Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #793 – Rorschach #11

Show Notes

The show always goes long but we don’t know what happened this week. There was just a lot to talk about! Plus Billy Dee Williams and slightly more about bookmarks than anyone was expecting. Also, we’d like to apologize to Germans.

Running Time: 01:08:16

Pick of the Week:
00:02:49 – Rorschach #11

00:13:53 – Fantastic Four: Life Story #3
00:18:41 – Spider-Man: The Spider’s Shadow #5
00:23:25 – Runaways #38
00:26:03 – Batman: Urban Legends #6
00:41:20 – The Unbelievable Teens: From The World of Black Hammer #1
00:42:22 – The Silver Coin #5
00:44:32 – Pennyworth #1
00:47:31 – Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #3

Patron Pick:
00:50:45 – Batman ’89 #1

Patron Thanks:
00:57:37 – Chris Sibona
01:00:00 – Stephen Kushner
01:00:53 – Jackie Tam
01:01:48 – Dallas Taylor

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  1. I expected it to happen due to previous Urban Legends issues, but I still am not a fan of Tim coming out as bisexual where I also don’t buy it. DC decided to make Tim bisexual because the company knows that it’s easier to take a popular character and change his sexual orientation just like Marvel did with Iceman. The way Bendis wrote the reveal of young Iceman coming out with Jean looking into his mind by accident and telling the young version is still really offensive where it didn’t give Iceman agency. That of course led to multiple not so good Iceman series by Steve Orlando. DC obviously did it it with Alan Scott already where at least Scott’s children are back. Constantine is bisexual. Feature him instead along with other existing characters if the company really wants to promote LGBT characters or create new characters which Tom Taylor did in his Suicide Squad run that everyone else ignores. DC is afraid to create new characters since if they don’t become popular and don’t stick, then people won’t really care and it will be seen as a failure.

    Alysia Yeoh who is a transgender woman from the New 52 Batgirl run and later Batgirl of Burnside has disappeared. DC and Marvel both don’t trust the audience enough to create new LGBT characters and don’t really want to feature the ones they already have. That’s why changing Tim’s sexual orientation is taking the easy way out. It requires no effort on DC’s part. It’s much harder to create new characters that last and matter and DC is also too lazy to feature the LGBT characters it has right now. A character’s sexuality shouldn’t be the focal point, but DC doesn’t seem to care that much. People are retroactively claiming that Tim Drake was interested in Conner which is why he was so upset about his death. I have not seen Geoff Johns say that and I think of Boy Meets World with Cory and Shawn loving each other as friends. Then Scrubs as well with JD and Turk where none of those characters are bisexual.

    We are at a strange point where people really want to force teenage boys and men to be part of the LGBT community in fiction. It happened recently with the movie, Luca, too. In Tynion’s Detective run, Tim was going to give up being Robin to go to college in the first arc so I’m not sure how old he is supposed to be now. I’m with Josh where Tim has been the one who knows what he wanted. I really don’t appreciate creators saying that Tim is now more interesting or this makes him interesting period like Marc Andreyko and Mitch Gerads. I’m still surprised that Gerads’ favorite Robin is Damian. A lot of current creators just don’t appreciate Tim honestly. Taking the sexuality part out of it, I don’t understand that mindset with Tim at all since if you don’t care for the character, I don’t find your commentary on the issue as useful.

    • Yeah, this is pretty much exactly my take as well. I’m all for sexual diversity in comics but it needs to be done organically and should preferably come with new characters, rather than trying to force it on existing ones. I haven’t read it but maybe they will do something interesting with Tim here (of the Bat books I only read Nightwing so I haven’t actually read the issue in question) but I can’t seem to give DC the benefit of the doubt. Like, at all. The whole thing screams publicity stunt to me or even, dare I say it, “woke” virtue signalling at its worst.

      And the whole idea that only now that he’s bi is Tim Drake an interesting character, is insulting both to the character and his fans, and also – surely? – to bisexual people who, presumably, aren’t looking to have their sexuality turned into a character quirk or, worse, a sideshow attraction.

      I can’t imagine that this will be as bad as black Wally West (because what is?) but I definitely don’t trust the intentions at play here.

      Outing an existing character as bi can certainly be handled well, like with Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn 99, but that’s because that came across as an organic development for her character – and one that reflected the actress’ own bisexuality. These sorts of changes in corporate superhero comics, however, very seldom convince as anything other than just another gimmick to raise sales.

    • Yeah, I agree with you. Mitch Gerads started a thread on Twitter saying, “Hey, Tim got more interesting!” Then Marc Andreyko said, “You mean he got interesting:)” and then Mitch Gerads responded, “Trust me, I wanted to make it more obvious how boring Tim used to be but I didn’t want to deal with people who take these things too seriously. ;)” That thread is frankly pretty terrible where it makes me think less of those creators since you aren’t treating the Tim Drake fans and Tim Drake as a character well.

      The people who agreed in that thread whether it was just random people or other creators baffle me. Someone being bisexual doesn’t make that person inherently more interesting. If you thought Tim was bland, fine. However, saying that him being bisexual makes him more interesting is insane. Are you just focus more on his sexuality now and have more male relationships? That feels less organic and is signaling hard that he’s bisexual. Don’t make it the focus of the story. I don’t find bisexual people more interesting and it comes across like it’s a side show if you do and only focus on that aspect.

      Plenty of other TV shows, movies, books, etc. have done a better job of having characters come out. However, comics for the most part does a terrible job at it. It’s never believable and Alan Scott is probably the best one even though he was only gay in the Earth-2 series where then the prime Alan Scott had to be gay as well. It makes more sense to take asexual characters and have them come out honestly if pre-existing ones were going to be used like Cassandra Cain as an example. Negative Man works very well in the Doom Patrol TV show. Tim Drake wasn’t a good choice just like Bobby Drake wasn’t a good choice. I’m reminded of Bobby’s and Kitty’s future child from an issue of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men with Carmen Drake. I hope it’s not as bad black Wally West which was a disaster and fundamentally changed his personality and background. We will see though.

    • *Just focusing

  2. That Chip Zdarsky story with the way he handled Jason was great and I still can’t believe how good it was. Compare that portrayal to Three Jokers where it is just so much better or any Jason story since the start of the New 52 and even older than that honestly. Chip Zdarsky doesn’t want to take over Amazing Spider-Man or Batman because then editorial would get involved more. He would need to hit certain numbers and he’s happy not doing that which is why he said he prefers for Daredevil to hit 50,000 issues sold at most so editors leave him alone. He said he has plans until issue 50 for Daredevil. I know he’s contracted to write 24 Marvel issues a year and I’ll take great mini-series by him with those characters. He has talked about that with Sal on ComicPop more than once. I love the Marcus To art so much.

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