Episode 11: January 1940

Welcome to episode 11 of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

This episode, your hosts Michael Kaiser and Michael Bradley dive into 1940 with a look at the Batman story from DETECTIVE COMICS #36. The year kicks off in style as a mysterious fog and a dying man’s last words lead the Batman to uncover a mystery and into the clutches of a dastardly new villain: Professor Hugo Strange! Plus, the strip gets a new editor, a new inker and the guys read listener mail!


Things We Learned:

  • Never touch a dead man.
  • The stopping of murder, theft, crime and looting can wait.
  • Be suspicious of night watchmen in giant overcoats and Panama hats.
  • That we still don’t know what “condensed lightning” is.
  • The Batman is a great man, son. A great man!

Images from Coverage:


How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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The Thrilling Adventures of Superman, Episode 20

Like hearing Mike and Mike talk about comics? Well, you’re in luck! Because Michael Kaiser joined Michael Bradley for an awesome episode of The Thrilling Adventures of Superman, where they talked about some great comics starring the other half of the World’s Finest heroes!

The adventures begin with ACTION COMICS #13 where Superman unravels the mystery of a taxi cab racket and finds something — or someone — far more sinister is behind it: The wheelchair-bound madman known as the Ultra-Humanite! They then move on to the historic SUPERMAN #1, which unveils never-before-told details about Superman’s origin, his first prose story, our hero’s very own fan club and more! They then wrap things up with ACTION COMICS #14, where Superman investigates a suspicious subway collapse and faces off against a strangely familiar foe with a thirst for world domination!

Click here to see the post at GreatKrypton.com, the site’s home base, download the episode or subscribe to the show.

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Episode 10: Year in Review 1939

Welcome to episode ten of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

This week, Michael Bradley and Michael Kaiser take a break from their normal monthly coverage format to look back at their first completed year, going over the pros and cons, the ups and downs, the lefts and rights of all the Batman material released in 1939. And at the end of the show, the two give their votes for the bests and worsts of the year!

The cover to DETECTIVE COMICS #27 by Bob Kane The cover to DETECTIVE COMICS #29 by Bob Kane

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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Episode 9: December 1939

Welcome to episode nine of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

The guys are back with a look at DETECTIVE COMICS #35… and not only that, but the issue also sees the return of writer Bill Finger! Batman’s co-creator returns in style pitting our hero against Hindus, Mongols and death traps galore — all while trying to unravel the mystery of a ruby idol’s curse!


Things We Learned:

  • If you see a group of Hindus driving around in a convertible downtown, they might be up to something.
  • Sometimes Batman actually does ask questions first.
  • Always remove all protruding pipes from bottomless pit death traps.
  • Fake gloves and a Halloween makeup kid make for a surprisingly effective disguise.
  • Who needs Baterangs when you can use a ruby carving of a Hindu idol?

Images from Coverage:


How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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Episode 8: November 1939

Welcome to episode seven of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

This week your hosts, Michael Bradley and Michael Kaiser tackle all things Batman released in November of 1939, which again only consists of one issue, DETECTIVE COMICS #34, where Batman takes on the mysterious, pointy eared, magic wand wielding, wheel of chance owning, horticulturist known as the Duc D’orterre!


Things We Learned:

  • A faceless man? Bruce Wayne has better things to worry about!
  • Never burn the face off your future brother-in-law.
  • Drunk people in Paris often dress up like Batman.
  • Sentient flowers with female human faces will never make sense.
  • Taking a Batplane is faster than taking a taxi.

Images from Coverage:

Reference Links:


How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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Episode 7: October 1939

Welcome to episode seven of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

After six episodes of being shrouded in mystery, the epic tale of the Batman and how he came to be is at at long-last revealed as Michael Kaiser and Michael Bradley look at DETECTIVE COMICS #33!! The guys spend quite a bit of time discussing the tragic circumstances that lead to the creation of our legendary hero and various aspects thereof.

They then move on to the rest of the issue, where a would-be world dictator attacks the city, causing mass damage and the Batman to go into action. There’s excitement and explosions aplenty as “The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom!” Also, this episode: Listener emails and a follow-up on the merciless and mystifying Monk!


Things We Learned:

  • How the Batman came to be;
  • The public is rather accepting of death ray machines;
  • Napoleon impersonators garner a large fan following;
  • Batman has magical gas;
  • Neither Michael B or Michael K will win Oscars this year.

Images from Coverage:

“…and how he came to be!”:
Batman’s origin has been told in various media dozens of times. Here’s a small sampling of different takes on the story from various incarnations.

  • BATMAN #47 – No scans from this one, but we’ll be covering it soon.
  • “The Fear,” an episode of “The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians” (1985) – This is said to be the first time Batman’s origin was told in any media outside of the comic books!
  • “Batman,” directed by Tim Burton (1989)
  • A two-page spread by Paul Dini and Alex Ross from BATMAN: WAR ON CRIME (1999)
  • A two-page spread by Jeph Loeb and Alex Ross, originally posted at DCComics.com and later included in the collections of the “Hush” storyline (2003?)
  • “Batman Begins,” directed by Christopher Nolan (2005)
  • “Batman: Arkham Asylum,” the video game (2009)
  • “Chill of the Night!,” an episode of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” (2010) – This version uses dialogue lifted nearly verbatim from DETECTIVE COMICS #33!

Reference Links:

  • SECRET ORIGINS OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES, a trade paperback containing “The Man Who Falls” by Dennis O’Neil and Dick Giordano. The story reveals information about Bruce Wayne’s childhood and the creation of Batman.
  • “The Mark of Zorro” starring Douglas Fairbanks traditionally is the movie that the Waynes saw on that fateful night. Also, according to Bob Kane, the movie’s swashbuckling star served as an inspiration in the creation of the Batman.
  • Mark Tyler Nobleman, author of the excellent “Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman” (a biography on Superman’s co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) is currently working on a similar book about Batman’s co-creator, Bill Finger! The book is to be illustrated by Ty Templeton. Michael B. is a big fan of “Boys of Steel,” so we’ll keep you posted on updates about Nobleman’s book on Finger.
  • We didn’t mention it in the episode, but this advertisement promoting BATMAN: YEAR ONE echoes a critical panel in the origin of the Batman.

How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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Episode 6: September 1939

Welcome to episode six of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

The head-butting is at a minimum this episode, as Michael Bradley is swayed towards the Dark Side and begins sharing Michael Kaiser’s opinion  of “The Batman vs. the Vampire” two-parter, which features Batman taking on the nefarious villain known as The Monk in the pages of DETECTIVE COMICS #32.


Things We Learned:

  • Proper ventilation holds no power over Batman’s gas pellets;
  • Batman doesn’t believe in female villains;
  • Using “The Tough Guy Handbook” for retorts doesn’t always work;
  • Vampires are quick, strong, immortal and can control magic nets;
  • Melting silver is way easier than you’d think.

Images from Coverage:

Reference Links:

  • While it’s impossible to improve on this story, Matt Wagner tried in 2006 with the Batman: Mad Monk mini-series.
  • The rap. Listen to the episode, you’ll understand.

How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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Episode 5: August 1939

Welcome to episode five of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

It was bound to happen! After four episodes of peace, hosts Michael Kaiser and Michael Bradley butt heads over a story in an epic clash sure to go down in history, like those of Ali vs. Frazier, Montagues vs. Capulets and Red Sox vs. Yankees! The story in question comes from DETECTIVE COMICS #31 and finds the Batman battling on land, sea and air to save the life of Bruce Wayne’s fiancée when he meets a nefarious new menace in the form of The Monk! Will such a mammoth confrontation mean the end of the Batman — or the show?! Tune-in, Bat-fans, and find out!


Things We Learned:

  • Bruce Wayne has a fiancée;
  • Bat-aviation vehicles are extremely technologically advanced;
  • Military-grade smoke grendades? Check. Chemical knock-out gas pellets? Check. Custom-made Baterangs? Check. Simple pocket knife? D’oh;
  • Mutant were-apes grow quickly;
  • No, really. He’s engaged.

Images from Coverage:

Reference Links:


How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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All those who chose to oppose his shield must yield!

Michael Kaiser, one of half of the Dynamic Duo that brings you “Legends of the Batman” each and every week, has started a new podcast with friend of the show Jon Wilson (of “Amazing Spider-Man Classics,” “Golden Age Superman” and “Teenage Wasteland: An Ultimate Spider-Man Podcast”).

Go check it out:
The Mighty Shield: A Captain America Podcast

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Episode 4: July 1939

Welcome to episode four of Legends of the Batman, the show covering everything Batman — from the beginning! The show’s premise is a simple one. Each episode, we cover a month of Batman, be it comic books, television, movies, whatever, starting with his first appearance in 1939.

This week your hosts, Michael Bradley and Michael Kaiser, take a look at all things Batman released in July of 1939, which consisted of one comic book, DETECTIVE COMICS #30, where a certain arch-nemesis decides to make a very quick return, and Batman finds himself once again having to put a stop to the nefarious Doctor Death! Plus, the guys read their first listener email!


Things We Learned:

  • Not eating by 6PM makes Bruce Wayne a very crank socialite;
  • Batman’s rabbit ears lets him hear safe combinations;
  • Cossacks make for some great henchmen;
  • Doctor Death is just as ugly on the outside as he is on the inside;
  • Batman is pretty good at doodling bats.

Images from Coverage:

Reference Links:

  • Who Drew Batman?, that has a nice little entry about the writing credits for DETECTIVE COMICS #30 in the first Bob Kane section of the site.
  • Grand Comics Database sites Sheldon Moldoff as art collaborator in their entry for DETECTIVE COMICS #30. It’s the first of many Bat-related credits for Moldoff. If you want to know more about this great Golden and Silver Age artist, head on over to his official web site!
  • In the episode, Michael B. mentions Batman’s “I’ll get drive through line,” which he wrongly said came from a commercial. In fact, it’s actually from the opening scene of “Batman Forever.” Your hosts apologize for the flub… and for the fact that the line was in the movie, even though they had nothing to do with the latter.
  • Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” farewell speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, and the fictionalized version from PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, starring Gary Cooper.

How to Get this Episode

There are a few ways you can get this episode. You can listen immediately by clicking on the player below. You can also download the episode directly or subscribe to the show via iTunes or the RSS feed! Questions or comments? Additions or corrections? Drop us a line! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter, to send us your thoughts, as well! And don’t forget to check out our partners, Batman: Yesterday, Today and Beyond for all sorts of Batman goodness in non-podcast form.

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