The Bat-Pod

ep # 116 The Bat-Pod Meets Irredeemable Shag

June 18, 2023 Batman
The Bat-Pod
ep # 116 The Bat-Pod Meets Irredeemable Shag
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bill and David welcome special guest, Shag from the Fire and Water Podcast Network. We discuss Shag's Batman comic book and podcast origins. We also discuss Shag's pick Detective Comics #612.

00:00  Intro
02:51 Shag's  Batman comic book and podcast origins
13:25 Detective Comics #612
50:34 Podcast Promo: Justice League International: Bwah-Ha-Ha Podcast
51:52 What We Learned

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Speaker 1:

This is the Bat Pod.

Speaker 3:

Welcome to the Bat Pod, a Batman comic book discussion podcast. On today's show, we'll be discussing Tectiv Comics 612. Welcome to Episode 116. My name is Bill Beer and joining me tonight the catnip of the Bat Pod, J David Weeder. I don't know how I feel about that. No, you didn't like that one.

Speaker 4:

Oh, I didn't say I didn't like it, I said I don't know how I feel.

Speaker 3:

It's perfect for this episode. Perfect, it's perfect, yeah, yes, perfect. Tonight we have a special guest and this special guest has been in podcasting for a while. I know him, david knows him. If you ever listen to the Fire and Water podcasting network, we have Shag Matthews.

Speaker 1:

The irredeemable Shag is here to say wow.

Speaker 3:

Very irredeemable, from what I understand.

Speaker 4:

The latex outfit was not necessary though You asked for Zoom.

Speaker 1:

That's not my fault. I'm very irredeemable. You can read about me in both public bathrooms places like that So I promise you It's all legit.

Speaker 3:

It's all true.

Speaker 1:

I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much, Bill. I'm so thrilled. I have been saying your name on podcasts for years, From retweets and various things you've done with the network And Dave. I've known you for ages And I'm just so excited to be here to talk about my Batman phase.

Speaker 4:

I'd say we're glad to have you, but we're not. I'm not. Bill might be.

Speaker 3:

Well, i do have to say in previous episodes and we've only been podcasting me and David here for what six, seven episodes? He mentions you a lot, but I can't say it's a positive thing. It's usually something like oh, you had to mention Shag.

Speaker 1:

I heard my name on an episode or two ago. You said it three times, So I appear like like Beetlejuice.

Speaker 3:

Right, right. So it did happen, david. You got what you wished for.

Speaker 4:

That restraining order lapsed so.

Speaker 1:

Well it has. it's been seven years since we recorded together Dave, so that I think that's the natural length of a podcast restraining order.

Speaker 3:

This is the first. This is the first I do have to say. Never restraining orders is the first for the bad pod. So when we have guests on the podcast here, i always like to get a little info. You know, background, secret, origin info. So the first thing I'm going to ask is give us your Batman comic book origin.

Speaker 1:

Well, when I was born, I came out actually with a rolled up comic in my back pocket. It was a sad sack. It wasn't Batman, but so, to be specific, about Batman. So I don't remember a time where I didn't know about Batman, right. So I grew up watching Super Friends, like you know, the filmation Batman cartoon with Batman and things like that. I had it. A little bit of research. I did find the very first Batman comic I owned, not physically at the house, but I mean I looked online and found the car. It was Batman 294. So that's going back to September 1977.

Speaker 1:

No idea why I ended up with this thing. I had this really creepy cover where the Joker has gassed Batman and Batman's face is blank And it just looks terrifying. And it was part of that many deaths of Batman storyline. It was like multi issue where Batman had died and there was this big trial with all the villains to discover who killed Batman. And that was the last part. So I had that. I don't even know if I could read the word balloons when I had it. I just remember looking at the pictures over and over and as a kid. So that was my earliest one.

Speaker 1:

I will mention one other one, just because it like haunted me for years from November 1978, was World's Finest 255. It was one of those big dollar comics, so it's got like a bunch of stories in it, right, and the creeper was in there, which freaked me out and still does to this day. But anyway, the Batman story, batman and Superman ended up dealing with this other Batman that apparently existed before Bruce Wayne ever took on the guys. It's turned out to be this Native American Batman in like maybe the 30s or the 40s. They didn't really give a year, they didn't pigeonhole. So anyway, it's another one of those where, as a kid, i don't remember ever being able to read the words, but it really stuck with me.

Speaker 1:

That's where I started with Batman And then, you know, see him in Justice League, all these things. But where I really became a collector, where my Batman phase began, was somewhere around 88, 89. I don't know if you heard about it. There was a little bit of popularity boost of Batman for some reason. People got into it And I got a bunch of trades. I got the Dark Knight Returns trade the year one. I got the hardcover. I picked up the year two back issues. I got the killing joke, you know, and I even bought the Death and the Family trade, the one that came out like 15 seconds after that last issue dropped, and that's what really got me passionate about Batman.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I'm right around the same era. It was right around Batman 400 when that came out. That's when I started collecting it monthly. So I'm right around the same time. So all those detective issues, you know it was Batman and detective until we got into Nightfall and that sort of thing, And then other books were added. But yeah. I've been there and I never left, fortunately and unfortunately. it all depends.

Speaker 4:

Just for legal analysis, Sharon, you'd say your Batman phase really began in 1989?.

Speaker 1:

I don't. It's like it's 87, 80, 89. It's somewhere in that. I can't remember when I got these trades. It was before the movie, i don't remember that, but it's somewhere around there, yeah.

Speaker 4:

When did it end? Because, bear in mind, you're on a Batman podcast right now.

Speaker 1:

But we're talking about old comics So that's where I'm okay. It ended sometime after No Man's Land. No Man's Land I was all in on. I absolutely loved it. It's almost a little bit of a jump the shark Not in a bad way, but the true definition of jump the shark is like things are so good They're never that good again. So for me No Man's Land was just so incredible. When they get back to the monthly comics, I had a hard time still engaging because I had hit the pinnacle of amazingness and I just kind of faded away. Now I look at other people and point and laugh when they're still in their Batman phase.

Speaker 4:

I feel like it might have actually kept going. Are you still reading Daredevil?

Speaker 1:

I am still a very active fan of Daredevil. Yeah, i don't read it every month, but I go through big phases where I'll read like 30 issues in Iran, you know, catch up a couple years' worth. So yeah, i'd say I'm still in my Daredevil phase.

Speaker 4:

So legally, speaking, being a fan of Marvel's Batman, you're still in a Batman phase of sorts.

Speaker 1:

I feel like there's something along the lines of a sneaky lawyer trick that's happening here. Wasn't that what you called it on Dave's Daredevil? That's what I call it. yeah, i feel like I'm being the subject of a sneaky lawyer trick. So, yeah, i guess you could call my Daredevil phase a Marvel version of my Batman phase. Yeah, that's fine.

Speaker 4:

Dear Chris Franklin and Ryan Daly got him.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, the other thing that I wanted to ask you while we have you here is it's always interesting to me because I have this long history of a podcasting which nobody even knows about, because they were always usually bad. I mean, i mentioned it on here before. My first one was like in 2008 and I did like two episodes. It was just me and then I was iTunes was the only thing available at the time and somebody gave me a review and then I quit like for like three years because they were they were not the kindest, and then then I started this the first version of the bad pot in 2011 and it continued to where we are today. There's been podcasts that you would start and has like got 10 episodes and it's like, ah, but this one, this one, has less of the longest. What is your comic book podcast origin? How did you get started?

Speaker 1:

It was a friend of mine actually pushed me into it. I was very close with my old college friends for a number of years and we all used to get together every year and go to DragonCon together. We do this is this is as adults to adults that already have children we'd still act like we're college kids. We'd all pack into one hotel room together and crash together and anyway, while we were there, my buddy said we should all do a podcast together And so we started doing a podcast. It's called the unique geek. It's still around. It's kind of the semi official podcast of DragonCon actually, and it was kind of a panel show and it was. I loved it. It was absolute chaos. It was just everyone talking whenever they wanted about whatever they wanted. It was crazy. It was fun, but did that for a little while. That's actually how I met Michael Bailey and dragged him into it as well, And so he started podcasting with us and then I kind of sort of drifted away from there and at the time I was running blogs.

Speaker 1:

I did a blog all about Firestorm Firestorm fan and Rob Kelly was doing a blog all about Aquaman Aquaman Shrine And we had teamed up on blog crossovers a couple of times here and there. And then he got it in his head. He wanted to do a podcast, reached out to me. We came up with the ridiculous notion of pairing Aquaman a Firestorm, which makes no sense whatsoever. Thankfully, we tumbled onto a great name out of it Fire and Water. And that's what born our network And really, even though the Fire and Water Aquaman Firestorm shows what launched it, I really think who's who is kind of what founded our network. Because so many people came to listen, not because of us but because they love who's who, And we became friends with all this community and got to know all the listeners and listeners got to know us in this huge community of friends built And a lot of those friends ended up on our network or our partners or just whatever, And so that's where it all kind of grew out of.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I remember there were like the invasion. Yeah, I'd cast was on there and they were. We did like every issue in the side issues.

Speaker 1:

I remember listening to those and Cisco, cisco and boss Yep, absolutely Yeah.

Speaker 3:

So some, some great stuff there.

Speaker 1:

So well, thank you for asking me. That's thousands of episodes later, but we started, interestingly, the same year as you, 2011.

Speaker 3:

You said, if I don't a thousand, no, no.

Speaker 1:

Well, i don't mean like I've done a thousand, but if you collectively pull in Ryan Daley, right, I am.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we have done a thousand at this point.

Speaker 1:

That's quite possibly true. Yeah, yeah, we in 2011 for us. I don't know if it was the same impetus for you, but we're like oh, this is a great chance to start a podcast. There's this cool new thing called the new 52. This is going to be great. We'll start a podcast to launch right in sync with that. That's actually what was the impetus to get it done.

Speaker 3:

Well, that's how my original started. new 52 started. We started right at issue one and all the books were at issue one. So that's how it started, and then you know how it went with a lot of those books. They kind of just went off the cliff, and so did the podcast. at that point, yeah.

Speaker 1:

We stopped reviewing the new 52 after not too long but Batman didn't change for the most part.

Speaker 3:

Some of the some of the other characters changed a lot And we had talked. We had talked Batman number zero a few episodes ago and, yeah, we just mentioned, you know, superman, they really that well, they're all back basically to how they were previously.

Speaker 1:

So really enjoyed that discussion of the bike because I always wanted to read that Scott Snyder year zero and listening to your podcast really got me energized to think about it now. And I've got DC unlimited infinites or whatever DC universe infinite, so I'm probably going to dive in there and it's y'all to blame.

Speaker 4:

I recommend it. So oh no, I'm happy about that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, did you learn anything like maybe you should need cake or anything like that, or if somebody brings you know and we'll have that too coming up What we learned about this episode. But you should really listen to what, what we tell you out there, because it's really important stuff. Sometimes It could save your life.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to get a little journal and start writing down every episode. You know what you learn. I'm going to put it under my pillow at night and make sure I remember.

Speaker 3:

Okay, That's the first. No, I used to have a boss, Okay, And I don't know where this is going on, but I had a boss and he's like I was when I was single This was in the nineties and he's like. You know what He says you're single. right Says you want to meet a lady. He says put everything that you want in a lady in a list and write this list and stick it under your pillow at night and it will come true. I never actually tried that, but I always like telling that story because it's kind of kind of out there.

Speaker 1:

So there's a whole episode with Ross and Joey and Chandler and friends about making lists about women that don't end well, so it's probably best you didn't do that.

Speaker 3:

Right, So let's go ahead and we're going to head to the book. Come on, Robin to the Batcave. We have one moment to lose.

Speaker 3:

Okay, our book tonight is Detective Comics 612. Your writer is Alan Grant, pencils Norm Brayfogel, anchor Steve Mitchell, colorists Adrian Roy, letterer Todd Klein and editor Dennis O'Neill. In this issue, batman saves an old lady from skater punks in Robinson Park, throwing one of them in the bushes nearby where he finds a corpse of a man, apparently devoured by some kind of animal. At that moment Thomas Blake realizes that his Siberian tiger has escaped into Gotham and he goes looking for his pet as the Catman. Catman searches for his tiger while the GCPD investigate, reporter Sarah Duhlman accuses Catwoman of being responsible for the grim murder on live TV. Catwoman sees this on TV in his outrage, So she goes to intervene.

Speaker 3:

Batman finds the tiger while it's attacking another thug. Catwoman sees him and slices the bat rope, forcing Batman to fight the tiger with his bare hands. Batman beats the tiger into submission while Catwoman arrives and throws Catman off a roof. Catman survives as he stumbles past two shady animal catchers. These men have been catching stray cats all night so they can sell to a research lab. When they see Catman, they are terrified and swear to never hurt cats again. Later Catwoman finds Sarah Duhlman and angrily tells her that she doesn't eat people. as this is being recorded on live TV. Catwoman slashes at the camera. in the aftermath, that tiger is taken to the zoo and Catwoman returns home, is very happy. So Detective Comics 612. I asked Shagg when he came on the show bring a book with you, and this was your pick. Tell us why did you pick this book?

Speaker 1:

It actually ties directly to my Batman face. I mentioned all those trades I had bought, right. This was the first issue I started buying on a monthly basis because, like I had, in addition to the trades, i had picked up year three because it just looked amazing, right. And then I followed that. I'm like, oh okay, what's this little new place at dying? That looks kind of cool. But then I stopped. I'm like, okay, i've gotten enough. I guess I just like the big popcorn, batman, summer blockbusters.

Speaker 1:

But then, for whatever reason, and I can't even tell you why, this issue grabbed my attention on the stands. I picked it up and from then on I was buying Detective in Batman every month all the way until after No Man's Land. And I don't know whether it's just the amazing art of the cover. I don't know whether it's because Catman was in Who's Who and I always remember that fondly, or maybe the previews catalog was starting to say more Tim Drake was coming, because Tim Drake was kind of my spirit animal there. I don't know, but this was the one man. This is the issue that made me become a month to month Batman fan.

Speaker 4:

I was. I never read this until now. I'm a little ashamed And of course the creative team is just the goat And I was really sad and as I realized, oh, they're no longer with us, it just kind of hit me. I know what I've read. Granton may break up both, since they both passed, but this time it hit me. Also, on the first page, did you guys notice the Allison Wonderland statue?

Speaker 1:

I did. I have a question about that. What did you notice?

Speaker 4:

Well it's. I just realized how weird Allison Wonderland overlays on the back, because you have multiple Batman, allison Wonderland, theme villains or themes. I'm like why does that fit so well?

Speaker 1:

What triggered in my mind is isn't the the sort of famous Allison Wonderland statue in a park? Isn't that in Central Park? Because I remember an issue of Firestorm where they were dealing with a statue of the Allison Wonderland, all the characters, and it was in Central Park. So I just didn't know. And, dave, you being a New York geography guy throwing that back at you, i didn't know if that was just. Maybe this is supposed to be New York originally or you know, gotham's kind of always New York, right, dave's on the Googles.

Speaker 4:

Yes, it is in New York, it is in Central Park and it is almost exactly that statue. They're on mushrooms, wow, okay, yeah, i hadn't put that together, but you're right.

Speaker 1:

Well, a credit to Pat Broderick. In my case, I can't really. I just remember it from Firestorm.

Speaker 3:

That's cool. That's cool. I didn't know that at all.

Speaker 4:

The Gotham Metropolis New York. New Jersey thing has always been murky.

Speaker 1:

So you guys talked about that on an episode not too long ago about where it is. So I always go back to the Atlas of the DC Universe by Paul Kupperberg. That's my Bible for geography in DC.

Speaker 4:

Was that part of the role-playing game? It was. Is that a completely set? Okay, that's what I thought.

Speaker 1:

It was part of the role-playing game, but it's so tangentially involved with the role-playing game It's more just a reference book. I mean, honestly, you could put it right next to your who's who and it just makes sense when you start flipping through it, because it gives you all the history of the cities, it gives you maps, it shows you the whole United States. Oh, we're here, here's Star City, here's Central City, et cetera, et cetera.

Speaker 3:

So I have to ask where does it say Gotham is?

Speaker 1:

Well, according to the Atlas, it puts Gotham City in the southern, southeastern zone of New Jersey, right along the water. So it puts it down to New Jersey, New Jersey, and then, because Metropolis always has to be across the bay, right, metropolis is in the southern part of Delaware, but there's a giant body of water between them, so it works quite perfectly. and they wedge Dover, for whatever reason, in the map, in between the two.

Speaker 3:

Interesting Got to have that Dover.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

That's weird because I live not far from DC or Baltimore, So Dover, the family goes to Ocean City a lot and Delaware is not that far north.

Speaker 1:

They also put Civic City up near there too, by the way.

Speaker 3:

Oh Civic City.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i think that's the atom right, the original atom, if I remember it. I don't know, maybe.

Speaker 4:

I had that wrong. Where's Hub City Now? I need to get this book, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So, to answer your question, if Hub City looks to be at the bottom of Illinois kind of a strange place to put it, because I mean Hub City is pretty much supposed to be Chicago, right, i mean?

Speaker 4:

that's pretty, i think so. Yeah, and that's at the northern part of Illinois.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so interesting. Okay, yeah, atlas of DC Universe cannot recommend it enough, and you can find some of these maps online too, if you can't get your hands on the book.

Speaker 3:

Okay, we're going to back up here for a minute.

Speaker 1:

We took control. The train went off the tracks there, Bill Sorry.

Speaker 3:

Because I want to talk about that cover real quick, and this is a norm-brafe Fogel cover. Anybody that doesn't know he's my favorite Batman artist And just looking at this cover, what he does with capes is magical. It's pure magical. I love this cover. This has always been one of my favorite covers, just because you see Cat Man and Cat Woman there in the background. They're like in dark, but the yellow cape is flowing, the cat on this chest, and then Batman looks like he's being clawed by cats. What did you guys think of this cover?

Speaker 1:

The cover is incredibly striking. I'm glad you pointed out Cat Man silhouette. That's what attracted me to this is the giant glowing yellow cat on his chest. As you said, the spawn-like cape although this is pre-date spawn, obviously it looks fantastic And I love a norm-brafe Fogel signature, if you notice, actually flows out of one of the cape lines, so it's really nicely done the way he did that. And I had to go back and look because I wasn't sure on this. This is actually the first issue with this Detective Comics logo And sadly, it only lasted about a year this particular logo. But because this was my jumping-on point, to me, this is what the Detective Comics logo is supposed to look like. For me, that's what it is. And yeah, bray Fogel is also my absolute. He's my Batman artist as well. I'm right there with you. I love this cover. It's fantastic. The glowing green eyes and the tiger just makes me want to say it's the eye of the tiger.

Speaker 1:

Anyway, sorry.

Speaker 4:

I was going to mention the logo too. This is a fantastic logo. The V in Detective is a bat And Bray Fogel is such an awesome artist. He made Catman the cool before Secret Six. if anybody's read Secret Six, He managed to make Catwoman cool without Gale Simone.

Speaker 1:

I think this is the. Unless I'm mistaken, i think this is the debut of this costume for Catman.

Speaker 4:

It didn't last long. It worked when Bray Fogel does it.

Speaker 3:

but Yeah, this particular costume, this is the debut of that. As we go in here, i'll mention you know his first appearance was in Detective 311. And there are some similarities between the story and something that happens in that particular book. But I know in previous issues of Detective Comics a few years previously, catman thought that his costume had healing properties. So he accused Batman of trying to kill him and he had his face scarred. But they had took part of his cape and he tried to get part of this cape back because he thought it was going to heal his face, because his costume wasn't whole and he thought getting this piece would heal him and that didn't work out so well. And then this is his next appearance after that.

Speaker 1:

And he doesn't have a scarred face on this one, unless I'm mistaken, right?

Speaker 3:

No, no, he doesn't. He's a goofy, you know, goofy character, compared to what we get in Gale Simone's Secret 6, where he turns into like an awesome character that is way more interesting than anything that we got previously.

Speaker 3:

But so we're going to jump in this book. We already talked about the first page, since that was brought up out of order. But it's all good. Chaos, it's chaos. We have these two Gator punks and they are a bunch of punks because they not only steal her purse, but the second one knocks her over Seriously. But yeah, we find out here. Batman is and it's actually a good. We were talking about this scene that has, you know, the Alice in Wonderland characters and you see in the back, you know, crossing the moon, you see Batman swinging. That's a kind of a cool looking at the top there. But then we get in here and we see that a tiger has mulled somebody. The lady is kind of stressed because her cat and Batman's like oh, if I see your cat out and about, i'll return your cat.

Speaker 1:

You're just going to find a random cat and be like here's your cat. Like right, my cat's an orange tabby. What is he doing? This is a tuxedo cat. Get out of here, batman.

Speaker 3:

Did he get her address or what's going on there?

Speaker 1:

I love Bray Foggle on these pages with the skate rats. How dynamic the movement is, the speed lines you know, even without having to change panels, like on page two. He uses a tree limb as a panel border. If you really look at it, there's the top image where they're chasing the skaters and then the bottom image beneath where he's kicking the guy. I love the dynamic movement that he does with the skateboarders. It just looks great.

Speaker 3:

And he does that with the Batmobile a lot of times, with the way it's speeding at night or different things. It's very well done when you see movement And that's one thing I always noticed with him.

Speaker 4:

He has this weird paradox where his art is both smooth curves and sharp angles and that's somehow evocative of motion. I can't figure it out logically. It works.

Speaker 3:

No, the other thing I really like is a lot of times you see Batman, you know his. The front of his chest is like in a shadow, except for the yellow oval. I really like seeing that. That really stands out when he does that.

Speaker 1:

You're talking about on page three.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love the next panel where Batman is all silhouette except for the eyes and the face. I love it when he does that. Now, one of his signature moves is, you know, and we don't get at this issue is him drawing people, drawing Batman how people perceive him rather than the way he really looks. So there's a little bit of that going on here, with the shape of the Batman's head and everything, But in general, I love that all black silhouette where you just see the eyes and the face. I think it looks great.

Speaker 3:

And then we get the most awesome character in this particular book. We get our Catman. the Catman And his tiger has and what? what is the tiger? we've been feeding that tiger because it looks like it's on steroids or something. The way it ripped open, it broke a chain, it ripped open that cage And then you get. What did you think of the Hatman's costume here? The big reveal here.

Speaker 1:

First of all, the reveal is amazing, the bottom of page four. It's an uplooking shot And it's okay. It's really hard to make a yellow costume look cool. I mean it's just very, very difficult And he pulled it off. Dave, i love what you just said about rounded corners and still being angular. I mean he really pulls it off here with Catman's costume. There's tons of angles, but there's also the round curves of the body, you know the and the torso and everything. It looks so sharp. I love one of the things I love throughout this whole thing I love how Catman's ears are always moving, like they flop left, they flop right. Here they're flop to the side. Brave Vogels obviously having fun with it, and I absolutely adore that. And back to the tiger, real quick. I mean he's bringing what looks like a, maybe a baby goat or a baby lamb or something. So that's what the tiger's eating. I mean he's eating well, apparently.

Speaker 4:

I like what you said about his ears moving, because it makes me think of if you read Mad Magazine or Cracked Magazine the fairies. Batman's ears were always depicted that way. So, brave Vogels, basically taking it back.

Speaker 1:

Sort of like that scene from. It was either Batman Forever or Batman and Robin, where he's running at the end.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean his ears are wiggling. Oh my gosh, was that a Batman and Robin reference?

Speaker 1:

It could have been. It depends on if I got the movie right or not.

Speaker 4:

It was at the tail end of Batman Forever. That was their date with the Kid Crusader. But yeah, yellow is hard to pull off And this is as close as you get to pulling it off with this. It's a little Wolverine, a little Punisher, but it works.

Speaker 1:

Got some Timberwolf going too with the chest symbol.

Speaker 3:

And you know his ears. The way they move, i guess, is based on here. He looks kind of intense. Later on they really look kind of droopy, like a rabbit or something.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, then we get this scene in the park where you got a reporter set up and she's like interviewing Commissioner Gordon. He really doesn't want to deal with her at all. But I love the way Bray Fogel and I'm sorry but I'm going to keep bringing him up like this whole issue because he has an iconic to me he has a very iconic Commissioner Gordon and Gordon just has an attitude with her and she's suggesting that it may be Catwoman, the mysterious Catwoman. Commissioner is like he just doesn't want any good part of that. He doesn't want to have to deal with her. They set up pretty quick, you know. They're in the park, they check the zoo and no animals been released, and then we get a scene with Catwoman. So between those two scenes Catwoman is reacting and it's a little different here because she actually growls a little bit, which I don't know if I've seen previously of her respond that way, but I think it's. Her issue was titled Cat, so we're getting a little, you know, emotion here. I dream to dream.

Speaker 1:

I think some of what we're seeing is this is still very early days for Catwoman in the post-crisis universe. We got her in year one. then there was that mini series. I want to say Brosevsky drew it, if I remember right and I might be wrong on that, but this isn't too long after that, so she actually hasn't had a ton of appearances. So I think they're still sort of feeling out what this version of Catwoman is going to be like. Along those same lines, i think it's kind of funny with this again this early in the post-crisis era, where they're talking about Batman openly on the news like Batman found the body, and I'm thinking, isn't this the era where he's an urban legend? for you know, they kind of deny his existence.

Speaker 3:

You know, they kind of waffled back and forth with the urban legend thing, because there is even an issue that comes much later where it's revealed for the first time that Batman's own camera as he walks out. But it kind of had a fine line of yes, he is an urban legend, it depends who the writer was. It kind of waffled back and forth.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that makes sense And I want to echo real quick you're absolutely right about Bray Fogel's Commissioner Gordon. That is like this in my head. this is what Commissioner Gordon looks like Those glasses, they're reflective. you don't see the eyes, the droopy mustache, the thinning hair. I mean the trench coat with the flipped up, popped up collar like he's in the 80s. It just this is Gordon to me. It's great, it's beautiful.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, bray Fogel's Gordon was always. it looked older, it looked age appropriate, but he's always had a little bit more weight to him And that felt right for somebody who's essentially got a desk job.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that's absolutely fair, I can totally see that. And a little bit of grizzled too. Like you know, he's like not old Westie, but you mean he kind of kind of guy's got some rough edges.

Speaker 4:

He's seen some stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. I just I love the way Gordon is there.

Speaker 1:

So So how tenacious is this reporter? Like she's told, you know, gordon shuts her down and she comes right back. She's trying to get some headlines. man, if this was the internet, she'd be going clickbait article headlines.

Speaker 3:

Right, it's like you know, the star, one of those, the inquirer sort of thing. It reminds me, sort of that they're just trying to get anything. Well then we get a couple of these cat catchers, or whatever you want to call them. They're luring these cats and and we'll get another. Look at the Lux cat cat food, which must be pretty good because they're luring them in and catching these things. And I don't know if this is the company they work for, but it's called Trowdinger delivery. Are you all familiar with that? You are.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh yeah, trowdinger's cat, absolutely Yes.

Speaker 3:

Okay. Well, i'm going to tell you what it is anyway, for everybody.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I've never heard of it. Please, Bill, enlighten me.

Speaker 3:

So Trowdinger's cat in quantum mechanics is a thought experiment that illustrates the paradox of quantum superposition. in the thought experiment, a hypothetical cat may be considered both alive and dead, while it's unobserved in a closed box as the result of a fate being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur. It was devised by physicist Irvin Schrödinger in 1935.

Speaker 1:

I've always heard of it. I mean, yes, that's obviously textbook definition, but I've always heard of it more in philosophical discussions, you know, and the idea is, yeah, you've got a cat that's inside of a box and there's like a cyanide capsule in there that may or may not have opened at this point. So while the box is closed, at any given time the cat could be alive, the cat could be dead. It's a pretty morbid, creepy thing.

Speaker 3:

Yes, he has it Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And if you've ever put a cat in a box before, they don't really shut up. So for the most part, I think you would actually know whether it's alive or dead.

Speaker 3:

If the cat was dead or alive, yeah Right. Well, anyway, that's these guys. And they seem like smart fellows because they're getting 10 bucks a cat and they're telling stories. And it's like. You know, last year old Dawson told us about some geek busting open a pyramid and found a quarter million mummified cats inside And says what did he do with them? He sold them to liver pull England as coffee table conversation pieces. Just a little humor they added in here. And then Batman's on the scene flying again. I still like. I like how they use, you know, the shape of the cape, like in a shadow behind them. It's a little different, so I do like. And then we have Catman swinging in again with the cape.

Speaker 1:

So I want to chime in here if I can, and Dave, please interrupt, because I feel like I'm totally bow guarding all the cool stuff here. But like, one of the things I love about Brayfogle does here with Catman is he's showing us how his, how his equipment works. He's taking the time to show how the the cat claws fly up there, the buttony presses to release it, all that stuff. I like that he took the time to show how the equipment works. I just dig that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, it reminds me of when they would do the diagrams of, like, your devil's daily club or you know. You remember the Marvel Universe trading card series two, when they showed out how the calf shield work. Whatever I see stuff like this, I'm like, yes, feed me, make me believe it even more. It's like Star Trek Half the science is made up, but they make you believe it is. They just commit.

Speaker 1:

It's the condor man of Superhero stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I like, i like how you know, when Batman uses his battering, especially in fighting. you know, brayfogle shows him throwing, knocking people down while he's combating. So I do like how they illustrate that here. And then we see the tiger for the first time And there's like this split panel, you know, where Batman reacts and Catman reacts and they're both swinging. I like it's like a dual panel. I do like like seeing that. I mean, the city is kind of the background and mostly it's about them swinging, about how their capes are and that sort of thing.

Speaker 1:

I feel like one thing that sort of applied but they don't really show here is, i mean, batman and Catman. there's so many similarities in their motifs and things like that that Catman could have been more like Batman. I know they've done stories like that later Gale Simone did and things like that, but I feel like this panel really sort of demonstrates those similarities.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, in the first appearance you know they had in Detective Comics the Catman. He basically mirrored himself between Batman and Catwoman But all his Cat, like Batman, has all these gimmicky things like the Batarang. It was all Cat related but it was like his opposite. That was a Cat. Well, it was really goofy back in the Golden Age and it just makes you laugh. And here it's, they kind of making more of a serious take of Catman with the same sort of same sort of thing.

Speaker 1:

So I hope he calls the swing line like something based on Cat Gut or something like that.

Speaker 3:

Oh, there was a bar that he went to Rob and it had a fiddle there, a cat playing the fiddle and the fiddle strings were made from Cat Gut And he was fighting Batwoman and he says I can't believe that a Cat Gut helped me out And it was like the cat had a bolt, the cat vehicle. There wasn't a kitty litter box or anything, but it was corny stuff like that.

Speaker 4:

Let's be honest if green arrow can be Batman with arrow thing, Catman can do the same thing with CatD, Right.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, he catches up with the tiger. Here he sees this thug being mauled. This is pretty entertaining because we get Catman Catman, he throws his little catarang, cuts Batman's bat rope and Batman's basically in trouble because the tiger's getting ready to take him out. And this is when we see Catman, you know, cuddling up with his tiger, and there's where the ears go all floppy. They go all floppy and he's this big smile on it and it's funny. It's kind of corny, so that's a very corny.

Speaker 1:

But I love it. I love that amount of cheese.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, we get these morons that you know we're catching cats here and they're telling more stories that are just I don't know. Who hired these guys.

Speaker 1:

Some creepy lab. Now I gotta say we've been waxing Norm Brayfogle's car here, right, but we should be waxing Alan Grant's car too, because if you look at this, the way this is layered, it's really intelligent. I took a few minutes to stop and think about the way he layered this as a story. You got the A plot, which is the loose tiger right and Catman running around. The B plot Catwoman, she's out there dealing with stuff, and then the C plot or you can interchange B and C. whichever is, these catcatchers, the Schrodinger's labs, folks, right And Grant has taken these three completely separate things and woven it together, that it all comes together in a beautiful climax. I mean, it's just really expertly done.

Speaker 4:

I love that the climax actually ends up with Catman in this metaphorical box as the car Schrodinger's box. So he was alive and dead until the door was open.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I didn't even see that.

Speaker 4:

Wow, there you go. See what Alan Grant did there.

Speaker 3:

That's pretty cool.

Speaker 4:

I like that a lot I thought Catwoman wore that gray costume for a shorter amount of time. I really did, and apparently it wasn't until 1993 that they switched her up to that purple bodysuit with the long gloves and the long boots. I thought that would wait early.

Speaker 1:

I think that was. Jim Blanton did that in the showcase or right after the showcase, right around Catwoman number one, yeah.

Speaker 4:

I think you mean Jim, i like boobs now. Well, i was going to say yeah, i was going to say.

Speaker 1:

Dc said wait a minute, this check. If we really sex her up, it'll sell a lot of comics. And it worked. Yeah, And I use all of those phrases as a joke, Please understand.

Speaker 4:

Would you say that she's attractive or fetching?

Speaker 1:

or She is an intelligent woman, dave. She's got a lot of skills, she is clever And, by the way, she happens to be hot.

Speaker 3:

So direct all questions, comments, complaints to Once a time, a geek on Twitter, not the bad pod, oh my God. Well, yeah, we get this tiger in Catman, basically six the tiger when he takes Batman's utility built and ties him to a pole, basically or an antenna. It's an antenna And he has a little fight with Batman, which is kind of cool. I like how these panels are. They're like horizontal panels. You see a lot of action here And I love seeing action like this And I can't say that. You see, you know, even comics nowadays, where some of the artists do Batman, they miss out that some of the action is like in between the panels. I like that. We see all the action right here.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, the horizontal panels maybe think of anime The way like I just see it moving, the way anime will layer up different scenes as people are fighting. I don't know if Bray Fogel was an anime fan, but immediately it moved in my own head.

Speaker 1:

That makes a lot of sense. Yeah, it's also very cinematic, you know, with the wide panels like that I actually had. My note on the panel design was just that it's very interesting And I love how Bray Fogel varies it from page to page. It's not revolutionary, but it's just interestingly done. It's very clever, it's well done And it's very effective, as you guys just pointed out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely. And she's fighting with the cat. Catwoman intervenes and she's fighting with Cat Man. She actually throws Cat. You see him being tossed and then he lands on top of their little van and they're like breaking out because it's a giant cat. And then Batman, you have the Schroeder-Schrodinger delivery van taking off and you have that action again with a car. It's like screeching off and I like that, and Batman and the Catwoman has a chance to help him out. But they're in a different place, you know, and she's like those two are big enough to look out for themselves. And then we get a scene here where Batman is riding this tiger, which is pretty interesting because if we go back to the original and Cat Man is riding a mechanical cat in his first appearance and he has like these bars, that he's controlling the cat and it's going after Batman and Robin, and it sort of reminded me about that issue that he's riding this cat and he ends up taking them out, and but I thought that was kind of that was kind of callback to maybe that issue.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's nice. Amongst the fight and the illustrations you were talking about, what I want to point out is on the bottom of page 16, and I really only noticed this because I read it in panel by panel mode on the DC app. But the bottom panel of page 16 is such a signature move for Bray Fogel. It's where the tiger, there's all the only detail, like the eyes in the top of his head. Everything else are these weird sort of vertical lines, but it's something he does to illustrate shadow and hard to see, and it's such a Bray Fogel move. And if you show me just that panel I would instantly know who the artist was, because it's just that much defining.

Speaker 3:

Right, and the other thing he does is you know that the character sometime Batman, in particular in this one, overlaps the panel above, you know, with his head, and I like seeing that sometime cat woman does it a panel near the top.

Speaker 4:

I love that it looks like Batman is using your double speed like club. I mean it's the antenna, but straight up looks like when Alex Ross was trying to design a Batman costume for Dick Grayson. He went with the blue and he added six X-Grammon states. That's what this looks like. Yeah, It's also also Batman using the environment, So that's all when right there.

Speaker 3:

And then there's a big, you know three quarter page panel where Batman just body slams the cat and takes his bat rope and I guess he puts it to sleep And he's like give in, give in. I love how they do the isolates there for Batman And that's another brave focal thing and the way they do the isolates. And I really like that particular page because you get four different things and this three quarter page. You get some action there and then a close up of his cow.

Speaker 1:

I like also. I mean the idea of the panel being Batman doesn't want to kill the cat, Right. Right, He wants to do the isolates because he knows it's not the cat's fault. You know, the cat is just doing what nature takes and wants him to do. So Batman's trying to save the cat but also save his life at the same time.

Speaker 4:

Miller would have written it differently.

Speaker 3:

So then you have your two goofy guys. They ran away and they said whatever the cat thing? and threw it right off the top. It says Uncle Ernie will kill me if his van is trashed. I'm gonna open the back and it's. you know, cat Man fell through the van But we see all these cats coming out. I don't know how they were going to get them out anyway, because, okay, it's like let's take something, let's shake up a dozen cats and then open the door. What do you think's going to?

Speaker 4:

happen. Confetti with claws Right. I just realized that Cat Woman inadvertently saved the lives of all these cats by throwing Cat Man in there. Good point, good point.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it all really does come together. She knew what she was doing.

Speaker 1:

And then you notice, these guys find religion too. I mean, they see Cat Man. It's a judgment. They're like you know, they're praying, basically saying I'll never do anything bad again. Please just let me live.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they just run away. There's a scene here where Cat Woman actually confronts this reporter She's doing another report, you know, update in the slang and says and the news is there is no news. And then Cat Woman just appears out of a tree, her head kind of appears down, she's on a limb and she makes sure she states she does not eat people and she's slashing at the cameras. The camera goes dark and then you see her, you know, hanging upside down, tied to a tree, hanging from this tree. So I did like how even though this Cat Woman is, you know, as we said, we're trying to figure out how to I think she did react as best as she could in this scene. And then we get more Batman. Batman shows up to, you know, commissioner Gordon, and we get another panel where you see Batman's cow, but you don't see some of the features. You see his thigh slits and you see the mouth, and that's another bravo type of thing. Want to close up? I like to see. I really enjoyed that.

Speaker 4:

I love that Batman has to point out that, no, he's not joking about the tiger thing.

Speaker 1:

Well, i think it's the name of the where the, where the tiger's found. It's because the tiger is found on a hot tin roof.

Speaker 4:

So you know cat on a hot tin roof. Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that that brave Fogel Batman is. I mean I know we just keep saying over and over guy was such a talent. I mean he was such a talent. He was the Batman artist in the 90s as far as I'm concerned, and it's just. This issue is a perfect example of why he became who he was.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely, and this Grant Bray Fogel team. They work together a lot, especially I'll just mention about this detective run. They were on there from issues 583 to 594 and then again 601 through 617. And during that time we got the ventriloquist and Scarface first appearance, we got the mud pack, we got anarchy first appearance And you can say what you want about that character. But but we got some good stuff. Unfortunately he didn't do, they didn't do year two, which is a classic to some. But yeah, i loved how they work together. And I mean Alan Grant. I mean we haven't mentioned him too much, but everything I've read of him has been enjoyable.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, second, that Absolutely.

Speaker 4:

Oh, i love his psychological thing. And these two just butter and jelly, and I know you can have one without the other and it's fine, it's good, but the other magic.

Speaker 3:

And then we get a final page, you know, with a different reporter, because the original reporter, she she went to the hospital cause she's in shock As a result of the brutal treatment at the hands of the mysterious cat woman. And then they show, you know, cat woman, at the end she got her lux cat cat food and her cat is very happy and they're purring together. Any final thoughts will start with David on this issue.

Speaker 4:

This was a really, really good one. I mean, it was perfectly self contained. It brought Catman into a story where he was not fully the comic relief, but not the big bad, and you got cat woman as well. There's no downside to this issue.

Speaker 1:

It's just a lot of fun, You know it's. It's not one that everyone's going to immediately remember, because there's not a huge mythology building here or it doesn't change things forever. It's just like Dave said it's a fun done in one, And obviously it was enough to hook me as a you know, a reader for a very long, long Batman phase. This is what did it, right here.

Speaker 3:

When you mentioned what book you were picking, I didn't remember what. It was off the top of my head, So I had to look. But as soon as I saw the cover, it's like, oh, that one, I know that one, I read that one. So so I yeah, this is my era and I really enjoyed this and revisiting this as goofy is Catman was in this play, There's still a goofy Catman era is still there's a place for that. So I really enjoyed that. So we're going to go ahead and head to what we learned.

Speaker 1:

And I'll see you guys in the next one, so join me in an ever changing roster of guest hosts as we celebrate your favorite JLI members, such as. Batman Martian manhunter.

Speaker 3:

Captain Atom Fire Ice.

Speaker 2:

Rocket Red The Flash, i mean Crimson Fox. Guy Gardner, metamorpho Booster.

Speaker 1:

Gold, blue Beetle, nort Justice League.

Speaker 3:

International Bwaha podcast, part of the Fire and Water podcast network.

Speaker 4:

Want to make something of it. So, david, what did you learn in this episode? I learned how to play Catman into one of the most awesome hardcore characters in comics, and if you've ever watched her on Twitter, she's a delight. Definitely not a bear.

Speaker 3:

Oh, absolutely She. Yeah, she's very entertaining and has done a lot of great stuff in her room, right. So, Shag, what did you learn in this episode?

Speaker 1:

Well, my, i have a backup, thank goodness, because my first point was exactly what Dave had. You know, no one, no one, ever took Catman seriously until Gale Simone. So, but my backup is don't bait Catwoman, just don't do it. You're not going to like what the result of that is.

Speaker 3:

No, definitely not in this issue. She, she sort of took out her revenge after she got you know. She got her growl out of the way A growling Catwoman was. She was very entertaining in this issue. I liked the way she was portrayed.

Speaker 1:

Well, i think the reporter had it coming. She baited Catwoman. She went after her for no reason. What's the matter? Got what she deserved. So I learned my lesson. I won't be baiting Selena Kyle anytime soon.

Speaker 3:

So what I learned in this episode is you know this Shrodinger delivery, you know the hired, these couple of gentlemen. They need to revisit the interview process. You know they need to ask some, some questions like common sense questions, like you know, ethical questions, cause these guys were a couple of dingbats And I think they wouldn't have passed if they would have asked some more important questions during the interview.

Speaker 1:

Might want to invest in some cages inside the truck too.

Speaker 3:

Individual cages, that was my plan just to throw cats in there. It reminds me of Dumb and Dumber. You know how they just threw all the dogs and threw food in there and it went everywhere as they're driving. It's just like the cats you just shake them up in a box and let them loose.

Speaker 1:

How'd you describe them, dave? Was it confetti with claws? Something like that? Confetti with claws yeah.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, that was our episode. We really appreciate you coming on here, shag. We had a blast. Do you want to give a shout out to your podcast network? That sort of thing?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. I appreciate that. Well, first off, i just want to say thank you so much for having me on the show. Bill and Dave, you guys have been incredibly gracious hosts. You put up with my silliness Incredibly sparkling conversation. It's been absolutely a joy And also, from the bottom of my heart, thank you both for wearing shirts, since we're doing video. That meant a lot to me.

Speaker 4:

Okay, i'm not saying about pants, but that's cool.

Speaker 1:

So if people wanted to hear more of me and I don't know why they would want to they could find me over on the Fire and Water Podcast Network where we've got a ton of shows. There's a lot of different creators over there. I am actively involved in our Justice League International Bwah-Ha-Ha podcast, where I'm focused on the Giffen Demuteus era of the JLI, and then I'm also doing a show called Once Upon a Geek, which is just sort of my exploration and talking about stuff that makes me happy. I've been doing that for a couple of years now, and then also our other shows I appear on are Aquaman and Firestorm, the Who's Who Show, digest, cast, and then I'm in various places around the network.

Speaker 3:

Yes, Great stuff, Great stuff. No one issue that I really want to pick for the show but it doesn't have a lot of Batman in it, but Batman is technically in. It is the JLI issue, the One Punch. I just want to have it on the show so I can talk about it, But I love that show. One of my favorite issues is actually Justice League Europe. I don't remember the exact issue, but it's when they go to have French lessons.

Speaker 1:

Issue number six the.

Speaker 3:

French lesson.

Speaker 1:

It's a fantastic issue.

Speaker 3:

One of my favorites of all time. I love that issue.

Speaker 1:

It's between the French lesson and then the Moving Day, which is number eight in the other show, the French lesson. I'm glad you mentioned it. I actually explained the plot of that to my daughter a couple of years ago with a teenager, and she's just like you know what That sounds hilarious. I mean, she got it, she saw the humor in it And she doesn't care about any of the stuff we do. So that was pretty awesome.

Speaker 4:

I'm just saying Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. That romance is the core of that book. The fact that there's not been a Blue and Gold podcast is a shame.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I never thought about that. That would be I did. I don't like it.

Speaker 1:

Yet there was a Silver and Gold podcast for quite a while with Captain Adam and Booster Gold, and then, on that same network, they started a Blue Beetle show. But you're right, they didn't do one together. Interesting.

Speaker 4:

Money's on the table, as Ryan Daly once said.

Speaker 1:

By the time, i'm done with JLI. I've been doing it for eight years, so I'm done. Someone else, please pick up that ball and run with it, and I'd be happy to listen to it every month. Bye.

Discussing Batman Comics With Shag
Comic Book Podcast and Detective Comics
Geography of Gotham in DC Universe
Gordon and Schrödinger's Cat Discussion
Batman and Catman Comic Analysis
Batman Comic Panel Analysis
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold Podcast