From DC Comics, Sholly Fisch – writer. Rick Burchett – penciller. Dan Davis – inker. Wildstorm FX, Heroic Age, Gabe Eltaeb – colorists. Travis Lanham, Carlos M Mangual – letterers. Rick Burchett and Dan Davis – covers.
The Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon is one of the great unsung classics of all cartoons. Every episode began with Batman and another hero from the vast DC Comics pantheon teaming up for 3 minutes. The opening credits air. Then Batman and a different hero team up on a new adventure. It became a way to feature many characters that may not be popular enough to support their own series. Thanks to the cartoon and tie in action figures my six year old knows many DC characters that would otherwise be lost to him. The cartoon ended far too early but thankfully that same formula is carried on in a line of comics.
This series began as not “All New” but then a new number one with a new title was rebirthed onto the shelves. The six issues collected here feature Batman along with Superman, Shazam, Flash, Wonder Woman, Guy Gardner Green Lantern, and the Martian Manhunter. Along with obscure appearances from Tawky Tawny all the way to Kite Man and a trip to Wonderland.
The series is written as all perfect things for children are: with the adults in mind. There’s a reason most of Pixar and Looney Tunes continue to be loved as fans grow older. Because they still hold up. The same mindset is present here. Deceptively simple but actually richly detailed. Amazing stories that are one and done. Any kid could pick up any issue and love it. But also immersed in the history of DC. Take this one panel which is a massive joke at an infamous tale.
While the art is slightly different than the cartoon, it is as a compliment. Some things work better in motion and others on the page. A couple things are altered a bit making the story flow with the same kinetic energy of the cartoon.
The rest of the collections will be read soon, and not alone. While my son, like most kids who think they’re big shots, wants to rebel against anything their parents put in front of him, he kept coming back. I was smiling, laughing, enjoying the heck out of the comic. The characters were familiar to him. He kept looking over my shoulder and I think enjoyed more of it than he let on. I may have even done voices for each panel.
Not every comic needs to have repercussions that ripple out for years to come. Some can be just for fun, and due to that might get pulled out to read more frequently than their grim and gritty counterparts.