When you see the title “The Brave and the Bold,” there’s a certain panache that comes with it. It’s a classic style that has a lot of positive memories around it. Thankfully, this latest iteration has a solid start delivering four stories, not all of them having to do with Batman. Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 might have “Batman” in the title, but there’s far more than that inside.
Kicking off with “Batman: The Winning Card,” the anthology really sets the tone for what’s to come. Written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the story involves the early days of the Joker as Gordon and the GCPD have to protect and individual and his diamond who have been threatened that it’ll be stolen and he’ll die by midnight. But, King gives so much more with peaks into the Joker as he talks to a young girl in a park. Since it’s early, she doesn’t know the evil she’s interacting with creating a back and forth that’s tense. You expect the worst at any moment. It’s a hell of a start for Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 that sets a high bar for the rest. Thankfully, the rest is pretty solid. The art is fantastic with a style that fits the tension of it all perfectly.
Writer Ed Brisson is joined by Jeff Spokes on art and Saida Temofonte on lettering for “Stormwatch: Down with the Kings.” Stormwatch is reintroduced in the DC Universe as they need to complete a mission involving an incarcerated villain. It’s a new team with a new attitude and while the basics are there as far as Stormwatch, a lof the details are changed up, especially the team. With the reintroduction of WildC.A.T.s this team’s integration with the DCU feels perfectly timed and done in a similar way that works really well.
Superman gets an intriguing story, “Superman: Order of the Black Lamp.” Written by Christopher Cantwell with art by Javier Rodriguez, and lettering by Simon Bowland, the story has a bit of a throwback quality to it. Superman discovers a ring and travels to a mysterious place while also needing to turn in a hell of a story to lift paper sales for The Daily Planet. There’s something rather nice about it all, with no hint of malice or dark aspects to it. It takes on the cheery nature of Superman including the art which has a nice style about it that feels both familiar and new.
Wrapping things up is “Heroes of Tomorrow” by Dan Mora with lettering by Tom Napolitano. We get a Batman of the future battling it out to protect two kids. The art is amazing with this one and there’s just something fun and cute about how it ends, leaving readers to see what’s next.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 is a solid start to the series featuring a nice mix of stories that are fun and feature some great art. Why “Batman” is in the title is a bit of a headscratcher, especially if it features far more than just Batman and his family. Overall though, it’s a great read and one that’s a definite buy. It’s a rate anthology where every story is top notch and something to get even if they were on their own.
Story: Tom King, Ed Brisson, Christopher Cantwell, Dan Mora
Art: Mitch Gerads, Jeff Spokes, Javier Rodriguez, Dan Mora
Color: Mitch Gerads, Jeff Spokes, Javier Rodriguez
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Saida Temofonte, Simon Bowland, Tom Napolitano
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review