Batman Daredevil by Brubaker and Bendis?

Bendis vs Wayne, Wizard World Chicago 2004

A Little Background

You may have heard the latest edition of The Bendis Tapes on John Siuntres’ Word Balloon podcast.  In it, Siuntres and Brian Bendis go deep into all the news regarding Bendis’ move to DC Comics.

As part of that discussion, about an hour in, they talk about that fateful afternoon at Wizard World: Chicago in 2004 when Bendis attempted to curry fan favor for the Batman/Daredevil project he wanted to do with Ed Brubaker.  It had already been shot down privately at DC Comics.

While the two companies had done a bunch of crossovers in the 90s, they all but stopped in the early 2000s with “JLA/Avengers.” That was a project so much beloved that no hot-head management could get in the way.  Heck, Mark Alessi let George Perez loose from his CrossGen exclusive to do it.

Hot on the heels of that, how about “Batman/Daredevil,” by the current writers of those two series, Bendis and Ed Brubaker?

Unfortunately, by that time, Joe Quesada’s style of management chafed with DC’s style of management, and never the twain would meet again.  Quesada referring to DC as “AOL Comics” was the least of his infractions.  The fact that DC hasn’t referred to Marvel as “Disney Comics” for the last ten years is the height of self-control…

 

Let’s Go to the Audio Tape MP3!

I must have had a heads-up that Bendis planned to announce something at this panel. Like most things in those days, I’m sure CBR Executive Producer Jonah Weiland tipped me off.  Either that, or Bendis hinted at it on his message boards, which I frequented back then.

I left a “Cup of Joe” panel early to get a good seat at this one, about halfway back in the room and directly under a speaker.

I brought an MP3 audio recorder handheld device with me to the show that year and used it to record audio from some panels to get accurate quotes for the column.

I hit gold on this one.

Bendis walks into his Q&A panel and starts by wanting to explain how badly he and Brubaker want to do this crossover project.   And then DC’s Bob Wayne (Vice President of Sales at DC, I think was his exact title) walks in and wants to correct Bendis/set the record straight.  The two talk for about ten minutes.

Here’s the audio:

 

 

A quick note from my original column:

The first file is slightly edited in one way: I removed some of the excessive applause and one case of prolonged boos. Not one single word has been removed from either Wayne’s or Bendis’ portion of the dialogue. The deletions are made simply to shrink the file size a little bit, and to keep the extremely loud volume of audience applause to a minimum. (Also, my laugh showed up once or twice in there, and it annoyed me to hear it.)

You can still hear me laughing once or twice.  I couldn’t help myself. I love good theater.

I also filtered some of the excess hissing sound out to make it easier to hear.  I’m sure a better audio engineer than I could clean this but it works…

At the end of the session, Bendis had one more thing to say:

 

Post-Mortem

For the record: No, I didn’t think this was all a set-up.  I’m sure the thought crossed my mind that it was possible, but I knew enough about what was happening behind the scenes at the companies back in that day to know this was real.

And, yeah, this did kind of make my day.  I love a good vigorous unexpected debate in public. I knew it was something nobody else would be expecting and — I HAD THE TAPE!

This was 2004: Every panel was not immediately put up on YouTube from someone’s cell phone five minutes later. (YouTube wouldn’t even exist for another 6 months or so.)  There were people at conventions who’d record audio from as many panels as possible, but they didn’t post them on the internet.  I have no idea what they did with them back then.

Podcasting, itself, just started.  Adam Curry’s “Daily Source Code” started at about the same time as this convention. The Pipeline Comic Book Podcast didn’t exist for another four or five months. iTunes didn’t have a podcasting directory until a year later.

Audio was kind of rare.  So this was cool.

This audio was originally published in Pipeline #375, 17 August 2004.  It got lost in the Great CBR Redesign of 2016, so here you have it once again.

 

What Went Wrong

Obviously, Bendis made a crucial mistake here.  He tried to rally the troops to write in, like he wanted to save “Cagney and Lacey” for a second season or something.

Everyone on the internet knows that the proper way to make change is with an internet petition.  If he had gone that route, you could file the hardcover edition of “Batman/Daredevil” on your bookshelf right next to the Snyder cut of the “Justice League” movie…

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