Team-Ups of the Brave and the Bold Vol. 1 (DC) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Team-Ups of the Brave and the Bold Vol. 1


Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Art and cover by Jesus Saiz

Sep 07, 2010 DC Comics Bookmark and Share

Every issue of The Brave of the Bold is a self-contained narrative that usually centers on one unusual team-up from the DC Universe (hence the title of this book). It’s a simple concept, but can prove to be quite engaging if done right. Team-Ups of The Brave and the Bold gets it mostly right. The absolutely lame cover artwork by Jesus Saiz (The Red Circle, The Web) doesn’t really represent the nice linework he lays out in issues #27-33. (Note: He also has help from Chad Hardin and Wayne Faucher [#31], Justiniano and Walden Wong [#31], and Cliff Chiang [#33].)

This garish and fun graphic novel also has the thoughtful TV/comic book scribe and producer J. Michael Straczynski (Superman, Wonder Woman, Amazing Spider-Man, Thor) at the helm. His work on Babylon 5 always used the sci-fi genre as a microscope on humanity and he attempts to do that here. The internal monologues can be a little heavy-handed at times, pointing towards his stilted efforts on Superman and Wonder Woman this year.

But when he gets it right, these familiar characters become tabulas rasas ready to be filled with his scribbles and thought bubbles. For example, Batman’s conflation of the Frankenstein and Brother Power the Geek myths in issue #29 works well. It’s an emotional story that builds well. It’s “acted” and “lit” with care. The Flash meeting up with The Blackhawks at the Battle of the Bulge (#28) is more of a time traveling lark than anything else.

Saiz’s art compliments the primary colors supplied by Trish Mulvihill and Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller. The stories are equally varied: a petty criminal helps Batman save a family from a burning building by transforming into The Star, Doctor Fate travels forward in time to help Green Lantern, The Atom takes a stroll through The Joker’s twisted brain/past, and Wonder Woman and Zatanna invite Batgirl to a frivolous girls’ night out. They even make Aquaman bad-ass by partnering him with The Demon. Overall, Team-Ups of the Brave and the Bold is good, clean fun, that will remind you of sitting down to watch your favorite DC cartoon show. The twist is that you learn some lessons along the way.

It’s definitely dessert, but some pretty damn high-quality, rich dessert. Straczynski somewhat suceeds in throwing his chractersworlds in stark relief against the immature team-up comics of the past. It’s nice to know that superhero comics don’t all have to tie-in to the latest tentpole movie or mega-crossover event taking over their respective shared universe in order to be noteworthy. ( /

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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