A quick survey of every single retelling of the Batman origin, from 1939 to 1989.
- DC Universe Infinite
- Batman The Golden Age (Book)
- Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (wiki)
- Super Powers Team Ep. 4 (Youtube)
- Batman Shaman
- Batman: Year One
- Batman (1989)
You can find an archive of all episodes at batlessons.com
Send your comments, questions and corrections to email@example.com or tweet at us @batlessons
Podcast Artwork by Sergio R. M. Duarte
Podcast Music by Renzo Calma
[00:00:00] Alex: acrophobic, This is the best.
[00:00:09] Brian: When did Batman have his first origin story in the various universes?
Are there different origin stories? We'll talk about that in more today. I'm Brian.
[00:00:18] Alex: I'm Alex.
[00:00:19] Brian: And this is Bat Lessons. Hey Alex. It looks like the tables are turned today. Yeah, I'm gonna be running the show as the researcher and faux professor on this episode.
[00:00:30] Alex: I feel like a little bit like I'm, without my, my safety wire, my safety blanket.
I don't have notes. It's uh, kind of interesting.
[00:00:37] Brian: This is gonna be an interesting one. Yeah. So try to act, I, you know, a ton about this stuff, so try to act like some of this information is new to you. Okay. I can do that. I mean,
[00:00:47] Alex: I think, I think, uh, you're probably gonna come out with a lot of stuff. I don't know if, if anything I'm gonna be embarrassed about the things I don't know.
[00:00:54] Brian: Uh, well, hopefully you're not embarrassed cuz we're trying to educate a lot of people on this.
[00:00:58] Alex: Yeah,
yeah, yeah. Did you wanna tell people about the, the sort of like, circumstance that we're in presently? Like Uh, sure. So, uh, we might sound a little bit different today cuz we're in person. We're sitting next to each.
It's kind of
[00:01:10] Brian: Bump bu bu
[00:01:12] Alex: We, um, our families just had a nice little Thanksgiving together and, uh, we're at a, an Airbnb in sunny California. It's the Friday after Thanksgiving we're outside. You might be able to hear a wind chime in the distance
[00:01:24] Brian: I can hear wind chimes.
[00:01:25] Alex: Um, and yeah, I thought it'd be cool to, to record in person when we get the chance.
I, I bought, um, just like the cheapest microphones. These are the Sure SM seven
knockoffs. but they're supposed to sound good, but they have handling noise, so if you hear some rattling, then
[00:01:42] Brian: handling noise. Ah, okay.
[00:01:44] Alex: I'll try to edit around it. But,
[00:01:48] Brian: Yeah. Hopefully people will give us a little bit of grace.
It is Thanksgiving, after all.
[00:01:52] Alex: Indeed. Yes.
Uh, I'm, I'm thankful for our listeners.
[00:01:55] Brian: Yeah. As am I, I'm thankful for technology. So we can, uh, do this out in the backyard in the middle of nowhere. And not have our, like, mega system like we do at home.
[00:02:05] Alex: Indeed.
[00:02:06] Brian: okay. Well, I'll, I wanna start out, so we're talking about Batman Origins.
And I wanna start by getting this out of the way. Almost everyone knows the basic origin story of Batman, right? Um, in my research, I saw this great Reddit comment that said, um, at this point, literally everyone knows his origin. People who live in huts and remote villages know it
[00:02:28] Alex: Yeah.
[00:02:28] Brian: So the, some, the idea here as I'm going to be talking about like all the different, uh, distinct origin story information, hopefully like land, something interesting on top of the stuff that like everyone just kind of knows.
Okay. All right. So, and everyone knows this part, so I'm just gonna lay that out front. So, Bruce Wayne is a child. Um, he's leaving a theater with his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. They walk down a dark alley, they get robbed. And in the process of getting robbed, Bruce Pars Thomas and Martha Wayne are shot and killed.
Uh, murder. In the street, well in the alley. So this traumatic event and its connection to, the criminal element solidifies Bruce's fate to become the mass vigilante crime fighter that we all recognize as Batman. So everyone knows that one. So we should talk about like, what my definition of origin story is when I was going into the research.
[00:03:22] Alex: I feel like you've given us a little bit of it already,
[00:03:24] Brian: Uh, just a little bit. I, yeah, This might, this might not be something that has like a lot of broad agreements, so it's not just what happened when he was a kid. For me, I'm defining it as like any event that led to the creation of Batman right up until the point he puts on the suit for the first time.
[00:03:43] Alex: Okay. Okay. Okay.
[00:03:43] Brian: So some of these stories I'm gonna tell. We'll have huge cliff hangers and it's basically gonna be like, he, he just put the suit on. Okay. You have to go read to find
[00:03:52] Alex: And these, are these all comic stories for the first outing here,
[00:03:55] Brian: um,
I, I, so I'm, in my research, I tried to cover all the origin stories everywhere.
So I do cover movies, I do cover some TV shows, some animated stuff. I don't know if we're actually gonna have time to get to all that today. From what I've seen, there's only one, of those like cinematic universe things that brings something new to the table. Everything else is just kind of ripped from the comics.
Okay. So the most of the interesting things I'm gonna tell you are coming from the
[00:04:23] Alex: Gotcha. Sounds good.
[00:04:25] Brian: with that outta the way, we need to do a deep dive on this and, uh, the different impacts, different moments that impact Bruce's overall motivation and psychology.
So chronologically, DC 33, detective Comics number 33 released November, 1939.
[00:04:42] Alex: That's right.
So I have a little bit of context on this one if you, if you, if you don't mind. so this is during the Gardner Fox run. I don't know if you remember, we were talking about a couple episodes ago that, bill Finger writes the first, two issues of, of, of Batman, and then the next seven are written by Gardner Fox.
But, it is interesting to say that this, this origin story that we're getting ready to talk about two pages is broadly agreed upon to be considered to be written by Bill Fier, not Gardner Fox. So the Detective Congress 33 is a Gardner Fox issue, but Bill Finger wrote this story, at least that's the popular consensus.
There is a book, called, let me pull it up. There's a book called The Forgotten All Star, uh, biography of Gardner Fox, written by Jennifer Du Ross. It's, it's a, you know, a biography of of Gar Fox. And, um, I don't think she said it in the book, but she was on a podcast a few years ago called Word Balloon, where she speculated that that perhaps, um, this origin story was also written by Gardner Fox.
So there's a little bit of, uh, contention. I don't think anyone's like, you know, put it in writing as a, in an academic work. so, you know, take that as you will. But, as with everything at this early, at this early stage, we don't exactly know who, who's responsible.
[00:05:50] Brian: but not Bob.
[00:05:51] Alex: No, definitely not. Bob can, um, he would've been drawing it, but,
[00:05:57] Brian: cool. Okay. So DC 33. So, just, just a few issues into the first run of Batman comics defines his first origin story.
So essentially young Bruce is walking home from a movie with his parents. When a mugger attempts to grab his mother's necklace, this is Martha. So Bruce's dad, Thomas steps in the way to protect her, saying, leave her alone. You, he gets cut off by the mugger saying you asked for it and shoots Thomas Wayne.
Mm-hmm. . So, so some of these original stories are like pretty brutal. Yeah. In like the way they depict, uh, robbers. So his guy, you asked for it and he shoots Thomas Wayne, uh, Martha starts to call out for the police and the mugger says, well, this'll shut you up. And he shoots her as well, which is pretty intense.
Brutal. And what a stone cold criminal that they depict. Uh, Bruce stands in shock as his, uh, at his dead
[00:06:50] Alex: He's, he's crying, right?
If I remember correctly, I have this mental picture, or is that from the, the next one we're talking about? I
[00:06:55] Brian: I think it might be the
[00:06:55] Alex: Okay. There's this image in my mind, justs seared into my mind of this little boy, just like tear streaming down his
[00:07:00] Brian: I, I have links to every single comic Okay. That I pull up so we can, we can go look.
[00:07:05] Alex: yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:07:06] Brian: oh, yeah, yeah.
[00:07:07] Alex: Right in the center, uh, top panel. Yeah. He's, uh, very sad.
[00:07:11] Brian: Dead. They're dead.
[00:07:12] Alex: Yep.
[00:07:13] Brian: So then days later he knees at his bed, presumably praying or something like that, and he says, um, and I'm gonna do a lot of quotes, so, And I swear by the spirits of my parents to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of my life warring on all criminals.
The comic references his wealth, allowing him to be a crime fighter, detective, scientist, athlete. So on. Uh, as an adult, he says that he is ready, but needs a disguise. Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. So my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night black.
Terrible. end quote, and then a bat flies in the window, and he proclaims a bat. That's it. It's an omen. I shall become a bat at.
[00:07:59] Alex: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.
[00:08:01] Brian: And there you have the original Batman origin story.
[00:08:04] Alex: So, inciting incident. Which is, which is the death of the parents killed, killed by a mugger. Mm-hmm. . And then, and then not much.
There's not a whole lot of yada, yada, yada. He decides that bats are scary. Which side note you grew up in the Midwest. Mm-hmm. , um, you had bats,
[00:08:19] Brian: right? Mm-hmm.
[00:08:20] Alex: were bats scary to you as a child
[00:08:22] Brian: to me,
[00:08:22] Alex: is they're kind of a nuisance, right?
[00:08:24] Brian: Yeah. They're, they're annoying. we, we had 'em in our house in like the attic, or
[00:08:29] Alex: super common for people to have in their
[00:08:30] Brian: pretty common.
and sometimes, pretty rarely, but sometimes they would get inside the house and you would catch 'em and try and get
[00:08:39] Alex: out
[00:08:39] Brian: some people would kill 'em. the only scary thing about them is that they could be carrying
[00:08:44] Alex: Right? Right, right. If you're in, if you're in a city, it's not all that different than a pigeon.
They're, they're ubiquitous. They're, they're kind of annoying. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:08:50] Brian: Yeah. Some people really like 'em. Like I know, um, at Boy Scout Camp, they talked about having these big, bat houses, kinda like bird houses near the pools. Sure. So that at night when the lights were on, the bats would eat all the
[00:09:02] Alex: mosquitoes.
[00:09:03] Brian: would save all of us.
[00:09:04] Alex: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's nice. and, and so yeah, he just, he just says, bats are scary. I'm gonna be a bat. Okay. So there's no, the bat doesn't crash through the window. Nope. Okay. I'm sorry for skipping ahead. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Okay.
[00:09:15] Brian: So, so like for me, like the bat thing at the end seems like a crazy coincidence. Like he's just chilling out in his office or study or whatever, and a bat flies in.
Yeah. The other origins that we'll cover have him, uh, in a place that's much more narrowly focused on bat encounter potential. Okay. But in his office like this, he could have, it could have been anything. Like, he could have been the bugman, the Alienator. A man that's a moon or something like that, like, is just a crazy coincidence.
But that's, that's how he
[00:09:46] Alex: got it. Definitely feels like we're back solving from like, they decided there was gonna be a bat hero.
[00:09:50] Brian: Oh, definitely. Like
asked for an origin story and they were like, oh, what are we gonna come up with?
[00:09:59] Alex: mugger, you know,
[00:10:00] Brian: but why a bet? Why a bet? Uh, also, um, different from other stories, it's just the window was open and a bat flies
[00:10:10] Alex: Okay. Okay. Okay.
[00:10:11] Brian: Yeah. So I can, I can show you the picture, but it's just windows open bat flies in, and he's kind of like, whoa.
[00:10:16] Alex: but he does, he does see a bat. sees a bat. Okay. Okay. Very good.
[00:10:20] Brian: All right, so jump ahead a few years.
That last one was 1939. We're jumping to 1948.
[00:10:26] Alex: Yeah. When you told me that they redid it so early after this, we were, before the show, we talked a little bit about what we were gonna talk about. I was just surprised that so quickly we've, we've revisited that. Not, not much time has passed. They're gonna retell the origin story.
[00:10:39] Brian: Yeah. So this one is not Detective Comics. This is Batman.
Okay. Uh, issue 47. Right. So that, that might be the reason that they do that. And, and this one adds more color to the, the history.
[00:10:52] Alex: mm-hmm.
[00:10:53] Brian: story begins with Batman and Robin investigating crime. They're talking to Commissioner Gordon, uh, referencing a truck business owner, change.
And, uh, and Commissioner Gordon says, the report says the new owner. Bought out the old owner fired the old truckers and hired a new staff. The owner's name is Joe Chill.
[00:11:14] Alex: Oh, a photo of him. Okay. Okay.
[00:11:16] Brian: So that, that means nothing. So just some dude named Joe Chill.
[00:11:19] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. But this, I mean, this is a classic bill finger, like businessman, intrigue, like dispute, you know?
Mm-hmm. , very standard bill finger.
[00:11:25] Brian: Um, Batman is struck,
shocked. He says that face after all these years, it is he the face of the man who killed my
[00:11:37] Alex: I see. I see. So it's a, and we go, Was a flashback. I'm assuming this
[00:11:41] Brian: Well, it's not really a flashback so much. It's just like, it, it's straight.
He just says it. Okay, great. Like he's looking at the picture and he is like, I recognize this dude. So now as the reader, as the audience, we know the name of their killer,
[00:11:52] Alex: right? Jo Cho.
[00:11:53] Brian: Right. Um, and, and this will be a recurring thing. Um, so then the, at this point the story flashes back and regurgitates the story of Thomas and Martha's death.
One notable difference, and this is, I I don't know if like the time from 1939 to 1948, like changed society or whatever, but one notable difference is that Joe Chill shoots Thomas. And then the story says that single bullet really killed two people for Martha Wayne's weak heart stopped from the sudden
[00:12:22] Alex: Right, right,
[00:12:23] Brian: So instead of killing the woman, she, she died of shock.
[00:12:26] Alex: Right. I I think that that, that's probably a, um, they're trying to soften it a little bit, right? She we're not, it's, uh, less, uh, scandalous that, you know, a woman's not being shot in the story. It's, uh,
[00:12:38] Brian: That'd be my, my guess that I know there's some, I don't know all the dates for this, you might know, but there's some history about like, um, censoring
[00:12:47] Alex: this is pre-code. We'll get there. Um, but, but it is post, 1941,
when, when, basically, when they decide no more guns, right? There's, there's kind of this moment where they decide to position him as a little bit more, uh, family friendly and wholesome. So, so it's after that. Yeah.
[00:13:00] Brian: Yeah. so then Bruce, young Bruce, he shots out, out at the killer and and then it says something about young Bruce's eyes made the killer retreat.
were accusing eyes that memorized his every feature eyes that he would never forget. so the rest of the flashback is exactly the same as DC 33. Flash forward, Batman asked Commissioner Gordon if he can take the case himself. Robin senses the disturbance and asks, and Batman tells Robin about the history and recognizing him and stuff. And then he says he is gotta do the job alone.
He essentially says like, Robin, I know you understand, but you're out on
[00:13:36] Alex: this. Mm-hmm. Hmm. . Mm-hmm.
[00:13:37] Brian: Um, so then he finds a way to confront Joe Chill alone. Um, I'm jumping past a bunch of pages sure about of setup and stuff, but in the confrontation, he reveals his name. He says, I am the son of the man you murdered. I am Bruce Wayne.
I became Batman because of what you did, and I swore I'd arrest you for it someday. I can't prove your guilt, but I'll never stop hounding you until I do whatever you do. I'll be watching wherever you go. I'll be watching. I'll always be watching, and someday you'll make a mistake and I'll be there waiting.
Remember that It's kind of like a sting song.
[00:14:16] Alex: He'll be watching you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:14:18] Brian: yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:14:18] Alex: it's kind of, kind of stupid cuz Cause then Joe Chill goes and burns down Wayne Manor and credits.
[00:14:23] Brian: That's what you think.
[00:14:24] Alex: Yeah. Yeah.
the way, this is who I.
[00:14:27] Brian: Yeah.
[00:14:28] Alex: I, I, I, in, in hindsight, this seems pretty obvious and, and probably will be the case for the rest of the stories, but, in Detective 33, the, the very first time we see the Batman origin story, it's just two pages, and then the rest of issues a totally different story. It, it involves like dirigibles, right?
It's the first time we have the, the Zeppelins and a Batman story. this is not that, right? Like the, the origin story is there as a narrative device, right? Like, the only reason we're retelling it is so that we can say, oh, this is Joe Chill. And, and then we go on and we do a whole different story, which is, which is him, you know, chasing him down, cornering him, confronting him, um, giving away secret identity, foolishly, mm-hmm.
I, I guess a lot of these are probably gonna be, they're, they're, they're telling us the story to, to sort of contextualize something that
[00:15:09] Brian: only a couple more. Okay.
[00:15:10] Alex: Okay.
[00:15:11] Brian: Yeah. Fair enough. But the next one is really similar.
[00:15:13] Alex: Okay. does it, does it just end? Is that how it,
[00:15:15] Brian: No, no. There's.
then Batman leaves because he's just given him the warning, but he, he's not, he can't arrest him yet. And Batman doesn't kill. So what can he do? He leaves, and Joe runs out to find some of his goons. He tells him what happened and the goons are upset.
You mean you're the reason for Batman? The guy who sent
[00:15:35] Alex: me
[00:15:36] Brian: for 10 years, , the three goons all turn on Joe and open fire.
is kind of wild.
[00:15:43] Alex: Sure.
[00:15:44] Brian: Little hand fisted writing in my opinion. But then they realize that they shot him before getting Batman's name, Batman rushes and fights them to arrest them for murder.
And he says, now I'll make sure you never hear what chill might say. The fight ends and chill dies in Batman's arms. Um, the issue ends with, the murder of Thomas Wayne closed.
[00:16:07] Alex: There you go. Wow. He gets closure. It's something that, uh, here's a question for you. Mm-hmm. should, should Bruce Wayne have closure on the, on the death of his parents? Is it, is it so important as a motivation for his character that once he's done with this, he has no reason to be a Batman anymore?
[00:16:21] Brian: Well, so his, his thing before was, that he, when he was a child Yeah. And he is doing his prayer, like a venge spirit thing, is he was saying that, he would war on all
[00:16:34] Alex: criminals.
[00:16:35] Brian: just, I'll get vengeance for your
[00:16:38] Alex: Right, right, right.
[00:16:39] Brian: So it was this, I think it was kind of important as like a story setup device for like the rest of Batman's history. To not say, I will track down and, and kill your murderer,
[00:16:51] Alex: looking out for the next guy. Yeah. And that plays for you.
[00:16:53] Brian: you.
He's paying it forward. I mean, pays enough.
[00:16:56] Alex: Okay. Fair. Fair enough. Fair
[00:16:58] Brian: I mean, we can get into it later, like whether or not Batman needs an origin story or not. Yeah. It's kind of like Ironman in the, in the way that like he discovered that there was this bad thing, right? And then it just changed his heart and now he's fighting all crime.
Okay. Instead of just like avenging the one thing and, and he has the means to do that. Sure. Both of them do
[00:17:16] Alex: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I, that makes sense to me too.
But I just thought I'd ask, like, I think that is a thing that some people will say is that like, it's important that it's, it's never solved, because it's the open wound that that sort of
[00:17:27] Brian: drags.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I get that.
[00:17:29] Alex: so is that the whole story?
[00:17:31] Brian: That is the whole story of, um, Batman number
[00:17:34] Alex: I can tell you without doing any research that, that the sort of convoluted like business person thing that, that's Bill finger.
Do we know who drew it?
at, okay. Okay. No
[00:17:42] Brian: I'm just reading the stories.
[00:17:43] Alex: Yeah. I, I can, I'll, uh, I got my phone. I will, I will Google things as we go here, um, and, and interrupt as I, as I see fit. What was the issue number? Batman 47. Okay.
[00:17:51] Brian: All right. So now we're getting back to detective comics. We're another, we're another eight years out, roughly 1956 DC 2 35. Okay. So we've established that Joe Chill killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.
Page three starts with, but ironically, Joey Chill was shot down by other mobsters who had a grudge against him. Batman reacts to the news, he's dead, his own crimes finally caught up with him. So this, this is interesting because like that last issue already had Joe Chill
And so now this one, since it's DC it's not the Batman,
[00:18:29] Alex: detective Comics. Yeah. It's not, not Batman series. Yeah,
[00:18:33] Brian: Um, they're, they're changing that history a little bit.
[00:18:36] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. But I, I definitely think at this, at this point in, in time, they're not super concerned with continuity.
[00:18:43] Brian: No. Yeah. I mean, it seems to
[00:18:44] Alex: they don't, they don't really care that much.
[00:18:46] Brian: so Batman. Well, I guess, I don't remember if it's Batman or if it's Bruce Wayne who reads the news or whatever, but he goes, ah, he's dead.
His crime's finally cut out kind of like a, uh, just desserts. You got what you deserve kind of thing. So
[00:18:58] Alex: he, at this point, he knows that Jo Chill is the one that killed his parents.
Yeah. But he's not dead.
[00:19:04] Brian: But he's not dead
[00:19:04] Alex: until he reads the newspaper. Finds out he's dead. Okay.
[00:19:07] Brian: Yeah. So Bruce and Dick, uh, come across an old Batman costume, never Worn by Bruce Wayne, how is this possible?
How can there be a Batman costume that Bruce Wayne hasn't ever seen
[00:19:20] Alex: Oh, wow. Is this gonna be Thomas?
holy crap. Wow. So do, should I, should I interject on how I know this?
[00:19:31] Brian: Sure. This, this is probably not what you
[00:19:34] Alex: think.
Okay. Okay. Okay, go ahead. Uh,
[00:19:36] Brian: no, go ahead and say what you
[00:19:37] Alex: Well, so there's, there's, in, in recent times, like in, I think it was. I think it's a flashpoint
[00:19:43] Brian: Flashpoint paradox. Yeah.
[00:19:45] Alex: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Well, the movie's called Flashpoint Pair Box.
The, the book was just flashpoint. But, um, there's, it's a time travel story and it involves, Bruce going back in time. actually, um, it involves, Barry, Barry Allen is the one that goes back in time and, everything's wrong. Barry Allen, the Flash. Sorry. Yeah. Everything's all wrong. He doesn't understand why, man, I'm butchering this.
Let me start over. Barry Allen goes back in time and saves his, mother from being murdered. That changes history, so he's not actually back in time. he's, he's in the present day, but everything's wrong. And, um, he wants to fix it. And he says, who's, who will know how to fix it? And he goes to, to Wayne Manor and goes to the bat cave, and he talks to Batman and he says, Batman screwed up history.
But it's not Bruce, it's Thomas.
And I wanna say there's a scene in that book where, or maybe, maybe this is Tom King's Batman Run. There's a scene that's, that's exactly what you're describing, where they find a Batman suit and they find out that it was, um, Thomas Thomas had dressed up at, at a party. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Okay. So that's a callback. Someone written back, went back and read a comic from the fifties, pulled it forward into the two thousands, which happens all the time, by the way. But I didn't know that this was a
[00:20:52] Brian: Mm-hmm. , go ahead. Yeah, so there's, there's another, story that makes reference to this exact thing.
Okay. So basically, um, with that suit, um, with, with that, that Batman costume, they find Thomas Wayne's old diary in a film canister. Okay. They watch the film and they read the diary. and basically Thomas Wayne wore the Batman costume, only to a masquerade ball. Okay. quote. And our first prize for the best flying creature costume goes to Dr.
Thomas Wayne for his Batman
[00:21:23] Alex: Right.
[00:21:24] Brian: So then, Bruce thinks that the bat that flew into his room in issue 33 must have been, must have prodded his un subconscious memory of his father's costume.
Yeah. So then at this point, Thomas Wayne essentially gets kidnapped in the film, taken to a hiding place of a bank robber.
Lou Moen. Moxon. Yeah. And so Lou Moen had his goons go find a doctor to take the bullet out of his arm. And so the very fact that they were like to Dr. Thomas Wayne wins all these goons were like, ah, a doctor. , loom Moen had had sent the goons to get a doctor to get a bullet out of his arm.
[00:21:59] Alex: Okay.
[00:22:00] Brian: So then knowing that Moin wouldn't let him survive, Thomas Wayne pulls a stunt and he escapes. I'm kind of hand waving, but like he pulls the stunt and he gets out, he immediately goes to the police and then Mo in, um, gets arrested, they goes to the trial and Moen is sentenced to 10 years for armed robbery.
And he's really upset and he is like, you did this to me. I'll get you for the sway, I'll get you. So 10 years pass, Moen is let free from his sentence. and he confronts Thomas and we all know all of this because of diary that Thomas has been writing in. Um, and so he confronts Thomas quote, yeah, I serve my 10 years in jail where you put me.
I swore I'd get you and I will, but I'm too smart to do it myself. The police would arrest me on suspicion fast. I'll get someone else to do it for me. End. Then the diary ends. So Bruce and Dick realized that Joe Chill had been paid to kill Thomas and Martha. And Lou Moxon is the responsible party for their deaths.
[00:23:06] Alex: Wow.
[00:23:07] Brian: Wow. And, uh, Bruce had been spared so that he could testify that it was a Robert and not Moin.
[00:23:14] Alex: and he doesn't remember this
[00:23:16] Brian: Yeah.
[00:23:16] Alex: Okay. Okay. This, this is a pretty serious rec con.
[00:23:20] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's the third origin story, Uhhuh, and everyone has brought something like really significant to the context
[00:23:29] Alex: sure. But I, I feel like the, the second origin story that you told me didn't really change the first one in a meaningful way.
Like it just brought, brought extra color. This is one where it's like, actually what you thought happened, didn't, you know, it, it happened, but there, there were other inciting incidents
[00:23:45] Brian: or more context. Yeah,
[00:23:46] Alex: yeah, yeah, yeah. Um,
[00:23:48] Brian: don't tell me what happened cause I didn't write any of that down. . I can, I can pull open the, the
[00:23:54] Alex: comment.
No, that, that's okay. Uh, what was the issue number?
[00:23:56] Brian: It was 2 35 DC
[00:23:58] Alex: 35. I'm gonna look this up. Okay. Because, it's really fascinating because for whatever reason this issue, Uh, maybe a bunch of, uh, a bunch of writers, um, you know, in the nineties and two thousands read this issue, and remembered it, or, or something like, or probably what's gonna happen is, is we're gonna keep going and people are gonna keep calling to back to it, over the years.
But, there's, there's lore in there that I kind of know that I didn't think was that old. I didn't think it went back to the fifties because, um, yeah. Thomas Wayne wearing the Batman costume is something that I know. it's not Lu Moen, but there are other stories that involve, in fact, the long Halloween involves a story where, you know, Thomas Wayne is responsible for fixing up Carmine Falcon, right?
For, for, you know, um, having to save the life of a, of a gangster and, and having the sort of like fallout of that be a driver of the story. There's elements here that I'm surprised to see. I expect the fifties to be, you know, gigantic pennies and, you know, going to, um, The department store and like the sports, sports, uh, you know, department and Robin's like shooting bombs.
And like, you know, I I I, I, I don't expect sort of deeper threads of the, of the lore here, which is stupid. I probably should. This, this is why, uh, this is why we were doing the show cuz uh, there's a lot of, for me, this, you know, golden Silver Age stuff. I'm like, nah, it's not very good. but, but, fascinating.
Okay. Yeah. bill Finger, Shelly Modo Muldoff and Joe Serta. I've never heard of Joe Serta. Serta, he was a penciller on this shoe, but, but Bill Finger and Shelly
[00:25:31] Brian: I'm gonna give like a real fast teal dr. On like, what
[00:25:34] Alex: happens. Okay. Sounds good.
[00:25:36] Brian: So essentially, um, Batman confronts him, and Moxon is like, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.
Who, who is Thomas Okay. And essentially what they discover is that at some point he hits his head and he gets amne that Lu Moin has amnesia of this
[00:25:52] Alex: Yeah. Uhhuh.
[00:25:53] Brian: Um, and so, It after his jail sentence. So after he paid Joe Chill to kill Thomas and Martha Wayne. Yeah. He hit his head. He forgot that it happened.
[00:26:03] Alex: Okay.
[00:26:04] Brian: but still like, was it Old habits die hard. He's still a criminal. Right. And Batman is following him, um, to catch him for crimes in general and is in the situation where, um, he puts on the old Batman costume, Thomas Wayne's Batman costume from the masquerade. Yeah. And the dude recognizes him it breaks his amnesia and then they're able to take him down
[00:26:31] Alex: it. Oh, what a silly story.
[00:26:32] Brian: Yeah, it's silly for sure. I'm glad I looked that up I was, I'm so shocked that I didn't finish writing all that down.
[00:26:39] Alex: Yeah, no worries.
[00:26:39] Brian: Okay. So we're making a bigger jump. We're going from 1956 to 1985.
[00:26:46] Alex: 1985.
[00:26:49] Brian: And this is a TV show.
[00:26:50] Alex: Oh, wow. What was on the, what was on TV in 1985?
[00:26:54] Brian: Super Powers. Team Galactic.
[00:26:57] Alex: What?
I've never heard of this,
[00:27:01] Brian: So I have a short clip for you to watch and I want you to tell
[00:27:04] Alex: I'm excited.
[00:27:04] Brian: Okay.
[00:27:09] Alex: Dark Side, Superman. The Joker and Dark Side are together for some reason. Wonder Woman, Lex Luther,
cyborg. Robin. I don't know all their names. We got a bunch of new gods. Wow. Hawkman the Flash. Who's this guy on the far right? We got Green Lantern. Wow. Aquaman's in there. The Super Powers team. Why didn't they call this the Justice League?
This boy's acting as bad.
No Fear toxin. He's got a magic skull. That's cool though. There's these little lizards and they've turned.
You know, um, Komoto Dragons kind of, there's these gigantic, uh,
[00:28:35] Brian: Okay. So I wanna jump forward.
[00:28:36] Alex: Okay? Okay. Is that Adam West? Wow. Adam West is voicing this. That's awesome. That's not Burt Ward, though.
acrophobic, This is the best. How did I not know this was a thing?
[00:29:03] Brian: Okay, I'll
[00:29:04] Alex: Is he gonna have the fear happen to him? And he is gonna, is gonna be okay? This is I Brian, you've gone deep I think you've gone deeper than maybe you needed to.
[00:29:13] Brian: yeah. Yeah. When we first talked about this and you could not believe some of the stuff I dug up, I knew I'd gotten too deep. this script is 17 pages long
[00:29:21] Alex: Oh yeah. So we're gonna, we're gonna be doing this in a few parts.
[00:29:25] Brian: probably. Yeah. Okay. So what's the animation style for you?
[00:29:29] Alex: Um,
[00:29:30] Brian: Absolutely. yeah, so what I wrote was animation style and cadence's. Classic Scooby doo.
[00:29:36] Alex: It is. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
[00:29:38] Brian: I mean, even some of the, like, Robin, I wouldn't be surprised if he said zincs,
[00:29:42] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. Well, did you watch any of the other, uh, hbar stuff? Like, have you ever seen like, um, Johnny Quest or like Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's very in that vein,
[00:29:50] Brian: Oh, for sure. But like the, the, the way that they move and the, the animation style and the way that they
[00:29:57] Alex: right.
[00:29:58] Brian: the, the like unnatural jerkiness
[00:30:00] Alex: or whatever. Mm-hmm.
[00:30:01] Brian: just, it really struck me as like that classic Scooby Doo
[00:30:04] Alex: yeah.
[00:30:05] Brian: and then, yeah, it's voiced by Adam West.
[00:30:08] Alex: I didn't know that. I knew he did, um, uh, a bunch of, they, they had a Batman cartoon in the seventies that was just Batman. but
I didn't know he was in sort of a team up television. I didn't know the TV team up television show existed.
[00:30:20] Brian: so yeah, Batman's chasing after the scarecrow and in this variation the scarecrow frightens people through some kind of sonic hypnosis Ray.
[00:30:28] Alex: It makes like a radar sound on
[00:30:29] Brian: instead of a fear toxin. Um, and I don't know if this is prefu toxin or what, cuz I, I don't know
[00:30:35] Alex: I don't know either. I, yeah.
[00:30:37] Brian: Um, but Batman's chasing scarecrow into an alley. Uh, he says, give up scarecrow. You're coming with, ah, this place Scarecrow is surprised. He's afraid and he runs away laughing.
Okay. So let me, this is very end of Famous. I'm sure you've seen this before. Getting
seen this right?
[00:31:01] Alex: Yeah. I think I've seen gifts of it.
[00:31:03] Brian: it. Yeah. Okay. That's the end of that. um, just then Robin swings in and witnesses Batman start to cry in the rain before running away. Um, to me, this is a really famous meme of Batman, uh, but I've only seen it like a few times out, out in the wild.
[00:31:20] Alex: Uh, yeah, same like I, I, I, I had no idea that this is what this was from.
I, and honestly, if you had asked me without prompting me with the image beforehand and said, do I know this meme? I would've said no. But like, it definitely jos the memory seeing it. Um,
[00:31:34] Brian: So the story goes on explaining that Batman and Bruce Wayne, um, haven't been the same since he, they, how are they individuals?
Are they the same,
[00:31:44] Alex: sure, sure, sure.
[00:31:45] Brian: Um, visited Crime Alley,
[00:31:48] Alex: So is this the first time that's called Crime Alley? Is this stupid television show? You're shitting me
[00:31:53] Brian: as far as I can find.
[00:31:54] Alex: Oh my God, I'm gonna, I would have to look that up. I don't believe you. That's crazy.
[00:31:58] Brian: Robin brings it up to the Justice League, except it's not the Justice League, it's whatever this TV show's called.
Um, and they also don't have a clue. So then Dick Grayson talks to Alfred at some party, um, and he references Crime Alley. Alfred is shocked. He drops his cup of tea. Um, and then Bruce overhears the conversation. He decides to take Dick slash Robin and oddly, uh, wonder Woman, Diana is there. Mm-hmm. down to the back cave and tell them.
So flashback, it wasn't always called Crime Alley. You know,
a man, a woman, a child, uh, leave a showing of Robin Hood together. So notice all the different that you're gonna hear a bunch of different shows that they were watching. So, okay. In some versions it's the, the mark of Zorro. Uh, here, it's Robin Hood.
Interesting. They leave Robin Hood together. it doesn't say who they are, but like we know who they are. Um, they take a shortcut through an alley. Uh, a robber shows up and wants Martha's purse, the man
[00:32:56] Alex: time, time out, time out. Real quick, sorry, if you don't mind. So in the previous three, were they leaving a, a movie?
[00:33:03] Brian: The first one? They were walking home from a
[00:33:07] Alex: movie. Good. I thought you, you're getting ready to blow my mind that this stupid television show from the eighties was the first time they were walking over a movie. No, my whole world turned upside down. I'm questioning
[00:33:15] Brian: everything.
This is the first one where they actually give the title of what they had watched.
[00:33:20] Alex: Okay. Gotcha. Gotcha.
[00:33:21] Brian: All right. Um, so yeah, Robert shows up and he wants Marthas purse. the man Thomas jumps in the way to protect his wife. A flash of lightning mask the sound of a gunshot. The robber runs away without the purse.
I think there was like a little clever writing thing where they showed that it was all for, not that, that they just shot his parents in left, um, without, the loot he was going for.
And so I found myself alone in the world, a boy who secretly screamed for justice from the day. From that day forward, I vowed to avenge my parents' fate by devoting my life to fighting crime.
End. And essentially tells a story that we already know, including the whole criminals are a cowardly lot, the bat flying around the study to inspire his symbol. quote. Then I became Batman, the Man with no fear, except for one, the fear of the place where I lost the two people that I loved most and I hadn't been back since that terrible night end quote.
So then Batman commits to visit crime alley conquers fear of that place. And you'll have to watch the episode to hear what happened next.
[00:34:28] Alex: what happens.
leave me on clipping. I like that. But Scarecrow, but Scarecrow,
yeah. Um, no, no worries. It's good. Uh, yeah. Well, it's on YouTube. We'll, we'll put a link in it. Yeah. Yeah. Um, gimme, gimme two seconds here. Uh, before we move on, because I, I've gotta figure out if Crime Alley comes from this stupid, I'm Googling it, but I'm very slow with one hand. Detective 4 57 that says,
[00:34:53] Brian: what year is Detective
[00:34:55] Alex: Let me, lemme go up, let me it up. Detective 4 57 March, 1976. This is definitely Neil Adams on the cover.
[00:35:03] Brian: Okay.
[00:35:04] Alex: There is no hope in Crime Alley as the name of the story. Every night on the same date, Batman abandons all other crimes and missions and secretly heads to visit Leslie Tomkins and Park Row, better known as Crime Alley. So this is the first appearance of Leslie Tomkins, which is cool. Are you familiar with her? She's an important character. she's a doctor. She fixes up, um, Batman and, um, the kids and, you know, criminals that, and she's, she's kind of his. Better angel, right? Like, uh, uh, if, if Alfred is, this was one sort of, uh, encouraging him, then Leslie Tomkin is the one that's saying like, maybe you shouldn't be using
[00:35:37] Brian: So the Angel and the devil on your shoulder thing.
[00:35:40] Alex: she sticks around well into the nineties, so Sounds like they don't retell the story, but they, they do reference back to it. Detective Comics 4 57 in the seventies. Name it, crime Alley. I was gonna be mind blown if this, that cartoon was the first time. that's crazy though.
Very cool. Thank you for I, uh, that was a good one.
[00:35:58] Brian: So then, we're gonna get into some of the deeper stories now, which I think are, are pretty interesting. Um, Batman, year one. This one's not really worth mentioning. I've got several that I have like titled, not
[00:36:09] Alex: what do you mean is not worth mentioning as
[00:36:11] Brian: far as the origin story goes. This
[00:36:12] Alex: is so time out. Pause. Yeah. This is an incredibly important story for the record.
[00:36:19] Brian: Definitely.
it's one of my favorites. Yeah, yeah, It's just as far as like specifically focusing on the origin story of Batman, it doesn't have
[00:36:29] Alex: Right. So if I recall correctly, the story begins with, with Batman, with Bruce returning from his, his training. He's coming back to Gotham. And, I do believe we, we see him down the, the uniform for the first time in the story. Yeah. Um, but you're right, there's no, parents dying is there, or
[00:36:45] Brian: it So there's a extremely short flashback that tells you everything that, that we've already talked
[00:36:52] Alex: about. Yeah.
[00:36:53] Brian: Um, except that I guess this is, this might be the first time that you see the bat crash through the window of the study Uhhuh sense to me.
Yeah. So the only variation to this familiar story Yes. Um, is that this time the bat crashes through the window of the study and lands on the bus of Thomas Wayne. Yes. Which inspires Bruce to become Batman. So, we'll, this particular piece will keep coming around, but that's the only thing it adds.
Otherwise it's just like a, a really short flashback.
[00:37:18] Alex: Yeah. And if, if you, Are looking for where to start reading Batman. If you've never read comics before, people always give you this story, and there's a few reasons for that.
One is that it's good. Another reason is that this is the first time we're dealing with anything that sort of resembles a Batman origin post-crisis. Are you familiar with crisis on Infinite Earths? Well, we're gonna be here all day. If I, if I talk about crisis on Infinite Earth, it's too much. But, suffice to say that this is very shortly after the first reboot of DC comics.
So they've started over. Um, the, the idea is that throw everything you know, away. None of it, none of it happened. and we're gonna get a bunch of new authors to come in and sort of tell the story for the first time. All those sorts of things. Year one is not, not the very first issue of after crisis.
There's, um, I think, I think it might be a year or two, but they bring in Frank Miller, who's a hotshot, had, uh, a really big run on Daredevil, to, to write this story. And so not only is this, like just a good story, right? But he's going back and by acknowledging all of those things that happened, he's saying yes, they did happen.
Right. So he's solidifying the Batman origin. Yeah. that we, we know in love.
[00:38:34] Brian: So this isn't like Batman related, but this sounds a lot like Star Wars to me. Where, where Disney purchased Star Wars and then they said all of the extended universes no longer can basically Yeah. And then Dave Fallon has had these
[00:38:47] Alex: like
[00:38:47] Brian: TV shows where he's been like cherry picking
[00:38:50] Alex: a bunch of authors came back and brought, like they, they got, um, who was the guy that wrote Theron books?
Uh, Timothy Zon. Yeah. Came back and wrote new on books that are basically like, well, all the stuff you care about still here. And that's what Frank Miller's doing is saying, you know, Batman's origin didn't change in a big way. definitely read this book, so it's well worth reading.
[00:39:09] Brian: Oh yeah, for sure. Um, there's also a movie that I talk about later. It basically covers the same stuff, but like, yeah.
[00:39:16] Alex: And this is in the Batman series. Uh, worth noting. People call it Batman, year one. If you go to, if you go to you know, Barnes and Noble or whatever, you can buy a hard cover or a soft cover. There's a million printings of it, but I believe they're numbered issues. It's like Batman number, you know, 500, whatever, or, but yeah.
[00:39:29] Brian: It would definitely be before four 30.
[00:39:32] Alex: There you go. Um, or, or it could be Detector comics. I don't know. I, I believe though the, the sort of like, this is just an arc. They didn't, they didn't, this is not before, um, the graphic novel, but it's before a super popular,
[00:39:46] Brian: Mm. Got it. Okay. So then next 1, 19 89 Batman number four 30. there's another familiar flashback story. There are a few notable differences. This story shows a young Bruce trying, to play catch with his very stressed out father.
So at this point, like Thomas Swain is a millionaire or whatever, he has a lot of money. he's feeling a lot of stress because it was something with the economy. Um, and whether or not his money is gonna like, turn out the way he wants.
So maybe, maybe this is like a reference to like the classic like eighties dad.
but he loses patience and he strikes Bruce and he says, and um, it's just, just angry. You know, angry dad does a, does a bad thing. And then Bruce says, I hate him. I wish he were dead. And he leaves and it's like, whoa. Right. Um, not a good Oman for where we know these stories are
[00:40:34] Alex: headed. This is some, some Peter Parker, uncle Ben Energy. Yeah. Kind. Yeah.
[00:40:38] Brian: So, um, Thomas feels terrible. Uh, he later finds the right words to apologize and he earns Bruce's forgiveness, Uhhuh, and then, to make up for him, smacking him around. Yeah. Um, they go to a movie, Zorro.
[00:40:53] Alex: Okay. This is the first time at Zorro?
[00:40:55] Brian: As far as I can tell. so then flash forward, they're walking home, Thomas gets shot, Martha dies of shock.
[00:41:01] Alex: Okay.
[00:41:02] Brian: Same story. Second verse.
[00:41:03] Alex: Yeah. Very, very similar. Yeah. And that, that issue is, is Jim Starland. Jim Apar Jim, that's right to me, yeah. Jim Starland of, uh, of, uh, Thanos fame.
The man who created Thanos. Yeah.
[00:41:15] Brian: Yeah. Cool.
1989. So these, I've got three that came out the same year, all
[00:41:22] Alex: It, it would be interesting to know what time of year these happened. Is it, I assume these are all probably written before the movie.
[00:41:29] Brian: so Batman four 30, I don't
[00:41:31] Alex: Uhhuh Uhhuh.
[00:41:32] Brian: I have a note that the other ones, the original series launched in 1989, uh, as the third major monthly Batman title following the popularity of Tim Burton's 1989
[00:41:43] Alex: Okay. So Legend of the Dark Night is launching after the movie, but the way comic books are written and published and all that kinda stuff, it's likely that some of these things were written before the movie even came out or were happening very, very shortly after.
[00:41:57] Brian: Or, or maybe they were
connected to the
[00:42:01] Alex: co-marketing and stuff like that.
[00:42:04] Brian: So then this one's, called Shaman. It's the Legends of the Dark Knight Shaman.
[00:42:08] Alex: This is one I've heard of before, but I've never read it.
[00:42:11] Brian: This one's actually really good. These, these next couple. I, I did enjoy reading quite a bit.
They were long though. It wasn't like a couple of pages. It was like an
[00:42:18] Alex: This is like a graphic novel.
[00:42:20] Brian: the origin. So the issue kicks off Amid action. Bruce Wayne is climbing an icy cliff with a guy named dog. It. We, we don't know who this person is. they're tracking killer and the weather is turning sour. I icy and stuff.
Bruce was told that dog it is the best bounty hunter and tracker in Alaska. Um, this seems like the first job that they would've worked on together and Bruce is trying to learn from dog it. So they reached the top of, of this cliff that they're climbing. and there's a cave opening and then a gunshot rings out and dog it is hit squarely in the head.
And he dies. So their qu Thomas Woodley is on the cliffs above them. Bruce runs into the cave. Woodley shouts out revealing that he knows both of their names. He knows dogged, he knows Bruce, um, and that this is gonna be an easy kill because he, he took down dogged who he thought was the real concern, and now he just got like some city slicker.
He's going after him. there's also Thomas Wayne that shows up very prominently in this episode. So to avoid confusion, I'll be calling this dude by his surname Woodley.
[00:43:27] Alex: Okay. Not Okay. Thomas Wood. Very good. it's
[00:43:30] Brian: just a note. so apparently Woodley knows a lot. Bruce is a city boy who paid dogged to follow him, and that, Bruce refused to carry a. These are all very important, tidbits of information for the person you're trying to kill at this point. So Woodley sneaks up on Bruce, but it's just Bruce's parka and pack propped up to look like him.
It's a clever trap. It's a ruse. Bruce jumps out and attacks Woodley. They tussle Woodley ends up falling over the cliff with Bruce's Parker and Pack. I didn't mean for him to die. The dire circumstances su in on Bruce. he took my pack and my Parker with him. It's cold, probably 30 below 50 with the wind chill.
I have no food, no matches, no radio or flares. Very little clothing. I'm somewhere in North Alaska. The nearest village is a day's trek away. The storm will hit.
Plus he doesn't have the gear to climb down and get his supplies back. So they've, they've cleaned up the story around like how he's just completely
[00:44:34] Alex: Sure.
[00:44:35] Brian: Uh,
he passes out in the snow, he dreams of a snow monster shooting his parents who are ice sculptures that shattered clearly a hallucination or fever dream or something. He wakes up with some people standing over him, a man and a mask that makes him look like a giant bat the shaman the title.
Interesting. And then he tells him a Tale of healing. So I'm gonna paraphrase Basically there's a raven that's going to die to save him. The bat stretches its fingers into wings to fan air over the raven and blow the sickness away.
[00:45:11] Alex: Mm-hmm. ,
[00:45:11] Brian: this is a, an Alaskan native story. it worked. And the raven let the bat keep his new form.
Having wings, you alone of all the ground animals will be able to fly. So he recovers. They ask him not to tell the story to anyone else, and they believe that the story itself is critical to the healing process and that he's the first outsider to hear it. So again, like
[00:45:36] Alex: Okay.
[00:45:37] Brian: the, interesting thing here is it's kind of like red conning his inspiration to become Batman.
[00:45:43] Alex: Right? Right.
Well, we pointed out how it was kind of stupid, like they just was bat because it's scary. Yeah. Right. And instead now there's this Alaskan shaman who's imparting out upon him this
[00:45:55] Brian: Mm-hmm.
[00:45:55] Alex: of the bat. And he thinks, he thinks it's profound. I
[00:45:58] Brian: I assume, and, and this is like a contentious thing because some people would argue it's more or less stupid than the original
[00:46:05] Alex: story.
Oh, less stupid for sure.
[00:46:07] Brian: some people would argue the other
[00:46:09] Alex: sure, sure.
[00:46:10] Brian: I think the arguments I've read are basically like, if they wanted to Red Connet, couldn't they come up with something better?
but they probably could've and we'll, we'll talk about some other options. but yeah, so that's, that's like one of the really interesting pieces of this whole like shaman story is they've changed where he got the inspiration to be a bat.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. As Batman.
[00:46:31] Alex: This one was written by, uh, Dan O'Neill.
[00:46:34] Brian: I dunno who
[00:46:35] Alex: He's a writer that was writing Batman in the eighties and nineties. He kind of ran, if I am correct, this could be wrong, maybe I'll edit it out. , when we found out how, how wrong I am, he was the editor for the Batman office for a while.
So a lot of the big events from the nineties, cataly, no Man's Land, uh, nightfall, he kind of was the ring leader that was, uh, guiding all the writers in the right direction. So he, you know, it makes sense that he was writing sort of like foundational,
lore, material for Batman.
[00:47:03] Brian: Uh, it also is a story that kind of like puts Bruce up on the pedestal as like the first outsider to
[00:47:09] Alex: hear.
Sure, sure, sure, sure.
[00:47:10] Brian: ancient story or um, which is like a kind of a recurring thing where they try and have Bruce Wayne stand out among mere mortals or
[00:47:19] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. There's, there's a tendency amongst, superhero writers to try to take things that happen by chance and turn them into some sort of predestination.
Um, Jay Michael Jasinski, who is the creator of Babylon five, wrote all of the episodes of Babylon five, wrote Spider-Man in the two thousands for a while, and came up with this idea of like the spider totem, right. And there was this sort of like supernatural, uh, you know, element where he's, you know, Peter Bark has been pre-ordained to be the Spiderman.
This is not quite that. you know, there's the but, but trying to take it and, and give it a little more, um,
Okay. Fair enough. , this is me shutting up, I'm listening to, I'm listening to the rest of the story.
[00:47:57] Brian: So, uh, Bruce returns to Wayne Manor. He's reading books that, uh, he had sent himself, quote, a Treatus on the Criminal Mind by Sir Maxwell Floppy.
[00:48:08] Alex: floppy
[00:48:08] Brian: I know it's but like they're, they're giving deeper, background to where some of these different older quotes the whole, like the criminals are a cowardly superstitious lot,
[00:48:20] Alex: Uhhuh
[00:48:21] Brian: came from this book. It's
just now we know
the title of the book and, and that it was a book that he found while he was out on his different, um, learning missions or whatever, and he sent it to himself. Okay. So where before it was just like a thing that he said back
[00:48:35] Alex: Sure.
[00:48:36] Brian: 1939 comic.
he, he read that making the connection to the earlier stories, in those stories. year one specifically. a bat broke through the
[00:48:46] Alex: right? a
[00:48:46] Brian: a bit of foreshadowing, but we're not there yet. so not yet Batman. Bruce, goes out crime fighting. He's only wearing some kind of like army surplus jacket with a bean, and he's, he looks like another criminal.
Um, and while he is out, he fights a pimp on their turf. Then he decks a tough hooker named Selena Kyle. These are quotes now we would say sex
worker. Um, he gets shot by the police and then he wrecks their car in his attempt to escape, which is kind of a bad night for crime
[00:49:15] Alex: All of this happens in year one. By the way,
[00:49:17] Brian: this happens in the movie. Does this part happen in the, the comic too?
[00:49:22] Alex: I believe so. I could be wrong.
[00:49:25] Brian: So I know that a lot of these like build off of
[00:49:27] Alex: each
other. Sure, sure, sure, sure.
[00:49:28] Brian: he gets home, he's bleeding everywhere. He sits in the study, pulls up the book again, a treatise on the criminal mind.
He rereads the passage. Criminals are cowardly and superstitious lot crash at that second. The, the batten the bat that we all should be expecting by now. breaks through the window. Bruce is reminded of the shaman with the bat mask and he says, I shall become a bat.
[00:49:52] Alex: There you go.
[00:49:52] Brian: And that's essentially like where that issue ends.
Um, the next thing you see putting on the, the cape and stuff. interesting note, which you already said. This storyline is relevant for introducing the first origin of the bat cave on the post-crisis
[00:50:08] Alex: Okay,
there you go. Makes sense.
[00:50:10] Brian: I have that, uh, linked to I I tried to link everything I did in this so that decide what you wanna put in the show notes and stuff.
[00:50:17] Alex: I mean.
Yeah. This Den O'Neal here is reintroducing the back cave. He's not invented the back cave. Back cave exists pre-crisis, but post-crisis. This is, that makes sense. I have never read Shaman. This feels like something I need to read.
[00:50:30] Brian: It's a good one.
[00:50:31] Alex: I really like Dennis O'Neil. So
[00:50:32] Brian: I think this next one I liked more.
Okay. It's called The Man Who Falls Also
[00:50:39] Alex: Is this from Legends of the Dark Knight as well?
[00:50:41] Brian: Um, so it says, the Man Who Falls uses parts of Year One Blind Justice in the first arc of Legends of the Dark Knight Shaman.
[00:50:49] Alex: Uhhuh,
[00:50:50] Brian: as part of the story, all these makeup, the training in first months of Batman's career.
So this was written by
[00:50:56] Alex: Dan
[00:50:57] Brian: who? Um, and I, and I did catch the names that pulled over from Shaman because there is a lot of overlap. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And the idea with this was that they were taking all the stories and combining them into a little bit more of a succinct origin
[00:51:11] Alex: Yes, yes, yes. So the title, the book was called Secret Origins was the name of the
[00:51:14] Brian: book.
[00:51:15] Alex: Yeah. So the storyline would've appeared in, in that, and I assuming that if you were picking up secret origins every month when it came out, you were getting different origin stories for probably post-crisis. Right. This is, this is the, the series that they're telling people to go do. And if you're not reading, you know, the, uh, the Green Lantern book, you pick up the secret origins, it's gonna give you the, the cliff notes. I'm guessing.
[00:51:39] Brian: Yeah. I mean, I didn't read all of those
[00:51:40] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. Fair enough. Fair enough.
[00:51:43] Brian: So, uh, this is the first story I read that included, uh, the Cave when Bruce is young. So this, this is the one that like, I think if you've seen the movies
[00:51:52] Alex: Yeah. Batman begins familiar with. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:51:54] Brian: So, um, before that even,
[00:51:57] Alex: oh, you reminded me of this the
[00:51:58] Brian: Batman Forever has
[00:51:59] Alex: I had, I had forgotten that, that the cave, he falls into the cave in Batman
[00:52:03] Brian: so this issue kicks off with Bruce falling through a boarded up patch in the Wayne Manor's lawn. Right? he falls into a cave, a bat swarm. Thomas jumps down and carries Batman out. version has a bit of tough love from Thomas saying, idiot, I told you never, never go off alone.
Didn't I? Didn't. I Martha says Thomas, he's frightened.
[00:52:25] Alex: Frank
[00:52:26] Brian: Thomas responds. He damn well ought to be. Wow. He could have been killed. He's got to learn and then he kind of walks off
[00:52:33] Alex: coming off hot. Yeah, yeah,
[00:52:34] Brian: yeah. This is another one of those like eighties dad the story soon jumps to a flashback with no words of his parents each being shot by a robber.
It states that Bruce was only eight years old, uh, when they were murdered. So now this is, as far as I know, this is the first time they say how old which I, I. Doubtful of, because it's the eighties. Seems like a lot of time has passed for him to state that. But in my notes, that's the first time I noticed they said he was eight.
[00:53:03] Alex: Um, it's hard to say. Um, it certainly would not surprise me at all if it's the first time they say a post post, post, post, post-crisis.
[00:53:09] Brian: Sure.
[00:53:10] Alex: but,
[00:53:11] Brian: Uh, the story goes on to show him going through college. This is all like montage bouncing through classes in schools. Professors comment that he, um, has never picked a major in his friends show frustration when Bruce leaves them behind
in the ache, he felt seemed to fill his entire being.
He learned to ignore the ache and the pain of loss and isolation. They were the conditions of his life and he accepted them. So he's kind of like hardening himself to become a crime fighter and not like have So at 20 he moves to Washington, DC although it says the nation's capital I, I assume that's Washington,
[00:53:51] Alex: In the DC universe.
I have no idea. I would assume,
[00:53:54] Brian: I would assume so too. That's why I wrote that in. But it says the
[00:53:56] Alex: nation's capital in, in, in the DC universe, there are these imaginary cities, like Gotham and Metropolis, but the real cities exist. Also exist. Yeah. The, the, there's a famous period in which the, the Justice League is based out of Detroit, which would've been happening before this.
That was a Bronze Age thing. So, uh, I assume Washington DC is,
[00:54:17] Brian: Washington. So he met with the FBI's recruiting officer and joins the FBI training. It says this, um, he stayed in it for exactly six weeks. During that time, he learned much about writing reports, obeying regulations, analyzing statistics, and dressing neatly and nothing else.
The experience confirmed a suspicion he long had, he could not operate within a system, then he left for Korea. So an interesting aside, like,
Batman begins, you, you can see like, Christopher Nolan rips off of this for sure. Sure. Um, and in my research I learned that where he went was also Korea. I didn't know that.
[00:54:57] Alex: Yeah. To me you mean when, when he goes to the mountains to see the legal shadows?
I always read that as Tibet. I always thought he was going to like Everest or something like
[00:55:06] Brian: that. Yeah. When I was looking through it, it, it says Korea in the, the sources I found. Sure. Which blew my mind. Um, but again, it's just like Shrug. So here's a quoted section that I think is all interesting. it wasn't easy to find the temple high in the pick two soon mountains.
[00:55:27] Alex: Yeah. Pick two Sun, sun
[00:55:28] Brian: Mountains. Okay. It took him six weeks and $40,000 in bribes.
And this is 1980s money. Yeah. Uh, but finally he stood in front of the massive door. His knock wasn't answered. He had been told it wouldn't be, but his informant had given him the secret sequence of rotating knobs to, to enter. So he entered, and since the presence of another, but no one responded to his shouts again.
It was as he expected. He wait. For three weeks, And then, this point, master kgi shows up and starts doling out chores. Like, what was it like sweeping and then washing the dishes and then making rice. He does this for like a stupid amount
[00:56:12] Alex: sentence. Mm-hmm. .
[00:56:13] Brian: Um,
and he did these variations of chores for a few months
[00:56:16] Alex: What, what year is, um, karate head?
I'm gonna look that up. Yeah, because this seems like the pretty standard, um, sort of like, um,
[00:56:23] Brian: wax on, wax
[00:56:24] Alex: Yeah. The, the, um, Asian mysticism, you know. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Uh, trope.
[00:56:32] Brian: Right. he did that for a few months before he began actual martial arts training. He was there for about a year.
master Kgi gives him this warning. Uh, he, he does kind of like.
him up. He's like, oh, you have, impeccable speed and reflexes. Your eyesight's incredible. You're smart. Like he just kind of lays out how he essentially has these like superhuman mortal abilities. Right. So I'm just kind of like
[00:57:01] Alex: you're an exceptional, uh, specimen.
[00:57:04] Brian: Um, that he gives him this warning. Some great violence has marked you. It gives you your genius for combat technique. Unless you are very lucky it will destroy you. But I can take you past it to what lies on the other side, I will require another 20 years.
Oh wow. Yeah.
Obviously Bruce is like, no, that's not gonna work.
I'm really flighty. Sure, sure. . And, the next day he leaves.
[00:57:31] Alex: Okay.
[00:57:32] Brian: he heads for France where he worked with some kind of bounty hunter. The man's poor morals drove Bruce onto his next series of apprentice apprenticeships, which is my term. Um, working with all but the greatest detective in the world. Willie Dot.
So naturally that's where he goes next. This as you is gonna reference back to Shaman, but he was climbing in the mounts with dog. It
[00:57:55] Alex: Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Where
[00:57:56] Brian: Shaman starts tracking another bad dude, dog. It dies. Bruce fights off. The other dude falls into, into an ice crevice. Bruce loses his supplies, his pack park it, everything you need to survive in the lethal cold.
This is kind of an old story now. he passes out, wakes up to an, uh, Indian shaman again, uh, who's wearing a mask. The shaman brings him back to health and he tells him you have the mark in your eyes, the mark of the bat. So now he's telling him, he's got the mark of the bat. Like you were saying, Spiderman has the mark of the spider or whatever.
[00:58:30] Alex: Little bit of mysticism here. He's preordained. Yeah, absolutely. Which like for a lot of people, this sort of thing pisses, pisses them off. Right? Because the whole point is that, that Batman is, is someone that like, um,
[00:58:41] Brian: he's an every man, right?
[00:58:42] Alex: Well, he's driven by circumstance.
[00:58:44] Brian: Ah, yeah,
[00:58:45] Alex: yeah,
[00:58:45] Brian: So Bruce finally returns to Wayne Manor. It shows him fighting crime and civilian clothes losing, just, just like in the shaman episode, uh, or issue. Uh, he's humiliated and sits in the study reading a book. It says Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot. And then right then bat crashes through the window.
Bruce gets the message he's been looking for, and the next page he's putting on the bat suit and the issue, one of that
[00:59:13] Alex: Okay. So that was all one issue. 22 pages. I looked it up earlier. Um, the Batman Truman story is actually five issues. That's a whole, like, that's a whole arc. That's a, that's like a trade paper pack.
This is, they cover a lot. there's a series that's going on right now. It might have ended at this point, but it was going on this year, called Batman the Knight, written by Chip, chip Zdarsky, who is actually the writer now of, of the main Batman book that's covering the same content. which is interesting cause I, I feel like, and maybe I'm wrong, um, not, well, not as well versed in this as I should be, but I feel like that it's a really interesting period of like, Batman is like honing his body and training himself and stuff like that is not covered that often.
A lot of times it's you know, they say that he does that, you know, he goes off around the world and like collects different, uh, abilities and like apprentices under different, uh, people. But we don't, we don't see it. So it sounds like 22 pages here. We don't see a lot of it either, but like we get a couple he goes to, to Korea gets the, the sort of like martial arts training goes to France, gets the sort of like, uh, training.
[01:00:17] Brian: detective
[01:00:18] Alex: Yes, exactly. Exactly. So getting a little window into that.
[01:00:22] Brian: This
is also kind of interesting, like looking back to some of the other stuff we've covered. We watched that, um,
[01:00:27] Alex: the Batman serials. We haven't recorded an episode about it yet. Yeah, I think it's 43 is the one you
[01:00:34] Brian: Okay. And uh, so when my wife and I were watching it, we were like, wow, he's such a wuss.
Like he's just like some rich soft
[01:00:42] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. He's a fops, Yeah. Yeah.
[01:00:46] Brian: And it kind of makes sense because like this whole concept of Batman that we have grown up with as this like toned and, and like,
[01:00:53] Alex: uh, he's perfected his body Yeah.
[01:00:56] Brian: Came much later. So that wasn't part of like the, the
[01:00:59] Alex: it wouldn't make sense, right. That, you know, if you were born with a silver spoon, you wouldn't be a badass. Right. at least stereotypically.
it's cool that they, they, that NY O'Neill goes to great care to like tie his two Batman origin story books, both Shaman and, um, what was the name of this one?
Manuel? Yeah. The Man Who Falls and Shaman, he ties it back into Batman year one. It's something that, was really cool about the, about the crisis on Infinite Earths reboot is that they really were trying to make it all make sense together.
[01:01:28] Brian: Did you want to describe this mask at all?
[01:01:33] Alex: Oh, the Batman mask or this is the shaman's Bat.
Bat. Bat Mask. Yeah. Um, no, so there's sort of two tones, two colors that are going on. There's, sort of the upper half, you know, where you've got both the ears and sort of the forehead coming down to, and a v to where the nose starts, all the way to sort of, the upper half of the cheek is blue, right? and then the rest of the, the mask is, is kind of a brown.
So you've got what looks like straw, maybe like a straw mask, where you've got, uh, sort of a main coming outta the top of straw and like a beard, a straw coming out the bottom. And then the mouth is all kind of brown as well. And the mouth has these really sharp teeth. There are 12 teeth. 7, 8.
Yeah. 1216 teeth. Sorry. They're more teeth on bottom than, than top. But they look like they would really, they're like knives more than teeth. They would stab you. like there's, there's no, uh, no, no molars or anything going on there. And then, then it's got, you know, the sort of upturned nose like a bat would have, uh, where the nostrils are facing you.
And, and these triangles for eyes, that are white, um, with a red.in the center. It looks freaky like it's a mask that definitely you would expect to be, you know, was created by, um, you know, first people's or Native Americans, uh, uh, to scare the But Jesus outta you. Yeah. Now,
[01:02:55] Brian: can you make a comparison to the Batman the Cow?
[01:03:00] Alex: Oh, yes, . I see what they're doing now. . I spent all this time des describing how the top half was blue and the bottom half was brown. And not even thinking about that. Yeah, of course. That's, it's exactly the same as the cow is, right? It's, there's the mouth cut out that is not blue, and then the rest is blue.
[01:03:19] Brian: And, and the shape of the eyes is, is that like triangle, like squinty?
[01:03:24] Alex: Yeah.
[01:03:24] Brian: Evil slash anger I that like Batman has, it's all white,
[01:03:28] Alex: right? But it's not, it's not too different than the Bob can eyes. it's interesting. Yeah, we've, we've got, we've taken the, the Jolly Batman, you know, from, from the Silver Age, and we've tweaked him just a little bit and he's really scary.
[01:03:40] Brian: It, it, it's also reminiscent of when this happens in a couple of, this happens in Batman, the animated series before it happens and Batman begins, but when Batman uses the fear toxin against
[01:03:55] Alex: Oh, sure. Yeah, I remember that.
[01:03:57] Brian: looks like to Scarecrow, this is reminiscent of that is just like one scary mf
[01:04:02] Alex: I'll drop the picture in the chapter artwork.
[01:04:03] Brian: Sweet. Okay, so this is the Batman the movie, the, the Tim Burton movie, and it, this takes place before those comics do. , but I put it last because it's kind of like the least
[01:04:17] Alex: You mean like, um, it was released in 1989 before the comics were
[01:04:20] Brian: correct.
Those, those comics were, there was a ground swell after the
[01:04:24] Alex: came Sure, sure, sure. Interesting.
[01:04:27] Brian: Um, do you wanna watch this clip together?
[01:04:29] Alex: Sure, yeah. I've, I've probably seen this a dozen times before, but, So we got the newspaper. He's looking at the newspaper as the prompt to the, and then we go back. We go back, we go back. He takes off his glasses.
[01:04:43] Brian: Mm-hmm.
[01:04:44] Alex: He broods. He furrows his brow.
[01:04:49] Brian: It's interesting to me with this like, really. Deep focus on the origin story. What I notice now that I never noticed in the movies before
[01:04:59] Alex: it's the Monarch Theater.
[01:05:00] Brian: Theater.
[01:05:03] Alex: We've got the doorman, everyone's walking out. Bruce is walking in the middle of the two kids. Mom leans over to talk to him.
He puts on his hat. He's got a bag of popcorn. We didn't see what movie they were watching. Unfortunately.
[01:05:19] Brian: Yeah.
[01:05:20] Alex: It looks like it's just rained. The pavement is wet. There's people walking up behind them. Two guys. Oh no. Those were just people walking on the street.
[01:05:30] Brian: or maybe they were setting a trap.
[01:05:34] Alex: Bruce is very happy. There are two people. Oh, it's just one guy. What the heck? There are two people,
I don't think that guy looks like Jack Nicholson at all.
[01:05:58] Brian: I don't think so either.
[01:06:00] Alex: Does he have any relation? Do you know who that guy is?
[01:06:02] Brian: I don't have any idea
[01:06:07] Alex: Yeah.
You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? What the fuck does that mean, by the way?
[01:06:17] Brian: Yeah, I don't, I don't know. I,
it's, I think it's just supposed to be like a, the scary
[01:06:23] Alex: sounds spooky. Sure.
[01:06:26] Brian: Um, so I will say that like, I watch movies and I just like take them for what they are.
I don't really spend much time like trying to dive into the
[01:06:36] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. You're not dissecting is
[01:06:38] Brian: much, it is much better than I had really given it credit for
[01:06:42] Alex: sure.
[01:06:43] Brian: Because of some of the like little micro events that happened.
[01:06:47] Alex: Detail detail.
[01:06:48] Brian: So,
to, just to walk through what happened with everyone else.
So Bruce is in the back cave reviewing footage from the Joker's TV broadcast, trying to figure out who that person is. He's sitting at the back computer. He pulls out an old book revealing a newspaper with a headline, Thomas Wayne murdered, prominent doctor and wife, slain and Robbery. So what what's interesting to me that I'd never really taken, I'd really never connected before, was it wasn't that it reminded him of a thing that happened before he recognized that guy in the tv,
And that's what reminded him. And he pulled out this old thing. And so now, now you're going through this like flashback flashes back. They left a movie walking home. It shows that they're being followed. And it is kind of confusing because there's like two guys walking a few paces behind them. Mm-hmm. , and then they disappear, right?
And then one guy shows up and then another guy shows up from a different angle.
[01:07:43] Alex: you do see two shadows at one point when he, when when Bruce first turns around and he's looking down the alley, you see T shadows. I was confused though.
[01:07:51] Brian: Yeah, it, it's a little bit confusing, especially like the cadence of the slowmo and then like catching up to speed and, the lighting and stuff.
So when they enter an alleyway, they look back and there's a man silhouette by a street. Streetlight. Yeah. Another man steps forward and reaches for Martha's Pearl necklace. Thomas reaches over and tries to stop the robber. Then the silhouette man pulls out a revolver and shoots Thomas Wayne.
Then quickly shoots again, hitting Martha. They fall to the ground. So what's interesting here to me is that the robber holding the pearls, uh, in his hands stands stu.
[01:08:27] Alex: Yeah. He didn't expect,
[01:08:29] Brian: didn't expect his, his buddy to be
[01:08:31] Alex: murdered, actually. Shoot.
[01:08:32] Brian: Right. Bruce is also in shock. So the silhouette man says, tell me kid, you ever danced with the devil by the pale moon light?
Which again, like,
[01:08:39] Alex: is it in the P moon light or by the P moon
[01:08:42] Brian: You can go back and I, I think it's by the pale
[01:08:44] Alex: moon. You're probably right. I always thought it was in, but, that's a, that I am your father, sort of thing.
[01:08:48] Brian: So then he points the gun at Bruce. Clearly intimating that he's going to kill this child as well, which like shows he's even more of a cold blood killer than just like killing a couple of adults.
[01:09:00] Alex: but is is he just trying to scare the piss out of him, or is he actually gonna do it?
[01:09:03] Brian: Well, it looks like he's gonna kill him. I mean, it, it, it looks like he's got murder in his eyes. And then when the dude calls to him, he, so the man steps into the light. You see this big toothy grin. He cocks the gun, man, let's go shots.
The first robber. Yeah, let's go Jack. And that like seems to like break his trance. And then he turns and he says, see you around kid. And he leaves flashback ends. Bruce is staring at the wide grin of the joker on the So one of the other things that I think is interesting here, is it re cons who kills?
[01:09:38] Alex: Yeah. It's not Joe Chill.
And it's not nobody.
[01:09:41] Brian: It's not nobody. It's the guy that becomes the joker.
[01:09:43] Alex: Right, right, right. So
[01:09:44] Brian: essentially they're, they're saying, It kind of a more insidious backstory, is that a a, a further reason to hate the Joker, right. For, for Batman as like a driving force was that he's also the dude that killed his parents.
[01:09:58] Alex: Right. And it sets up this duality right. Of of, of Joker being the yin to, to Batman's
[01:10:03] Brian: Mm-hmm.
[01:10:04] Alex: um, which like , I think a lot of people now because of this movie feel that way, that like Joker is the Batman villain, but but isn't necessarily viewed that way before this movie.
[01:10:16] Brian: Yeah. Well, and and, and then there's also the whole thing of like, Batman could be the Joker cuz he's obviously crazy.
Sure. He's just aiming his stuff on the side of justice. Sure. Right. uh, another thing I think is interesting with the whole Batman Doesn't Kill thing Sure. Is all the times he's with the Joker and has an opportunity to kill him and chooses not to,
[01:10:38] Alex: Right. which
[01:10:38] Brian: is overcoming his like, kind of innate sense to get vengeance for the guy who killed his parents,
[01:10:45] Alex: Sure. I think, I think, I see what they're doing and I appreciate it. I think to me, the duality of, of Batman and Catwoman is more compelling as a, as their sort of opposite sides of the same coin than, than Joker being an opposite to Batman. But,
[01:10:58] Brian: Yeah. My personal take is I don't like,
[01:11:01] Alex: Yeah, me neither. I'm glad, I'm glad you don't. Cuz I, I thought maybe you were gonna come out for
[01:11:05] Brian: No, no, no, no. I prefer the idea that the Joker is just some total ran. Yeah. And that the people who killed, Thomas and Martha are, would be like old as heck cuz they'd be their age, you know? But
Let me jump to the, the last question so we can kind of get that in.
Cuz I think like the best stories we've covered. Okay. The other stuff is interesting, but I feel like the, the foundational origin stories we've hit today.
[01:11:31] Alex: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And we can, I think we should do a round two.
[01:11:34] Brian: We, yeah, I think we need to because there's, there's more interesting stuff there. ,
[01:11:37] Alex: and, and I tell you what, before we, we do the next time, I'll go back and read some of these. Okay. Um, cuz I, now I, I gotta read Batman shaman. That's, that's, that sounds really up my alley.
[01:11:47] Brian: Okay. So question, do you think that they should continue telling Batman's origin story?
Do you think he needs an origin story?
[01:11:56] Alex: So do I think they should keep telling it? Yes. like I said earlier, chip Zdarsky is just writing Batman the night This.
it was a 12 issue series, I believe, and in each issue he's going and, interacting with different mentors, right? And so we're seeing, he gets, you know, this little bit from here and he gets this little bit from here and he gets this little bit from here.
And that's really interesting to me because it's not just skills, it's personality, you know, traits that he's getting. and there's a recently, in the James t Batman run, there was a new, um, sort of anti-hero character, um, named the ghost maker that was introduced. I don't really like him, but, you know, comics are, are improvs Yes.
And right. And so, chip Zdarsky's taking a character, I don't really like ghost maker and sort of like introducing him to like, oh, they did have interactions as a childhood friends and like they are, again, it's another duality where like they're fighting but like ghost maker's willing to, to break the rules that Bruce isn't.
And like, it's an interesting concept of like, there's these different people that, he opened up to along the way and like, You know, violated his trust or, um, you know, caused him to be sort of more reclusive and turn more inward towards himself. And that's a, that's a recontextualization that I really, really appreciate.
And yeah, we're 80 years in and people are still kind of putting a new spin on it, and there's room to do it because you'd think, you know, that would've been sort of, spent, and, and sort of used up and like there wouldn't be more room for a different way to reco contextualize. but there is totally, likewise, crisis on infinite Earths, is the first sort of hard reboot.
There's lots of sort of like minor realignments that happen, um, throughout, they call them crises, you know, uh, people will say there was a crisis at this time, or like, sometimes they're called crisis. There's a book called, um, infinite Crisis. There's a book called, Final crisis,
and those will sort of like re rec con little bits of the, the continuity crisis on Infinite Earth is, is, is a total reboot. They did a total reboot where they totally started over as well in 2012 with Flashpoint, and that was the new 52. And that's an opportunity to to to sort of take some of the characters, turn 'em on her head, try a different way, you know, and so I think, it gets reeled real fast.
the only thing you ever get is origin stories. And I think especially in adaptations in movies and television shows, they reach for it too much, I think because they feel the needs to introduce the character to people. but I, I certainly think in books it's not overdone, especially when each author comes and tries to put their own spin on it.
Right. Scott Snyder, who was the writer for Bat Batman in the new 52. Often talks about how he got advice. I think the advice might have been from Frank Miller, I'm not sure who it was. Some, you know, other author who was telling him as he was coming into the book and he says, you know, make the character your own.
Give him your own beginning. You know, give him his own birth. Give him an, give him your own death. Right. And when people will look back on the character, they will say, oh, it's Scott Snyder's Batman. And that's a sort of thing that's different than everyone else's Batman. Frank Miller's Batman is different he has a vision for it because he had a beginning, he had an end and then told a bunch of stories in the and so you have these different interpretations. So, if you're, if you're making a movie, maybe not reaching for it, but like, if you're trying to, tell a story that, Explains character defects that explains motives, that explains strengths and where they, you know, he found them. Yeah, absolutely.
We should, we should be telling the origin What about you? What do you think?
[01:15:12] Brian: So this, this one's a little bit tough. Like, I, I prefer the, like Indiana Jones type of story where he just shows up and is a badass, you know? I, there's also, there's like, yo.
[01:15:24] Alex: Yeah.
[01:15:24] Brian: We don't know what species he is. We, and there's like a, it might be written somewhere, but there's an unwritten rule that like no one reveals that backstory, because he's just kind of like this mystical character.
and I think mystery being part of the character is valuable.
[01:15:40] Alex: Totally. I agree with that.
[01:15:41] Brian: So Bruce, Wayne and Batman are both mysterious characters kg about divulging any information and commonly holding her CLO cards close to their chest. So like, I think one of the things about the Joker that, like, granted this recent movie killed, but like the origin of Joker is sometimes hidden, right?
Like, like there's, there's the story of, of Red Hood. It's red hood, right? Who falls into ace chemicals or whatever. Yeah. But they're also like the dark night. Series where he just shows up. Right. And I like that a lot more where he just shows up and you don't know anything about the backstory and he lies about his backstory and the story and stuff.
Um, and so like with Batman, there's not, he's just a human, there's not going to be this fun thing like Spider-Man where he goes through essentially a spider puberty and suddenly he has all these powers
[01:16:35] Alex: It's not a coming of age story. Yeah.
[01:16:36] Brian: Yeah. Um, it's, it's dark. And so like the, the references in the movie the Batman had just came out
[01:16:44] Alex: Yeah.
[01:16:44] Brian: Um, I appreciate where it's like his parents died, but they don't really go into detail about like, That being a critical part of his origin, but rather, bad things happened. He got angsty and angry and then he used it in like a, a specific way to, to fight crime, in the vein of his parents trying to make the world a better place.
You know? So like I appreciate that level of the origin story, but like, diving in directly into like the alleyway and shootings, like the, I think it would be much more interesting to leave that unwritten, leave that mysterious and let people wonder cuz similar to like Jaws, um, what your mind comes up with is far more interesting and scary than what they can put in film.
[01:17:28] Alex: Yeah,
I think, um, I, I agree for the most part, I think, I think especially when it comes to villains, um, there's a mystique that goes with, not knowing. Um, I think Joker is something where I really don't want know who he is. there's, there's a, Jeff Johns wrote a, a story called Batman Three Jokers that's basically about this.
Like, do you
[01:17:47] Brian: which is really fascinating.
[01:17:48] Alex: It's a super interesting story. You should read it if you get the chance. Although if you're not, um, if you're new to Batman, maybe don't start there because it, it builds on like decades of, of, of stories. but like, it, it's basically, a story that makes fun of you for wanting to know who the Joker is.
Right? I don't feel like we need to know who Joe Chill is. I don't feel like Batman needs closure on it. I think there's something valuable in the, um, deceptive cadence. Are, are you familiar with the concept of deceptive cadence? Da da
[01:18:15] Brian: da da.
[01:18:15] Alex: No. See, if you finish it, you wanna finish it, something aches inside you.
When it finish, it finishes. But if, if you do the first half and then nothing happens, It feels wrong. Right. You've, you've been
[01:18:28] Brian: it's like an unresolved chord, right? Yeah.
[01:18:31] Alex: there's something about Batman's character that I think is fueled by the idea that there's something inside of him that, that can never be made whole.
Right. And so when I say, yeah, we should definitely be telling the origin story. I mean, we should be, trying to find new ways to spin it. I think we should be trying to find new ways to drive it. I don't, I, I don't mean that we should be taking away mystique. Right. I do think Batman does deserve a little bit more explanation than like, um, you know, who killed Batman's parents?
I, I, I, I don't think, you know, joker needs the explanation. I, I, I, I think Bruce does because he's the point of view character. Right. We are in his shoes. I want to understand his motivation to a, to a degree it is confusing and offputting when he does things that are not explicable, there's, um, Batman, nightfall.
Storyline in the nineties, Batman gets hurt, Bain breaks his back, and he decides he's not gonna be a Batman. But not only is he not gonna be a Batman, he goes, he leaves, he like goes to Europe to hang out, I think with a girlfriend or something like that. And it feels wrong. It's stupid. The motivation doesn't make any sense.
They're doing it because they wanna explore this other plot device. Right. But, readers hate that sort of thing because like, why is he doing this thing? They don't explain to us why he is doing this thing. There's no monologue, there's no, you know, uh, uh, a standing character that's a point of view for us, for him to tell them that I'm going to England or to to Europe because I need to, you know, deal with XYZ problem.
He just leaves. Right. And, and it's like confusing because Batman wouldn't do that. Right. And so I think the best characters are the ones where you have this feeling in your bones about like, Batman would do this. Batman wouldn't do that. And I think in order for that to work, you do have to have some context, right?
So it's a, it is a fine line to walk, to leave the, the mystery in place to leave the mystic mystique in place, but give us enough so that we feel like we, we know what makes him tick.
[01:20:18] Brian: Yeah. I, I guess to build off of that, like, I think it would be interesting to have to, to let writers do their own origin stories that could be different from the alleyway
[01:20:30] Alex: Sure.
[01:20:30] Brian: Right. Like, still give him that, that driving motivation, but be able to explore better or different or ways to have that origin that like, like you can see in here, like there are some pieces that they change to see how it, it affects, like in the movie the Batman, it, it starts to question if Thomas Wayne was a good
[01:20:53] Alex: Right. you
[01:20:53] Brian: or like, in those, the, I can't remember the common name now, I'll be honest.
Reading all these has my head spinning
[01:21:01] Alex: Sure, sure, sure. They blurred together a little bit.
[01:21:03] Brian: But like the, the different ones where Thomas Wayne is a little bit overly aggressive
[01:21:07] Alex: Sure, sure. You know, I think it was the Batman who Falls, but,
[01:21:10] Brian: so there's two of 'em. So the man who Falls is one
[01:21:12] Alex: them.
[01:21:12] Brian: Okay. But it, uh, I think maybe Batman four 30 but, gives some new context to why they went to the movies. There's another one we haven't talked about where Bruce feels responsible for them because he runs out of the the alleyway
[01:21:28] Alex: and rights.
[01:21:30] Brian: that that starts out. It's, it's a really great story one that starts out with Alfred security Um, and I
[01:21:41] Alex: Is it Earth one?
[01:21:43] Brian: Yeah, it's Earth one. Right. and I think that's super compelling because it like changes the context around the situation.
but I would be really interested to hear origin stories. I guess, man, I feel really conflicted because there's so many ways to like live in the multiverse of Batman and like allow for all these different ones while also like allowing for one where they don't give you an origin story at all, you know, and explore that.
Because these are all like experiments that
[01:22:12] Alex: And I think that's one of the cool things about DC is that they're willing to do all of that for you. Like if you're hardcore about like, what happened? How did this go? Like they, they do have the continuity, right? So a lot of the ones we talked about today were like, okay, post-Crisis de O'Neals running the shop.
Right. He tells Frank Miller to do this, and then he writes the story that does that and they all kind of interweave. Right? But you're talking about a story you read Batman Earth one, which is, part of the Dan de di era, right? In the two thousands where it's a response to Ultimate comics. The one I told you about a few episodes ago where they did this, this other thing that was in another universe, wasn't connected in any way, wasn't part of a multiverse, wasn't, you know, Batman Earth won that.
It's like Jeff Johns. They give him a graphic novel and they say, just do your own thing. It's not connected. Start over. and he gets to do a different spin on it. Cause he's not worried about making a connect with anything. so likewise, you know, people who were kind of done with the, the, the post crisis continuity, they, they did flashpoint, they started over.
So every once in a while they're starting over. Every once in a while they have these things called elsewhere worlds where they're, you know, letting things live in their own pocket universes. They had Earth one, which was kind of its own pocket universe thing. Right. You know, um, and it's all there for you, you know, whatever you want.
There's a version that, that you can take. you can get more of that origin story or recontextualization or not. It's up to you and I, and I think ultimately what happens with all this is, is people end up with head cannons, right? There's like, okay, my Batman had this happened to him, but I didn't like that story so it didn't happen to him.
Or, you know,
This motivation works for me. So. Sure.
[01:23:36] Brian: if you like the show, then maybe you can help other people find us too. Tell your friends about the show if you think they'd be interested. If you're using Apple Podcast, tap on the name of the show. Scroll down and find the place to give us a review, all you gotta do is tap on the stars, but if you write a review, we will read it on the show.
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[01:24:21] Alex: And I'm Alex Cash.
[01:24:22] Brian: Thanks for listening.