Episode 178


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For six months Desmond Reddick and Michael David Sims have examined DC's weekly series Countdown. Overall, their feelings about the series have been less than enthusiastic. Despite having been disappointed, they swore to trudge forward, hoping Countdown would get better as the series crossed into the final 26 issues. It didn't, and as they sat down to record for a seventh month, their spirits broke. [ 1:04:36 || 29.5 MB ]

The above is from: http://www.earth-2.net/theshow/episodes/e2ts_178.mp3

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I was kind of suprised that you guys didn't atleast give issue #23 a good review. Granted i didn't read the issue myself since i stopped reading Countdown somewhere in the #40's but it just seems like everyone was raving about that issue and i've even heard from people who have hated the series all the way through that issue #23 was really good. So i was kind of suprised that you guys just glossed it over like it was any other crappy issue, but it's possible that it was just like any other crappy issue since i didn't read it in the first place.

And I have to say I am shocked and appalled at Mike's comments about killing off Bruce Wayne. You sir just do not get the character of Batman whatsoever.

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Issue #23 was terrible. Superboyman-Prime beat up Mxy and an alternate Zatanna for the bulk of the book. That's it. Well, and he whined like a spoiled little bitch. Again: nothing new happened.

And yes, I do get Batman. But it's time for DC to take a permanent risk with the Holy Trinity. Just because Bruce Wayne has been Batman for nearly 70 years doesn't mean he should always be Batman. If they don't want to kill him, he could very easily take a backseat (à la Batman Beyond) to Tim as Batman.

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And yes, I do get Batman. But it's time for DC to take a permanent risk with the Holy Trinity. Just because Bruce Wayne has been Batman for nearly 70 years doesn't mean he should always be Batman. If they don't want to kill him, he could very easily take a backseat (à la Batman Beyond) to Tim as Batman.

Why should he take a backseat, and why should Tim be Batman ? If this was back a few years ago, I could possibly understand why you would want him out of the picture because he had become such an unlikeable character but that's not the case anymore. I also find it funny that by your logic, the only way you can tell an intresting story is to kill a character which sounds more like the "Judd Winick school of writing" than an intresting story to me.

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While I'm not certain that he should be killed, I think there's a wealth of story there for succession. Why should every other human hero in the DCU do it and not Batman?

Supes and WW don't age so that's fine but I think that an aged taskmaster Bruce Wayne in the DCU would be more interesting than anything they're doing with him now.

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I was going to start the Batman/Bruce Wayne debate - damn you, Malpractice!!!

On the one hand, I tend to like one alias per hero if that's how they're best known. Granted, it makes storyline sense for new characters to inherit the mantle to keep the stories interesting, but if someone asks me who Catwoman is, I say Selina Kyle rather than Holly Robinson (and ESPECIALLY not Patience Price - wiki it, if you don't know what I'm referring to).

On the other hand, you could easily have a Batman Beyond scenario happen where Wayne mentors someone in his role. Because the guy must be in his early-to-mid forties by now and that's going to slowly limit his effectiveness over time.

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Why should he take a backseat, and why should Tim be Batman ?

Because that's the route DC is clearly driving down. Within two years Tim will either be Batman or a different dark hero.

If this was back a few years ago, I could possibly understand why you would want him out of the picture because he had become such an unlikeable character but that's not the case anymore.

It doesn't matter if he's a dick or Mr. Friendly, I simply find Bruce Wayne as Batman to be passé?

I also find it funny that by your logic, the only way you can tell an intresting story is to kill a character which sounds more like the "Judd Winick school of writing" than an intresting story to me.

I never said that. I simply think Bruce Wayne needs to step aside as Batman. If that means killing him (which would all but force Tim to become Batman), then fine. If that means crippling him, fine. Marrying him, fine too. It doesn't matter to me; I simply want to see a new Batman.

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Mike, are you of the Peter Parker shouldn't age school of thought?

If so how is that any different? It's the kind of thing for me but with marvel. I can easily see how someone could get sick of Bruce as Batman cause I'm almost certain I'd get sick of reading about Peter Parker being Spider-Man.

That said, I really can't imagine anyone else but Bruce underneath the cowl. Not to mention I think he's a GREAT character as a man not just a hero. But without the cowl, he becomes a lot softer and he would take a lot of what I like about him away.

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I'd say they should take another 10 years (realtime) to allow Tim to develop to the point where Dick was when he stopped being Robin and then you could have Bruce disappear for a few years completly, leaving Tim to guard Gotham. Tim reaches the conclusion that Gotham needs a Batman after some initial problems working on his own (related to the criminals lack of fear) and so he decides to take up the role, although his uniform would be closer to the future version seen in Teen Titans or possibly even head in a more Batman Beyond direction in terms of style (not tech-wise).

I just think that down the line once Tim has left the Titans and the current father-son dynamic has truly had time to settle in to the point where its clear there won't be a Dick/Bruce style split then at that point Tim will be ready to truly succeed Bruce. Not saying that Bruce should be gone for more than a few years, in fact they could have Nightwing trying to track him the whole time. Then once he returns they could both be Batman, one takes Batman, the other Detective Comics. If Bruce had Greying hair once he returned it would also lend to the idea that Bruce isn't going to last forever, and that Tim is already a worthy successor. Tim's learnt to be the Batman rather than Nightwing who only ever learnt to be Robin from Bruce.

If figure around that time the trinity could move on to the JSA (presumably because the elder statemen of that group have finally passed on) and the JLA can become all about the new top line heroes, who would be an interesting mix of a few current JLA and upcoming heroes. Plus having Nightwing alongside Tim as Batman? Awesome.

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Blane: There's a fundamental difference between the DC and Marvel universes. The DCU is founded on the idea of legacy. When a hero grows too old or dies, his / her masked persona is passed to the next generation. There are very few characters in the DCU that haven't done so. With the exclusion of Jean-Paul Valley (which was a temporary "fix"), Batman has always been Bruce Wayne. It boggles the mind when I see five earthborn Green Lanterns, four Robins and Flashes, three Blue Beetles, two Green Arrows and Black Canaries and Speedies, but only one Batman. Why is he the exception to the rule? In my mind it's because Bruce Wayne is just as big a household name as Batman, but that shouldn't determine what can and cannot happen to characters. If it's time to move Bruce to the sidelines, if the right story comes along that does so respectfully, then it's time to move forward.

Since Marvel is lacking a good number of legacy characters (compared to DC, I mean), it's not as commonplace for the mantle to be handed over. That said, when it comes to Peter Parker, I think he should have retired when Ben Reilly came along. Marvel had the perfect opportunity to create the "happily ever after" ending for Peter and MJ while still (sort of) keeping Peter Parker under the mask, but they blew it. In an effort to make the character once again relevant, now we have Mephisto asking Peter and MJ to relinquish their marriage. <_<

Eventually I would like to see Peter hand the tights to someone else, but that character should have time to establish himself beforehand. The last thing we need is a Jean-Paul Valley scenario, where a new character comes out of nowhere to replace an icon. During Civil War Tony Stark offered Peter the chance to be his protégé; Peter should reaccept that offer. During his time as Stark's right-hand man he could meet / train a new teenage superhero -- his own protégé, if you will. After a few years of really building that character up, he becomes the new Spider-Man as Peter becomes the head of Stark International. Two birds with one stone: Peter finally grows up (figuratively) and gets to use his big brain to save the world, at the same time an established young, competent character becomes the new Spider-Man.

It would be hard to imagine other characters wearing the Bat- and Spider-masks, but not impossible. DC fans have been dealing with this for decades, and I feel it's about time we learn to accept this when it comes to the biggest icons at both companies.

Stavros: I like your idea there, but I'd rather it happen in less than 10 years. Tim is a very strong character, and could easily make the jump in half the time you've suggested.

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Stavros: I like your idea there, but I'd rather it happen in less than 10 years. Tim is a very strong character, and could easily make the jump in half the time you've suggested.

My only problem with it happening sooner is that Tim's still quite young, and in comic book terms he should be at least 20 or so before he takes on the mantle of the Bat.

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Anyone who's read Teen Titans in the past few years will know that Tim IS destined to be Batman and he kicks a whole lot of ass while doing so. I'd like to see him under the cowl perhaps being hunted by those who think he goes too far. Although, I think Bruce has to be dead for that to happen.

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He's 17, so not that far from adulthood. I don't see why 20 is a magic number.

He might have emotional maturity but not quite physical maturity. If you look at your average 17 year old and then 20+ year olds theres a big difference, they fill out a lot more. I just don't see Batman being an imposing figure with Tim's current physique. He needs to fill out a bit in order too look the part, not least because he doesn't want to look like he's raiding his dad's closet for a halloween costume. Since a big part of comics is the visuals I think its important that he be allowed to get to the point where he really can fill the cape.

I also think that Tim need more time to distance himself from his former stance of "I'll never be Batman", which he has yet to really rescind in the comics yet. to do the turn now would be too drastic a shift, it should be gradual.

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Why should Tim's Batman have the same body as Bruce's Batman? The fact that they have different builds drives home the point that this is a different man. Could he be a bit taller, yeah. But I wouldn't mind seeing a skinnier Batman. Hell, look at Terry; he wasn't as big as Bruce, and no one complained about that.

Considering everyone around him dies violently, Tim doesn't need to say, "You know, I was wrong when I said I'd never be Batman." By virtue of his darker costume and attitude, it's implied that his former stance has been rescinded.

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It's subtle nuances and plot-driven intricacies are stunning. Watchmen fans should take note. There's a new greatest superhero story in town!

I sincerely hope that the Nobel Institution continues the work they started with MAUS, and give Paul Dini, the seven actual writers, Keith Giffen, the seven hundred and forty three artists, Scott Beatty and the seventeen flawless, flawless editors the Nobel Prize for Literature for this monumental story of the ages.

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It's subtle nuances and plot-driven intricacies are stunning. Watchmen fans should take note. There's a new greatest superhero story in town!

I sincerely hope that the Nobel Institution continues the work they started with MAUS, and give Paul Dini, the seven actual writers, Keith Giffen, the seven hundred and forty three artists, Scott Beatty and the seventeen flawless, flawless editors the Nobel Prize for Literature for this monumental story of the ages.

"We award you the Nobel Prize for upskirt shots in a visual medium..."

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A idea maybe about Countdown, instead of doing a big show for it perhaps people should all post comments in the Countdown thread as reviews of each issue. Still lets people keep up with the series and also may encourage others to write reviews for the site in the future maybe?

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