Batman And Superman To Save Earth From Its Podcast Shortage

Spotify just inked a deal with DC Comics to create a new series of podcasts, thus filling the world's gaping shortage of podcasts. Instead of having Green Lantern host a show where he interviews trendy comedians about how they started out in show business, and another show where Flash interviews the same comedians about how they started out in show business, these will reportedly be "original scripted" narrative programs featuring your favorite superheroes. Which, on the one hand, sounds awful. We want to see Batman punching bad guys, not listen to the sounds of some foley guy whacking a hunk of meat with a baseball bat. But this isn't without precedent.

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Yes, Marvel has their own scripted audio division too, but DC has a long history with the format. Back before Superman had ever shown up in movies, or TV shows, or unnecessarily violent anti-smoking commercials he was the star of his own radio show from 1940 to 1951. The show was actually surprisingly prolific. A highlight was the "Clan Of The Fiery Cross" storyline in which Supes battled the KKK, based on the story of a real-life Klan infiltrator, which itself has inspired yet another podcast.

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The radio show also inadvertently created iconic story elements purely out of convenience, like Jimmy Olsen, who was introduced purely so Superman would have someone to talk to. And Kryptonite which only exists because, in the days before re-runs, weakening Superman to the point of being mute was the only way to give the lead actor a damn vacation. The other way to give the Man of Steel a holiday was to bring in Batman and Robin -- yes, the radio series was itself a kind of expanded universe. There were even several attempts to launch a Batman radio show; one in which Batman uses a "British accent to disguise his true identity" and the later Batman Mystery Club in which Bruce Wayne explains ectoplasm to children, never wears a costume, and it's "unclear" if he's actually a superhero or just a dude with a weird nickname.

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So we'll remain cautiously optimistic, because, or all we know, maybe Superman imploring folks to visit Stamps.com will become a new defining characteristic that will show up in every movie and comic that follows.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability

Top Image: DC Comics

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