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The Brave and The Bold #1
posted March 5, 2007
 

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Creators: Mark Waid, George Perez, Bob Wiacek
Publishing Information: DC Comics, comic book, 32 pages, February 2007, $2.99
Ordering Numbers:

DC's relaunched team-up book The Brave and the Bold benefits in two ways from its rather straight-forward meat and potatoes approach to classic big company storytelling. First, just as there are a significant number of television viewers that every year fall for a standard three-camera sitcom or crime-solving drama as more creative shows wither on the vine, there may be an audience for the solid, familiar thrills of years gone by. Second, a lot of what those values embody play well against the excesses of current comic books. Mark Waid seems less likely than anyone out there to have his characters murder people or cry, while the meticulous nature of George Perez' art extends to his panel placement and scene structure -- reading The Brave and the Bold #1 feels like reading three or four standard comic books by a younger creative team.

That being said, sometimes older virtues were never that great to begin with. The Brave and the Bold #1 features a classic 1960s-1970s Bob Haney approach: a very simple, straight-forward adventure featuring superheroes being superheroes, sprinkled here and there with specifics of character and setting that suggest a complete, fascinating universe just out of story's reach. In this issue, we get Batman in his Batcave, Green Lantern on space patrol, the alter-egos hanging out in a casino with varying levels of oneupmanship on display, and a display of their respective powers at story's conclusion. It's so competently told as to suggest that this could be the new baseline for all comics to be made in the years to come, and it diverts for the few minutes it takes to read the issue. Still, I'll be damned if I can remember any of the details of the mystery, or how the story left things, which isn't a good sign for it holding my attention into future installments. I guess I kind of feel about The Brave and the Bold the way I felt when I came home late last Friday night to find an episode of Mannix on TV: I watched it and I liked it, but I'm not setting the Tivo or mailing in a subscription check, and I wouldn't be surprised if one year from now the show was no longer holding down that particular time slot.