This is part 2 of the transcript of the New 52: One Year Later edition of the Podcast of Doom, in which Jim Doom and Doom DeLuise reflect back on the past year since DC’s cancellation of all titles and subsequent relaunch of 52 new books. To read part one of the transcript, click here.
JIM DOOM: Okay, we’re into week two now. Mr. Terrific!
DOOM DeLUISE: I bet it’s not very terrific!
I don’t read it.
JIM DOOM: I bet at that meeting they were like “Let’s put out a book starring Mr. Terrific!” and the other guy was like “Sure!”
We should probably stop shouting. Beyond the problem of microphone pops, this energy level is likely unsustainable.
Superboy. Did you buy it?
DOOM DeLUISE: Do I really have to answer that?
I’m going to go the opposite direction and start whispering my answers.
JIM DOOM: Didn’t you used to like Superboy?
Like as a character.
Not like a crush.
DOOM DeLUISE: [inaudible]
JIM DOOM: Didn’t you used to have a thing for Superboy?
DOOM DeLUISE: [inaudible]
JIM DOOM: We should probably start shouting again.
Batman & Robin!
DOOM DeLUISE: I didn’t buy the first issue, so I just never bothered buying any of them. You?
JIM DOOM: Yeah, this is one of my favorites. It’s pretty solid. The latest arc has definitely been my least favorite of the series so far, as it’s treading into “stupid villain” territory.
DOOM DeLUISE: Did it tie into the Night of Owls at all?
JIM DOOM: No, it stayed out of that.
DOOM DeLUISE: Oh cool.
JIM DOOM: It’s been more about the Bruce – Damian dynamic, and their relationship as partners and father and son. I enjoy it enough that I read it when I buy it, but I discovered recently that I forgot to buy last month’s issue. So I’m apparently not too glued to it.
But I’d say it’s a solid B book, in terms of letter grades. And Batman.
DOOM DeLUISE: That’s my favorite series that DC publishes, currently. I love it. I loved the Night of Owls stuff. It’s just so good.
JIM DOOM: Stop it. I was just referring to Batman starting with B. We aren’t there yet.
DOOM DeLUISE: DAMNIT! No, I don’t read Batwoman. Ugh. Do you?
JIM DOOM: No, but I’ve heard it’s pretty good.
DOOM DeLUISE: Speaking of pretty good, do you read Batman?
JIM DOOM: Next up is Green Lantern!
DOOM DeLUISE: I do read Green Lantern, though I seem to keep thinking that every issue is the exact same thing.
JIM DOOM: I was actually thinking something very similar.
DOOM DeLUISE: Hal Jordan has a ring that’s powered by Sinestro’s, but he fixes that, Sinestro gets possessed, so Hal helps him, then they argue, then badguys show up, end of issue.
JIM DOOM: I feel like we are in the midst of a storyline that, when viewed from space, will be a nice, well-planned 8 year story. But when you’re down in the weeds, it’s — like you say — just a whole lot of the same thing. I mean we’re back into Black Hand and the Black Lanterns?
Sure, maybe the context is slightly different as the backdrop has shifted, but I am having major spectrum lantern fatigue.
DOOM DeLUISE: No joke. You said it, Jimmy.
JIM DOOM: And this series also suffers from having been in a mega-storyline spanning many years with a universe reboot in the middle. It’s so tied to what was going on in the old universe. Like I wonder if the Anti-Monitor exists in the New 52, considering how tied he was to the old continuity, yet also having been a Yellow Lantern.
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, he hasn’t been seen since Brightest Day.
JIM DOOM: But that was what, like 4 years ago maybe?
DOOM DeLUISE: Probably, yeah. Maybe 5.
JIM DOOM: Bless Geoff Johns for having a plan, but yeah, this series really does seem to be treading water.
It’s weird now that I think about it. I accuse it of treading water, but if I had to level another accusation at it, it’s that it chronically seems to be building up to another Big Event. So it’s weird how a series can seem like nothing is happening while also seeming like it’s reliant on mega-events.
I’m apparently very hard to please.
DOOM DeLUISE: haha
JIM DOOM: Red Lanterns!
That had its own series?
Had — has?
DOOM DeLUISE: Yep!
JIM DOOM: Does that still exist?
DOOM DeLUISE: I read the first five – – five? – – issues or so. It was so awful, but I kept buying it, just because of how bad it was. I gave up when I missed an issue, cuz, really, it was just rotten.
JIM DOOM: No more lanterns.
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
Seriously, this was reported to have been released in the second week of September.
DOOM DeLUISE: It must have only lasted one issue. I don’t remember ever seeing it on the rack.
JIM DOOM: Me either.
DOOM DeLUISE: Batman?
JIM DOOM: Close.
DOOM DeLUISE: I started buying that because it’s written by Abnett and Lanning, the guys who revitalized the cosmic universe in Marvel.
JIM DOOM: I have no idea what this is but it was written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. I wonder if I would’ve liked it.
DOOM DeLUISE: I still buy it!
JIM DOOM: Have you read any of it?
How do you like buying it?
DOOM DeLUISE: I’ve read most of it. It’s not very good. Every month, I debate dropping it. The villains are super lame, but they seem to at least have a plan for the character, so I keep giving it a chance.
JIM DOOM: I’m glad we don’t just buy the same stuff. Just mostly the same stuff.
Does he die a lot?
DOOM DeLUISE: Usually once an issue. Sometimes twice. But, like, the main villains in the first arc were these two female twin assassins with big boobs.
Nothing else about them was memorable.
JIM DOOM: Get this — there was a book called Demon Knights.
DOOM DeLUISE: haha.
I just looked up Resurrection Man to see if I could find a picture of those twins. Turns out the series is cancelled after issue 13! So I guess I’ll stop buying that.
JIM DOOM: Maybe it’ll get relaunched.
DOOM DeLUISE: That would be appropriate.
I just ruined your joke.
JIM DOOM: Grifter.
DOOM DeLUISE: Nope.
JIM DOOM: Deathstroke.
DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t think so, Tim.
JIM DOOM: Do you know if Fin Fang Doom still reads comics? I wonder if he buys some of these crappy ones and could maybe give us some insight into them. Later.
DOOM DeLUISE: I should ask him. I hang out with him at least once a week, but we never talk about anything, it seems.
JIM DOOM: Suicide Squad.
DOOM DeLUISE: Nope.
JIM DOOM: Legion Lost. Is that just like the Legion of Super Heroes but with different words after “Legion” ? Hahaha Fabian Nicieza wrote it. No wonder I ignored it.
I bet it has lots of slang in it.
DOOM DeLUISE: How do they understand pop culture references in the 31st Century?
JIM DOOM: Ok baby, we’re at week 3! Wonder Woman!
DOOM DeLUISE: Not even once!
JIM DOOM: I bought issue #1 but I didn’t really care for it.
Actually that’s not true. I think I sort of liked it. But then I stopped buying it.
Good thing I corrected myself.
I have the best stories.
DOOM DeLUISE: Go on.
JIM DOOM: Captain Atom!
DOOM DeLUISE: Nope.
JIM DOOM: DC Universe Presents!
DOOM DeLUISE: Must’ve missed that one. Nope.
You know what I do read, though? Batman.
JIM DOOM: Supergirl!
DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t read that.
I don’t buy it either.
JIM DOOM: Here’s one.
DOOM DeLUISE: OH MY GOD, FINALLY. I love Batman.
It’s the first comic I read every week that it comes out. I sometimes don’t read any of my other ones, but I always make time for Batman.
I love how they took all of the existing backstory for Batman and Gotham City and Alfred and Nightwing, and, without changing a single thing, added an entire supervillain league in the background that has been in operation since the Batman started.
JIM DOOM: Totally agree with all of that. As far as I’m concerned, Batman has been the runaway success story of The New 52. There are books I enjoy, but nothing comes close to how awesome Batman has been.
I didn’t know anything about Scott Snyder before this series. And actually — after the first issue, this became one of those books that I was buying and just letting issues pile up. But one day I took a stack, maybe the first four or five, with me to lunch and got caught up, and I was like “Holy crap — this is amazing.”
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, dude. That issue where he’s in the labyrinth, and you have to flip the issue around as Batman slowly loses his mind? That was some amazing, amazing stuff. Maybe teh best single issue I’ve read in years.
JIM DOOM: Scott Snyder write a miniseries not long before the New 52 that tied in a lot to the history of Gotham and the founding families. Did you happen to read that?
DOOM DeLUISE: This is the first thing I’ve read by Scott Snyder.
JIM DOOM: Gates of Gotham. That’s the name of the series.
DOOM DeLUISE: It’s kind of amazing that he, in one year, made Owl Man one of Batman’s most intimidating villains, a character that was mostly just a joke prior to this series.
JIM DOOM: Well anyway, in both Gates of Gotham and now in Batman, I think Snyder does an amazing job of developing the character of Gotham City, which has always been an important supporting character in Batman, but one that is often neglected and treated as just a setting, rather than an entity with its own characteristics and quirks and history and personality.
DOOM DeLUISE: I’ll have to check out Gates of Gotham.
JIM DOOM: I was very excited to learn recently that the Joker has been taken out of the hands of Tony Daniel and will star in Batman under Scott Snyder. Oh, but he’s also the guy who writes Swamp Thing, which is part of why I’ve kept buying that book.
DOOM DeLUISE: I didn’t know that. That’s awesome.
JIM DOOM: Another thing that’s so good about Batman — the whole point of this New 52, or at least a major point, was to make the books accessible to new readers again. But two books that both of us read — Justice League and Action Comics — both suffer from the quirks of their respective writers.
Justice League is bogged down in Kirby love, or at least was in its first arc, and Action is an intimidating read in some areas based on Morrison’s inability to help himself when it comes to weird things.
If you’re a new reader, you don’t know if he’s just being Grant Morrison or if there’s something really significant that you’re missing.
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, well said.
JIM DOOM: But Batman — it manages to both tie in to the accessible essence of Batman while also creating something new that is a super easy jump-on point. Yet it still adds something new and fascinating to reward long-term readers! This Batman arc could happen with or without the relaunch. It doesn’t rely on reimaginings or gimmicks.
Snyder really just bored down to the essence of the character, took advantage of the richness of Batman’s history, and found a way to bring something new that was exciting and fresh but still respectful to the legacy.
I just can’t speak highly enough about the book.
Oh, and one concern of mine going into this book was Greg Capullo. He used to be a favorite of mine many years ago, but then he rebranded himself as a Todd MacFarlane ripoff. I think he has been exceptional. I hope they keep this creative team together for years.
DOOM DeLUISE: Indeed. If I had to stop reading all comics but one, this is the one I’d keep reading.
JIM DOOM: Totally agree. It’s the only book I’m excited for. There are others I genuinely enjoy, but I’m actually excited for new issues of Batman to come out.
DOOM DeLUISE: And, something that hasn’t happened for me in years, this is a series where, after each issue, I think to myself, “That was awesome. I can’t wait until some day next fall when I can sit down, drink a few cups of coffee on my porch, and just read through all of these issues again.”
JIM DOOM: I bought a little table for my front porch to sit by my porch swing. I’ve been getting more comic book reading done thanks to that.
Well let’s move on, now that we’ve covered porches.
DOOM DeLUISE: I don’t buy it or read it regularly, but I’ve picked up a few issues here and there. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing exceptional about it. No reason to buy it. No reason to read it. I love Dick Grayson more than most people, but this is just a series that’s there. It’s breaking no new ground.
JIM DOOM: I bought one of the Night of the Owls crossover issues but forgot to buy another.
Oh I just thought of another thing that i love about Batman.
This includes spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet and intend to, you might want to turn down your speakers for about 30 seconds or just skip ahead if you’re listening to this on delay.
But in issue 1, we meet Lincoln March, and I’m like “Ok, so this is the new villain, because that’s the formula. Introduce new character, he and Bruce are friends or whatever, and we find out later he’s the villain.”
DOOM DeLUISE: Right.
JIM DOOM: It seemed so obvious. But Snyder still managed to find a way to make it interesting! It was almost like he knew it was really obvious, so he took advantage of that to give it that extra layer of big reveal. I ended up not being the tiniest bit disappointed.
DOOM DeLUISE: Yeah, I know what you mean. Because, even though he was introduced and we all knew he was the villain, he’s not actually Lincoln March
JIM DOOM: Word. Ok, you can turn your speakers back up now.
Talk for a while because I need to go to the bathroom. Cover for me, and we’ll edit this out in post.
DOOM DeLUISE: I was just going to say, “Nope, I don’t read Catwoman.” But that’s not very interesting.
Do you guys want to hear a joke?
Ok, so this guy walks into a bar, and he sees this short little guy, super short little guy, playing the piano.
And the bartender’s like, “I didn’t want a twelve inch penis!”
I forget how that joke goes.
What did you guys think of Catwoman in the new Batman movie? That Anne Hathaway sure is a knock-out, huh?
[audience cheers, whistles]
JIM DOOM: Anne Hathaway! Yeah, she was great. So I don’t know if you covered this while I was gone — wait, I was going to edit that out — bah, whatever.
All I know about this series is that there was that one controversial isse where it clearly shows Batman and Catwoman having sex, like legs spread and Batman thrusting.
DOOM DeLUISE: Or for real? Wowzers!
JIM DOOM: And I don’t mean to be a prude, but I just feel like if you want to see stuff like that, you can get it elsewhere. So stop polluting my comic shop.
Birds of Prey.
DOOM DeLUISE: Haven’t read it. Don’t buy it.
JIM DOOM: Oh wait, I’m remembering it slightly wrong. Here, I printed it out for you. [transcriber’s note: you can see the controversial roof-top lovemaking drawing here] Batman’s legs are spread, and Catwoman is straddling him.
DOOM DeLUISE: Huh. Weird.
JIM DOOM: Red Hood and the Outlaws.
DOOM DeLUISE: That’s not cancelled by now? I dont’ read it.
JIM DOOM: They should kill off Jason Todd.
DOOM DeLUISE: May as well.
JIM DOOM: I happened to notice this yesterday at the shop or else I’d question its existence.
DOOM DeLUISE: They’ve done nothing interesting with him since his return.
JIM DOOM: There’s a recent issue in Batman & Robin where all of the Robins are hanging out, and there’s some tension between them, but in the way that there’s tension between family members who don’t get along. And that’s arguably an appropriate relationship for Dick, Jason, Tim and Damian to have, if not for the fact that Jason kills people.
DOOM DeLUISE: Maybe they’re remembering around that.
JIM DOOM: That’s a good point. I don’t read his book so maybe in the New 52 he doesn’t kill people and hasn’t killed people. I wonder if he still has red hair.
DOOM DeLUISE: Nothing would surprise me at this point.
This concludes part two of the transcript of the New 52: One Year Later edition of the Podcast of Doom. Come back some other time for the third and final installment!