The Batman with Pete Holmes + Jason & Rosie's Batman Reading List | Crooked Media
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March 04, 2022
X-Ray Vision
The Batman with Pete Holmes + Jason & Rosie's Batman Reading List

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight send up the Bat Signal! First in Previously On (2:47), Jason and Rosie discuss a casting in Sony’s Kraven, the imminent arrival of Netflix’s Marvel shows (and of course Agents of Shield) on Disney+, how Hollywood is reacting to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and what some newly released funko pops might tell us about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the Airlock (13:24) Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeep) into Matt Reeves’ The Batman, discussing what sets the film apart from previous iterations, why it’s so good, and offering a variety of recommendations for folks to read, watch, and play after they see The Batman (55:28). In this chapter of the Omnibus (1:25:05), Jason explores science-fiction’s relationship with war and vice versa. In the Hive Mind (1:37:29), Jason and Rosie are joined by comedian and podcaster Pete Holmes to discuss The Batman and in the Endgame (1:52:53), Jason and Rosie pick the craziest villain from Batman’s Rogues Gallery to see in a future Batman installment.


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Jason Concepcion Warning, this podcast contains so many freaking spoilers about Matt Reeves adaptation of The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz. We are going to spoil a lot of stuff. Not only that, we’re going to talk about a bunch of Batman comics and Batman video games and other Batman movies, and we’re going to talk about details from all of those things. We give a lot of comics recommendations, but we try not to spoil the stuff. But listen, there’s going to be details in there. So just be warned and especially if you have not seen The Batman in theaters now. Watch it first, then come back.


Jason Concepcion And. Yeah. Hello, my name is. I’m going to try to do it again. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion. The Jace-Man. Welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics, and pop culture. In today’s episode on previously on, we’ll be covering news in the comic pop culture world, including Marvel’s *couchs* included, including news from Marvel’s. *laughs*


Rosie Knight Jason Wayne is back.


Jason Concepcion Netflix’s Marvel show is landing on Disney. Hollywood’s Reaction to the War in Ukraine. What Funko Pop Might Tell US About Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the airlock, we will be discussing what else Matt Reeves’s The Batman in the omnibus discussion of war and its influence on science fiction and vice versa in the hive mind. We will be discussing Batman stuff with famed Batman auteur Pete Holmes and in the end, game Batman villains. Joining me today. Joining me today is writer and comics encyclopedia all-around brilliant person, Rosie Knight. Rosie, how are you?


Rosie Knight I’m good. I’m glad that we got. I’m glad we got both sides of you today. We had Jason Batman and Jason Bruce Wayne.


Jason Concepcion That’s right. Well, Bruce Wayne what?


Rosie Knight I mean, ugh. I mean, ugh.


Jason Concepcion It’s not me. Me? No. who?


Jason Concepcion All right. First up, some news. First bit of news. Deadline is reporting that Ariana DeBose has been cast in Kraven the Hunter as Calypso. DeBose is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story. She recently won the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Latina to win a film award from the guild, as well as the first queer woman of color to win an individual SAG Award. This is exciting, man. Kraven is not even so secretly one of the weirder Spider-Man characters. I’m excited to see what comes of this. What do you think? What direction do you think the Kraven movie will will go in?


Rosie Knight They are stacking up character actors. They are stacking up award winners. They are stacking up unexpected people, and I think that casting Ariana DeBose as Calypso is very interesting because that is like a character who will need a reimagining. A la M’baku in Black Panther. So I think this could be. It’s going to be weird, but I think it’s going to be a little bit serious.


Jason Concepcion Oh, exciting. Next up, Marvel recently tweeted that their Netflix shows plus Agents of Shield, formerly from the ABC network, will all be coming to Disney Plus on March 16. So that’s Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, The Punisher and Agents of Shield all coming to the Disney Plus platform. And you know what that means, folks. Hardcore sex and actual blood splattering violence coming to Disney Plus, on a television near you. This is going to be interesting. We’ll see obviously how Disney ends up bifurcating. And, you know, like password kid proofing, essentially their platform. I didn’t think this would be the way that we get nudity on Disney Plus.


Rosie Knight I mean, think about I think it was like Splash, where when they put a version of it up, they CG’ed hair over the butt of the woman standing by the beach. So this seems unexpected, especially as we would have assumed this would probably have gone to Hulu. But Disney Plus does have a precedent for this outside of America, in Canada and Europe, and pretty much every other territory. Disney Plus is split into multiple different things, including Star, which contains most of the Hulu projects and things that are adult. So I’m assuming, like you said, some kind of tab system. I think they announced with this that the first time you open Disney Plus, when the shows have been put on there, you will be encouraged to set parental controls so they don’t want to. They want to make it so no kid is watching that first episode of of Jessica Jones or Luke Cage, whichever one it is with the sex, lots of sex.


Jason Concepcion Last week, Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker tweeted a thread about working on Luke Cage. His experience doing such, including the original opening credits, and he discussed essentially parts of the show that he hopes remain in the show when the show goes up on Disney Plus quote rewatching Luke Cage while I can on Netflix, they’re going to do what they do. It’s theirs. I just hope they don’t sit on it for years to allow for an easier reboot or a re-air with a different mix or the N-word muted. I’d love to do commentary tracks or the original credits, so that will be interesting. I will say that The Defenders is like underrated. I enjoyed the defenders except for Iron Fist being in the defenders. But I. Jessica Jones season one in particular, I thought was great. Daredevil was mostly great, although it was mostly very good. Yeah, I liked Luke Cage. Iron Fist is what it was. The Punisher. Is impossible now for me to disconnect from the cops among us. And the and the Blue Lives Matter crowd, which is unfortunate and agents of SHIELD was great, this is a great moment for Agents of SHIELD stans out there.


Rosie Knight Especially it makes a lot of sense because we know Feige is not shy about bringing things from the Daredevil Netflix universe. We saw Charlie Cox in Spider-Man No Way Home. We know that the Dark Cold was in one division that had already been in Agents of Shield, a major part, so it will be really interesting to see where this goes. I think the thing I’m most interested in is like if they make a kind of more adult section or a different tab. Could Moon Knight live there when it comes? I think that the timing of this makes me wonder if this is a if they’re setting up something for Moon Knight.


Jason Concepcion Kevin Feige has stated that Moon Knight is quote “brutal”, which is what was notable. I’ve never heard him describe a Disney Marvel project in those terms before, so that’ll be interesting to see. Next up, Deadline is reporting that several films are pausing film releases in Russia in light of the country’s aggressive and unlawful invasion of Ukraine. Those include The Lost City, Sonic Two, Morbius Turning Red, and The Batman and Vladimir Putin will soon be on his knees because he can’t watch the three hour cut of Matt Reeves as Batman.


Rosie Knight He can’t watch Morbius. That’s what will break him.


Jason Concepcion And then finally, Marvel has unveiled a new line of Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness Funko Pops. Now, buyer beware. It took six months for me to get my kid Loki and the alligator Loki Funko Pop. So if you’re ordering your Funko Pop, just know that it can take a while, but a bunch of fun stuff in there. Let’s start with the first very interesting one, Supreme Strange. So this is a doctor strange.


Rosie Knight Dude.


Jason Concepcion No mustache.


Rosie Knight No mustache. And he’s got the white yes at the side of his head. Kind of like defender strange. But he doesn’t have a ponytail, and he’s wearing a costume that looks more like it’s a Kamar-taj kind of costume. Although I love that we now have Doctor Strange, Strange Supreme from What If and Supreme Strange. *laughs*


Jason Concepcion So we know we’re going to get like a corrupted Strange and we’re going to get obviously the who we will refer to as six one six strange. And now it seems we may get this other strange. You had a really great theory on who this is and free for all.


Rosie Knight OK, so so we know that we’re going to have corrupt strange, defender strange, which is going to be Benedict. Yeah, six one six strange , like you pointed out, normal strange. So I think no mustache, different hairstyle. I think this could be the one, the only Bruce Campbell, because rumor has it, and I believe this is on the record. Sam Raimi saying this he was originally meant to be playing Doctor Strange if Sam Raimi continued his Spider-Man universe. And I think there’s even a reference kind of name checked to Dr. Stephen Strange in those movies, and we know this is a Sam Raimi movie like Bruce Campbell’s got to be in it, right?


Jason Concepcion I would bet everything that I own and that I hold dear that Bruce Camp. There’s no way he is not in this movie now. Yeah, I will say this for people looking for evidence or looking to make a decision on Rosie’s prediction right now. We’ll pause the podcast for you. Go to Bruce Campbell’s Wikipedia the very, very first picture. Look at that picture and then look at the supreme, strange Funko Pop. And I got to tell you, I think you’re right.


Rosie Knight I also think that like the fact that it’s the blue costume there’s this old movie that was going to be a Doctor Strange movie that ended up they lost the licensing before it could come out. It’s called a Doctor Mordrid instead, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Sam Raimi, but it’s like an ultimate B-movie came out from full moon. It seems like something him and Campbell would probably have had interest in. It has the guy from Re-Animator in it, and in that the version of Doctor Strange wears a blue costume. So all of it is just seeming very B-movie and magical to me. And also, who doesn’t want a Bruce Campbell, Doctor Strange Funko Pop?


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. Next up for the Funko releases is a character simply called Sarah, wearing what looks to be a calmer, taj-esque kind of outfit. Single earring. There is some speculation this could be Sarah Wolfe is a very minor character in the strange firmament, but this raises a question. You know, whether it’s Jericho Drumm or a character like Jericho Drumm or the Hood or whoever. When are we going to see other members of the magical community, Marvel’s magical community pop up in the MCU? And you would. But when it happens, it would happen in a Doctor Strange movie.


Rosie Knight Yeah, this movie seems like the space for that magical exploration. We know that in the first Doctor Strange movie, there was a drum who did die. Yes. So it and the whole thing that is most key to the character known as Doctor Voodoo is that his brother died and he’s haunted by the ghost of his brother. So that could happen to anyone who has a sibling. I love the idea that this is sort of drum, and that’s why they didn’t necessarily give her a name, and that’s their re-imagining. But like you said, it could be any number of magical characters, or it could just be Disney inventing a new character to bring into the movies. That’s always an option, but this is the fun of this stuff and a Funko Pop. Usually that means you’re relatively important character in the movie.


Jason Concepcion Agreed. Well, I am super, super excited for Multiverse of Madness that is going to tell us a lot about the direction that Marvel is taking, which movies are the team up movies, and what exactly the arc of this particular phase is going to look like. Because it is a lot, you know, phase one, I think. Obviously, it was a different stage in scale of the MCU at the time, but it was pretty clear we’re heading towards the Avengers and there’s going to be a team up and they’re going to fight a big bad. And it’s, you know, it’s going to be Loki here. Kang hasn’t showed up yet. Ostensibly the big bad of this particular phase, the multiverse is in a tumult, and it’s unclear when a new Avengers team will appear back on the horizon. So I feel like we’re going to get a lot of answers to those questions in a Multiverse of Madness. Up next, let’s get into the airlock and talk about some Batman. What do you say?


Jason Concepcion Let’s do it. And. Stepping out of the airlock and into the rain soaked streets of Gotham City, huh?


Jason Concepcion Rosie, we saw The Batman last week. It’s a three hour extravaganza and we’re going to recap it for you right now. There is a disclaimer up top in which we talked about spoilers going to say it again. If you have not seen Matt Reeves The Batman starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne slash Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle slash Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, and unrecognizable Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot and Jeffrey Wright as Lieutenant James Gordon, yadda yadda yadda. Then please don’t listen to this. What are you doing? Now I’ll say this, the movie’s unspoil-able. It’s about vibes and the vibes are excellent, but still, if you haven’t seen it, stop now, go watch the movie. come back, we’ll be here for you. Here comes a recap we open on Gotham City. It is Halloween early in the career of a young Batman, second year of the appearance of Batman on the scene of Gotham City. And of course, Batman is secretly the Playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne. Gotham’s criminals shiver in fear when the bat signal run by up and coming lieutenant James Gordon, the only clean and honest cop in Gotham, shines above the skyline. A series of audacious, mystifying and intricately planned murders of notable Gotham-ites is being carried out by a masked maniac named The Riddler. These crimes are absolutely shocking, and no one knows what to do. First, the mayor falls, then it’s the district attorney. Then it’s others. Gotham’s cops are like, I don’t know. We’re on the take. We’re a completely corrupt organization. We don’t actually solve crimes. We commit them on a vast scale, all the time, all the time, all the time. And so we have no idea what to do. So Lt. Gordon says, You know what? Why don’t we just have Batman come in and actually do it? Because you guys suck? You’re terrible at solving crimes. So Batman comes in. He gathers clues. Meanwhile, the Riddler is releasing his videos all over the internet. He’s basically like an 8chan slash 4chan troll. Meanwhile, Carmine Falcone runs his organized crime syndicate out of his nightclub, surrounded by his captains and various tough guys, including his lieutenant, Oswald Cobblepot. The Penguin, one of the employees of the club, is a cocktail waitress named Selina Kyle, secretly the acrobatic jewel thief known as Catwoman. Selena’s friend and lover, Anika. She was last seen with the mayor and members of Falcon’s gang. She has mysteriously vanished from the scene and Selina heartsick, missing her friend, terrified for her well-being, investigates Batman’s investigation intersects with Selina’s search for Erica and an alliance of sorts is formed. An alliance. I guess that’s what you call it when there’s a lot of sexual tension between two characters who definitely want to get together, but there’s a lot of things keeping them from each other. The Riddler also feels like he’s in an alliance with Batman, but from afar, his murders and his horrifying videos are in The Riddler’s twisted mind kind of a conversation with the Batman who clearly has inspired The Riddler and is inspiring, currently inspiring a new wave of diabolical and violent criminal in the Gotham underworld. The clues draw Batman to his past some long hidden trauma involving his parents. Not the thing you think, folks. Guess what? Spoiler. No murder scene. You don’t get it. Bruce’s parents, Thomas and Martha. Martha was troubled we learned in this movie and spent some time at Arkham having had a breakdown. Thomas, at that time, was in the midst of a run for mayor, and he covered up his wife’s mental health struggles with the help of bomb bomb bomb. Carmine Falcone. Now you could argue that Thomas didn’t know that Carmine Falcone was going to murder the reporter who was reporting on Martha’s troubles. I would argue that that’s crazy. If you ask Carmine Falcone to help you with something. Guess what the fuck is going to happen?


Rosie Knight Naivete?


Jason Concepcion Come on. At any rate, Thomas is implicated in that. The Riddler, we discover, was a orphan whose life was impacted by the death of Thomas Wayne, whose foundation funded various charitable programs throughout Gotham City. And it is heavily suggested in this movie by numerous characters, various characters that Carmine Falcone had something to do with the murders of Thomas and Martha. Where do you fall on that particular question, Rosie?


Rosie Knight I think that this movie lays out a lot of really good stuff about Bruce’s past and the way they deal with the Thomas and Martha stuff is like some of my favorite.


Jason Concepcion Agreed. I love it


Rosie Knight because, like, I like the idea. Like, of course, this guy who’s a billionaire philanthropist probably knows the mob like they set up a reasonable reason for it here, which is he saved Carmine’s life, you know, and that’s actually, yeah, that’s actually in the long Halloween comic. So it’s taken directly from the comics. But like, I believe that John Turturro, who is unbelievable, as Carmine Falcone, so good. He’s so good that Carmine. When I see him on the screen, I believe he organized it. I 100 percent believe that he organized it because Thomas, in the end, was still a good enough guy to want to go to the police and be honest about what happened, cause he was mortified, you know? But something I really loved is there’s this moment, you know, Alfred and Bruce live together. Alfred is played by Serkis, Andy Serkis. He’s he’s not in the movie very much. But one of the big scenes is, he says, you know, I’ve spent every day trying to work out if it was like Moroni, who obviously is a big Batman villain from comics past and other stuff, or Falcone. And then he goes. But it could also just be some hungry kid who got scared when he was doing a robbery and shot them. And I kind of love the ambiguity there because it doesn’t really matter. It’s just the fact they die. It is what drives Bruce, and even when he has an idea of. Who it might have been, he realizes the most important thing is like vengeance is actually incredibly a dangerous motive that inspires other dangerous people. And I just thought it was, I love this movie.


Jason Concepcion I love the Thomas and Martha Wayne stuff, too. I think that the comics for a while have long had a more nuanced view of Bruce’s parents, particularly Thomas. Mm-Hmm. Whereas in the movies, you know, Thomas and Martha are always these saintly figures who, like, are so loving, cared about the underclass of Gotham City were trying to make everything better. It just simply tracks someone who is that rich, that powerful and is also running for mayor and also knows how to get in contact with the biggest mobster in Gotham City would have some skeletons in the closet. Now, I think they did a really cool job of like walking that tightrope where Thomas is dirty, but it’s still kind of deniable and also like the more financial type crimes were probably not his fault. I thought this was done really well. I’ll say, here’s my theory based on nothing but watching the movie and reading Batman comic books. I think Falcone probably wanted to kill Thomas. I think that whether it’s Joe Cool or whoever it is that killed Thomas and Martha in Crime Alley. I think that was just happenstance, random. I think Carmine was relieved like, Oh, that’s great, that I don’t have to do that murder of a very, very, very, very famous person in Gotham and and nationally, even and internationally when you think about like Wayne Industries. But I am very happy to let people think that I did it.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I also think, like you, I think you absolutely sum up something that’s so good about this Carmine as well. Gotham is such a shithole like corrupt place that he’s just an opportunist. That’s it. He does this. This kind of whole puppet master aspect that he has is not really something that it seems like he planned. He just took advantage of the corruption and the awful greed that existed there. So in the same way, that would actually make so much sense. It’s like someone else killed. You know, Joe Chill killed the parents, so someone mugged them or whatever you want to do. Jack Napier, I mean, we don’t know because, you know, I actually


Rosie Knight have a Joe Cool Joe Chill mash up. So I take full blame for anyone, getting anyone, getting them mixed up. But yeah, no, I love that it makes so much sense that it would just he’s a lucky motherfucker. Like, when you watch this movie, everything is just like everything is worked out for him until this young, vulnerable woman who is essentially like an escort or a sex worker in Anika is harmed. And then these two really broken people, Selina and Bruce, come to this place and he’s just taken down by them because they don’t just put up with it. And it’s it’s there’s a lot I love about this movie, but I love that he’s kind of derailed by just two people caring well, three, because Jim Gordon is a big ally in this movie. But that’s such a good point. It’s like he would just be like, Oh, that was lucky. Like everything else in my life.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I don’t have to. I don’t have to get involved in it. That’s like, you know, I’m a lucky guy. That’s why I’m in the position that I’m in. We should add in this movie. It is revealed that Selina is Carmine Falcone’s illegitimate daughter. Now, this has been hinted at, most notably in the long Halloween. It’s it’s heavily alluded to, but this is the first time I can remember where it is explicitly stated that she is his daughter.


Rosie Knight So, so this is like a really interesting, complex bit of comic book history because, like you said, it’s alluded to, Selina suggests in a canon way in the sequel to the long Halloween, which is called Dark Victory by the same creative team. And then the one place that we saw flow


Jason Concepcion Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale say, because you don’t want to say yes, I’ll say Jeph Loeb.


Rosie Knight Tim sales are beautiful. Beautiful gowns. Beautiful. In the in the sequel, it’s it’s stated that Selina thinks that. And then what I found out while I was getting ready for this podcast, getting ready for Batman in the long Halloween adaptation of the movie, they actually in the animated version. They actually do also suggest that, but here is the first time we’ve seen it being like this is this is this is this is true and I think that’s really an interesting point about the animated movies, because like those, a lot of us know the DC AEU as we call DC Animated Universe with the kind of more original movies that they they create. But the adaptations have actually played a lot, a lot into this movie because the animated adaptation of Hush, which is obviously a big influence on this movie version, they decided. Instead of it being Thomas Elliott, who is in the comics, who’s Bruce’s old best friend, they reveal that Hush is the Riddler. And I think that’s like, Oh yea, spoiler. Spoiler for this whole movie. But like that. And then the fact that Selina is revealed is Carmine’s door. I’m like is Matt Reeves secret animation fan. Like, Did he watch those movies like, I think that’s really cool. Oh, and the other thing that we kind of should probably mention in regards to Thomas and Martha is in this version, they say that Martha Wayne was an Arkham, right? She was actually an Arkham. One of the two founding families of Gotham, the Waynes and the Arkhams. And that does have like a comic book presence in the Geoff Johns, Gary Frank Batman Earth one. In that version, she is Martha Arkham Wayne. So but it’s not very common, and I think that was a moment where, like when I was in the cinema, a lot of people like, Whoa, and they they get their notebooks out because it’s like, Oh, you haven’t. That’s that’s kind of wild. So I think that that’s another cool aspect that’s taken from this


Jason Concepcion A sprinkling of Earth One stuff in this movie. This movie culminates in The Riddler is plot to blow the dam surrounding Gotham, flooding the city and trapping many of the most notable citizens of the city along with various other thousands of people at Gotham’s version of Madison Square Garden, the name of which I forget, I think it’s a Gotham Square garden,


Rosie Knight It’s just like Gotham Square Garden or something like that


Jason Concepcion Something like that. Those who survived the waters would then be gunned down by the Riddler’s 8chen army? Some 500 strong followers of The Riddler’s online content who are just big fans of his and showed up like with shotguns and masks that look just like The Riddler, Batman and the Catwoman save the citizens, including Gotham’s rookie mayor, and with the help of an injection of a green substance, which was very notable Bruce manages to fight off the Riddler’s thugs. Not all five hundred. We only see him beat up like maybe eight. So there’s still one, four hundred and forty two Riddler thugs out there somewhere. In the end, the Riddler finds himself in a cell next to a mysterious, criminally insane person who is the Joker confirmed 100 percent. It’s the joker. It’s the Joker, The Joker says. “This city has a way of turning people into clowns. Don’t cry. You did so good. I have a riddle for you. What do you value more when you have fewer of them?” A friend. Boom, he gets it on the first try. And then at the end of the movie, we watch Selina and Bruce ride out through the countryside on the outskirts of Gotham together. And then he goes right. She goes left towards Blood Haven, and he returns to Wayne Manor, that’s our movie, folks. Let me ask you quickly what the green liquid that Bruce injects like into his side.


Rosie Knight I think when I see that because of the era of comic book fan, I think it’s some kind of bane venom. Bane drug


Jason Concepcion That’s how I saw it as well.


Rosie Knight And chemically, you know, something that I think a lot of us kind of laugh about is even if it’s not bane, which seems very on Reeves in this world, though, I think there’s a great way you could do it. But like, Batman has a lot of fucking venom stories like there’s a lot of venom. There’s always like some venom, some organic venom, some chemical. But yeah, I mean Matt. When the exact right amount of over the top, it’s bright green. That could have been any color, but he went like bright green.


Jason Concepcion And the effect it had on him, like he immediately was like, grrrrrawrrr


Rosie Knight Oh, he’s like, he got to really have like a big Robert Pattinson, like wild, good time moment there where he’s like, Yeah, and it’s like, a just close up on his face. I was like, Oh, Rob, I’m so happy for you that you really got to go all out.


Jason Concepcion Final question before we get into the discussion is Solomon Grundy just like drowned now? Is he dead?


Rosie Knight Dude, I wonder about that, you know, because like, this movie took so much from the Arkham games that the idea of having a version of him, whether he’s there’s so many ways you could do it and this kind of realistic world, I wonder if there’s a version of him that’s floundering somewhere under the iceberg lounge.


Jason Concepcion Rosie, what are your thoughts on The Batman Matt Reeves, his take on an iconic pop cultural character?


Rosie Knight I love this movie. I I just can’t get over. I did not think I was going to like this movie that much like I love Robert Pattinson, I love Zoe Kravitz. I really like Matt Reeves’ work. I’ve spoken to Matt a bunch times. I think he’s a really thoughtful guy. But the trailers, just they they didn’t look like the movie, in my opinion.


Jason Concepcion I agree.


Rosie Knight Like the movie, it’s it’s it’s a dark movie. But the cinematography by Greig Fraser is like unreal, and it’s so beautiful. And there’s so much romance. And I think the thing I love the most about it when I’ve been thinking about it, a lot is like. I love the stories that Matt chooses to tell in this world, like it’s essentially a seven day long detective story.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight And it’s intimate and it’s noir-y, and it’s inspired by starts because a young woman who’s vulnerable goes missing and her friend and this weird guy dressed as a bat decide to look for her like, that’s such an intimate. There’s no, you know, and I love the MCU. I love Thanos. But there’s no gems. There’s not particularly like a MacGuffin. Like, this is just a really intimate, weird story. And it’s three hours long. And I’m usually like a proponent of like every movie could be 90 minutes. But I’ve thought so much, and I actually would not cut any of this movie. Like everything works, everything leads to something else. Whether it’s an emotional thing, a vibes thing, whether it’s like that big kind of gut punch reveal with the twist at the end with The Riddler. I just thought this movie’s so good. I’m so happy.


Jason Concepcion I loved it as well. Listen, if I had one nitpick and this is like, I’d nitpick, it’s not even a real critique is that we could have got to the Riddler faster. That’s all. But I loved it, too. I think it just captured a lot of the things that I think that I love about Batman, and I think a lot of people have loved about Batman. And it is truly. It’s the first Batman as a detective. Yes, as the greatest detective movie ever, and it’s crazy that we’ve gotten we’ve went this far before getting this movie. It really is all about Bruce Slash Batman looking for evidence, thinking about the clues, trying to figure out what’s going on, unraveling a mystery there. Yes, he beats people up, but he does a lot of grappling with grappling with the evidence, drawing out charts like really using that incredible brain for investigation that we get so much of in the comics and really haven’t gotten that much of in in the movies. And the other thing I loved about it is like, I guess, because of the push to create like an interconnected DC EU with the Justice League and tying in, you know, all the existing members of the Justice League into a single single movie property, Superman, Cyborg and Aquaman, et cetera. Wonder Woman, there’s. It’s we I felt like we got away from Batman as this crime fighter who for the most part, fights criminals and who’s best most iconic criminals are not like you know, being aside are not like super powered maniacs, like with who can fly and can destroy things with their eyes or with ray beams, stuff like they’re just like brilliant criminals like truly genius level criminals. Carmine Falcone, just like a a gangster mafia member, mafia boss par excellence, the penguin, a very psychotic, violent gang member, The Riddler. Just a psycho like a psychopath like could not is not going to beat anybody in a straight up fight, but has this diabolical ability as a villainous super genius to twist vulnerable people’s minds and to make into them becoming henchmen for him and has a unique talent for just weaving these unbelievably intricate crimes. That kind of stuff where that that frames Bruce Batman as this street level protector of Gotham is just for me, it’s like the essence of of who Batman is. And I just I loved that aspect of it, and then I loved it. It draws on. Some of the most influential and iconic Batman stories that haven’t been haven’t been touched yet. One Halloween, Hush, you said it essentially the Riddler is Hush in this in this version of a Batman story.


Rosie Knight You know they do the dark. The thing that especially comes from Hush that I think is so interesting is like The Riddler is this like dark reflection of Bruce. Like he is what it’s like if you were an orphan with no money, with no support, with no Alfred, you know? I thought the relationship between Bruce and Alfred is so interesting because Bruce just does not respect the role that Alfred has played in his life until he’s going to lose him, you know, and there’s I think there’s so much interesting stuff there, and it takes so directly from these comics, like the Selina Kyle we see in this movie is David Mazur Kelly’s Selina Kyle from year one. I was rereading it and I was just like, blown away by the way that Matt translated.


Jason Concepcion Oh yeah,.


Rosie Knight The awe, and you know, I went to a Q&A with Matt and Rob, and Zoe and a producer at Warner Brothers. And so, you know, Matt actually said Zoe was so integral. She was bringing in comics and bringing in things and saying, Let’s bring this panel to life, and I feel like you can really feel that love and kind of reverence for that aspect of Batman that you’re talking about what she’s like as soon as you put any character human, whoever superpowered or not next to Superman, you have to change the scope of what they can do because Superman is a God, you know? So to have Batman in this space of being a detective, being somebody who actually and this is something I think is so cool about this movie is like. You talked about these ground level zero, the ground level villains, you know who he can fight against, which makes sense because he doesn’t have any powers, but something this movie does is, it reckons with the idea that they wouldn’t exist if Batman didn’t exist.


Jason Concepcion Yes, I’m glad that they did that because that is. I mean, that’s directly from long Halloween. That is one of the themes of that story is. Was it the appearance of Batman on the scene that caused all of these diabolical criminals to up their game? They they raised their level of viciousness and criminality and violence in order to meet the challenge of Batman. Is. Isn’t there some kind of symbiotic relationship between the crime fighter and the criminal? And I love that they went there.


Rosie Knight Yeah, they went there so deep as well, like. And that’s the Mobius, you know, the Mobius strip of Batman and the Joker who came first. Who is who is the fault? Like, could the Joker exist without Batman? Could Batman exist without the Joker? And they do that so well, like the really famous scene from the trailer that I think got a lot of people excited is when he’s he’s fighting the gang who kind of look like a Joker gang or a mutant gang, or a little bit like warriors, which is a great scene. And the kid in that who kind of cries. He ended up getting cast as Tim Drake in Titans because people were just so stoked for his emotional range that he showed in that moment. But Batman says, “I’m vengeance” when they ask who he is, you know, and the kind of final big ending part of the movie he’s fighting these Riddler goons and Jim Gordon pulls the mask off one of the Riddler goons who literally is like, about to mass shoot like women and children in an emergency situation. It’s it’s quite horrifying, but very timely, and feels quite raw that Matt chose to go that way and and he looks at Jim Gordon and he says, “I’m vengeance.” And that is just like such a brutal wake up call for Bruce. Like, it doesn’t matter. It’s intention vs. impact. Yeah, you bought up The Punisher earlier, right? I was thinking a lot about how this movie is in conversation with superhero stuff that’s come before because The Punisher was not created. I think, you know, Jerry Conway didn’t create The Punisher so that he would become a right wing icon. But the notion of The Punisher in the stories that have been told and the idea of this lone wolf vigilante and his symbol of the skull that has been appropriated and the impact us is the intention. The impact is what we think of now. We think about the skull on people’s cars. We think about the way that it’s been utilized by the far right. And I kind of love that this is like a Batman story and it’s like intention vs. impact. Like, Batman wants to do something good. I guess he wants to do something to make Gotham better, but his impact has been horrific.


Jason Concepcion You, you make a good point because one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot with this movie is that I think there’s a world in which you could argue this is like the best Bruce Wayne like character evolutionary arc in a Batman in a Batman movie, certainly in the Christopher Nolan The Post Christopher Nolan era Batman Begins OK, Bruce Wayne, we see.


Rosie Knight He journeys.


Jason Concepcion He journeys, right? But he doesn’t like, fundamentally evolve. I think in The Dark Knight, there’s some evolution there. And then, you know, in The Dark Knight Returns, I think he’s basically the same guy in this movie. Bruce Wayne starts off saying, I am vengeance. I am. I am avenging the murder of my parents every time I crunch my knuckles into the face of some thug, every single time I am avenging that murder. Through that process. We get to a place with Bruce where towards the end of the movie, he one realizes that wait a second, maybe what I’m doing running around in a in a Black bat costume, driving the streets in this souped up supercharger Batmobile. Maybe it is causing the criminals to become more violent and more intense. Maybe that is happening and two, if I’m going to do this. I’ve got to be more than vengeance because I can’t do it without the city. I need to I need to inspire Gotham. The people of Gotham to try and and and reach a higher level to hopefully transcend all this violence, all this criminality, all this corruption, so that they realize that they can do something better. And the only way that we can achieve that is one. I can’t be this lone wolf figure. I have to try and do it with the city of Gotham, with the people. And the only way I can do that is to try and inspire them somehow to be a more hopeful figure than this just sulking shadow of vengeance that I’ve been. And that’s the place we arrive at at the end in this movie. And I thought that that was like I was. That is the spirit of Batman that is Batman to me, and it captured it in a way that felt like really essential to the character. And listen, I love Batman Begins. I love Dark Knight. I’m not so hot on this the third movie, but I think that this captures an essential piece of of Batman Bruce Wayne DNA that hasn’t been shown before in this particular way.


Rosie Knight I totally agree. It was like such an unbelievable surprise, and I think it kind of cemented how much I love. I was really, I really enjoyed the movie like, I love the dark noir. I love the detective. But to have that arc from kind of like, brutal, you know, the guy who he’s saving in that opening sequence is like, Please don’t haunt me. Like, he is this figure of fear, right? And that’s always why he chose the bat, cetera, et cetera, though they don’t get into that in this movie. But to have that ending the moment where he decides he’s going to help and he leads the the, you know, the new mayor and all these citizens, the kid of the mayor who was the previous mayor who was killed. And he leads them out with this flare. And he sort of has this realization that the first thing he has to do is actually, like, help people. Yeah, I found that to be such a like great moving, surprisingly like hopeful ending that just I was. So I thought that was so great. I just I really that added a layer to me that we haven’t had in any other Batman movie.


Jason Concepcion I agree. I really felt like, Oh, they get it, they get who this character is. And I didn’t. I mean, I certainly didn’t see it. And Dawn of justice, or, you know, any of the Affleck Batman properties that to what you were talking about with the influence of Batman, on year one by Frank Miller and the great David M. Kelly on on this movie, particularly the look of it. There is a panel that is just like etched in my mind. And it’s so Bruce hasn’t settled on the Batman costume, right? But he is doing some like ground level work to try and figure out, OK, what is it like on the streets? If I’m just going to walk around, I need to get the energy of it. So he’s walking through, like Gotham’s version of Times Square, dressed as like this guy with a fake. He’s got a fake scar on his face and he’s got this beanie and he’s just walking around and he he ends up tussling with a pimp. And this is his first meeting with Selina Kyle and the way that panel is drawn with the seediness of it, the lights of the of the signs of the various storefronts in this particular area of Gotham City, the way they shine in the rain and the grittiness and all the different like characters skulking about on the street. That is what what has been translated in every in every scene is movie. It’s really fantastic. They did an amazing job with that. I wanted to ask about the Joker. Does this mean that at some point in the first year of Batman’s career that he had captured the Joker? Or is this like a pre? Pre- Chemicals , Pre- Red Hood, Joker, what do we think is happening here?


Rosie Knight OK, so what we see in the in the little glimpse that we get? Oh yeah, it’s the unseen Arkham inmate, as he is credited, is played by Barry Keoghan, which a lot of people thought it was going to be. You might have most recently seen him in my favorite movie , The Eternals where he played Druig, but now he obviously took one of the most like this is like the highest draw you could for the last 50 years in Hollywood is like to play the Joker. So that what we do see is actually this really horrific, like gnarly, like bubbled kind of like scar next to his mouth, and he has the little curly hair. It looks actually quite like this brilliant frank quietly cover he did for Joker number one, and I think it was from last year, it was very monstrous, you know which which I thought was really great. I think because of Matt Reeves and because of the way this movie is and the things that we love about it, I think you’re absolutely spot on. This is someone that Batman has tussled with before. Maybe in his earlier years when he was more violent, he wasn’t thinking about these things, especially I could imagine. You mentioned, you know, Red Hood, I could imagine Matt taking from that aspect of the killing joke, which is obviously, like, very controversial, but also one of most iconic Batman stories of all time by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. And the origin that they kind of reconfigure that from different parts of Batman history is he’s this sad comedian, right? He wants to support his family, gets lured into this terrible thing, gets, you know, he gets terribly disfigured and he becomes the Joker. I could imagine a version of that where like, there is a tragic origin to the Joker that ties Bruce and the Joker together. And I think it’s it’s funny because it’s like, obviously, this is like there’s going to be another movie and then that’s cool. But like this actually to me, had much more impact than that because I think, like we talked a lot about the hopefulness of this movie. And I think that ending with a Bruce who wants to do better and then setting up a collision with like the most chaotic, nihilistic like evil character is just so heartbreaking and could be like, so cool. So I think you’re onto I think this means that in his first year, this was someone who an action that Bruce committed, impacted in might not have been direct. Maybe he did something.


Jason Concepcion I think that’s probably right.


Rosie Knight Maybe he did something that affected his life. Maybe, you know, crashed the Batmobile and killed his family like some kind of tragic. He is the reason the Joker exists. I think that is very likely.


Jason Concepcion Another thing I wanted to mention is this is a thing I did not see coming. Basically, the place where this movie ends is a version of the beginning of the Batman No Man’s Land arc, in which an earthquake in that particular instance, you know, destroys vast pieces of Gotham City, which is then like, cut off from everybody else and it’s isolated. And then Batman is has to like, bring structure and rule of law and order to this isolated Gotham City that has been half destroyed cut off from the rest of the world. I did not think that we were going to end up in that place at the end of this movie. Like that was really a surprise for me.


Rosie Knight Yeah, the third act in this movie, just it’s the one thing that, like I would understand, I think you can objectively say it’s like a jarring choice, but I think that it works because of the nature of who the Riddler is. We’ve all basically been underestimating him the entire time, just like Batman, and this is how this happens. But yeah, it’s really funny. Like immediately. That’s why I thought of no man’s land iconic stuff like just apps. And yeah, and it comes off the cataclysm. Why there’s this earthquake. And essentially what happens is the reason that I think this is actually will. I think that no man’s land will be a big influence on if we get a second one of these movies?


Jason Concepcion I agree.


Rosie Knight Because Matt Reeves really loves like a political story, and one of the big parts of that story is like the U.S. basically kicks Gotham out. And also, that could fit into the notion where when we leave Gotham, there is essentially no government. There is no police. It is a space that Bella Reale and Jim Gordon and Batman are going to try and reimagine to be better. And if it’s isolated from the rest of the country, the rest of the world, that gives them more kind of space to imagine a different way of living. But it also obviously makes it much harder for them to get help when inevitably, you know, the Penguin. Yes, The Riddler and the Joker, who apparently going to team up, you know, they could all come out. And there’s been precedent in Batman stuff. And if you’ve seen the Harlequin animated series, they did a really funny version of it. But like Gotham could end up in a situation where there’s multiple different areas run by different famous Batman villians.


Jason Concepcion Here’s what I love about if that is the case for our sequel to The Batman. It’s a perfect on ramp for the arrival of Huntress, for the arrival of Robin or Nightwing or both. It’s the perfect on ramp kind of story for the arrival of Oracle. I mean, listen, Jim Gordon, yep, is doing a great job by himself as the only clean cop from the Gotham City Police Department, but he’s he would need help. What better help? What better help than the the hacker par excellence Oracle i this it’s a it would be a great way to introduce in a very natural, very grounded, very like early in their careers type of way. All of these characters from from Batman’s pantheon.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Matt Reeves is actually said like, this is not an origin story for Bruce. We don’t see the death. We don’t see anything else. But what it is. Is this an origin story for every rogue that we see. The version of the Joker we see in the unseen Arkham inmate? You know, Matt said, it’s the character you think it is, but it’s not he. He isn’t the Joker yet. He’s not that version. So I think that’s such a brilliant idea. And you know what Matt has done here as well, but we haven’t really given him a lot of credit for. But like he has also, he is broken the contemporary case of too many villains. Yes, we all know that that can be a problem. Now, look, No Way Home did a great job, but you could argue about the villainous nature. It was a lot more ambiguous in some kind of a fun kind of nostalgia trip. But he had multiple villains. I mean, Colin Farrell, I’ll give him 10 out of 10 because he was so good. I loved the sweetheart. I loved how he was kind of this. Dick Tracy almost also like, there was this aspect to the fantastical. Batman smashes his head against the window. He doesn’t bleed. He’s fine. It’s like kingpin. Almost like, Yeah, I’d love to see where does the line if you introduce all these different characters, like where does that line drawn? Like, who has these edges of superpowers? And also, just like you mentioned, Oracle, one of my favorite things about this movie is when so Bruce and Selina team up and Selina puts in his little retro, futuristic contact lenses. She goes into the club and Batman is Oracle. Batman is the man behind the screen.


Jason Concepcion That made me smile.


Rosie Knight And he’s talking to Selina. It’s so well done, and it’s such a good understanding of the things that people want to see in these movies. But Matt just does them a little bit differently.


Jason Concepcion There was another moment just like that that was very small that made me just like grin. And it’s they’ve they’ve gone into the club. They’ve arrested Oswald Cobblepot, the penguin and his hands are in the cuffs. He’s like, Does this little penguin waddle? Because he’s like, tied up? And it was just a really, really small moment that was really, really good. That just is one of those things that is a signal like, don’t worry, we understand what we’re doing here, which was just really great as we start talking about just our Batman reading list stuff that both influenced this movie and that we just really like I, I realized that we should bring in a producer, Chris, who is a huge Batman fan to get his take. Chris, come into the pod. Come into the pod Chris.


Producer Chris Happily.


Rosie Knight Welcome to Gotham.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, yeah. Welcome to Gotham, Chris. What did you think of this movie?


Producer Chris I, like Rosie, I was very skeptical about this going in very, very skeptical. And Rosie is kind of to not dissuade me of those notions beforehand, which I appreciated because I was like, Look, I’m so tired of everything being gritty, like we not have another director out grit the grittiest ones. It’s like, that’s it was like this constant contest. And then we got a segment earlier with it ending on a hopeful note. It’s like I was one of the few people that didn’t like The Dark Knight when it came out, specifically because I thought the ending was very, not a Batman choice.


Jason Concepcion Yep.


Producer Chris And this is the exact opposite and hopeful Batman. It’s one that I thought we would never see. To be honest, especially not coming out of this movie, and I was blown away by it. I think it’s the Batman movie I’ve been waiting my whole life to see. Like, I can’t say if it’s the best one, I think I need to revisit it one more time. But certainly, I am so impressed with everything everyone did on it and being the huge animated series fan than I am. This is like Rosie mentioned before.


Jason Concepcion Like, yeah, there’s like the animated series DNA is all of the voiceover stuff. It’s yeah, it’s great.


Producer Chris I never thought we’d get an animated series inspired movie, and it was this one. I was like, It’s felt like it’s the opposite. I was blown away. It’s so, it’s so incredibly fun.


Jason Concepcion Favorite moment from the movie.


Producer Chris I think it’s probably the car chase. I mean, I’m a huge car person in general


Rosie Knight We didn’t even talk about it


Jason Concepcion We didn’t even talk about these set pieces,.


Rosie Knight It’s so good.


Jason Concepcion It’s so great.


Producer Chris So good. I mean, I’m a huge, huge like, if it’s weird as it is. It’s like a batmobile stand. Like, I have my my little collection of Lego Batmobiles kind of off camera over here and then when I first saw the car, I’m like, I’m kind of where’s like the comic book style version? And then I watched it like, Oh, this makes perfect sense. He builds it himself. It’s this monster. I guess it’s like Christine inspired Matt Reeves has said.


Rosie Knight I love. Its so  when you see it first light up, you’ll like, Is he even in there? Like, Is this car possessed? Who is it? And I think like I was just, we should shout out Francesco Francavilla, who did these Batman 72 concept docs that were definitely a huge influence on not only the Batmobile, but like his Batman has a collar. Like they would definitely look into that, so I just feel so good.


Jason Concepcion I should add that that’s the other thing. You mentioned it. There’s no Lucius Fox, you know, genius engineer who has been overseeing, like various military progress, secret military programs and and routing that hardware to Bruce Wayne. This is a young Batman who is like, I got to do all this shit myself. Like, I have to build my own car. I have to. I have to source my own electronics. I have to create my own suit. All of this, it all works. It’s all functional. But it’s also like there’s a rough edge to a lot of the stuff. It’s a little janky, it’s a little blocky. It’s a little like, OK, let’s just bolt this thing on to this other thing and see if it works. And I love that aspect of it because again, just a different take on Batman that is different from the film perspective, but also feels part and parcel to that. What is essential about the character? I’m glad you enjoyed it, Chris.


Producer Chris Yeah, thanks for letting me come on and share my thoughts. I’ve been itching to talk about this so.


Jason Concepcion OK, Rosie, let’s talk about our hour reading slash watching list. Why don’t you get us started with if you liked this movie or if you just are like, I like this and I want more Batman stuff, I just want to know what else to dove into. Where would you point people to to start with?


Rosie Knight Look, in my life. Yeah, where I’m at now. It’s rare that you’re going to hear me recommend the Frank Miller comic, but I will say that Frank Miller’s number one talent


Jason Concepcion Frank had a great 1987. Let’s just put it that way. Let’s be real


Rosie Knight Ok. And also like the other thing is, his great talent is his collaborators, Lynn Varley’s colors on The Dark Knight, you would never remember that book if it wasn’t for Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley. So like Batman Year One, I think that is the book you have to read after this like it has to my mind, I’ve read it like so many times since I saw the movie, and I’m one. It’s because the way that Mazzucchelli brings the world together and creates it and the absolute streamlined, strict back nature means it’s like I read this comic with no qualms or worries. There was nothing in it that had some of the worst tendencies of Miller’s work, and like the representation of Selina as this badass sex worker who just absolutely loves her friend and will do anything to help her, whose costume design is like these latex pants and this corset with a shaved head, it looks like Zoe Kravitz. I mean, it’s unbelievable the color work. There’s actually a panel of Selina in her window that they took directly for the movie that I’m so tempted to get tattooed because I’m just obsessed with the way Mazzucchelli drew this book. It’s a Batman detective story. It’s the early years of his life. It’s seen through the eyes of Jim Gordon, Jeffrey Wright. We didn’t even say how brilliant he is. My favorite Jim Gordon.


Jason Concepcion He is great. I mean, Jeffrey Wright is one of those, for me, is like the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Has never has been in bad movies, but has never been bad in anything, ever. I love Jeffrey Wright, I think he’s been great in everything he’s ever done.


Rosie Knight It’s a great Jim Gordon story. It’s great Batman story. It’s a great Selina story. I think if you read this, you’re going to be like, Wow, you’re going to feel like you’re seeing a little bit of something special from what kind of went into making this comic. So that’s my first one. What about you?


Jason Concepcion I couldn’t agree more. Batman Year one is a comic book. I got it as a trade. It’s a comic that. It really changed. It really changed the way I read comics,like. It is. First of all, it sets in stone what I think of as Batman as Batman’s origin, the way Gotham looks like to this day. If I pick up a Bronze Age, Batman, Neal Adams, Batman, it looks like Batman. But what I think of as Gotham is what David Mazzucchelli drew.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion That’s what I think about it, and it is iconic. It’s so, so good. It tells this incredible story of Bruce Wayne returning to the city after years away, deciding that he has to do something. He has to do something about this, the crime that is taking over. The streets of the city he loves, and he doesn’t really know what to do, but he settles on somehow making criminals afraid that justice is finally coming for them, and he settles on its iconography of the Batman. Everything about the way the panels look about, again, Frank Miller, I feel the same way. Frank Miller, there’s a fascist streak to Frank Miller. That’s a turnoff for me. That said, and it’s very evident in In The Dark Knight Returns his other day, his


Rosie Knight Its the great nature of vigilantes as well. Like, it’s easy to lean into it,


Jason Concepcion but his work in this is is fantastic, and I’ve never felt more like I understood what Bruce Wayne was going through than Batman Year One. I just love it. I think it’s one of the greatest comic book stories ever told in a perfect wedding of words and artists.


Rosie Knight Yeah, and like, you know, I love the comic book shop experience we both do. I will say, if you can find a copy of these, it’s four issues long.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight You can find them in comic shops. They used to be a dollar. Now they’re around 10 to 15 to 20, depending on where you go. But if you can find one, it’s worth getting even just that first issue. The original colors on the newsprint, it doesn’t look like anything else that doesn’t look like anything else.


Jason Concepcion That’s a great point. Thank you for saying that because I know a lot of people out here are probably reading comics on on Marvel Unlimited or DC similar app or through formally through Comicology or however you’re reading it. The colors and the way it looks are so different than on the page when you get the printed book, especially stuff from that era that it is a really different and strangely textural and visceral experience when you read it in the comic. That’s a great point. So if you can find that eBay is another way, you can do it, but go to your comic shop, you can probably find it next. I’m going to pick, and I think you’d probably agree. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s going to be a 13 issue limited series, the long Halloween. It just looks fantastic. It’s a great story. If you liked the energy and the tone and the vibe of Matt Reeves The Batman. Guess what? The long Halloween is probably the the story that most influences that movie and just get it because it is incredible. Like whiffs of The Godfather, whiffs of Taxi Driver, riffs of every great, like Batman story that had ever been told up to that point one of the most devilish jokers. The way Time Sale like renders the Joker is like almost like a stick figure with these bizarre angles to his elbows and knees. It’s great.


Rosie Knight 10 out of 10 agree. Also, I think like if you’re getting if you love this stuff like and like we do, which, you know, we obviously do and you do because you’re listening. Yeah, but like The Long Halloween is a great place. If you read that comic and you go and see this movie, you’re going to be able to get the absolute joy of like seeing where they took things from. You can call them Easter eggs, you can call them hidden details, you can call them references. But you the long. Halloween is a great comic book where you’ll be able to go, Oh, that’s where that’s from. And you’ll be able to share that with people. You’ll be able to be like, Oh yeah, this is where you know the whole thing about Carmine and and Bruce’s dad being being friends. You know, there’s a reason that the first thing we really hear Bruce say is the date, which is the first of October. Like Matt Reeves wants you to know this. Read The Long Halloween.


Jason Concepcion This is. The Carmine Falcone in The Long Halloween is the Carmine Falcone in The Batman. Ughhh , ok. What do you have next?


Rosie Knight OK, you know, I’m just going to this is going to be an addition to the last one. If you see it, The Dark Victory follow up to Long Halloween, that’s got a lot of stuff with Selina and Falcone that seems relevant. But the one I’m actually going to say you should definitely read. This is by Icon, who I know we both love, and this was the first book I believe that Matt said was one of his biggest inspirations on the DC FanDome introduction of the trailer a long time ago, which is Ego and Other Tales. And it’s the iconic Darwyn Cooke, the stunning art of Darwyn Cooke , one of the most iconic, absolutely iconic Catwoman artists of all time, and Paul Grist. And this is really interesting because when Matt said this was an inspiration, I was like Ego? I was like this? But when you read it, not only is it stunning, but like, it’s a story about Bruce vs. Batman, it’s a story about Bruce living with the guilt of being Batman, and he thinks that he’s committed this horrendous crime, and he’s trying to live with the guilt of the pros and cons of being Batman The Greater Good vs. the small sacrifice, the the idea of Batman as a figure of hope, rather than a figure of fear. And so much of the emotional DNA of that story obviously influenced Matt and Rob’s kind of vision for The Batman.


Jason Concepcion I love Darwyn Cooke’s art as well. There’s like a. How would you? Describe it, it’s like almost like a Norman Rockwell, like a real classic, almost like 1950s and early 60s advertising style.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s like Batman the animated series meets Norman Rockwell, like, you know, the opening of Wonder Vision that everyone really loved. I think it was episode three. Those kind of bewitched-esque cartooning that’s just so evocative and fun. And honestly, one of the the most respected kind of cartoonist style cartoonists in comics like he makes stuff that looks like cartoons, but it still has this emotional heft that people really respect.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I love it. OK. Next, I guess I will pick my next one would be a Hush by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee. Jeph Loeb really had a run here in the 90s with Batman and Hush. The Riddler’s arc from The Batman is very influenced by Hush, the mysterious bandage faced criminal who, through guile, through intellect, through mischievousness, through a certain kind of criminal genius, manages to manipulate various members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery into conflict with Batman in a way that obscures hushes identity, which is eventually unveiled not necessarily in in the hush story, although Batman does guess who it is. But later on in the sequel to the story, it’s great. Hush is great.


Rosie Knight  Yeah, Hush is like the thing that I love a lot about is like, it’s this kind of absolute unbelievable mix of this really intimate story about Batman and his best friend who, spoiler alert, may or may not be Hush and you. That’s kind of the big arc is like, Wow, Batman had a friend who went through a similar situation, but every issue is also like an outrageous villain of the week. And Jim Lee, who’s like 10 out of 10 icon love him so much. Just like killing it at DC. Image founder, I am like his number one fan. He has so much fun in this book I was rereading, and that is just bonkers. Like him and Todd McFarlane. Like probably my, another image founder, probably one of my that they’re my warring Batman faves because like, I love a good cape and those two love a cape.


Jason Concepcion He’s got, listen, there is. Jim Lee loves a cape and he loves like Batman, full on punching someone in the face and putting Batman’s entire body in the panel with the Cape like flapping in the background or classic Jim Lee Poe’s Batman like jump kicking somebody in the face with the with the legs kind of splayed out and the cape billowing in the background. If you love that kind of Jim Lee shit, dude, it is all over Hush.


Rosie Knight You mentioned Huntress earlier and before we move on to the next movie


Jason Concepcion Some great Huntress


Rosie Knight there’s this like Huntress splash page where she’s wearing this costume with like the Upside Down cross and it’s like a cut out window boob. And she’s like wearing these chunky boots that shit is so badass. Like, I saw that when I was rereading it for this, and I was like, Maybe I need like a Huntress back piece. I’m like, This is like the most heavy metal shit ever.


Jason Concepcion Huntress goes fucking goes fucking crazy in Hush. To the point that Batman’s like Huntress needs to relax like Huntress, you’re doing too. Like as he’s laying there half stunned. He’s like Huntress. You’re going to have to chill. OK? Up next, what is what else?


Rosie Knight I’m going to go for. We talked about Batman The Animated Series, which I think is like such a huge influence on this. You should definitely watch it. I believe it’s all on HBO Max now, which is incredible because it was like impossible to watch unless you had the DVDs for a really long time. But I’m actually going to say, I’m gonna say Mask of the Phantasm,


Jason Concepcion Ooooohhhhh.


Rosie Knight Which, as we know that is like, absolutely. For a long time, a lot of people said that was the best Batman movie.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, for a while,


Rosie Knight you know, and I understand it because, like, it’s truly brilliant. It’s one of the few DC movies that had a big scale cinematic release in 1993. It was such a formative movie, and I think that so there’s elements that are similar in this. Narratively, it’s about Bruce facing down with this strange new foe, and they have some kind of deep connection. I won’t spoil that because like legitimately, you should watch this movie if you haven’t seen it, but I 100 percent think that this is like the most influential Bruce Wayne on Robin Maps Bruce in this movie like this is a Bruce who feels the burden. And I think Robert’s actually talked about this being an influence because it’s like, this is a Bruce who feels the burden of being Batman. Like, he’s not really the billionaire playboy. Just like in The Batman, Bruce Bruce is like a weirdo. Who lives in a train station and like a weird Hogwarts kind of castle with Alfred. Like, which I love. But like Mask of the Phantasm. Not only is it brilliant and I watched it already way too many times. It like I think that’s a key exploration and early exploration of Bruce that was very influential on this movie unexpectedly so because it’s such a dark movie, but I definitely think there’s a lot of animation influence.


Jason Concepcion I agree with you. I think that here’s the thing that’s interesting about a character like Batman who is existed now for what, 80 years or something like that, like 90 is that, first of all, the early Batman stuff, the formation like the the kind of solidifying of what we think as Batman’s origin story, cannon and rise happened much more recently than you think for a character that has existed for 80 years. Again, like you’re one really went a long way to codifying the way we think about Batman, the way we think about his rise and what motivated him to put on the cape and cowl. And similarly, I think Mask of the Phantasm and by extension, Batman the animated series really defined Batman for a whole new generation that came of age watching television in the 90s and further on. Like, there’s a whole generation of people out there who Mark Hamill is. The iconic Joker is is the iconic Joker.


Rosie Knight Kevin Conroy is Batman


Jason Concepcion Is the iconic Batman. So I I agree with you. These are huge. OK? Is it my turn? I think it is. OK, I’m going to say the Arkham Games, the Arkham video games developed by Rocksteady Studios and Warner Brothers Montreal obviously strong aesthetic inspiration for the movie. I think in terms of defining and creating the image and audiences mind of what Batman action looks like, I think the Arkham games. Absolutely, like at least for me, defined what it means to watch Batman fight people and that esthetic that really brutal, like, you know, dodge a punch, bash somebody in the face and take their head and like, smash it into a bar kind of thing. That’s the kind of action that you see in The Batman, and it’s so addictive to play and to be a part of in the Arkham games. They’re just, I mean, Arkham Asylum, I think, is one of my favorite games of all time. It is an incredibly addictive game. It is a game that I have right now downloaded on both my PlayStation and my Xbox, and it is a game that like I would pay right if anybody from WB Montreal, a rock star is listening. I’ve played your game so many times, but now I have a new now I have a new version of it, right? Because I have the new consoles. I will pay somebody upwards of $100 to unlock the entire game so that I can go in and just play the fight levels. And just, that’s it. I don’t want to go through the missions anymore. I don’t want to do that. I just want to go directly to the mini game where I fight like 50 different dudes all at once, and I need that unlocked. So if anybody from from Rock City is out there listening and can do that for me, please get a hold of me, the Arkham Games 2009 to present.


Rosie Knight I totally agree. Like it kind of blew my mind when I saw the opening fight, and it’s just the melee. I mean, he’s picking things up off the floor. He’s smart. It feels like I got so addicted to those those Arkham games like I’m really a I’m a platform person and a fighting game person and like a Zelda person and I like indie games. But like, I got addicted to those games because the fight mechanism is so good. And to see that brought to life, I just think it’s so influential. And also like another great thing about the Arkham games. Maybe you don’t want to dig into all these comics you don’t know. Maybe your pull list is really high. Maybe you don’t have the access to them right now, but you do have the Arkham games. Guess what? So many things that are mentioned in this movie The Iceberg Lounge, Black Gate, all these different criminal. There you see the Joker gangs who influence those opening gangs, the fights. You can play the Arkham games again now through the lens of this movie, and you’re going to discover a load of stuff and be like, Oh, yeah, yeah, that’s from there. That’s from there. And like the the fight DeRay, the stunt coordinator, Robert Alonzo, he just did such a good job like the fights in this movie. They have this crushing impact. You know, a lot has been made about this film, about how this is a man who doesn’t kill. And I’m like, he might think that, but like, I’m pretty sure he killed at least one guy in that first fight because that these fights feel so visceral and real and brutal, but in a way that feels very grounded. It doesn’t. It almost doesn’t sound like there’s Foley. You know that there is, but you feel the fights. And I and I think the inspiration from the Arkham Games is is really key to that.


Jason Concepcion And let me say that Batman Arkham Asylum, I think, deals with the toxic relationship that is the Batman Joker relationship in a way that is, I think, maybe my favorite exploration of that symbiotic, that extremely toxic symbiotic. Relationship. It’s maybe my favorite exploration of that relationship in any in any comic, in any Batman movie, in anything, because the interactivity, the interactive nature of games just makes you a part of it. And it really does not shirk from this idea that for whatever reason, Batman can’t end the Joker’s threat. And it makes you wonder, and it makes you grapple with the question of does he on some level like it? Does he need the Joker in some way? And that is really cool and a really cool question to grapple with in that in the context of a Batman story.


Rosie Knight I think it’s also very key if we’re looking at what could influence the next movie, that relationship and that vision of it, especially after Venom, all these different things. I think that, yeah, I think that could be that’d be a smart way to go.


Jason Concepcion OK, you next?


Rosie Knight OK. So we we mentioned it, but I do think that if you are going to if you want to really know where it could go next, you’re going to read that. So there’s I’m going to tell you, there’s three comics, one I think Reeves was influenced by. And then two that we’ve kind of mentioned. I’ll mention that and there is a comic quite recent comic Scott Snyder, who had a massively popular run on Batman and it’s years. It’s called zero year, and it is three different parts of a story. And one of the parts is The Riddler flooding Gotham. So obviously, I think Matt Reeves read that it’s really interesting. It’s Scott Snyder has three different parts. It also explores the idea of a ruined Gotham and how Batman deals with it. So I think that’s worth checking out. And I will say, though zero year, I’m Batman. I mean, Cataclysm and Batman no man’s land. Those are just so fun.


Jason Concepcion They’re really fun. Good.


Rosie Knight There’s loads of great characters in there. I love Leslie Thompkins. Yeah, multiple different Batman rogues. You know, you have just so much there to kind of explore. Like when I worked in the comic shop in London, that was one of the ones where they had a big collection of no man’s land. And I just read them like a day. I was just like, Yes, yes, yes, like every page, and I just wanted to read it. It’s that fun, brilliant kind of comic stuff, hilariously. I would never have guessed is almost certainly going to be a huge part of where we go from here.


Jason Concepcion I think so, too. OK? The Telltale Games, that’s the Telltale Games. So for those of you who are not gamers, Telltale Games was a publishing company now defunct that licensed properties like The Walking Dead, like like Batman and told interactive video game. Like, they’re not exactly action video game stories, but they’re more like Choose your own adventure type stories, type video game stories that really hung their hat on strong writing and great storytelling. And they also did Game of Thrones adaptation story based on a previously unknown, unknown house from the Northern Kingdom and the Telltale Games. Batman storytelling is just really good. It’s great. It’s a great story. You are part of it. The the storytelling choices are really strong and the vibe, the energy. The tone is very similar to the Black men. It’s just great if you can find a way to play it in the year 2022. He’s playing it.


Rosie Knight I’m really glad you brought that up because I think that’s actually a huge influence, not only because it’s detective based, it’s it’s all about vibes. It’s that slow tail, but also there was a there was an entry Batman the enemy within which is introduce a version of the Riddler who is like a sore trap killer. He’s a serial killer and he has these death traps they call them and him and Batman get into this, this kind of battle of the wits for Batman to to save the people that he’s going to kill in these death traps. And I’m sure that, you know, the idea of the Riddler being a serial killer especially modeled after the zodiac is very that’s very natural experience like kind of thing that you have to go down. But I believe that Matt Reeves probably also knew about these games and had a an understanding. I mean, this is a person who built his career making stories about heavily CG stories that still like struck a heart with with the apes movies, you know? So I would think he’s probably a game. He’s aware of games or a gamer because that feels very on point.


Jason Concepcion I agree with you. Rosie, do you, of course, are writing a lot about this at different places if people want to read more stuff about the Batman? What have you written for them?


Rosie Knight Oh baby. Well, so OK, actually, it is officially this week at Nerdist has been Batman Week, so if you want a more broad scope of like I did 11 movies to watch before Batman and not DC movies. Klute, All the President’s Men Chinatown Boom. All these different showgirls. I love that movie, Paul Verhoeven. It’s brilliant. I see those wigs that Zoe’s wearing, I say, is an influence. I did a history of every origin that Catwoman has had in the comics and the movies, and kind of looked at what that could say about Zoe. But if you’ve seen the Batman, then by the time this podcast is out, you will be able to read my Easter Eggs piece, which is three thousand words. As we touched on some of them, it’s actually such a joy to write about this movie because this is a movie with a lot of concrete references, nods, details, this is much less of my wild Charlie Day ask theorizing because because the movie is just made right, this is made of comic. You are going to. You will find more comics to read. You will explore different character aspects and where they came from. So I did that. I did a big ending explained piece about the character that we mentioned before the Joker and kind of what that means for the comics. And yeah, just and also the Batman Week stuff, a ton of other amazing Batman pieces by all different kinds of writers. So that is all it’s Batman. Batman is happening. I mean, I even wrote, I got to write a lot of fun stuff about Batman 66. We didn’t really talk about this, but I truly believe this. The Batman doesn’t exist without Batman. Six. Absolutely. Matt Reeves was five when that movie came out, when the show came out, I think he said. And he loved it. He just thought it was really cool. He didn’t see a campiness in it. So I’ve written a lot about that. I also have a piece coming up about how there’s a really cool Batman 66 character, not in this movie. So all kinds of deep dives that you guys can enjoy while Rosie.


Jason Concepcion I am going to head directly tenderness to read those pieces right now. It’s been so delightful to talk Batman with you. Up next, the omnibus.


Jason Concepcion [AD].


Jason Concepcion Welcome to another chapter in the Omnibus where lore, analysis and understanding come together this week. Sci fi and future war real life conflicts in science fiction, science fiction and fantasy stories are about worlds, about created worlds, which means they are about rules, which is another way of saying sci fi stories. Fantasy stories are about structure very often. Most often these stories are about politics. They are about political maneuvering. They are often about war, very often about war between two species, two nations, planets internecine civil war throughout a galaxy. You know, from the unique vantage point provided by, say, Iraq, it’s a desert planet teeming with the rare spice mélange or a magical school, as in Harry Potter hopes, anxieties, fears about the way people govern themselves, about the way governments relate to their citizens surface in these stories and really revealing in interesting ways, the mid-19th century was a revolutionary period. The rise of capitalism, fueled by the industrial revolution, was changing ways of life that existed for centuries and nationalism then pretty new. Aided by a nascent news, media was emerging from the death rattle of empires in 1848 alone. Political upheaval ranging from street battles to actual full blown revolutions wracked France, the independent states of Italy and Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Ireland, Romania, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, among many others. A generation later, the American Civil War, which stretched from 1861 to 65 in the Franco-Prussian War, shocked observers of the day with the modernity with which those conflicts were carried out. The war between the states saw the first clash of Iron Hulled ships, which was extremely alarming to European observers, saw the use of hot air balloons for reconnaissance. This had happened before, but still a fairly new thing. The instantaneous communication over long distances via telegraph. The first successful deployment of automatic weapons in Richard Jordan, Gatlin’s Gatling gun and casualty counts of a scale previously unimaginable. The Gatling gun also used during the Franco-Prussian War and in both conflicts marshaling the railroad system to transport personnel and equipment was a decisive factor in victory. The spectacle of masses of people energized by issues of ethnicity, nationalism, class toppling ancient governments, freeing enslaved peoples fighting with industrial methods of warfare was fearful to behold, and it gave rise to a particular kind of military themed future fiction best exemplified by Sir George Tompkins Chesney’s 1871 novella The Battle of Dorking, The Battle of Dorking set the template for a genre that spread across North America and Europe, which used the specter of defeat in a future war to warn the address populace that action in the present is required to avoid national humiliation, writes Paul Williams in race, ethnicity and nuclear war. The story goes like this Around 1920, an observer is looking back on events from 50 years earlier. Europe erupts in war. Germany wipes out the mighty Royal Navy with a top secret super weapon. A motley body of citizens turned soldiers hustled to meet the enemy outside a market town named Dorking in the southeast of England, and they are then decisively beaten there. The English empire is cut up and sold for parts basically, and Britain is left in ruined poverty. Sir George Chesney’s story was meant to warn a rousing Britain that rougher foreign powers threatened to usurp them if they happened to lose their edge. And it was. It was a hit selling over 100000 copies, spawning a series of imitators and indeed a whole genre of invasion fiction, reaching a climax with H.G. Wells War of the Worlds in 1897 that then flipped the genre on its head and made the invaders, not foreigners, from another nation, but indeed aliens. In late 19th century America, invasion fiction reflected, among other themes, the racist fear of Chinese immigrants. Putin downers 1879 The last days of the Republic imagined America poisoned from within by hordes of Chinese immigrants. Shortly thereafter, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese workers from immigrating to the United States. In 1882, though, Japan’s victory over Russia and the. Nineteen, oh, four, 19 oh, five Russo-Japanese War was mostly celebrated in English language fiction. Russia then at that time, an antagonist of the English speaking world, it threw a shadow over American imaginations. In 1853, the United States Admiral Perry’s warship heavy provocations through Uruguay Haga revealed the inferiority of Japanese military forces to those of the West and indeed the Japanese themselves, who were alarmed at their inability to do anything about this fleet invading their waters. Barely 50 years after Perry, a lightning modernization program called the Meiji Restoration, lifted Japan from a fractured feudal nation, unprepared to defend its own shores to an industrialized power with strong central control capable of beating a great European power. Jack London’s 1910 story The Unparalleled Invasion wondered what might happen if Japan’s reform spread to China. The vast and fertile Chinese population in the story was now awakened and spilling over the borders into other countries. Western nations are powerless to constrain Chinese military forces, either by land or sea. And finally, the Americans and other Western powers launch a biological warfare campaign that defeats China in a genocidal fashion that leaves basically complete destruction. Roy Norton’s 1987 story The Vanishing Fleet’s, traces a similar arc of paranoia from Japanese modernization to Chinese ascendancy in 1959, offers Country Japan using a new aerial warfare techniques, destroys the American military with a sneak attack while it is distracted by conflict in Mexico. Quote very timely in connection with the claims that this country is poorly equipped to withstand an invasion by a foreign foe in the May 15th, 1915 edition of the Boston Globe, the importance of artillery fire was on terrible display during the trench bound slog of World War One. The development of more accurate long range artillery and anti-aircraft guns necessitated new techniques for plotting where shots would land. That factored in such details as distance, speed of the projectile speed of the thing you’re shooting at explosive powers, and even as these guns increased in their range, the rotation of the Earth. The changing density of the atmosphere as a projectile moved through it, etc. These calculations were performed by hand in those days, painstakingly by teams of essentially human computers of people that you would just fill out these tables to try and figure out, OK, what is the range of this gun? How do we hit something that we’re trying to shoot at? This was slow but workable until the atomic weapons race. The forces unleashed by atomic weapons, you know, just think about it with a regular artillery shell. You can shoot it. You can test it with atomic weapons. You really can’t. The explosive power is so great that it’s essentially theoretical, and so you needed a new way to simulate and predict what might happen. Mechanized methods of crunching numbers were just going to be needed for this because you would just need too many human computers, and it would take them too long to try and simulate what would happen with an atomic explosion, and this led directly to the development of the digital computer. In the summer of 1951, with the Cold War taking shape, Maniac, which stands for Mathematical Analyzer, Numerical Integrator and Automatic Computer Model, an early computer designed under the guidance of the brilliant John von Neumann, became operational using vacuum tubes and punch cards for random access, memory and program storage, respectively. The machines first test was to simulate the results of a thermonuclear detonation maniac crunch the numbers for 60 days straight. The results, writes George Dyson in Turing’s Cathedral. The origins of the digital universe were confirmed by two huge explosions in the South Pacific Ivy Mike, yielding the equivalent of ten point four million tons of TNT and November 1st, 1952, and Castle Bravo, yielding 15 megatons. On February 28th, 1954, end quote at the same time. And of course, the introduction of the computer into our lives has done as much as as nearly any piece of human material for generating and inspiring science fiction stories from The Matrix to Tron to the foundation series on and on and on. At the same time, Japan emerging from the ruination of its participation in World War Two, which ended with the only battlefield use of nuclear weapons detonated over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. Looked on the post-World War Two nukes race with very specific alarm, Japanese fears about nuclear weapons synthesized with an interest in Hollywood monster movies and bingo. Bango Godzilla is born Gojira, directed by Ichiro Honda and released in July 1954, told the story of the massive titular sea dwelling dinosaur that spews nuclear fire from its screeching mouth and flattened entire cities under its gigantic claw like feet. The film was a success, so much so that, as you probably well know, it launched the Kaiju genre, meaning strange beast, which remains vibrant to this day in the form of movies, comic books, manga, et cetera. Star Wars is likely the most successful version of this kind of sci fi war tale, and its esthetic and storytelling choices reverberate with the echoes and concerns of conflict. George Lucas, who is a baby boomer, was steeped in postwar pop culture used World War to dogfight footage to create the scenes of sweeping X-Wings and tie fighters as they dogfight across the surface of the Death Star, but more indirectly, but perhaps more, essentially a new hope. Pitt’s scrappy rebels mostly mostly white Eurocentric rebels fighting a guerilla war for freedom against a hegemonic empire with weapons of mass destruction in this way. Lucas’s mega-hit and in the universe it created allowed American audiences to experience through a fictional space war the moral clarity of the freedom fighter that was arrayed against them during the Vietnam War. A New Hope is basically a Vietnam through a funhouse mirror. Rogue One, released in 2016, is an even more fascinating version of this imperial troops occupy a holy city named Jeddah. There, they extract natural resources at gunpoint, and they are confronted by defenders of an ancient religion. You don’t have to scratch too hard to find the barely hidden layers of meaning there, and to see why these kind of stories allow us on trade to a different kind of emotional relationship with conflict and war. Up next, The Hive Mind with Pete Holmes. Adam West, Kevin Conroy, Christian Bale, Val Kilmer, George Clooney. Robert Pattinson, but there’s someone that we’re not mentioning in that group of illustrious actors who have taken on one of the most iconic roles in pop culture, The Batman, and that is our next guest. The comedian right there going


Pete Holmes They’re going to think its Ben Affleck


Jason Concepcion Pete Holmes you know, and Ben it, Ben


Jason Concepcion Affleck , it’s Pete Holmes and


Pete Holmes Ben is here. Ben is here. What a disappointment. You noticeably left out Ben Affleck and then you’re like, Ladies and gentlemen, a somewhat famous comedian Pete Holmes is here. People just turning it off. Wonderful to be here. I appreciate that. What great company to be in.


Jason Concepcion Well, you know, when we were putting this together, we were like, Who can we talk to about Batman and their love of Batman and how they feel about Batman? And we, you know, all of us are such huge fans of your Batman sketches, which you can see in a supercut that’s like almost an hour long now. There’s some really great laughs in it, and we decided who better than than the bad man himself. Pete Holmes, Pete, you have seen Matt Reeves The Batman. Tell us your experiences of seeing that movie and what you feel about it


Pete Holmes Well you you know because I was complaining before we recorded. So I don’t know who set it out, but because I was doing this podcast, you guys graciously and kindly got me tickets really ticket to go see the Batman. And I tried to take Matt McCarthy, who plays in the Batman sketches, he’s commissioner Gordon. He’s the Riddler. He’s Two-Face, so he’s in all of them. And I was like, This will be fun. It’ll be like me and my dear friend. Matty will go and see the movie and and we’ll have some laughs and and whoever it was on my team was like, Yeah, they can only get you one ticket. And I was like, This is this is going to taint my experience. I I don’t go to the movies alone. I don’t eat in restaurants alone. You can’t. You got to go is an experience. You got to have someone next to you when when Paul Dano starts singing so you can kind of nudge someone and go, Is this working? But no, no one was there. So as as we talk about this movie, if you think maybe I’m not giving it a fair shake or something. Keep in mind that I was completely by myself. And when do you enjoy a movie by yourself? Not me. But to be fair, I loved the first 15 minutes of this movie. I was like. So in the first time you see The Riddler in the House, no spoilers. But when he’s revealed, people gasped and I was like, Oh, that’s so hard to do. And and then when the first time you see Batman, I’m going to dork out right now. I literally was like, This is what when I am falling asleep at night and I’m pretending I’m Batman. It’s precisely this. Because you know that that cozy you’re wrapped up in bed and you feel  like, Well, what would be awesome to  dream about? It would be Batman. Gotham was pitch perfect. The color, the shot, the cinematography of the movie was was 100 percent perfect. I love the costume. I, you know, I think people were like, Oh, Robert Pattinson, what do you think? And I was like, I thought he was a great Batman. There’s not much Bruce Wayne in it, but I thought he was a great Batman. And when he comes in, but they showed this in the trailer when he whips, rips ass into that guy. Like, really, he punches him way too many times. That’s we already saw that in the trailer, but I thought I was like, Oh, we’re going to see sort of like an end of his rope. I’m tired of this. I’m getting too old for this shit, so I’m going to break faces. He never does that again in the movie, except on on the balcony at the end. He sort of does it again. Decidedly, though, the goon does not have any blood on him. It’s very, very tame.


Rosie Knight PG 13, baby


Jason Concepcion It felt it felt very much. It’s funny watching that whenever I watch a Batman movie now where Batman rips ass on on thugs.


Pete Holmes Thank you for using my term.


Jason Concepcion Yes, I I. I can’t help but flashback to the Batman The Real Reason Batman Doesn’t Kill sketch, which is, it just scratches at that funny incongruity of Batman doesn’t kill, but also causes like multiple serious subdural hematoma.


Rosie Knight Definitely kills. This Batman definitely kills


Jason Concepcion Drops. Drops dude on their heads from 15 feet in the air. How did how did you develop the idea to do Batman in that way to tackle Batman?


Pete Holmes Well, it’s because we love the Nolan movies so much, except for the third one you can tell. The most popular one we did was called Batman Can’t Stop Thinking About Sex. And that one was written from. Because I realized I went and saw where Oren ,who directed all of them Oren Brimer, and we realized that him and Talia Al Gore had sex like it sort of brushed over, but we were like the wait she slept with him, like he should be rubbing that in her face, like because he’s an idiot. So that is the only one we wrote from a place of like, fuck this movie like the other, all of the other ones were either written from a fictional place, like there was no Riddler in the Nolan universe or were written from a place of like deep love for the movies. So the movies were so serious in tone. The world is so tense and and dark, and there’s there’s very little humor. In fact, the third one is the only one that has humor in it, and I hated it. And he’s like, Oh, is that what that feels like, like when someone disappears on him? And he goes, Is that what that feels like? I’m like, What the fuck is this? I don’t. Well, also, if you’re alone, why are you still doing the voice that’s so like, I hate this


Rosie Knight The big question.


Pete Holmes The big questions. The first two were so serious that it begged loving parody. And that’s where that came from. So we’re like he he’s so serious about his virtue. You know, in the new one, they don’t make as big of a deal out of that, that he doesn’t kill or that like, there’s a couple of mentions to like, put away your gun or whatever, but it feels like in the first one, he’s much more invested in his family’s legacy and his values. So it was funnier to make fun of. I didn’t really see anything much to make fun of, like if I was going to do a sketch about this movie, the only one I was like. The Riddler asked the barista to put a question mark in his latte?  Like that that struck me as as worthy of seeing that in the sketch and being like, No, no, no kid. Like, how many times did he have to do it? Right, right,


Jason Concepcion right, right?


Pete Holmes That’s hard to do.


Jason Concepcion Right. It’s like the Leaf. It’s like, Imagine you’re doing this. It’s actually simpler than the Leaf. If you’re going to do the Leaf, just do do a line.


Pete Holmes Yeah, but also the fact that he’s like this will be awesome. They’re going to arrest me and then they’ll find my coffee.


Rosie Knight I want to talk to you about this because I actually hilariously, I kind of like, I like the fact that this because it’s so early on, this is a Batman who isn’t the smartest person in the room because I kind of he always is. And I think it’s kind of funny and good. And this isn’t. But you mentioned something that I thought was really interesting where you said that, you know, you thought Robert Pattinson made like a great Batman. You know, we don’t really see Bruce. You’ve played Batman. You know, what do you think makes a great Batman? Like, what is that thing that these characters do? We see this is iconic. Like, what is it that makes a great Batman?


Pete Holmes Well, I think it’s gravitas, you know? And the one thing that I mean was also sort of funny was that he didn’t change his voice. And I think that’s because Bale got so much was teased, including by me, for changing his voice that he’s just we. We took and.


Rosie Knight We commented on it. We we noticed it. It was noted.


Pete Holmes And then with Affleck, they had the voice modified modifier, which I thought was really cool. I was like, That’s a great way. And then Roberts just talking like Bruce Wayne, the most famous person in Gotham. I thought that’s another sketch area was every time he talks, someone should go, Bruce? Like, every time he talks, someone should go “oh that’s, that’s bruce Wayne.” “Hey, Bruce”


Rosie Knight You know what this is? I will say, though, this is very interesting conversation for me because I will say that something that I felt like I saw about this movie that a lot of other people had not commented. I don’t know if I feel like this is quite polar opposite to the Nolan movie, so I can understand that if you have a real love of those movies and the vision of Batman there, that this doesn’t do it for you. So that actually makes a lot of sense. And that’s very enlightening to me because I felt like that there was something there that was very different and and weird. And it’s all subjective, of course, but that that makes it that it makes a lot of sense to me because like those are such formative movies and this is like so weird and long like and I say that complements for me. But like for other people it’s not


Pete Holmes I would have forgiven it. I really you’re helping me appreciate it more. I really think this is the headline for me. I didn’t like it, but I don’t think they made it for me. You know what I’m saying? Like, it’s been, what, 10 years since the last one. Like those they made for me and I came home and I said to Val, my wife, I was just like, I just wanted to see light fighting dark.


Jason Concepcion So I get what you’re saying. You want to see the light versus dark conflict, which I think is a real strength of of the Nolan films. That said, for me, there’s another level to Batman, which is this idea that, like Batman, could have ended this all of this shit years ago. If you just like put two in the Joker’s head, put two in, The Riddler said, Why do you keep capturing these guys, putting them into a system that’s not going to lock them away in any kind of way that’s going to be permanent and perpetuating this. And I think for me, what I liked about this movie is it explored Batman Bruce Wayne coming to grips in a very basic and early way with the idea that like, am I causing this in any kind of way? And is is are the things that I’m doing in any kind of way perpetuating crime and chaos in Gotham. And that kind of exploration of the weirdness of Bruce Wayne is the thing that I liked about it because, listen, I loved. I think that I think The Dark Knight in particular is like an iconic work of, incredible, almost like genius level pop culture storytelling. That said, Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne is a kind of a dork, not a lot of interiority to that guy. He just kind of like my parents were murdered and now I beat up bad people. And that’s kind of it. You know, like, I don’t have a lot of there’s not there’s not like a sense of obsession in what he does.


Pete Holmes I agree. They went back to sort of the Keaton flavor, which is like, if someone’s going to dress up like a bad, they should seem unstable. That’s what I thought was really great about it. And then you do have what was good about it was also what was bad about it, I think, was the walk around Batman you when you have Batman walking around like he does in the video games, in the comic books and, you know, walking around a crime scene, you know, I liked it. I liked it, and it just is going to change it. Here’s what it’s not Batman on a clock tower, swooping down and kicking ass, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that that’s what I really wanted.


Rosie Knight Pete, you said something that really I think because I don’t think there’s anything embarrassing about. I mean, I love Todd McFarlane, Batman. I love a cape. I love standing on a, you know, Gotham gargoyle with the huge cape wrapped around you. So like something I think is really cool about Batman in general is like, it’s kind of like James Bond. We can all have the visions that we like. And I think in that way, your headline is like, really legit and kind of very true to the nature of Batman, which is like, there is going to be versions of it that we like and that really speak to us. And there’s going to be versions of it that are absolutely for other people. And that’s kind of the power of a character like this of an archetypal character. You can have the down and dirty neo noir talking, slow Batman who doesn’t know everything, and you can have the Jim Lee like kicking someone through the air kind of like bad ass Batman, and you can have the clean, militarized, like realistic Nolan. And then you can have like the wild timber and Batman or even the Schumacher stuff. You know, there’s these all exist alongside each other. And I think something DC is kind of aiming for now and Warner Brothers is this notion of like, if you didn’t like Batman, maybe you’re going to like The Flash. That’s right where we’re going to have a bunch of different Batman, and you’re going to be able to see maybe more of that light versus dark, even if it’s in a different esthetic way. So I think that’s really interesting, actually.


Pete Holmes I thought you were going to say, maybe you’ll like this Batman and that and that’s exactly what I was picking up on. I was like, This is a Batman. I think for for slightly younger than, I’m forty-two. Like I said, I think it was for younger people. I think it’s addressing sort of those conundrums of like, we see both sides like you’re giving, but your virtue signaling or you know what I’m saying, like, nothing is as simple as it seems. But where did we start? Remember I told you as I fall asleep at night, I like to pretend I’m Batman. And a lot of people have that real mythic. It’s a it’s a symbol like and Carl Young says symbols transform us way more than people are learning or like symbols. So it’s something that I carry in my heart. And I I really I keep thinking of Arkham City, where the whole Gotham is flooded in in the fear gas. And he’s and he’s losing his mind, and he’s being tempted by the Joker that lives inside of him. I was like, That’s my meat and potatoes, like, he’s trying to do the right thing, but he’s tormented by his own evil and his own participation in it. But they help us swallow that by just having a little bit more of what you had in the first 15 minutes, which was a perfect Gotham. Dark and rainy. Beautifully shot. So I don’t know. I wish he had kicked the shit out of some more people. That’s really that’s.You coulda keep you coulda kept him broken


Rosie Knight One line review


Jason Concepcion so as its tonight, as you lay down to go to sleep, lay her head on your pillow. It’s the temperature is perfect. The sheets feel wonderful on your skin. It’s a it’s a nice high thread count, but nothing too crazy and you’re drifting away. And what tell us about the Batman dream that lulls you off into Slumber Land?


Pete Holmes Absolutely. First of all, it’s an impossible Gotham. Sometimes they do this in some Gotham’s weather where the subway is really high. Hmm. That is. I just find that to be. If there was one thing that makes Gotham City, Gotham City is rain, certainly, and also a very a too high subway and elevated train. Why is it so high? That being said, too high subway, rain. I’m usually, you know, my sheets are like the cowl, cause if you. Well, Batman’s life, he’s waiting a lot of the time. Like, there’s that scene where where Gordon comes up in the new one and turns off the bat signal and he just walks out and he’s like, What’s up? But really, he had probably been waiting there two or three hours. You know what I mean? So that is the cozy scenario that I imagine. There’s no crime happening.


Rosie Knight Mm-Hmm.


Pete Holmes But you’re elevated, you’re armored and you’re capable, so you’re deeply safe. It speaks to your mammal brain like I am safe. I am high up. No one’s going to get me. And even if they did, I could handle it. That is the Batman that helps me fall asleep. This Batman takes the elevator and you know, it walks down hallways and stuff, which, by the way, that’s actually one of the things I thought was cool about it.


Jason Concepcion Pete Holmes, thank you so much for joining us. Do you have anything to plug?


Pete Holmes Yeah, I do. It’s unrelated to Batman, but March 31st, I have a new show on CBS called How We Roll. Please check it out. Premieres on March 31st.


Jason Concepcion Pete Holmes, thanks a lot for joining us. This was really cool.


Pete Holmes My pleasure.


Jason Concepcion Thanks for joining us. Up next, the end game.


Jason Concepcion OK, Rosie, we’re in the endgame now, and today we ponder the question brought to you and me by super producer Saul Rubin. The question is *humming Batman theme song*. What’s the craziest is Batman villain you’d want to see in a sequel to Matt Reeves The Batman? Rosie, would you like to go first?


Rosie Knight I love this so much because it’s such a grounded world, but I feel like there’s still so many funny, fantastical things. OK, who would I want to see if I’m thinking like, seriously? I bet. I bet that Matt Reeves could do like a terrifying Professor Pig, you know, continue the like murder-ish.


Jason Concepcion Shouts to Grant Morrison shouts to our guy, Grant Morrison


Rosie Knight like just this kind of terrifying but surreal? You have the aspects of like, who is it really that the dueling ideas of like the real person versus the person that you present to the world, which is very Batman. I think that could be really good and that can legitimately work. But I would also love to see Matt Reeves try and take on something totally ridiculous, like Condiment King, because


Jason Concepcion we’re talking about Condiment King. We were talking about Condiment King in pre-pro. Uhh, producer Chris, apparently has a Condiment King action figure. Condiment. Please describe for those who are not versed in the world of Batman or the world of comics who Condiment King is


Rosie Knight Ha ha ha. Well, well, well. So this is a classic Bruce Temple Dini creation. Another brilliant thing that came from the Batman animated series and became canon just like Harlequin, He is like


Jason Concepcion This is one of the weirdest characters of all time


Rosie Knight shoots condiments. Like, I think that that’s really it. Like, I think that there’s versions where he’s like using them in a scary way. Yeah, he’s doing other things like he’s like giving people allergic reactions with them or something kind of nefarious. But usually the most classic version you’ll see is like one hand is like shooting mustard in one hand issuing ketchup. So like how Matt Reeves would like make that kind of serious? Also, one of the funniest things is like, that’s a character who’s just always getting beaten by anyone that he sees. So in that way, it’s kind of like, you know, we’ve seen the Harlequin show Bauxite Man in and made. I mean, he’s a joke, but he’s in it. So like, you know, there’s there’s precedent for weird villains


Jason Concepcion Condiment King and Kite Man, similarly, are. They are the villains who get beat up in the first three pages of a comic book to set up the story. Like when you open up the story, Oh, Batman is breaking up a jewel heist, and that will be Condiment King getting his ass kicked by Batman and then taken off to jail


Rosie Knight or Robin, like someone even more.


Jason Concepcion That’s a great one. Condiment King is so good. if we ever see Condiment King on the screen even just as an Easter egg character, I will lose it.


Rosie Knight I feel like if somebody was going to do that, it’s probably like James Gunn. I’m pretty sure he I think it was like he had like Calendar Man and Kaleidoscope Surf and all these kind of funny things is back Easter egg. So I believe it. Who would yours be?


Jason Concepcion Well, I would be who you just mentioned. I’ll bring it back to the O.G. Bill Finger. This is one of the the oldest characters in the Batman pantheon. It is Calendar Man. You know, one of the best representations of OCD in the comics worlds.


Rosie Knight He just loves dates.


Jason Concepcion He loves knowing about dates. He loves birthdays of famous people of politicians, and he just loves talking about dates and what they mean. This guy, I mean, just keep him in Arkham without any access to like a pencil to keep track of time and a calendar. And that is how you truly punish the Calendar Man. A nefarious villain who just loves being on time and he loves schedules and stuff. I think we actually we could actually see I could see like I could. I could see like a tatted up memento-esque. You know where he keeps track of everything on his body kind of Calendar Man


Rosie Knight I think you could. I think Matt Reeves could actually do a really terrifying Calendar Man, because the idea of this Batman is all about obsessions. So heres obsession with finding justice for her friend with taking vengeance on Falcone. Batman’s obsession with Gotham and his parents. So actually like the notion of somebody who is obsessed with dates and the relevance of dates, especially in a world of Gotham where there’s so many secrets? Yeah, you could. The Riddler has a Calendar Man aspect to him anyway, which makes so much sense because of Matt’s kind of influences. And you mentioned The Long Halloween a lot. I mean, we all know like, yes, the ending may surprise you, but Calendar Man is definitely a suspect in that.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight Because of the notion of the data-based killings. So I think I think that’s like it could be a really funny one. But I think there’s a vision where that’s actually, like, really realistic because he doesn’t have superpowers.


Jason Concepcion And also, I love the idea of a Batman story in a movie that uses Calendar Man like as as a secondary villain, but also like is the key to the mystery is like somebody who the Riddler or the Joker has to keep like hostage because the way his mind works would unlock whatever the mystery is.


Rosie Knight Write that pilot. Write that script.


Jason Concepcion I think we have a chance to see Calendar Man in a movie and or a TV show going forward. OK, that’s it for the end game. Let us know your thoughts and use hashtag x r v end game to give us your pick. A big thank you to the great Pete Holmes and of course, the even greater Rosie Knight for joining us today on X-Ray Vision. Rosie, please plug more stuff. Do you have anything else to plug?


Rosie Knight Just my usual stuff you know what on you can find me on Instagram Rosie Marks. I’m on this podcast. I’m on Letterboxd. If you want to read some of my comics, I have a bunch of them up for free so you can read all kinds. Actually, there is a comic. I wrote five issues of backups for called Cougar and Cub, which is a Batman and Robin parody about the kind of sexual relationship between a super and the sidekick. But my back ups were all inspired by different comic book eras, so there’s everything from the Golden Age all the way to like a kind of Dan Clowes indie comic style and my collaborator Daniel Read a massive did a brilliant job at bringing those to life. So those are really fun, and you can read them for free on my website because I also love making comics as well as talking about them.


Jason Concepcion Well we are looking forward to an announcement about a comic book project.


Rosie Knight Very soon.


Jason Concepcion Next week, we are doing a cinematic Batman retrospective retrospective on the Batman movies with some really, really, really cool creator guests can’t wait to drop that one on you. Don’t forget, send your nerd out submissions to X-ray at crooked dot com. Instructions are in the show notes. And don’t forget, like a bat signal in the sky telling you, we want those five star ratings. Who are we? I’m five star ratings. That’s what we want. X-ray vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself, Jason Concepcion and Sandy Girard. Caroline Reston and Carlton Gillespie are consulting producers and our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Thanks to Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time!



Nerd Out Submission Instructions!

Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it?


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Rosie’s IG, website, author archive, Letterboxd, + Cougar & Cub comic.


The Listener’s Guide for all things X-Ray Vision!

Batman: Year One (serialized as Batman #404-407 in 1987) – written by Frank Miller, illustrated by David Mazzucchelli. 


Batman: The Long Halloween (1996-97) – Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale, which directly led to Batman: Dark Victory & Catwoman: When in Rome by the pair in the late 90s & early 2000s.


Batman: Earth One Vol 1-3 (launched overall in 2010, Batman’s came out in 2012) – Written by Geoff Johns, art by Gary Frank.


Batman: Ego & Other Tails (2000) – Darwyn Cooke & Paul Grist.


Batman: Hush (2002-03) – Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee


Batman: The Telltale Games (2016)  – point & click adventure game by Telltale Games and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment under its DC Entertainment label.


Batman: Arkham Games (2009 – present) – developed by Rocksteady Studios and WB Games Montréal. 


Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) – Animated film directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm and written by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko, and Michael Reaves.


Batman: The Animated Series (1992-95, 85 episodes total) – By Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, and Mitch Brian and Eric Radomski, starring Kevin Conroy.


Batman: Cataclysm / Batman: No Man’s Land (1998-99) –  written by numerous, outlined by Jordan B Gorfinkel.


Batman: Zero Year (2013-14) – Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV.


Batman 72 Vehicles & People by Francesco Francavilla