Take a punch, er pinch, of Batman, a smattering of Green Lantern, a swoosh of Supergirl, a smashing of Lobo, and mix in a million other heroes and villains, and you have a complete whackadoodle of a story in a comic called The Brave And The Bold.
Yes, it is a lot to take in. Let alone comprehend.
To old fogeys like me, The Brave And The Bold was a long running DC Comic that went through several changes in content. Towards the end, in the early 1980’s , the comic had spent years and years being a Batman team-up book, several issue of which I even collected. This stopped way before the book vanished, mainly because after awhile the goofy non-sensical stories caused me many headshakes. DC has tried various experiments over time to revive the title, and even made a crazy animated television show for a few years.
But back to this particular collected graphic novel. When relaunched in 2007, The Brave And The Bold featured a twelve issue story arc, broken into two editions, one called The Lords Of Luck, the second The Book Of Destiny. Written by veteran scribe Mark Waid and illustrated by living legend George Perez, with Jerry Ordway taking over towards the end, the series starts with Green Lantern Hal Jordan returning to Earth and stumbling upon a dead body just floating in space. Seeking advice from the world’s greatest detective, he contacts Batman and finds out he has a similar problem.
Thus begins our first team-up, following the trail and seeking the murderer. This leads to that leads to this, and before you can say Mxyzptlk, Green Lantern is back off in space and getting help from Supergirl and Batman is chasing down a weapon with the help of Blue Beetle. Breaking out a scorecard to keep track of who is where, when, how and with whom, would be an immensely good idea at this point. The cavalcade of characters who pop up are too many to list, and I don’t want to spoil the surprises, just remember the status quo changes every issue.
Which brings up the thought of how this all holds together. Waid and Perez really pack it in and give us all sorts of fun moments and cute jokes, but that only lasts so long. Before the first six issues are over, you get the distinct impression that this fun romp of a crossover adventure is really running out of steam, and what little logic involved has already evapourated. Yes, we know this is just a mega summer blockbuster of a comic and not meant to be taken too seriously, but by the end of issue two you can feel the seams unraveling to this juggernaut. At this point I stopped thinking too hard and settled in to fully enjoy the always great art and layout by the master George Perez.
For a fun little trip, it is not half bad. This is a yarn to just celebrate team-ups and their goofy natures. Just don’t look for anything more than some mindless merriment here or you will be disappointed.
…is currently reading Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.