Episode Two — I Believe in Harvey Dent

It’s a late night as Alex and Patrick give their ramblings on Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman run. They discuss the collected editions Haunted KnightThe Long Halloween, and Dark Victory. Which trade comes out on top and which flounders?

Run Time: 1:03:57

(Shameless plug: Check out Cerealmilkpodcast.wordpress.com for Alex’s other podcast he runs with his wife Sarah.)

Music:

pretty lights by Fog Lake is licensed under a Attribution License.
Then you were there by Ketsa is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License.

 

35 thoughts on “Episode Two — I Believe in Harvey Dent”

  1. It’s been awhile since I’ve read “Long Halloween” but SPOILERS
    I think the purpose behind the three Holiday killers was to dispel doubt in the reader that one killer (first time too) could do all those murders alone; and I think Alberto would only have g

  2. It’s been awhile since I’ve read “Long Halloween” but SPOILERS
    I think the purpose behind the three Holiday killers was to dispel doubt in the reader that one killer (first time too) could do all those murders alone; and I think Alberto would only have gone after specific targets while Harvey’s wife went after victims she thought made sense. I don’t think it was tacked on, I always thought it made the story more intricate and more like “Se7en” than “Lucky Number Sleven”. Something like that…

    Also, I always pronounce it “Falconee” but that’s how it’s done in the Nolan films. On “Gotham” they say “Fal-Cone”. It’s like “Ra’s/Rish” Al Ghul, pick whichever sounds best to you.

    1. Seven only had one killer. I think thats a lot of mental gymastics to justify the ending when it would have made more sense for there to be one killer as opposaed to THREE. I love LH but the ending is dumb & ultimately useless

      1. And further more there is literally no context within the plot to point towards Mrs Dent to be the killer. Like it just happens as one last reveal without earning it. This is the type of lazy writing that Bendis (rightfully) gets hammered for but because its Batman DC fans give it a pass just like they gave Scott Snyder’s non endings in his early work or a pass to Geoff Johns for basically relying on exposition to tell the reader EVERYTHING instead of actually creating a story about characters with plot structure

        1. “… just like they gave Scott Snyder’s non endings in his early work or a pass to Geoff Johns for basically relying on exposition to tell the reader EVERYTHING instead of actually creating a story about characters with plot structure.”

          I think you’re grossly overstating your opinion to hammer away your point. VERY broad strokes, amigo.

          1. I also love Johns work on Superman & a lot of what he did on GL but that doesnt erase either of their flaws. What I’m completly fed up with is this double standard that fans of DC comics apply to the publisher over everything else. Like those flaws are excusable because its DC charachters but if its any other publisher those points are hammered home. Its nonsense and it makes comics worst

        2. What I mean by “Se7en” is that its a better story than others in that genre.

          Murder mysteries are tough to pull off because they’re either so transparent people guess the ending/reveal right away or the clues are so buried the ending comes off as rediculous. I always got the feeling the final reveal was meant as a total surprise to make the reader look harder at the story (like I did), or maybe its a send-up to those crazy murder mystery endings nobody could solve before the end. Or Jeph Loeb butched the ending, that is the most likely but I didn’t start hating his work until 2010-2011.

          I still can’t remember most of the specifics but now I’m questioning if Calender Man actually knew who Holiday was or had just guessed right from three possibilities (the obvious being Alberto).

          1. With Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns; alot of people hated the non-ending to DotF. Alot. I wasn’t over the moon about it either, but I get that it was more of a metaphorical thing than literal. Better that no one died then DC just bringing them back a year later to me. I’m sure people will hate “Endgame”‘s ending too, but Snyder’s buildup and approach outweigh his weaknesses (usually) which is why Batman is still DC’s best-selling title.

            Geoff Johns…has to explain why GL, Flash, and Aquaman are cool. Especially Aquaman, people need to be handheld for that 90% of the time I think. I don’t notice much in his Flash work, but I can see how in GL he overexplains what’s happening.

            1. There were way more people giving Snyder a pass on Court of Owls, Black Mirror or American Vampire then there was in criticism of DOTF. Wjat you are saying about Johns is basically that you cant do good comics writing about those charechters which I disagree with while also ignoring the favt that he uses exposition to tell the story as oppossed to just telling a story

  3. Being an editor of this blog, doesn’t mean you get a free pass on typos, Phess. Quite the opposite. 😛
    It’s so much easier to critique a work of art than it is to actually create one. Being a critic is literally the easiest thing in the world to do. You just have to be judgmental and have the desire to share your judgments with whomever you can get to listen. We all do it on some level, but some people fall into the trap of thinking that their own tastes dictate what the standard is or should be concerning art. Tastes dictate what your collection looks like, rather than what a “good” or “bad” comic book is.
    With all this critical analysis on the proper use of exposition, non-endings (hello serialized fiction), free passes on perceived multiple flaws, you guys make it sound as though there’s a holy bible of comic making for true-believers (oh wait! There is! Written by Bendis. 😉 ). As though there are imaginary rules spelled out and if broken, then the artist and their work is condemned to being referred to as flawed. These writers mentioned are the professionals. The artists. It’s like what Casey Kasem said: “if it’s in the top 40, then it’s gotta be pretty fucking good!” Which these writers and their work usually is. 🙂
    You can’t say with any seriousness or credibility that they are expressing themselves through their art incorrectly. Especially when readers vote every month with their wallets as to who is what. And when it comes to Johns, Bendis and Snyder: THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN.
    If you buy a book by these authors and don’t like it, then do a review and point out the specific examples of what didn’t work for you to back up whatever claims you are making. Without evidence and specific examples, then it’s all just pure conjecture painting broad stokes that symbolize nothing.

    1. “You can’t say with any seriousness or credibility that they are expressing themselves through their art incorrectly”
      I didn’t say that. This isn’t about a problem I have with any creative talent. This is about a double standard that I don’t like. And I think I have done more then enough to point out specific examples of problems with their work as well as praising said work when I thought it was good. Again I’ve never said there is some set standard for how comics should be done and I’m certainly not saying that now. What I’m saying is if you are going to be critical of something be consistent.
      “Without evidence and specific examples, then it’s all just pure conjecture painting broad stokes that symbolize nothing”
      Making a criticism of what I’m writing without specifically addressing what I’m writing symbolized nothing
      “Being a critic is literally the easiest thing in the world to do. You just have to be judgmental and have the desire to share your judgments with whomever you can get to listen.”
      No it’s not at all. Striving to be a critic of substance requires looking deeply within art that you love and trying to parse it out. It requires to leave any and all personal bias at the door and in order for anybody to read it you need to distinguish yourself from everybody else’s writing. Not easy but thanks for boiling down all the work I do here to being “judgmental” as if that’s all it takes or is the only desire I have to do this.

      1. “Being a critic is literally the easiest thing in the world to do. You just have to be judgmental and have the desire to share your judgments with whomever you can get to listen.”
        What you are describing sounds more to me like being a commentor on the internet. It’s someone who goes on the internet and tries to pick apart other peoples hard work at writing by arguing specific points that are mostly irrelevant to the overall point of the conversation.

  4. “Making a criticism of what I’m writing without specifically addressing what I’m writing symbolized nothing”

    I was referring to Itho as well, but I thought I covered that with:
    “With all this critical analysis on the proper use of exposition, non-endings (hello serialized fiction), free passes on perceived multiple flaws…”
    Johns uses exposition instead of just telling a story. Snyder has non-endings. Bendis is rightfully criticized as a lazy writer. Loving some of their work doesn’t excuse the flaws. I’m paraphrasing, but these are some of the things you said and this is what we were talking about just above and these are the examples that I was citing.
    I disagree that their work is inherently flawed. If it’s flawed, the implication is that they are doing it wrong. Thus, expressing themselves incorrectly through their art.

    “Not easy but thanks for boiling down all the work I do here to being “judgmental” as if that’s all it takes or is the only desire I have to do this.”
    I think you may be taking this a bit too personally. We’re just talking about art/comics and how people (not just you) judge them. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings and this is not a personal attack directed at you. There is much more to this blog than just reviews. A lot of fine articles & features. And I don’t think being judgmental is the “only desire” driving you.
    My post was meant to be a dialogue on perception and how our personal tastes often dictate what we declare to all of Comicdom as being “good” or “bad”. I believe in challenging our perception.

    1. Well appreciate that but I hope you can understand why I would consider such a thing as insulting.
      “If it’s flawed, the implication is that they are doing it wrong. Thus, expressing themselves incorrectly through their art.”
      No it means there is a part of the story that doesn’t flow with the rest of the narrative and in such makes the work worst then it could be. I don’t know if you listened to the podcast but I acknowledged that even though I thought this was a major flaw I really LOVE that book. Just like I really LOVE Scott Snyder’s writing over all or have really LOVED multiple pieces of work created by Geoff Johns & Brian Michael Bendis. I’m flawed both as a writer and a general human being as is probably anybody. As somebody who deeply cares about comics as a medium I write about all of it good, bad and everything in between. What I hope is that by doing that I can inspire others to do the same, think deeply about the medium, engage in the art form and try to understand it better in the hopes that the medium improves. And also if I’m coming off as harsh then I apologize as I’ve been writing over 2500+ words with this playing in the background

        1. “As somebody who deeply cares about comics as a medium I write about all of it good, bad and everything in between. What I hope is that by doing that I can inspire others to do the same, think deeply about the medium, engage in the art form and try to understand it better in the hopes that the medium improves.”
          I have those same aspirations as a ball-busting commentator. It’s all about trying to influence perception. 🙂

              1. I think Johns and Bendis get their fair share of beat downs. Scott Snyder, not so much. It’s interesting that all three of those writers have written some great comics and some not so great comics. They also all have a heavy workload (maybe explaining some of their not so great comics) and are the backbone of their companies. They also are very much mainstream, which is probably another reason at least Johns and Bendis catch so much shit. I started reading Bendis when he was an Indy guy pre Marvel (before he sold out, joke) and I loved his stuff. I followed him in his early Marvel days but I hated his Avengers run more than any other Marvel comic i’ve ever read. I turned on him and even called him Bowel Movement Bendis (mostly in my own head, sometimes in public, ha). It was kind of unfair of me especially since he has proved his quality time and time again since then. John’s comics I first started reading many years ago with his Flash stuff and loved it but I missed his original GL run. I read his New 52 GL run and loved that too. I’ve seen gone back and read the first 5 issues of his original GL run but I was so disappointed that I stopped reading it; I don’t know when I’ll return to it. Snyder can be awesome at times but I really do think he gets a pass. He is an above average comic writer with occasional flashes of brilliance and he never writes crap but I don’t think he deserves all the praise he gets. Capullo is carrying him on his shoulders at the moment.

              2. You ole silver tongued devil. Your name must be Billy-Ray, the sweet talkin’ son of a preacher man. 🙂

                Was that over the top? I can never tell. 😀

                  1. Man, Deer Hunter and Raging Bull are two of the most depressing movies ever.

                    This is the most depressing though. If you feel like slitting your throat one day watch this.

                    1. Ha! I almost slit my throat half way through the preview! 😉
                      Your point on Bendis’ AVENGERS is well taken. I started it on my app and fell off around issue 7. The quick-witted, Seinfeldesque dialogue can be very entertaining a lot of times, however, in a team settings, it can sometimes feel forced and redundant in that the characters sound as though they all have the same speech pattens. With all the fast paced back and forths, I’m reminded of this scene:

                      Having said that, I’m digging on Bendis’ ALL NEW X MEN at the moment.
                      I think Bendis’ style is best complimented by a solo hero book. I’ve always liked his Ultimate Spidey books and I personally think that he and Maleev created the definitive DAREDEVIL run. I love Frank Miller and there’s no doubt that he drew the blueprint and built the foundation of the Matt Murdock of today, but Bendis/Maleev blew my fucking mind. Transversely, I thought it was brilliant in Waid’s run how he went against the grain and made DD the swashbuckling, grinning devil again (a tip of the hat to Stan Lee) who kisses the bride in front of the groom AT THE WEDDING while exclaiming how her scent drives him wild.

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