BAILEY’S BATMAN PODCAST EPISODE 28: BATMAN YEAR ONE PART 2

Episode 28: Batman Year One Part 2

The epic conversation about Batman: Year One concludes in fine style.  Or at least I think it does.  I’m a bit biased because it’s my show and I was part of said conversation.

Anyway, Donovan Morgan Grant, Michael Kaiser, and I talk about the final two chapters of Year One (which took place in Batman issues 406 and 407), which features some awesome scenes and a decent ending.  We also go on quite a few Batman related tangents, including a conversation about which actor was the best animated Batman, we talk about whether or not Gordon should have gotten remarried, there’s some Barbara Gordon talk, and Donovan also reads a letter that was printed in the comics in reaction to the first part of Year One that is pretty salty.  This leads into a larger conversation about how fans react to change, which took up a fair amount of real estate, but it made for some good audio.

Below is a gallery of images and covers from the comics we talked about during this episode.

And here are some other images, including sketches and covers of the collected editions of Batman: Year One.

A huge thank you to Donovan and Michael for doing this.  Donovan can be found on the Questions: We Don’t Have Answers podcast and Michael can be found on the Make Ours Marvel podcast.

Next Time: Probably a DragonCon panel.  I have a few saved up.

FCTC EPISODE 229: NOVEMBER 1995 SUPPLEMENTAL

Episode 229: November 1995 Supplemental

Welcome to the two hundredth and twenty-ninth episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast!  This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

Well, Mike and Jeff hope you get comfy before listening to this episode because it’s a long one and has an extended discussion at the beginning before they get into the comics.  Mike thought about trimming all of that out, but decided to leave it in because the show tends to go away for extended periods of time and when that happens Mike and Jeff tend to talk more at the beginning.

It’s a thing.

Anyway, after an extended intro that includes thoughts on the DC Universe App and Mike complaining about the tone of the Titans series, the boys get into the penultimate Supplemental episode, which means they’re talking about the other Superman related/company wide crossover books that came out with a November 1995 cover date.  First up is three part Future Tense storyline that ran through Superboy #21, Legion of Super-Heroes #74, and Legionnaires #31. Mike thought it would be a good idea to do all of that as one segment and even did one synopsis to cover all three issues.

After a break the boys get into Underworld Unleashed territory and cover Steel #21 and Underworld Unleashed #1.  They also look at a Gangbuster story in Showcase ’95 #10 and an Agent Liberty story in Showcase ’95 #11.  Mike is particularly salty about how the Supergirl television series dealt with Agent Liberty during Season Four, so you may want to bring a bottle of water or something.

Below is a gallery of the covers from the comics discussed during this episode.

You can subscribe or listen to the show in a variety of ways. First there is the RSS Feed and then there is the Apple Podcasts link.  You can also find the show on Spotify and the Google Play Store.  Are you on Facebook? Be sure to “like” the official FCTC page, which you can find by clicking on this link.

You can email the show by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.  Also be sure to give us a review over on iTunes and feel free to comment on the show here at the site!

Next Time: It’s time for another Lois and Clark episode as Mike and Jeff begin their sporadic look at Season 3.  This episode is about the first two episodes from that season, We Have A Lot To Talk About and Ordinary People.

OVERLOOKED DARK KNIGHT EPISODE 36 – BATWOMAN AND BAT-GIRL!

Episode 36 – Batwoman and Bat-Girl!

Welcome to the thirty-sixth episode of The Overlooked Dark Knight.  The is a non-index index show where the hosts, Andrew Leyland and Michael Bailey, look at Batman comics that rarely, if ever, get talked about.  In one episode they will talk about Bat books from the late seventies and early eighties.  In another episode they will talk about the animated Adventures titles that DC published in the nineties.  Sometimes they talk about whatever strikes their fancy.

Andy and Mike are celebrating Batman’s 80th Birthday for the next year.  It’s going to be fun.  They are doing this by covering stories outside of their normal mandate.

Not that they have a mandate.  But they do.  It’s complicated.

This time out Andy is extremely patient with Michael buffoonery.  See, Andy doesn’t overly care for the Batman comics published in the fifties and early sixties.  He doesn’t judge those that do like those books, but they’re not his favorite and, to be fair, Michael isn’t the biggest fan of them either.  But Michael is nothing if not nostalgic and the first Batman comics he ever read (as he is wont to tell anyone that will listen) were in the hardcover collection Batman: From The 30’s To The 70’s and the middle of that books contains stories featuring the Batwoman and Bat-Girl of the fifties and early sixties.  So, Mike wanted to talk about them and Andy is a nice guy, so here they are.

The first story they discuss is from Detective Comics #233, which featured the first appearance of the Kathy Kane Batwoman!  Listen to Mike and Andy talk about why Kathy became Batwoman as well as a lengthy discussion on how sexist Batman is through the entire story.  They follow this up with a story from Batman #139, which features the first appearance of Bat-Girl, who is Kathy’s niece and this time Kathy gets in on the condescending act.  Both stories are a lot of fun and the guys had a ball talking about them.

Below are the covers and selected pages from the comics discussed this episode.

Andy and Mike want your feedback on this episode so they can read it on an upcoming show!  You even have options in how you leave your feedback.  The most direct way is to leave a comment right here on the site.  You can also send all questions, concerns, fears and trepidations to [email protected].  Then there’ the Facebook page, where you can also leave a Batman related question for Andy and Mike to answer at the beginning of the show.  If you talk about this show on the social medias please include a #overlookeddk so the guys know where to find it.

If you want to subscribe to the show here’s the RSS Feed and the Apple Podcast link.  If you use iTunes please leave us a review.  Not only will we read that on the air like the other feedback but it really helps the show out.  The show is also available on the Google Play Store and Spotify.

Next Time: The Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight three part story Blades!

BAILEY’S BATMAN PODCAST EPISODE 27: BATMAN YEAR ONE PART 1

Episode 27: Batman Year One Part 1

Back in 2012, I got together with Donovan Morgan Grant and Michael Kaiser to talk about Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  It was a great conversation and we always said that at some point we would get back together to talk about Batman: Year One.

That time…is now.

For this first part of a two part conversation, Don, Michael, and I talk about the first two parts of Batman: Year One.  The conversation sticks mainly to the story, but we take a few detours along the way.  We have a brief discussion about the first issue of Frank Miller’s Superman: Year One and then talk about how this story not only gave us a definitive Batman origin (for a few decades, at any rate) but also served as a new direction for James Gordon as a character.  We also go over how Selina Kyle was treated in this story, how it took Gotham from a normal city to a brutal, hellhole, and more.  The first two chapters of Batman: Year One took place in Batman issues 404 and 405.

Below is a gallery of images and covers from the comics we talked about during this episode.

A huge thank you to Donovan and Michael for doing this.  Donovan can be found on the Questions: We Don’t Have Answers podcast and Michael can be found on the Make Ours Marvel podcast.

Next Time: We conclude our musings on Batman: Year One with the third and forth chapter.

FCTC EPISODE 228: TRIAL OF SUPERMAN PART 2

Episode 228: Trial of Superman Part 2

Welcome to the two hundredth and twenty-eighth episode of From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast!  This podcast has a simple premise; examine just about every Superman comic published between Man of Steel #1 in 1986 to Adventures of Superman #649 in 2006 in an informative and hopefully entertaining format.

The Trial of Superman continues this time out with Superman learning exactly why the Tribunal wants him dead.  In Superman #106 the boys welcome new regular penciller Ron Frenz to the book and discuss the return of Massacre!  Then, in Adventures of Superman #529 Team Superman gets together to investigate where Superman went to and the Alpha Centurion makes some inappropriate moves on Lois.  We are also introduced to the motley crew of fellow prisoners that Superman is paired and there’s even a jailbreak!  It’s all very exciting with some fantastic art.

Below is a gallery of the covers and select pages from the comics discussed during this episode.

And here is that Doomsday Year One ad that Michael mentioned.

You can subscribe or listen to the show in a variety of ways. First there is the RSS Feed and then there is the Apple Podcasts link.  You can also find the show on Spotify and the Google Play Store.  Are you on Facebook? Be sure to “like” the official FCTC page, which you can find by clicking on this link.

You can email the show by clicking this link. All questions, concerns, fears, trepidations and cheap shots are welcome.  Also be sure to give us a review over on iTunes and feel free to comment on the show here at the site!

Next Time: It’s the penultimate supplemental episode (more on that in a few episodes) and it’s a corker.  Books covered include Superboy #21, LOSH #74, Legionnaires #31, Steel #21, Underworld Unleashed #1, Outsiders #24, New Titans #127, and Showcase ’95 10 and 11.

This episode of From Crisis to Crisis was brought to you by Jason Sandberg’s Jupiter!  Check it out today at Comixology!This episode of From Crisis to Crisis was brought to you by Jason Sandberg’s Jupiter!  Check it out today at Comixology!

OVERLOOKED DARK KNIGHT EPISODE 35 – BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON

Episode 35 – Batman: Son of the Demon

Welcome to the thirty-fifth episode of The Overlooked Dark Knight.  The is a non-index index show where the hosts, Andrew Leyland and Michael Bailey, look at Batman comics that rarely, if ever, get talked about.  In one episode they will talk about Bat books from the late seventies and early eighties.  In another episode they will talk about the animated Adventures titles that DC published in the nineties.  Sometimes they talk about whatever strikes their fancy.

Andy and Mike are celebrating Batman’s 80th Birthday for the next year.  It’s going to be fun.  They are doing this by covering stories outside of their normal mandate.

Not that they have a mandate.  But they do.  It’s complicated.

This time out Andy and Mike spend the entire episode discussing the original graphic novel Batman: Son of the Demon.  What if Batman tried to settle down with Talia Al Ghul and actually worked with Ra’s Al Ghul against a common enemy?  What if Talia fell pregnant?  Those questions and more are asked and answered in this mature Batman story that was almost immediately taken out of continuity until 2007 when it was kind of, sort of brought back.  Along the way Mike and Andy talk about what makes a good mature comic and why Batman and Catwoman don’t belong together for the most part.

Below is a gallery of images from this comic.

Andy and Mike want your feedback on this episode so they can read it on an upcoming show!  You even have options in how you leave your feedback.  The most direct way is to leave a comment right here on the site.  You can also send all questions, concerns, fears and trepidations to [email protected].  Then there’ the Facebook page, where you can also leave a Batman related question for Andy and Mike to answer at the beginning of the show.  If you talk about this show on the social medias please include a #overlookeddk so the guys know where to find it.

If you want to subscribe to the show here’s the RSS Feed and the Apple Podcast link.  If you use iTunes please leave us a review.  Not only will we read that on the air like the other feedback but it really helps the show out.  The show is also available on the Google Play Store and Spotify.

Next Time: A trip to the Silver Age for some Bat Family fun!

THE (MOSTLY) SUPERMAN READING DIARY – JANUARY 2020 ENTRY

The (Mostly) Superman Reading Diary – January 2020

I’ve recently stopped collecting modern comics beyond the occasional 100 Page Giants that are sold at Walmart.  This includes the Superman books, which I walked away from for a variety of reasons and if you are, in any way, curious about those reasons go ahead and listen to this episode of It All Comes Back To Superman, where I talk about that and the final issue of Doomsday Clock.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve walked away from the Superman books, but unlike last time I am not walking away from Superman and since I own hundreds of Superman related comics that I haven’t read yet that survived The Great Comic Book Purge of 2019 I figured it was high time that I actually read them.  I thought it might be fun to keep a diary of sorts of what I read, so I’ve been noting the books I read on a daily basis in a notebook in addition to posting covers over on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

All of that brings me to this post, which will (hopefully) be the first in a monthly blog entry about the books I read the previous month.  I thought about doing it in podcast form, but Professor Alan does such a great job with his Comics Reading Journal that I didn’t want to go down that road.  So, I’ll do a blog post containing a boring list of books I read and some thoughts about those books.

 I call it The (Mostly) Superman Reading Diary because I will also be reading other books that aren’t Superman related.

Let’s begin.

The Methodology

This section either won’t be in future installments or will be very, very brief.  This being the first entry, I felt an explanation was in order.

As I wrote earlier, one of my goals this year is to read comics that are in my collection that I haven’t read before.  I had been slowly selling off my rather unsustainable and borderline hoarding comic collection for a few years, but last year I finally picked out the books I really wanted to keep and sold the rest off in one of the most freeing experiences of my life.  I loved them when I loved them, but at some point, the idea of having over seventeen thousand comics, most of which I was never going to live long enough to read, became the proverbial millstone around my neck.  It actually stressed me out at times.  So, getting rid of them was good for me in a small way financially and in a big way for my mental health.

When you combine the selling of the books to the realization that, with a few exceptions, modern comics aren’t for me AND the fact that I haven’t lost any love for actually reading comics, getting to the books I haven’t read yet became a priority.  The problem was choosing what to read first.  One of my faults is that I can be mercurial in my reading.  I have a sudden and overwhelming urge to read a certain series and then I get five issues in and I just lose all interest.  This worried me when it came to choosing what I read, which led me to try and read a few different series all at once, but after a week or so of that I settled on a single character to focus on.

It’s Superman.

Long time followers are no doubt surprised by this.

In that “not at all” kind of way.

Even then I did something kind of weird.  My Superman collection stretches back to 1976, which was my somewhat arbitrary cut off point.  I own every issue of Superman and Action Comics going back to 1976 and stopping just recently.  I have most of the various series and mini-series and specials published during that time, in addition to issues of Superboy, Supergirl, Steel, etc.  Right before Christmas of last year I tried going through those Superman issues chronologically, but it didn’t take.  I can’t explain it.

Again…mercurial, but I did finally settle on a more manageable run that I am digging.

This leads to…

The Boring List of Comics That I Read in January 2020.

  • Action Comics issues 513-516, 525,526, 560-566
  • Batman 100 Page Giant (Vol. 2) #1
  • Booster Gold (Vol. 1) Issues 1 and 2
  • Comet #1
  • DC Comics Presents Issues 26, 74-80
  • Legend of the Shield #1
  • Starman (1988 Series) Issues 1 and 2
  • Super Friends #3
  • Superman (Vol. 1) Issues 352, 400-406, Annual #10
  • Superman Family #203-206
  • Superman Special #3
  • Superman: The Secret Years Issues 1-3

Overall Impressions

While the non-Superman books I read this month were a lot of fun, I am glad that I decided to zero in on just the Superman books.  It’s not just that Superman is my favorite character.  That’s part of it, but after spending over thirty years following the new Superman books as they came out it’s nice to finally get around to the books from before my time.  It’s a new hill to climb, a new land to conquer, insert another example of charting uncharted territory.  At first I tried maintaining two separate reading projects; The Marv Wolfman written Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Superman stories and stories that ran in Superman, Action Comics, DC Comics Presents, and assorted mini-series, annuals, and specials that came out two years before John Byrne’s Man of Steel.  Bouncing between the Wolfman issues and the Two Years To Man of Steel books (as I will now start calling them) made for some fun reading, but as I wrote earlier I finally decided that I wanted to read the Wolfman issues in the context they were published.

I’m also trying to figure out if the group think regarding elements of the Pre-Crisis Superman are correct.  One of those example of group thing is if Wolfman’s run on the Pre-Crisis Superman was as much of a breath of fresh air as I’ve heard, and I can’t accurately gauge that without also reading the books that came out alongside them.  So, I put that to the side and focused on the Two Years books.

The question with the Two Years to Man of Steel books is; were the books published over those two years really just a bunch of inventory stories or were they better than people say?  Short answer so far is yes and yes.  The stories have been, at the very least, fun.  There are only a few that I haven’t dug and some are downright emotional.  I’m more engaged when there is a sense of ongoing stories involving the supporting cast, but the books also serve well as done in one, episodic stories.  There are times when you can see the era needing a fresh coat of paint and there are times where it’s obvious that was life in the Silver and Bronze Age Superman and his world yet.

Like most things in life, there is nuance.

Favorite Issues

The Wolfman issues of Action Comics are so good.  I look forward to revisiting them.  The Toyman story in Action Comics #561 was great, as was the main story in Action #564.  The Forgotten Heroes/Forgotten Villains two-parter in DC Comics Presents issues 77 and 78 were much better than I thought they would be.  Marv Wolfman plays with…well, forgotten characters from DC’s science-fiction books of the fifties and sixties and makes them work in a fun adventure with Superman.  The Hawkman team-up in DC Comics Presents #74 had a lot of heart to it and dealt with an ancestor of Superman.

The Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane stories from Superman Family #203-206 were much better than I thought they would be.  Wolfman (him again) tells two separate stories with Jimmy and Lois and then brings them together organically.  Superman #403 and 404 had great lead features and made me appreciate Paul Kupperberg as a Superman writer.  He had a real understanding of what made that version of the character work.

By far my favorite comics from the month were the first three issues of Superman: The Secret Years.  I read them years ago, but it had been long enough that I didn’t remember much about them.  If you’re looking for an emotional story involving Superboy becoming Superman and watching Clark deal with being an adult, the death of his foster parents, and some very real-world problems with his classmates then this is the story for you.  The art is by Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger make for an interesting combination and considering both of their histories with Superboy it’s a solid pairing.  This could make a great direct-to-home media animated film.

Least Favorite Issues

Superman Special #3 had a decent plot, but it was a 22-page story told in twice that amount of space, which led to it feeling padded.  The main story in Action Comics #566 made me realize that while there are people that like Captain Strong as a character, I am not one of them.  This made the issue a bit of slog to read, though the art made it go down easier.

Also, and I know I am going to get rapped on the mouth for this, but the Jim Steranko story in Superman #400 may have looked great, but it was a boring story to read.  It did not hold my attention at all.  It felt pretentious and the O’Henry style ending was like a bad episode of The Twilight Zone.

Biggest Surprises

Ambush Bug.  Full stop.  I had only ever read one of the Ambush Bug specials back in the late nineties, but to see the back ups in Action Comics in the context of when they were published was a joy and a pleasure.  The satire is snarky but never mean and I have no idea what a reader unplugged from the wider DC would make of the shots the creative team took as then modern comics.

The Non-Superman Issues

Booster Gold was a good book from issue one, page one.  I will re-visit those issues down the road.  Same with the Will Payton Starman series and the two Impact Comics books I read.  The only newish comics I am reading currently are the 100 Page Giants sold through Walmart that catch my fancy.  For those that aren’t aware of these giants, they are 100 page books that contain one or two original stories about a character then three or so reprints.  The first issue of the current Batman 100 Page Giant had a solid, original Batman story, an engaging, original Batwoman story and reprints of other Bat related books.  It contained the second modern Harley Quinn story I’ve read, which was mainly a retelling of her origin.  This isn’t a complaint as these books are meant to grab non-readers and long-time readers alike.  The first chapter of Court of Owls reminded me why I loved Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s work on Batman so much.  The Nightwing story was…okay.

The Wrap Up

After a fun but erratic start I’ve settled into a nice reading project.  I’m getting to the Superman books published concurrently with Crisis on Infinite Earths, which is a fascinating time period for DC in general, so I’m looking forward to seeing how and if they tie into Superman more than the crossover issues.  I’m planning on picking up more 100 Page Giants, which, at five bucks a pop, are a great value for the money.

January is done.  On to February.  Depending on how much I read a day (I’m going for at least two issues a day as a goal) I may have to figure out a new project by the end of the month.  I have some ideas.

We’ll see how that goes.

FOB SHOWCASE PRESENTS…CAPTAIN AMERICA 1979

FOB Showcase Presents…Captain America 1979

Back in 1979, CBS and Universal took a stab at giving Captain America his own television series.  Two pilot films were produced and aired, but a series didn’t follow like it did with the Incredible Hulk.  Why?  Well, there are a lot of reasons for that and that’s what this episode of Fortress of Baileytude Showcase Presents is about.

Joining me to talk about, discuss, dissect, celebrate, and sometimes take cheap shots at these films is Joe Crowe (co-director of the American Sci-Fi Classics Track at DragonCon) and Kevin Eldridge (fellow Classic Track Irregular and co-host of the FlopCast) and boy did we have a good time talk about these movies.  We go into how we first saw these movies as well as why we are in such an awesome place when it comes to super-hero entertainment.

This was very much like one of the panels we would put on at DragonCon, just not recorded in a conference room.  We may not have a cool van with a motorcycle that rockets out of the back so we can jump your jeeps, but we get by.

I wanted to thank Joe and Kevin for joining me on this journey.  It was a lot of fun.  Stay tuned until after the end music for a special clip just for Joe.

IT ALL COMES BACK TO SUPERMAN EPISODE 15 – CATHARSIS…2020

Episode 15 – Catharsis…2020

Back in late 2009 I recorded an episode of Views From The Longbox with my friend Scott Gardner where we talk about our feelings about how DC Comics was treating Superman.  It was a raw and honest conversation and I titled that episode Catharsis.  Well, it’s now 2020 and once again I find myself at a crossroads, of sorts, with Superman and I thought it might be time to once again take a raw and honest look at where I am as a fan of the Man of Steel.  Why am I walking away from the ongoing books?  Why is Clark Kent as a secret identity important?  What were things like back in 2007?  How have my opinions on being a Superman fan changed?  And what does Doomsday Clock #12 have to do with all of this?  Listen and find out.

Below are selected images from Doomsday Clock #12.

It All Comes Back to Superman is available on a variety of formats.  It’s on Apple Podcasts, the Google Play Store, and even Spotify.  If you like accessing the RSS Feed directly, you can do that here.  Feedback for the show can be left below or you can head on over to the It All Comes Back To Superman Facebook Page.  The email address for the show is [email protected].

Next Time: Another installment of Superman Is For Everyone.

 

IT ALL COMES BACK TO SUPERMAN EPISODE 14 – SUPERMAN IS FOR EVERYONE: COSPLAY

Episode 14 – Superman Is For Everyone: Cosplay

This time out I’m kicking off a series that will be going off and on this year called Superman Is For Everybody.  The idea is that instead of talking about a Superman movie or television series or comic book I will be talking to people that channel their love and affection for Superman in different ways.  For this first installment I sat down with two friends of mine that cosplay as Superman.  David Simms and Joshua Jarmin (hosts of the very NSFW One More Round) have been cosplaying as Superman for several years at conventions and for charity.  They were nice enough to give me an hour of their time to talk about what got them into Superman, what made them want to dress like the character, what goes into getting a costume, the responsibility of dressing like Superman, and more.  It was a lot of fun and I’d like to thank them once again for appearing on the show.

(As if you needed to be told, I’m the guy in the middle.)

It All Comes Back to Superman is available on a variety of formats.  It’s on Apple Podcasts, the Google Play Store, and even Spotify.  If you like accessing the RSS Feed directly, you can do that here.  Feedback for the show can be left below or you can head on over to the It All Comes Back To Superman Facebook Page.  The email address for the show is [email protected].

Next Time: A very naval gazing episode where I give a State of the Union of my Superman fandom and also look at Doomsday Clock #12.