Writer: Various (see below)
Art: Various (see below)
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 16th, 2023
Coming off the spectacular success of Batman – One Bad Day: The Riddler, Tom King and Mitch Gerads reunite for a horrifying four-part retelling of the first bloody clash between The Joker and the Batman as Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 kicks off. A tale of loathing, lies, and laughter, this may be the most frightening Joker story in a generation. Everyone is going to be shocked. Everyone is going to be talking about it. The Justice League may be gone, but its enemies aren’t. Who’ll protect the world from the worst of the worst?
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 Review.
Writer: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads and Clayton Cowles
Cover: Simone Di Meo
The Winning Card
It appears to be the new M.O. for Tom King to be incredibly jumpy in his own stories. We jump from the Commish, to a random criminal, to a Father searching for his daughter, and back again. However, it’s the jumps that don’t connect well or flow with the story. It’s almost as if King is trying too hard to give it this artsy tone when it doesn’t need to be that way in order to create a good story. Is it time jumps? Are the jumps in the right order? It adds a layer of unnecessary confusion to the opening in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1.
Furthermore, the one-sided conversation between Batman and this random criminal got old fast. Moreover, the overuse of the F-word was just too over the top and unnecessary. Yes, it was bleeped out but we can still fill in the blank for ourselves. We got the point that the criminal thinks he’s hot stuff and can’t be scared without the annoying, rambling expletives. Additionally, the missing girl talks as if she’s overly smart and sophisticated yet wandered off with a psycho… again it doesn’t make sense, especially considering her Dad said she’s been gone for four hours. What little girl would be ok with wandering off with a stranger for four hours past midnight in the rain? As a father of four, none of my boys would be ok with that.
Ultimately, you get… Tom King. It’s how he tells stories, especially about Batman as of late. If you don’t like his style of writing, I’d stay far away. If you can overlook his writing and love what Mitch can always do on art, then dive in and take a look!
Writer: Ed Brisson
Art: Jeff Spokes and Saida Temofonte
Stormwatch: Down with the Kings
Brisson takes Phantom-One through an introductory tour of Stormwatch. While doing so, we can see the harsh motifs of the team, their purpose, and the clientele making up the team. Surprisingly enough, Brisson’s non-Batman story hooked this reviewer rather quickly. It tied in Black Hole and provided a rather fast-paced, intense story to boot. Overall, the illustrations were crisp and the story was spot on. However, the only knock I can give to this story in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 was that I didn’t quite understand how the Time Bomb was stopped. That still remains a mystery and a key component of the story.
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Javier Rodriguez and Simon Bowland
Superman: Order of the Black Lamp
I’d love to concentrate on the art in this section of Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1. You see, this story obviously focused more on Superman. However, the love I have for this story comes mainly due to the Golden Age feel it provides from the illustrations and colors. Javier Rodriguez gives fans a dated look with a modern story twist that felt almost endearing. Sure, readers won’t get much excitement or plot but they’ll see where Cantwell is taking the story before it wraps.
Nevertheless, both Superman and Lois seemed a bit off. Superman was more wholesome than ever which helped the Golden Age tone of the story. Yet Lois wasn’t as tough, hard-nosed, or crass as I remember especially for being the new Editor and Chief of the Daily Planet. Overall, the story was nice but not the reason to buy this issue of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Additionally, just like the last story, I thought these stories needed to have Batman at least make a cameo in them somewhere. This is the second installment to not have Batman anywhere!
Writer: Dan Mora
Art: Dan Mora and Tom Napolitano
Heroes of Tomorrow
Mora’s tale is… different. It’s a small one-shot about a Batman from a different universe, different timeline, or both. Well, at least that’s assumed. This Batman has some sort of Power Ranger/ Gundam outfit and fits some Royal Flush Gang-infused Joker. Truthfully, it reads a bit cheesy with a made-for-TV, cartoon feel that’s a bit hard to swallow. Moreover, the black-and-white renderings make the story hard to read. I’m assuming Mora was going for style points with the artistry, however, I think come color could have really made the issue pop. Out of the four stories in Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1, this was my least favorite. Nevertheless, this story won’t continue into the next. Yet, it technically did have Batman in it!
I always thought Batman: The Brave and the Bold was supposed to be stories containing Batman. The first and the last do but not the middle ones. Moreover, this outline of storytelling reminded me of the most recent Batman: Urban Legends line of storytelling, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Yet, the problem is that with an issue being this packed and more expensive, the writers better make sure each of these stories makes it worth the cover price. And the problem is, I can’t say that they did.
I didn’t sign on to read Batman: The Brave and the Bold for Stormwatch or Superman. I signed up for Batman stories. And the only true Batman story was the first one by King that simply wasn’t the greatest. I thought we’d be getting Batman team-ups but sadly that’s not the comic. If you liked Batman: Urban Legends, then you love this style and storytelling. Otherwise, I think this series is probably a hard pass. I’m sure King fans will love the opener, however, is that small single story worth the cover price just to get the rest of the stories involved? Probably not. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!