LBR X Retrosode 6: New Teen Titans Spotlight

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2020 is the 10th anniversary of the Longbox Review podcast, and to celebrate, I am spotlighting 10 episodes from the archive. This is a rebroadcast of episode 92 from 2015 where I talk about one of my very favorite comic book titles of all time, The New Teen Titans.

Thank you for supporting the podcast over these 10 years.

Original post: https://longboxreview.com/2015/12/19/podcast-episode-92-new-teen-titans-spotlight/

RandoMonday: Batman and Robin #23

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

BatmanandRobin23

Batman and Robin #23 by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, Mark Irwin, John Kalisz, Carlos M. Mangual, Darren Shan, and Rachel Cluckstern

“Acceptance”. *sigh* This issue came six months (!) after Damian Wayne/Robin was murdered by his clone in the epic battle between Talia Al Ghul and Batman (as seen in Batman, Incorporated, specifically issue 8). In this issue, for the past three days, Batman is using virtual technology to prove he could have saved his son, so Alfred calls Dick Grayson in to talk his mentor out of this futile exercise. But because Dick knows Bruce so well (and in many ways, better than anybody), he doesn’t talk Bruce out of it, he joins him. Together, Batman and the former Robin are able to save Damian, allowing Bruce to reach a form of acceptance. But there is another man who’s needs to reach that stage of grief: Alfred. He runs a simulation where he prevented Damian from leaving Wayne Manor in the first place, thus preventing his death. Bruce then tells Alfred he is sorry, “I was too selfish to realize we both lost a son.” Reading that again after six years still gets to me.

This volume of Batman and Robin is one of the best Batman series ever. Gleason, Tomasi, and the others paint a haunting portrait of a man who lost a son and cannot really move past it. Yes, in this issue, Bruce does come to a form of acceptance, but it is a only a step that allows him to move to a different obsessive stage, setting up the next story arc.

The art in this issue is spectacular. We see some events of Batman, Incorporated #8 retold in ways that make the story even more poignant and personal for Batman. The one panel of Batman on the ground, unable to save his son as we hear the sickening sound effect of “SHUNNK” and the look on his face, especially his one exposed eye, is SO DAMN GOOD. It’s a feint, because Nightwing is the one stabbing Robin’s killer, saving the boy in this simulation, but I also read this as Bruce’s reaction to Nightwing killing to save his son. Imagine how Batman must feel to see his first son kill to save his younger son? It’s a part of the story that goes unexplored, but only serves to highlight how good of a comic book series this is to me.

If you have not read this volume, I highly recommend it.

 

The Redemption of Nightwing

Welcome to the first entry for Longbox Review dot com in the Super-Blog Team-Up (SBTU)! I want to thank Chris from the Superhero Satellite for inviting me to participate. What is the Super-Blog Team-Up? The Longbox Graveyard provides an excellent overview of the SBTU, along with links to past entries. This latest incarnation of the SBTU is about the theme of Redemption.

When I was first asked to participate, my first thought was, predictably, the redemption of Hal Jordan Green Lantern, but I thought that would be too obvious. I was sure that another participant might choose that as well, so off I went through the dusty synapses of my memory trying to recall favorite stories where redemption was a central focus. Hawk (aka Monarch/Extant) came to mind, as did Atom Smasher and Black Adam. I thought perhaps even examining the Kingdom Come Superman, but that’s when it hit me (or rather, a Google search that landed me on a page that talked about one aspect of this story): the redemption of Nightwing for his complicity in the murder of Blockbuster. Of course! Nightwing is my favorite character in superhero comics, so what better way to explore this theme for the 2019 Super-Blog Team-Up. (Note: all issues mentioned have been linked to Comicbookdb for the creator credits.)

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Christmas Gab Bag 2018

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Happy holidays! George, of the still defunct George and Tony Entertainment Show, returns for the second annual talk about some Christmas comics. Specifically, we discuss:

Pinky and the Brain Christmas Special

Nightwing #64

Marvel Two-in-One #8

Wormwood Gentleman Corpse Christmas Special 2018

Manga Claus, The Blade of Kringle

Avengers Annual 2014

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, and visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via Apple podcasts.

Thanks for listening!

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Podcast Episode 108: Nightwing #9

 

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I enjoyed Nightwing #9 so much, I wanted to talk through it with you!

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show via iTunes.

Thanks for listening!