On this week’s episode, I went through years’ worth of Bronze Age Brave And The Bold Batman team-ups to come up with a list of fun, Halloween-themed issues. If you’re looking to follow along, you can check them all out on the DC Universe app or the first two volumes of Batman In The Brave And The Bold The Bronze Age.
Hey gang, still having trouble getting more than one post up per week, but hopefully they’re worth your while when they do pop up. I’ve been reading a lot of trades lately, even started fully going through the Wizard comic library again, so hopefully I’ll get more than the aforementioned one post per week. So, let’s jump in shall we?
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD VOL. 1: THE LORDS OF LUCK (DC)
Written by Mark Waid, drawn by George Perez
When this book first came out I was pretty excited, but it wasn’t the kind of book I wanted when it actually came out. I was looking for simple one-off stories featuring two great heroes put together in a strange situation drawn by one of the few, great living comic book artist legends who actually keeps upping his artistic quality in my opinion. So, when I found out it was actually an ongoing story I wasn’t really interested. Later on, I heard good things about the book and decided to give it another shot in trade form. Enter the trades.
I really enjoyed this book and am glad I read it in trade form actually because there’s a lot going on and I’m not sure if it came out on time, which would have meant I’d have an even harder time keeping track of everything. Waid really nails all of the characters, which include Batman, Hal Jordan, the current Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Lobo and others. It’s great to see a writer who I loved growing up still having the chops to write intricate, fun stories that both play off of and add to the rich DCU, especially when others don’t seem to be able to keep up as well anymore.
And speaking of keeping up, Perez kicks ass. This guy continues to blow me away with each new issue that comes out. I can’t be certain, but I think I first saw his art in Avengers when he relaunched it post-Heroes Return with Kurt Busiek. And even now I’m enjoying Legion of Three Worlds when it comes out. So, yeah, Perez kills it in the first six issues of B&TB. You get everything from great covers to gorgeous splash pages and even great faces. The man’s a master and he’s the perfect match with Waid for this book.
The story itself follows the heroes trying to get a hold of the Book of Destiny on multiple fronts at various times throughout the DCU. It’s the kind of story I want to read in my Justice League comics, not weird Tangent and Milestone stories forced upon the writer.
Oh also, bonus points for the annotations section in the back in which Waid lets the reader know where/when each of the characters appeared for the first time and a few other little tidbits, like the fact that Perez didn’t actually know how to play blackjack before drawing a scene involving the game. I love extras like this and it seems like a pretty simple and easy addition that only takes up a few extra pages.
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD VOL. 2: THE BOOK OF DESTINY (DC)
Written by Mark Waid, drawn by George Perez and Jerry Ordway
As much as I loved the first volume, I can’t quite say all the same great things about Volume 2, which takes an opportunity to tell great silver age-type stories by having the Challengers of the Unknown reading through the Book of Destiny. I really like these stories, which feature the Silent Night, Hawkman, the new Atom, the original Teen Titans as kids, the Metal Men and others. But they’re not just random stories, they all have to do with the big villain of the story Megistus a new villain who could be pretty cool in the future.
My main problem with this volume is that Waid uses the old “two heroes team up, have different ways of doing things and then learn from each other by the end” storyline a time or two, which, normally wouldn’t be so bad, but in a collection like this it gets a little tired. The other problem is that Perez doesn’t do all six issues. I’ve got no problem with Jerry Ordway and he even does a great job on his issues, but I love me some Perez and it would have been awesome to see him draw the 12 or so character battle against Megistus in the last issue. Also, on the subject of Megistus, I felt like his character wasn’t really explained well.
Also, this collection earns no bonus points for extras because there are absolutely none. I’m guessing it’s because Waid had moved over to Boom by the time the book came out, but an editor could have done the exact same thing. Oh well, I’m still keeping this one in my collection, at least until I have a few beers and clean out my bookshelf again (it cuts down on the sentimentality).
Written and drawn by David Lapham
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think about David Lapham’s Silverfish, mostly because I could not stand his City of Crime story in Detective Comics from a few years back. But, I’ve heard great things about his other work, so I wanted to give something else he wrote a shot and Silverfish is pretty short, so it worked out pretty well.
And, I really liked it. It’s got a thriller/horror vibe to it as some kids in the 80s dig into the main girl’s new step mom’s past and find out she was into some pretty heavy stuff. I don’t want to get into the story too much for fear of spoilers, but Lapham keeps a really good pace up throughout the whole story and I read it in one sitting. I like that.
My one problem with the book is the whole idea of the silverfish. They pop up from time to time, but are never really referred to or mentioned by anyone. I’ve got no problem with certain things not getting explained in stories, but this seems like a pretty big element to not get at least a mention. Oh well, like I said, I dug this book and would actually like to see it made (well) into a movie. I assume one of you is a big Hollywood person and can make that happen (if it’s not already in the works).