The All New Batman: Brave & the Bold #1

Story by
Art by
Rick Burchett, Dan Davis
Colors by
Wildstorm FX
Letters by
Travis Lanham
DC Comics

This new spin on "Brave & the Bold" promises to deliver top-notch talent for Batman to team up with, and who better to get the ball rolling than Superman? Sholly Fisch dips back deep into the Silver Age to set up the foes here as Batman and Superman take a visit to the Bottle City of Kandor. The issue starts off like most of the issues from the previous series (and episodes of the cartoon for that matter) with a mini team-up featuring Batman and another character, in this case Black Canary. That trend is a major part of the charm of both the cartoon and the comic, as each introductory scene feels like a bonus thrown in for just a bit more fun, action, and adventure.

The main thrust of this issue features the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, but their most famous foes - save for a quick quartet of pages with the Joker on them - are absent in this issue. There is no Penguin, Brainiac, Luthor, Riddler, Two-Face, or Toyman to be found. Titano and Killer Croc don't even pop up. There is, however, a reference to Jax-Ur, but for the wide swath of readers an all ages book should hit, this issue drastically misses the mark by not including a heavy hitting foe to match up with DC's two most recognizable heroes.

The focus, therefore, turns to the working relationship between Batman and Superman, putting the skills of the World's Greatest Detective on display while removing him from the world that he holds that title on. Rendered virtually "normal," Superman shows a willingness to play second-fiddle that helps keep Batman from being overshadowed in his own book. The end result reads like a full-blown Silver Age comic, albeit one geared more towards the older readership of "all ages."

Burchett's art brings the Silver Age script to life. His characters are clean and crisp, virtually popping off of the backgrounds as cleanly as characters pop off of animated cels. The style Burchett uses make these characters appear instantly classic, but with a modern sense of design. The Wildstorm FX-generated colors put a heroic pop on top.

While this issue was certainly entertaining, it is, unfortunately, largely forgettable. Team-up comics are almost as much of a challenge to read as they must be to write. There is a tendency to have the story cater to characters or pander to readers, but Fisch doesn't fall into those traps here. He delivers a story that can be enjoyed on many levels, but the issue needs a little more intensity to make it memorable.

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