this was in reality.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, he's rich and he's dark and he's macabre and he's ruthless, but he, but he's defined by fear and he even says that, right, he's like I'm always afraid. This version of me is never afraid. That's who I want to be. Yeah, it's weird and and and here's where and this is gonna. You know, we're gonna kind of Jump chronologically through the issue, but but I do think that there's a few big tracks of thematic themes that run through the issue. One of them is there's always this argument of Why does or did Batman create the Joker? Would the Joker have existed without Batman? and does the Joker ramp up his evil because of Batman? like his Batman, basically a Responsible in part for the Joker's violence and evil, and I like the idea. So I like what Zadarski's doing here.

Speaker 1:

I like the idea of answering that question and saying, no, no, let's go to a world without a Batman, and the guy who's the Joker doesn't become our Joker, but he does become, in his own way, just as evil and depraved and and is as dangerous. and so I was like cool, i like putting that question to bed and I like that that Batman even puts it to bed, batman's like. I stopped asking that question a long time ago. The evil like the Joker doesn't need me to exist. It would have existed without me. I'm here to stop it. And I was like, oh my god, had that been the whole point of this arc, i would have been super happy if they'd stopped there. Did you like that idea of that of answering No? I like that idea.

Speaker 2:

I liked it that that was presented the way it was presented. I liked that. You know we get this world without a Batman and it's already. He's already doing his thing. You know he's already. This motion is already set in plan. So Batman didn't have anything to do with how he was created, and I like that. And I like them saying you know That you, batman, created the Joker. I mean, there's that thing. That's always been said and I like you know getting an answer To that. But, as we said, it goes off in a different direction too, which.

Speaker 1:

I.

Speaker 2:

I don't hate this and it sounds like I'm kind of wishy-washy about it. I enjoyed a good bit of this. There are some things I just I don't know where we're going with it.

Speaker 1:

I, i'm gonna take a more definitive stance. I, i hate, hate The idea that Darwin holiday created the Joker's, that that, like by peering into the multiverse at the moment of the Joker's creations, he Further break something and and like no, zadarski walks the line enough that you can basically ignore this, because it basically Joker says to him, says that as the Red Hood is peering into the killing joke moment, joker says to him Ha ha ha, maybe you broke little old me, a little bug working his way into my overwrought brain. And then Red Hood is like No, no, i need something more. And Joker's like need, need, need you need to let the joke app happen. And then this is the moment where I went oh, f, this is. You turn the page and there's three jokers and I and at first I was like okay, maybe artistically It's the same Joker just walking up the hill. But then the one on the bottom goes, care for a fourth. And I was like I didn't need an In-universe explanation of three jokers.

Speaker 2:

No, that didn't happen.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Yeah, i didn't need it like you and I. You and I are in the minority, apparently, in that we loved three jokers like I as a as a standalone story. I loved it. I thought it was really well-written. One of my favorite Jason Todd stories ever.

Speaker 1:

Just beautifully drawn, really well-written. But I don't count it as continuity Like I count it as an interesting Look at Batman and the Joker. I don't need this now. The only thing that kind of saves it is that Zadarski is jumping around the multiverse, so at no point is he saying this is our Joker, like earth prime.

Speaker 2:

No, and we're never gonna remember. You know when, when you think of Joker in the future, you're never gonna remember this character and say, yes, he was part of creating the joker doesn't kind of piss you off like that.

Speaker 1:

That no, that's crazy, doesn't it like like that, an issue that literally just came out.

Speaker 2:

A week ago I Just skipped over this pay these two pages and that didn't happen. I get it.

Speaker 1:

I will. I practice the same sort of mental gymnastics, but usually I have to do it in Comics that are 30 years old, like oh, the writer wrote this, yeah, it wasn't a good idea. in retrospect They've retconned it. I'm not used to doing it in comics that came out like a week ago, and that's what bugs me about this is that at no point did somebody go to Zadarski and say, hey, by having this Darwin Halliday guy Potentially and he doesn't commit to it fully, but even that kind of sucks, like by having this Derek Darwin Halliday guy Be the one who creates jokers across the multiverse in a way, aren't you robbing those jokers of their own Autonomy and their own like? are they accountable for their evil now, or is Halliday like it kind of sucks?

Speaker 2:

No, it was an idea that you should have brought up to somebody and they would say, yeah, just skip over that page of script, yeah, go forth, because you could have took out these few pages or just made a panel where he looks and peers into the puddle and is, like I make jokers and they go on with the story and not, you know, i don't even not even gonna remember this a month from now that he created jokers or whatever. I mean. I can't imagine this character is going now. We'll talk about when we get further down the line, but I can't imagine this character is gonna have any traction and be hanging around.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, unless Sadarski has and I hope he does has a bigger plan where all of this will make more sense in retrospect but, i, don't think that's not something you do in a 900th issue, like you, don't?

Speaker 1:

you don't say, hey, wait for five more issues till I explain this. Like it should be more satisfying and I can kind of get the argument of well, the whole point of this arc and the whole point of this issue is leading to the back half, which is the fun, like little romp through the multiverse. I mean, look, one of the best pages in this comic is when you turn the page and you see the Michael Keaton Batman you know, beautifully rendered, and it's like, oh, that's so cool. Then you get, you know the red rain Batman and you start hopping around and that part is a ton of fun.

Speaker 1:

Didn't have to be Darwin creating jokers, it could have been something in order to get this. Yeah, it could have been him running through the multiverse and then you could have even still kept the by jumping into these multiverses, you know he amplified their jokers or he re-encart. Like again, part of me is like, what are they setting up here? I get it if there was like a Batman of the multiverse comic coming and they wanted these jokers back on the board. But like, who's clamoring for this? like like, why do we need the joker back in the Dark Knight Rises universe when one of the best moments in that comic is when Joker kills himself. To blame Batman for it? like it's just like. Can you understand it, do you like? is there a reason behind it?

Speaker 2:

no, i don't know what the reason is about the joke. I thought this, this part was fun, where he goes in the multiverse and you know he, he meets all these different Batman and I love that the art you know on each one kinda is themed towards each one. I thought that was great. I could care less about the Joker part of it, i guess. And if I remember anything from this issue it's gonna be you know him meeting, you know the Dark Knight Returns Batman, batman Beyond Michael Keaton, batman 66 and all these others. My favorite probably scene of all of them is you know the Batman Beyond scenes. Yeah, just because if you watch the cartoon there in the early 2000's or whatever, it has the same feel and that sort of thing.

Speaker 2:

So I really I really love that. But the other thing, i really love the Alfred scenes in this book, yeah, and it feels like this is the same Alfred as our universe basically putting through different circumstances. But you really feel how Bruce misses this Alfred. They have this conversation here at the end before before he jumps into the multiverse and he's like you can come with me, because that's the thing that Bruce is missing in his life and he's still not well, he's still not over the, he's still grieving and he just doesn't. He, he wants to take Alfred with him and Alfred's like no, i need to stand here for these people, and I just love those scenes with him and he even calls him his son there at the end yeah, that's the best part, that the ropes for the multiverse, the art of that.

Speaker 1:

And then this, the Alfred moments are the best part because it does remind you like he got. He's really been untethered ever since Alfred's been out of the picture and he and he's. It has been sort of one catastrophe after another, and so it is nice to have somebody remind him like hey, stop, you know, take a moment. And I do hope they're bringing Alfred, you know, back in some meaningful way in the in the Earth Prime universe. But yeah, those moments are great.

Speaker 1:

And then mm-hmm a little bit of wishful fulfillment in that he's married to Leslie Tompkins. That's kind of cute. Like you know, daddy married mommy yeah, yeah, that was.

Speaker 1:

That was kind of neat and, yeah, i like Alfred in this too. I definitely, i definitely. Those were my favorite character moments. And can I have a question for you? so you were describing the romp through the multiverse and that part is a blast like like this issue is worth alone picking up. For this moment, though, i think and again, another sort of weird off kilter greatest hits moment it reminds me of Batman, planetary. Remember I had you read that issue? yeah, you read. It was like last night night on earth and it's all the different Batman. It kind of reminds me of that too. But but anyway, i do have a question. So I recognize the, you know Michael Keaton. I recognize the red rain, the animated series. Who's the one where he says he laid dead in my arms. I tried to save him, but even still a weight lifted from my shoulders that day. Is that the Arkham City video game one, or is that injustice?

Speaker 2:

I thought it's the Arkham City video game one, but it sort of feels a little injustice too. So I'm I wasn't a hundred percent sure when I initially read this, but I was just guessing who it was, just because from his gauntlets you know the way they are on his arms.

Speaker 1:

But I'm not a hundred percent sure I think it's injustice because he says he says my identity, public my life over and for what? just to see him crawl back from the grave. Because isn't the injustice universe the one where Superman puts on like the Times Square Jumbotron? Batman is Bruce Wayne, he like tweets it out, so okay right yeah, so that that was I.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that part's cool. And then, yeah, the the seeing Terry McGinnis and Batman is that that part was awesome. And and then I actually do have a question the Joker that comes back in this, when you know the blobs of Batcave and Terry turns to fight him, is that the original Joker from that universe, or is that Tim Drake remember in that awesome cartoon movie? yeah, was kidnapped by the Joker and and held.

Speaker 2:

I'm not sure.

Speaker 1:

I'm not sure it looks like the original, but I in my mind I thought it was cool, like, oh, i wonder if that's Tim.

Speaker 2:

I really like the Batman's oh, that's awesome and it gives him his utility belt and we get a chuckle later on because what he funds, i mean that is for everything that pisses me off in this issue.

Speaker 1:

It is overridden by the beauty of of Adam West saying to him well, you don't look complete without a utility belt. And Bruce thinking, oh, batman helps, that's what Batman does. And then even the Dark Knight returns, batman, you know, helping him with his hand and his costume. And then, yeah, the Bat Shark repellent moment is just gorgeous. I mean I, yeah again, i left this issue smiling, but I, in retrospect, some of the swings that Arske takes piss me off. But so so Darwin Halliday gets to what is against, i guess you know the multi person creates his own weird version with a giant flying.

Speaker 2:

Is that what he created? is that what I bet you got out of that? that he created this little Gotham city with Joker sharks because Bruce says this is clearly a creation of red masks.

Speaker 1:

He's found an empty universe and manifested Gotham because otherwise?

Speaker 2:

it's very weird because the sharks are like Jolls eating Gotham.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and they're Joker eyes, which is a nice reference back to the Joker fish. Yeah, we just needed gaggy and and jack and apes here.

Speaker 2:

That would have been right, i forgot about gaggy why, didn't he show up? but yeah, he's, he's doing a good job by himself with these sharks. And then, you know, he reaches into his utility belt and finds the shark repair that is such a great moment.

Speaker 2:

But, yeah, that that was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun see him, him where the Dark Knight returns costume. That's kind of neat. And you know Darwin holiday, he basically he takes him out pretty easily, but we get a theme. You know, after he takes some out and I how I'm feeling it might Continue because he's really he's really thinking about you know what has happened. Maybe he's usually prepared for everything, but it's like he hasn't been prepared for everything that's happened and he hasn't been on top of his game. He says, even before fail safe, he found himself slipping. He's not as fast, not as strong. He says are the years catching up to me? up to me? Batman wins, but Batman now and That's when Tim shows up. They have a nice, nice moment there and and if See the backups, you can see how this had happened and the last few backups and I love this moment.

Speaker 2:

I mean again as much as I'm fetching about this issue.

Speaker 1:

This, the end, is great for me And it's something that I wonder if Rom V and chips at our ski We're are talking or through editorial. If that, because they're the theme of the two books You know, and Rom V's detective could not be more different than the Batman run and again has some strengths, but it's really a slow burn, almost to its detriment. But in that book one of the big themes is Batman's getting older, like like he's slipping.

Speaker 1:

He's not as fast He's not as you know, as accurate He's, and even tall. You is telling him like, hey, you're, like eventually this catches up to you. You can't do this forever. And so it's weird because I almost wonder if they're leaning somewhere with that. You know, if this were the 90s, they, you know, would they be replacing him? I don't think they're doing that, but it's interesting that they're almost they're weirdly sort of aging him and showing the damage done to him, but but I do love that in his moment of absolute darkness and and that is a great, this is one of my favorite lines He says I don't know what to do. I always know what to do. Again, and like it's, it's that's such a great moment of him breaking down, but it's really awesome because he saved not only by a Robin But by the best Robin, and this is definitely and again, that goes back to The, the road home, the search for Bruce Wayne, because everybody thinks dark side killed Bruce at the end of final crisis.

Speaker 1:

Right, tim won't believe it and Tim's the one who kind of brings, helps, bring him back, and it's always been that way. If something's wrong with Bruce, dick's reaction is Bruce will figure it out. Try it like trust him, he'll figure it out. Jason's reaction is how does this impact me? I'm a big baby, wow, ah. And then Damien's reaction is no reaction. Tim's the only one of the Robins Who's always like Bruce might need our help, like like he became Robin because he said to Bruce You're too dark without a bra. Been, let me fill some light in. So like I love that Zadarski Has it be Tim that saves him in the end. That, for me, redeems all the other things in the issue that pissed me off, you know, and, like you said, i'll just pretend that they're not there, but but it does make for a wildly uneven issue.

Speaker 1:

And then I have one more question for you, the very last page. It took me a couple times to realize this. You know, bruce says thanks, tim, thanks for saving me. And then he thinks to himself looks like our trip is at an end, and he says time to fight some crime. It's the Batman of Zerena. But this whole. There's a montage of of Batman like cascading upwards. And when I first read the issue I don't know if I was being lazy. I assumed in my brain It was all the Batman he met. So I was like, oh, the Michael Keaton Batman's in there the Dark Knight rises, batman's in there.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm and they are, but they're all Zerena right. Yes, why I have?

Speaker 2:

no, i don't know what that is. I don't know what that represents, what it is, what that means.

Speaker 1:

It's a really weird choice because you've got you've got Bat brave in the bowl, batman down at the bottom. You've got vampire Batman, you've got Batman 89, dark Knight, batman, adam West, gotham by Gaslight, you know animated series, you've got them all. But instead of all of them being there and having this little send-off of like, oh look at all these fun Batman, they're all Zerena and I cannot, for the life of me, i cannot figure out why. I can't figure out why that choice was made. It's such a weird choice and in my mind it's supposed to be sending some sort of message or Bringing some sort of closure, and it doesn't.

Speaker 2:

It only creates more questions for me, which is not what a nine hundred, just like the end of the first dark, where you're like asking yourself, huh, yeah, what? it's sort of like the artist you know drew a cool page of all the Zernahs and say, hey, check this out. And he's like, oh cool, we'll stick it in the book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i don't get it, man, i and that is that is the definitive feeling for me right now of Both Zedarski and Rom V's runs off detective Cool moments. Don't think this is badly done, and the art is phenomenal in both books. The art is just transcendently good in both books, but story-wise can't really figure out what's going on and it kind of is both pissing me off and Delighting me, but not in like a good way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's like I have no idea, i don't even have a guess to what we're seeing. I mean, we see, you know The current Batman of Zernah and then the ones around him. I, i don't. I don't have any idea, i don't know, because it looks like it goes back and, you see, you can't even make out who it is. It's like infinite, yeah that man.

Speaker 1:

It's weird and the whole thing is the whole point of that failsafe book was that this is the creation of the Sir Batman of Zernah was was Bruce trying to make sure his mind couldn't be taken over? It was Batman without Bruce Wayne. And the whole point of that arc is Bruce coming to the realization that Batman is worse without Bruce Wayne, that Bruce Wayne brings human humanity and and affection and love. And again Tim is there and like it's this, this Moment where people have always been like wasn't Batman the real thing and Bruce Wayne the mask? and and Zedarski answers that question like no, that it needs to be both. And I was like well, that's a cool idea. I like that. I don't love this arc, but I like that idea. And then the end almost seems to this arc, almost seems to be like Look at the pretty colors. Like I don't, i don't, i just don't get it man.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and I don't know if he was making a shout out to like Grant Morrison, the way this, this first two arcs, kind of you know, with him Like killing off Batman, but he wasn't really killed off and and I don't know I have to say We were super, super excited when Zedarski was announced as a new writer Because he did that Batman urban legends arc with Jason Todd, which is the best Jason Todd story ever ever written, and so I was super excited for it and and I have to say and I'm sad to say this because I like I love Zedarski's daredevil run And it's coming to an end and I'm actually really, really sad about that, but I'm kind of like I wouldn't mind it fresh voice here, like I wouldn't mind Something a bit more straightforward. You know, like I yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'm good, you know, just you know, jim Aparo, Doug Mench team, or, you know, i mean not them obviously, but like I, you know, i just it's interesting. I'm after two short arcs, i'm ready for a change.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I hate to say that I'm might be right there with you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I don't want it to be that way. I mean I like I want him to succeed, but it's just been. It's been frustrating.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. Yeah, i don't know. I will see you know if it picks up here. It just seems really uneven, i guess that's the big word.

Speaker 1:

So and you know that, and I totally find giving Zedarski time to catch his, you know, find his voice and find his, you know, his feet on this. I don't mind a writer starting off a little rocky and and, and so you know I, if he can make some changes, that's great. It's just that these, these arcs are taking big thematic swings and like nobody wants a Joker, a prime Joker who created all the other jokers, like nobody wants that. It doesn't. It doesn't make Joker stories better, it doesn't make Batman stories better, it in fact only kind of weirdly diminishes them. And so I just hope that, you know, i don't know, i'd like to see a little bit more just straightforward. Let's get some straightforward Batman stories and again, that's where, like Mark Wade and Dan Morris, brave in the bold book is so good, you know. And it's not like there's not Thousands of Batman comics from the past to read. But I wouldn't mind to change up in the current you know, current creative teams.

Speaker 2:

There were some good things about about this?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we didn't. We didn't praise the art. It's fantastic.

Speaker 2:

I really I say I really liked this, but there were a lot of things that I liked about it and there are a lot of things You know, as we, as we talked about. But overall I'm thinking about this issue in thinking who we got to see in here and That makes me feel good about this issue in particular, and I just don't want to think about the thing I don't know, and that's smart.

Speaker 1:

Like I said, the last half of the issue is super fun and it's it's. If you focus on that, then it's, it's definitely worth it.

Speaker 2:

Right, okay, so let's go ahead and we're gonna head to what we learned. So, sean, what did you learn in this episode?

Speaker 1:

I learned that if you ever cut your hand off, the best thing to do is cauterize the wound right away and then stick a sharp blade at the end of it, and then you can be super cool. I could say it's like cuz that makes? I hope Bruce doesn't wipe with his left hand, cuz that's gonna make so who are you?

Speaker 2:

So is it something you have planned to do?

Speaker 1:

I thought about it. You know I'd considered it, but just stick something on the end. Yeah, you know multi-tool accessory, but it is such a weird image And you kind of gloss over it. But every once in a while I would stop during this issue and go Oh, he's just got a knife sticking out of his stump, like That's odd.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and what I learned in this episode is Batman always needs a utility belt. Yes, i think it was cool that he made his own, you know, in this alternate reality, and I felt the best Scene, one of the best scenes in this book is where Batman 66 gives him the utility belt and then he pulls out the shark Repellent. So I love that. Yeah, that was awesome.

Speaker 1:

I. The other thing I learned is that the Red Hoods bad guys Remind me of my friend in high school, mark Saliga, who came to school on Halloween dressed as a tampon. He was all white white shoes, white pants, white shirt and then a red hat. And so I have to say, in looking at the bad guys, that you may want to cut this out. But looking at the bad guys, their outfits I Was like, oh okay, that reminds me of my friend Mark from high school. That's where I'm at, bill, that's where Matt, mentally right now okay, well, there you go.

Speaker 2:

This was a fun episode.

Speaker 1:

You're like, I'm never bringing this idiot back.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this was fun. You never know what's gonna be said, you know. You know it's always a surprise. You never know a lot of fun to talk. I said we were talking before we recorded. You know it's been I don't know how many issues and we talked about, you know, current comics and then we weren't talking about and I let some of these issues build up. You know it wasn't something I needed to read immediately, but 900. It was felt it was something we had to talk about. There's a lot of fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and thanks for having me back. Man. I, you know, loved being part of the show and Had to step away just because of some life stuff and in fact, had to step away from podcasting. I'm almost entirely because of some life stuff and, yeah, i'm Slowly wait making my way back, but I love the new format with you and J David Weeder. I love the show. I love getting to listen to the show again, we as a listener, which is a lot of fun and so. But I appreciate you bringing me back for 900 And and, like you and I were saying, we'll come back together again for some current issues in the near future.

Speaker 2:

Sounds good, sounds good. We'll be back here in a few weeks with some more Batman goodness. So until next time, same bat time, same bat channel. We will see you later, oh You.

Batman 900 Discussion on BatPod
Discussion of Batman's Failsafe Arc
Analyzing Batman 900
Batman's Multiverse Adventure to Save Gotham
Joker Plot Twist Opinion
Batman's Utility Belt and Aging
Return to Podcasting and Future Reunions