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My 2022 Top Three: Joshua Lapin-Bertone

My 2022 Top Three: Joshua Lapin-Bertone

By Joshua Lapin-Bertone Friday, January 6th, 2023

Last year may have seemed to fly by, but it was pretty packed when it came to DC movies, comics, TV and (for the first time in a few years) games! We all have our own personal favorites, reflecting our unique tastes and interests, and all of them are worth highlighting. So, like we’ve done in the past, we’re saying goodbye to 2022 by letting members of the DC.com writing team share their top three DC favorites for the year.

Our final list comes care of our DCTV enthusiast and Gotham Gazette writer, Joshua Lapin-Bertone!
 

How do you determine the quality of a year? Some will look at the number of miles they ran, their social engagement or perhaps the cups of coffee they consumed. When I look back at 2022, I remember all the articles I wrote for DC.com and all of the amazing DC comics I read, movies I screened and TV series I binged. Continuing the tradition we started last year, I’m back to list off my favorite three DC projects from 2022. Let me tell you, this year blew me away, so it was hard to narrow it down to just three! Here’s what made the cut.


Peacemaker

The year began with Peacemaker and what a beginning it was. On January 13th, millions of fans tuned into HBO Max to watch John Cena argue with a janitor about Aquaman’s carnal desires. From that moment, we knew we were in for a crazy year. This set the tone for one of DC’s most unpredictable, comedic, raunchy and yes, heartwarming series.

If you saw The Suicide Squad, then you know that Peacemaker is not the easiest person to like. The man betrayed the team, killed Rick Flag and drew a gun on Ratcatcher 2. Yet Peacemaker displayed the more vulnerable side of Christopher Smith, and by the end of the season we had grown to love the problematic antihero. And man, did we have fun along the way. The action was insane, and that opening credits sequence is one of the greatest television intros ever filmed. Yes, I really wanted to taste it and I’d like some more.


Stargirl: Frenemies

I’m not going to lie, I felt a little self-conscious about putting Stargirl on this list again since I already awarded it a spot last year. However, Stargirl: Frenemies blew me away, and there’s no denying that it was one of my favorite things to come out of DC in 2022. Plus, if you know me, then you know that Stargirl has always held a special place in my heart. I was sad to see the series come to an end, but the final season was emotionally satisfying.

Stargirl: Frenemies began with a murder mystery, and the final batch of episodes contained some big twists that kept me on my feet each week. Every time I thought we had seen the biggest revelation or a pivotal turning point, the following episode would up the ante. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil the big twist, but I will say that it had me in a state of shock for days. The final episode contained many moments that had me in tears, like the scene between (SPOILER) and (SPOILER) in the diner at the end. I’m thankful for the many emotions Stargirl gave me in 2022, because it definitely improved the quality of my year.


Finding Batman

Not everything about 2022 was great. We lost Kevin Conroy, the iconic voice actor who portrayed the Caped Crusader on Batman: The Animated Series. Conroy introduced an entire generation of fans to the Dark Knight, and for many of us, his voice remains in our heads every time we read a Batman comic. As I began to process Conroy’s death, I thought about “Finding Batman,” the autobiographical comic he had written for DC Pride 2022. The story, illustrated by J. Bone, was a personal look at Conroy’s early days in Hollywood and the difficulty he faced as a gay man. The story ends with Conroy auditioning for Batman: The Animated Series, with the actor revealing how his personal experiences helped him find the right voice for Batman.

I’ve been watching Batman: The Animated Series since 1992, and “Finding Batman” has made me look at the show in a whole new way. I never knew the struggles Conroy faced and how they led him to Batman. The pain and determination in Batman’s voice now takes on a new meaning.

It’s not easy to bare your soul this way and reveal traumatic pieces of your past to the entire world. It’s even more amazing when you realize that Kevin Conroy isn’t a seasoned comic book writer. Yet he wrote one of the best Batman stories of the century. I thought about this story a lot after Conroy died. I’m thankful he shared this part of his life with us, and it makes me smile knowing that “Finding Batman” will serve as an inspiration to LGBTQIA+ youths for generations to come.
 

The hardest part about this list is narrowing it down to three, and that’s a good thing. I hope that choosing my 2023 list will be even harder. With all the big plans DC has for the year, I have a feeling it will be.
 

Read all five of our 2022 Top Three lists: Alex Jaffe, Kelly Knox, Donovan Morgan Grant, Rosie Knight and Joshua Lapin-Bertone.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.