Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Brave and the Bold: The Lords of Luck

I fondly remember DC's the Brave and the Bold team-up series from the late 70s and early 80s. My dad used to get cheap bundled mystery packs of DC comics and Brave and the Bold was often one of those included in the mix. The Jim Aparo art was certainly a contributing factor as to why I liked the books but so was the idea of seeing interesting and new (to me anyway) characters partnered with Batman. This TPB (unfortunately) doesn't contain those old comics but instead collects issues #1 to #6 of the new Brave and the Bold series from 2007.

With a story by Mark Waid and art by George Perez and Bob Wiacek, this has some high-profile creator credentials attached to it. Aparo may have been good (and in fact he draws the best Batman in my opinion) but Perez is even better, coming up with some insanely detailed pages full of easy-to-follow action whilst still showing busy backgrounds. And the many-hued colours are suitably bright. The book certainly looks good.

The wonderful Mark Waid crafts a well-told story about how Batman and Green Lantern come across the death of a mystery man, whose body is found both in space, in the Batcave and several other places. It turns out this man was a thief who acquired the Book of Destiny, which contains all past, present and future events. The book is supposed to have been given to the Challengers of the Unknown, four men who shape their own destiny and therefore exist outside its pages. However, the Luck Lords are out to get it so that they can reshape reality for themselves. It's up to Batman, Green Lantern and a whole host of other guest stars including Supergirl, Lobo, Blue Beetle and the Legion of Superheroes to stop them and retrieve the book.

Although an interesting tale, the story suffers from trying to contain too many heroes and cover too many locations and time periods. Also, unlike the original Brave and the Bold series, this is written for the trade and so stretches over 6 issues. A number of single or double issue stories would have been preferable to this single, slightly convoluted yarn. Still, Waid is very good at getting across the various personalities of the characters. The interactions between Batman and Green Lantern are well handled and it's good to see the animosity between these two characters has been dropped.

The TPB also includes a nice introduction by Waid and a great annotation section (also by Waid) at the back. So, together with the great Perez art, this is a decent and, more importantly, fun book full of lots of colourful DC characters that's easy and a joy to read. Highly recommended.

Grade: Very Fine.

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