Posts Tagged ‘Nightwing


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 245: Les Daniels and Bil Keane

Blake is alone and hoarse this week, so he doesn’t waste time and gets right to saying a few words about two men from the world of comics who passed away this week: historian Les Daniels and cartoonist Bil Keane. In the picks, he goes with Batgirl #3. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 245: Les Daniels & Bil Keane


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 238: Geek TV 2011

Blake is alone for this week’s short episode, in which he talks about the last few weeks of Geek TV! He gives an opinion on the last couple of Doctor Who revelations and chats about the season premieres of Community, The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. In his double-picks this week, he approves of Scott Snyder‘s Batman #1 and the new take on Star Trek coming from IDW! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 238: Geek TV 2011


Classic EBI #99: The Makings of a Universe

For years now, I’ve maintained a steadfast and unbroken tradition of not being at San Diego Comic-Con. This is not for lack of desire. So today, I take a look at the stuff happening in San Diego this year I wish I could be a part of…

Everything But Imaginary #407: What I’ll Miss in San Diego

But moving back in time, it’s January 25, 2005 and I’m taking a look at just how tight the continuity of the DC Universe has become in the last year or two. I’ll leave you guys to decide in this counts as irony or not.

Everything But Imaginary #99: The Makings of a Universe

I believe in credit where credit is due, so you’ve really got to give Stan Lee props for really creating our current concept of a superhero “universe.” Oh, superheroes had met before. All of the top National (later DC) Comics heroes had come together as the Justice Society of America in the 40s. Superman and Batman frequently appeared together in World’s Finest Comics. Even Atlas (later Marvel) had their collections of World War II-era characters like the Invaders and the All-Winner’s Squad.

But it was Stan the Man, writing approximately umpteen billion Marvel comics every month (this record would be held until Brian Michael Bendis broke into the business) that really started to forge a world with his creations. The adventures of the JSA didn’t impact the characters in their own titles, nor did the various team-ups that had happened. What Stan did, and did so well, was begin to mix events from various comics. If the Thing lost his powers in Fantastic Four, then he’d be powerless if the team happened to appear in Avengers that month. If Spider-Man was on the run from the law (in other words, if it was a day of the week ending in “y”), Foggy Nelson may have mentioned it in Daredevil. This was nowhere more evident than when Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver — villainous foes of Iron Man and the X-Men, reformed and joined the Avengers.

These days, though, Marvel has sort of lost its cohesion as a universe. Each of Spider-Man’s three titles seem to exist in their own pocket world and barely connect. Nearly two years have passed in Daredevil during Bendis’s run, while other Marvel titles have only progressed a few months. Why, Magneto took over the entire city of New York at the end of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, and not a single other title even made reference to it. Except for comments in various titles about the events of Avengers Disassembled and the gloriously continuity-heavy She-Hulk title, it’s hard to feel like there’s a Marvel “universe” anymore.

But man, DC is trying to make up for it.

As Marvel’s titles have grown looser and looser, DC’s are getting tighter. And I’m going to warn you right now, this column is about to get spoiler-heavy for half of the books in the DC line, so if you see a title bolded you don’t want to know about, you may wanna skip ahead.

It’s easy to point to Identity Crisis as the genesis of this transformation. Like the ending or hate it, it was a huge storyline that has had an astronomical impact on the DC Universe. Just a month after the story’s conclusion, we’ve already seen fallout everywhere: the death of Robin’s father has impacted his own series, which in turn has impacted the other Batman-family books. It’s also being dealt with in Teen Titans, and dealt with extremely well. The Titans are also dealing with Lex Luthor’s battle armor, lost during that miniseries.

The apparent death of Ronnie Raymond is the very catalyst for the new Firestorm series. As if that weren’t enough, it’s sparked a storyline in Manhunter, as DC’s newest vigilante is trying to hunt the murderous Shadow Thief.

In Flash, Wally West has to cope with the fact that his uncle, the paragon of virtue Barry Allen, was one of a subset of the Justice League that agreed to tamper with the minds of their enemies — and what’s worse, has to deal with restoring an enemy who, in turn, is threatening to turn many of his reformed colleagues like Trickster, Heat Wave and the Pied Piper back to their old dark ways. In Adventures of Superman, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are struggling with the same revelation.

And that’s just the stuff directly from Identity Crisis.What other links are appearing among the many titles of the DC Universe lately?

• After the events of “War Games,” the Birds of Prey have recruited a new member and left Gotham City, impacting every Batman title, particularly Nightwing — because he’s still in love with Oracle. Plus, the cops of Gotham Central are even more hostile towards the caped crusader than ever.

• Speaking of Nightwing, Starfire has quit the Teen Titans to join his team, the Outsiders, to try to help him cope with all the trauma in his life as of late.

• Speaking of the Titans, they’ve linked up with two other titles. Green Arrow’s sidekick, the new Speedy, has joined the team. A few months ago, the young heroes got caught up in a time-travel adventure that wound up restarting the entire universe for the Legion of Super-Heroes, and writer Mark Waid has promised that he and Barry Kitson are doing the new Legion as the official future of the DCU — it’s up to the other writers to get them there.

• In Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman title, we met the all-new (yet all-classic) Supergirl, who’s about to get her own title. There’s also a rumor that she may check in with the Teen Titans herself. Plus, Loeb is currently milking DC properties as diverse as Kamandi, Cinnamon, Jonah Hex and the Freedom Fighters for the current arc in that title. He’s brought back characters that haven’t been seen in years.

• In Wonder Woman’s title, she’s gone blind after a battle with Medusa. When she guest-appeared in Adventures of Superman, not only was she still blind, but she was wearing the same blindfold. Not too hard a trick, of course, since the two books share a writer, but it’ll be more impressive in a couple of months during a promised crossover with Flash.

• Speaking of crossovers and books with the same writer, Bloodhound wound up merged with Firestorm (both books by Dan Jolley) and the Monolith lent a hand against Solomon Grundy to Hawkman and Hawkgirl (two books by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray).

“Okay, Blake,” you’re saying, “We get your point. There are a lot of crossovers. So what?” My, you can be rude sometimes, did you know that?

Here’s the point of all this.

A few months ago a group of five writers, Brad Meltzer, Judd Winick, Greg Rucka, Geoff Johns and Jeph Loeb, conducted an interview where they promsied that they were building the future of the DC Universe. And if you look at the books I’ve mentioned, you see their names all over the place, along with other talented writers like Devin Grayson, Gail Simone, Marc Andreyko, Bill Willingham and others I will feel bad later for leaving out.

Clearly, this is going to be a monumental task, even looking ahead to promised events such as DC Countdown and the enigmatic Crisis 2.

Those stories are going to be the framework of the DC Universe of the future.

What we’re seeing now, across the entire line, is the foundation. We’re seeing the hints, the clues, the groundwork. And knowing that this is what we’re seeing, we get to have all the fun of watching as everything is put together.

Some people, I understand, don’t like continuity that tight. I know that. But for those of us who do, watching as it is created before our eyes is something really really incredible. Something amazing.

Something I once may have even called Marvelous.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: January 19, 2005

While we’re on the subject of those truly remarkable books, I have to give credit again to Geoff Johns for turning out the best comic book of the week, Teen Titans #20. Since the murder of his father and the death of his girlfriend in agonizingly short succession, Robin has tried to repress his emotions in an effort to prevent from becoming more like Batman (which was nice and ironic, since repressing his emotions only made him more like Batman). This issue dances around some action, but at its core is a heartfelt examination of a son’s grief and his desperate attempt to continue forging his own future, and not let it be determined for him.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page.




Classic EBI #75: Crossing Over With Blake Petit

Welcome, friends, to an all-new Everything But Imaginary. Today I’m talking all about Wizard World New Orleans — the stuff I loved, the stuff I hope to see improved next year. Take it all in…

Everything But Imaginary #385: Adventures in Conventioneering

And in this week’s classic column, we’re going back to August 11, 2004, when I took a look at what today we’d call a “mini-event,” the sort of crossover where only a group of related comics are involved, instead of every damn book in the line. I dug those then. I still do.

Classic Everything But Imaginary #75: Crossing Over With Blake Petit

Today, friends, we’re going to take a little time to commune with the spirits of the dead in comic book land. To join me on this deep, spiritual quest, I’ve invited some special guests. With me today is Eric Lenscherr, alias Magneto… huh? What do you mean he’s not dead anymore? Dang. Okay then, allow me to present Rex Mason, Metamorpho. Huh? Geez. Okay, I know, Hal Jor–

Aw, cripes in a handbasket.

Okay, forget the spirits of the dead thing. But since I already put “Crossing Over” as the title, let’s talk a little more about crossovers. Not the inter-company kind, but the intra-family kind, those that affect a group of related titles for a period of time. Now we’ve talked about this phenomenon before, but I think the time is ripe to peek in on it again because, for the first time in quite a while, both of the Big Two comic companies are doing such crossovers at once. Also because I couldn’t think of any other topic this week.

Every so often, the folks responsible for those four-color flights of fancy decide to group together a series of related titles with a single storyline, and that’s what’s happening right now. A lot of readers, understandably, are irritated by this. They feel like it is a marketing gimmick that will force them to purchase titles they don’t ordinarily read in order to get the full story.

I can certainly understand that mindset, and see why the fans of the Batman universe may feel that way right now. Last week DC Comics began a storyline called “War Games” which promises to link all of the various bat-titles over the next three months. They even went so far (as they have done in the past) as to launch the storyline with the uber-cool, uber-cheap one-shot, Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure.

For those of you who don’t read all of the titles, this one shot served both as a prologue to the story and as a primer on the Batman universe. It ran down the big bat himself, the various Robins and most of the satellite characters, all through the eyes of the Spoiler, who took over as Robin after Tim Drake quit, but got fired herself in only three issues (which I’m fairly certain is a new sidekick record).

Spoiler witnessed all of the top mob bosses of Gotham City come together on the invitation of a mysterious letter-writer, only to have the whole meeting go haywire. Tempers flared, bullets flew and a lot of the upper echelon of Gotham’s underworld ended up dead. With the mob bosses wiped out, their mobs went to war together, a war that is engulfing the city, and that Batman and his team have to put down.

Based on last week’s and this week’s issues, the prologue and first three chapters, DC has planned this well. Each title, while advancing the overall plot, is keeping its own distinct feel. Detective Comics #787 was a pretty strategic-minded book, for instance, and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #182 actually tracked the efforts of the vigilante named Orpheus as he worked with Batman to keep things under control. Best of all was Nightwing #96, which managed to incorporate its own current storyline about the title hero’s uneasy relationship with Tarantula and his guilt over allowing her to kill the mobster called Blockbuster. Writer Devin Grayson perfectly balanced Nightwing’s guilt and fears with his efforts to solve the mystery of who called the various mob bosses together in the first place.

“War Games” is going to be the biggest bat-family crossover in years, touching some ten different series over three month’s time. People who only read one or two books that will be affected may get mad because they’re essentially being forced to read a chapter of a story they don’t want to read — either that or miss an issue of a title they do want to read.

Then there’s always the fear that the crossover story itself won’t be any good. I’ve experienced that myself. But I’ve always found the Batman editorial team one of the best in the business when it comes to putting together a crossover storyline that satisfies the reader in the end, if they’re willing to stick it out. And I, for one, am willing.

Over on the Marvel side of the aisle, there’s another big crossover a-brewing, although this one isn’t nearly as tight as “War Games.” Several Avengers-related titles are currently being grouped together under the banner of “Avengers Disassembled.” What makes this different from “War Games,” though, is that while each chapter of the Batman story seems to advance the plot as a whole, “Disassembled” seems more like a group of thematically-linked stories that, so far, have no real connecting force.

In the core title, Avengers, tragedy has struck. The team has come under attack from within. Heroes are dying. Their headquarters is being destroyed. And they have no idea who is behind it or what the real threat may be. Only one chapter of this storyline is out so far, in the form of Avengers #500, but it was a good one.

As we all know, because it is impossible to keep a secret from the comic-book reading public anymore, the point of this storyline is that entire Avengers team is going to fall apart and lots of new members will come on-board in an effort to duplicate the “big guns” approach DC comics has with its JLA series. (In other words, they’re putting the strongest, most popular and most recognizable characters they have all together in one book, fueling the rumor that Wolverine is going to join the team, despite the fact that he already appears in 17,421.92 comic books a month.)

However, there are six other titles carrying “Avengers Disassembled” banners, but none of them really seem to link to the main storyline at all. Instead, each of these titles has a connected sense of doom, of things going to hell in a handbasket and of heroes being forced to face their darkest hour. Iron Man is facing the devastation of his company, Stark Enterprises. Thor has finally reached Ragnarok, the destruction of the Norse gods as foretold in mythology.

Captain America has it the worst — in his own title he has reconnected with his old girlfriend Diamondback, unaware that she is now working for the Red Skull. In Captain America and the Falcon, his partner is on the run accused of crimes and he’s hitting on his old teammate the Scarlet Witch for some reason. Even in Spectacular Spider-Man, an old enemy of his has done something to the wall-crawler and is slowly turning him into a spider.

Spectacular Spider-Man is one of the more confusing books linked to “Disassembled” — unlike the other characters I’ve listed, Spidey isn’t an Avenger. At least, not now. But he has been in the past and rumor has it that he’s going to be part of the new team once the dust from “Disassembled” settles.

The other confusing book that’s linked is Fantastic Four — no members of the FF are currently Avengers, nor are they rumored to be joining the new team. However, it’s not really that much of a stretch when you think about it. The FF and the Avengers have been friends for years, three out of the four members of the team have been Avengers at some point or another (all of these points, I should point out, occurred in the 80s)… heck, they even lived at Avengers Mansion for a time after the original Baxter Building was destroyed. So it’s not too hard to imagine they’re concerned about their buddies.

As much as people complain about the “Disassembled” crossovers, though, they’re missing what seems to be a key point. Each of the titles is telling its own self-contained story, none of which (so far at least) seem to connect. So if you don’t want to read one title or another… don’t.

I’m a fan of the crossover, when it’s done well. Too often it is done poorly, I’ll admit, but we try to dwell on the positive here. There’s a lot of stuff to choose from in the comic world right now, and if big, epic storylines are what you’re into, now is a good time for that, too.

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: August 4, 2004

Ah, this is actually what I was referring to with the “Crossing Over” title. Yeah. (Cough.) Anyway, in a week of solid books (Y: The Last Man #25, Majestic #1 and Batman: The 12-Cent Adventure were all solid contenders), the comic that brought me the most sheer enjoyment was PVP #8. Skull the troll wins tickets to see “paranormalist” John Edward live, and Brent goes along to debunk the mystic. That was cool, but I was even more entertained by the second story in the book, that of Skull’s first date. The big doofy lug reminds me of myself. I’ve got to love it.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.


Classic EBI #72: Rockin’ Robins-The Boys (And Girl) Wonder

The big comic companies are poised to start killing off heroes again. Is it really a big deal any more? Can we almost calculate with a formula how long it will take for them to come back?

Everything But Imaginary #382: Lining Up to Die

But going back in time, let’s go to July 21, 2004. Tim Drake wasn’t about to die, but he was out as Robin and Stephanie Brown was about to take over. My, how times change, eh?

Classic EBI #72: Rockin’ Robins-The Boys (and Girl) Wonder

If there’s one thing I love about my gig here at Comixtreme CX Pulp, it’s getting to advance review comics people haven’t read yet. Sometimes, it allows me to warn people off a bad title. Sometimes it allows me to shout the accolades of a good book you may otherwise have missed. And sometimes, such as is the case with Robin #128, it makes me suddenly turn into Cartman from South Park and chant Nyeah, nyeah, nyeah, I read it and you didn’t!

Ahem. But I digress. This week’s Robin, which you may or may not have read by now, depending on how early you read this column, is a doozy. Bill Willingham has been doing a spectacular job since taking over the title, crafting a great story about Tim Drake and his apparent successor, and this issue takes a major, major twist. So, to help out those of you playing along at home, I decided this week’s “Everything But Imaginary” would be a quick refresher course on those wacky kids who have worn the Robin costume.

Now the first Robin was… anybody want to guess? Did I hear a Dick Grayson in the back? Wrongo, buddy. The first kid ever to put on the Robin costume, at least in the old continuity, was a young scrapper named Bruce Wayne. After his parents were murdered, shot by a mugger in Crime Alley, Bruce dedicated himself to becoming a crimefighter. Still a child, he desired to study at the feet of a great detective, but he knew his would-be mentor would not want to deal with him. He put together a garish constume and convinced the detective to begin teaching him… and since he was as brilliant as a “Robin Red-Breast” in the suit… well… you know.

Eventually, Bruce discovered his mentor had deduced his identity (this would become a pattern), but was impressed enough that he continued to teach him anyway. This story is probably no longer part of DC continuity, but who can really tell these days? I included it mainly to laugh at people who expected me to start with Dick Grayson.

Speaking of Dick, we all pretty much know the story of how he came under Batman’s wing. An adult Bruce, now the shadowy avenger of Gotham City, attended a performance of the traveling Haley’s Circus, where a trio called the Flying Graysons was performing. The youngest, Dick, performed a dazzling triple somersault in the air, a trick that only a handful of acrobats in the world could do. This fact was not lost on Bruce, nor on another audience member… a small boy named Tim Drake.

As the performance continued, however, disaster struck. The trapeze the elder Graysons were using broke, and Dick was forced to watch his parents plummet to their deaths. Suspecting foul play, the grieving boy listened outside of the office of the circus manager, where he heard two thugs working for crimelord Anthony Zucco extorting money, claiming that more “accidents” would happen if he didn’t pay. The boy swore venegeance, but turned to find himself face-to-face with Batman. Bruce had recognized his own fate in the boy and took him in, entrusting him with his secrets and making him his partner, Robin. Together, they caught Zucco, and Robin himself took a photograph of Zucco shoving a man off a building, sending him to the electric chair.

Bruce made Dick his ward and raised the boy until he was 19 when, on a rooftop battle like a thousand others, the Joker managed to put a bullet in Robin’s shoulder. Guilt-stricken, Batman decided he no longer wanted a partner, and an enraged Dick left him, going to the only other father-figure he had ever had since his real parents were murdered… Superman. The man of steel told the former boy wonder a Kryptonian legend of a mysterious warrior whose name, translated into English, was Nightwing. Dick adopted the identity for his own and began his own path, still estranged from his former “father” — and his anger grew when a new Robin appeared on the streets.

Batman ran across a young man named Jason Todd attempting to steal the tires from the Batmobile. His parents had been murdered, it turned out, by the criminal named Two-Face. Not wanting to condemn the basically good child to the court system, he took him to a halfway house for orphans, which Jason discovered was really a front for a teenage street gang. He helped Batman round up the crooks and, in exchange, Batman made him the new Robin. The partnership was short-lived, however. Jason was brash and unstable, and when Batman grounded him, taking him off the streets until he was ready, he left. Finding clues in his father’s belongings, Jason found out the woman who had raised him was not really his mother, and he set out across the world to find the woman who gave him birth. Batman tracked Jason to the middle east, where together they found his real mother, a doctor in a relief station. She betrayed them to the Joker, however, and after beating Jason within an inch of his life, the clown prince of crime left mother and son trapped in a hanger with a bomb.

And the bomb went off.

It was all a gimmick by DC Comics, as it turned out. There were two versions of the last chapter of this story, one in which Jason survived and one in which he died, and readers were allowed to call a 1-900 number and vote.

As it turned out, Jason just wasn’t that popular.

Batman arrived just in time to see his partner die. He raced back to the states, where the Joker had somehow gained diplomatic immunity by allying himself with a sovereign nation that happened to have a terrorist regime in charge. Batman and Superman foiled the Joker’s scheme to kill the delegates to the United Nations, but the murderer escaped again.

With one Robin dead and the other separated from him, Batman slipped into a depression. He became more brutal on the streets, a fact that was not lost on a young boy… named Tim Drake. Even as a small child, Tim had been amazed at Dick Grayson’s feats at the circus, and one day he saw a news broadcast of Robin in action, performing the same triple somersault that Dick had. Tim deduced Robin’s identity, and from there, Batman’s as well. Seeing what Jason’s death had done to his hero, Tim tracked down Nightwing and confronted him with his knowledge, trying to get him to return to Batman’s side.

Unsure what to do, Dick brought Tim to his former mentor. Batman did not want a partner, though, and was in the middle of tracking down Two-Face. Nightwing went out to help him, but Tim, back at the Batcave, deduced they were walking into a trap. Donning Jason’s old costume, he rescued them both and Batman relented, training him for a few months before unveiling Tim Drake as the new Robin.

Life wasn’t rosy for the Bat-family after that. Tim’s mother was murdered and father maimed by the Obeah Man. Batman had his spine broken and sent a newcomer, Azrael, on the streets in his place. After Azrael went nuts and the family had to take him down, Dick took on the Batman mantle for a few months so Bruce could finish his recovery. It was not until then that the two proud men finally buried the hatchet and admitted that they loved one another as a father and son. Bruce even eventually adopted Dick Grayson legally.

Then Jack Drake found something out.

Jack discovered the truth about his son, Tim, who was leading a double life as Robin. He broke into the Batcave and held a gun on Bruce until his son came back, and father and son had a talk. Tim finally agreed, for the sake of his father, to quit, and Gotham City was again left without a Robin.

But not for long.

Tim’s girlfriend, Stephanie Brown, led a double life as well. The daughter of the villainous Cluemaster, she prowled the streets as the would-be superhero Spoiler. Batman had briefly trained her, but “fired” her after declaing her unfit. With Tim sidelined, Steph approached Batman again… and to her shock, was admitted into the family as the fourth Robin.

The question now is, why? Bruce had declared her unfit before. Did he change his mind? Did she prove herself? Or was it a ploy to try to lure Tim back? And more importantly, would the new Robin be able to survive the assassin named Scarab, who is dancing across Gotham murdering young men she suspects may be Robin?

Lots of questions. Few answers.

But that should bring you up to speed. A lot of information, to be sure, but it’s not nearly as complicated as Supergirl’s history, is it? You guys really should be reading this title — one of the best in the bat-family at the moment, after Birds of Prey, and one that Willingham has made a favorite of mine again. The whole thing twists on you again today, and you’ve got no excuse not to follow through and check it out.


I’m afraid this may become something of a redundancy with me over the next five months, but Identity Crisis #2, simply put, blew me away. We learn why Elongated Man suspects Dr. Light murdered his wife, we learn what the Justice League did all those years ago that they’re so ashamed of, and we learn something pretty horrifying right at the end. And I haven’t the slightest idea where it’s going next. And that is a great thing.

Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast and the weekly audio fiction podcast Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. E-mail him at and visit him on the web at Evertime Realms. Read past columns at the Everything But Imaginary Archive Page, and check out his new experiment in serial fiction at Tales of the Curtain.


Evertime Realms: Beginning Year Three

Hey, everyone. It’s that time again, it’s the two-year anniversary of the launch of the modern incarnation of Evertime Realms, and again, the website has continued to evolve over the past year. The introduction of Time Travel Tuesdays has been fun, and the launch of my (second) podcast, the Evercast, has given me plenty of work but has me very excited for a project I hope to kick off in just a few weeks.

But today, I thought it would be fun to go back and do what I did last year, and give you a list of the top ten articles from Evertime Realms over the past two years. Although there are holdovers, list has changed up quite a bit, which is probably a good thing. In descending order…

10. Halloween Party: Mickey’s House of Villains — In the first Halloween Party after I moved shop here to the ‘Realms, I reviewed this direct-to-DVD Disney film based on the old House of Mouse TV show. Over the past year, people have continued to visit this old review, and it’s moved into the #10 spot on my list.

9. Toy Stories: Haven’t I Seen You Somewhere Before? — This photoblog from April of 2009 has climbed into the #9 spot. In this feature, one of my “Toy Stories” series, I looked at different versions of the same character, and compared different paints and different sculpts side-by-side.

8. Toy Stories: DC Universe Infinite Heroes-Lotsa Toys — Another “Toy Stories” feature from December 2008. This was kind of a catch-all feature for me. I’d gotten a lot of figures in the time between Halloween and Christmas, but hadn’t gotten around to doing a photo feature on them. On Dec. 30, I covered them all at once.

7. DC Universe Infinite Heroes — The prototype of the “Toy Stories” features was this post I made just after I discovered the existence of the toy line. It shows the first three Infinite Heroes figures I got, and I think it shows that although I’m not a great photographer, I’ve at least improved.

6. LEGO Batman and Mini-Nightwing — This post from September 2008 showcased some of the McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys that were released to accompany the premiere of the LEGO Batman video game, as well as a Mini-Mate set featuring Nightwing and Starfire.

5. Kanye West Hates Reading — This post, which I made just days before last year’s list but had already secured a spot in the top 10, followed a few days after the noted scholar Kanye West made some comments about how worthless and useless books are… comments made as he was preparing to release his own “book.” My thoughts on worthlessness are similiar, when you apply them to Kanye.

4. What Your Teacher is Really Thinking — The most recent post on the list clocks in at number four. Just under a month ago, in a moment of exhaustion, I put together this feature telling you the truth about what we teachers really think while the students are hard at work.

3. Halloween Party: Who You Gonna Call? — The last “Toy Stories” feature in this list, I promise. During the 2009 Halloween party, I did this feature about a set of Ghostbusters Mini-Mates. The continued popularity of this feature proves something of great importance: people still realize that the Ghostbusters kick ass.

2. What I’m Reading: Sheldon — This post from my first week online is still holding onto the #2 spot two years later, and all the credit belongs to Dave Kellett. I used the post to talk about how much I love Kellett’s webcomic, Sheldon. Less than an hour later, Kellett had posted a link to my blog post from his own website, and his legion of fans checked it out. It was my first exposure to a shocking increase in my views for the day.

1. Where I Find Free eBooks — Going back to February of this year we find the post that has overshadowed all others on this site, garnering some 10,000 more views than the #2 post on this list. (Not a typo — TEN THOUSAND.) As a Kindle owner, I’ve made it a mission to hunt down different websites where I can find free (legal) eBook content. In February I listed some of those sites, and that blog post caught on like wildfire.

Come back next summer, gang, and I’ll give you the top ten list Mark III.


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 106: The Batman Family

With Bruce Wayne MIA (as opposed to RIP), Gotham City is descending into chaos. Soon, the Sons of the Bat will go head-to-head for the right to claim his mantle. Before that happens, though, Blake and Chase break down the Batman Family — the four sons, the assorted daughters, the fathers, the lovers, and the assorted hangers-on. The guys also discuss the eight Batman-family comics recently announced beginning after Battle For the Cowl ends, and they place their bets on who will be wearing each costume. But what are the stakes of their wager? That, friends, is where you come in. Also, in the picks this week, Blake bids farewell to Fables cover artist James Jean, and Chase is all about G.I. Joe #1. Write us with comments, suggestions, picks of the week, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 106: The Batman Family
Inside This Episode

PLUS: In your Week in Geek, the boys get together just seconds after the credits roll to discuss LOST episode 5-5: This Place is Death! Then they chat about recent episodes of Heroes and Battlestar Galactica, and talk over some recent announcements from the New York City Con, including Vertigo‘s $1 first issues and Brett Ratner‘s Youngblood: The Movie! (And why is Blake not as disgusted by the idea as you would think?)

Week in Geek #10: Lost, Heroes, Vertigo’s $1 #1s, and Youngblood: The Movie


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 105: Most Eligible Bachelors

When Blake has to take a sick day, Chase rounds up two guest-hosts to sit in. Jen Suran and Katie Ledet join the Showcase crew for a Valentine’s Day special where they talk about the most eligible bachelors in comics — Nightwing? Captain America? Aquaman? Namor? And of course, they tackle the ultimate face-off — Tony Stark versus Bruce Wayne! In the picks this week, we look at Savage Dragon #144 and Amazing Spider-Man Extra #2. Write us with comments, suggestions, picks of the week, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 105: Most Eligible Bachelors
Inside This Episode:


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 103: Aquaman and Diamond Distribution

Blake and Chase spend this week chatting about the king of the seven seas, DC‘s Aquaman! The boys talk about the character’s various eras, best stories, how they’d fix him up and make him viable again, and why he gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield. Then, getting a bit more serious, the guys discuss the new Diamond Distribution policy and why it may spell death for smaller comics. In the picks, it’s a good week for the Sons of the Bat (or at least their enemies), as Blake goes with Robin #182 and Chase picks Nightwing #152! Write us with comments, suggestions, picks of the week, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at

Episode 103: Aquaman and Diamond Distribution
Inside This Episode:

PLUS: Blake and Chase get together for a special Week in Geek. The guys pick apart the fifth-season premiere of Lost, and compare notes on the Legion of Super-Heroes episode of Smallville. Then Chase gives his thoughts on the beginning of Battlestar Galactica‘s final season!

Week in Geek #8: Lost Premiere, Legion on Smallville and Battlestar Galactica



2 in 1 Showcase Episode 98: Christmas Hooplah!

It’s only a few days until Christmas, folks. Before you hang up your stockings and put out cookies for Santa, have a seat with Blake and Chase as they talk about the holiday-themed comics that came out this year, as well as some of their favorite Christmas movies and TV specials. Chase regales us with the heartwarming story of how the Showcase crew saw Love, Actually together, the guys debate the merits of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, and everybody huddles around the virtual fire to talk about what we want for Christmas. In the picks this week, Blake cheers the greatest Junior Woodchucks Story Ever Told in Uncle Scrooge #383, and Chase cheers the return of the X-Men to the rest of the Marvel Universe in Uncanny X-Men #505 Don’t forget to send us your votes for our Best of 2008 episode! You can find the categories and nominees in Episode 95. E-mail us with your votes, as well as comments, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at!

Episode 98: Christmas Hooplah!
Inside This Episode:

PLUS: In Week in Geek #4, Chase gives his review of The Day the Earth Stood Still and lots more!

Week in Geek #4: The Day the Earth Stood Still

May 2023

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