B&B v.3 x 35 = FUN!

Your pal, KC Carlson

Your pal, KC Carlson


A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

One of the small perks of organizing my comic book collection is finding things in odd places. I’m currently sorting DC Comics, as I mostly finished up the Marvels a while back (and then took a years-long break). After only a few boxes in, I’m realizing that in my haste to get the comics packed up from our move from Richmond, VA, to Madison, WI, almost five years ago, I put things in random places, just filling up boxes to get them ready for transport.

The Brave and the Bold Vol. 1

The Brave and the Bold Vol. 1


So, while working on sorting and indexing/inventorying all the related Justice Society/JSA comics (I generally start with a favorite series), I discovered that one of the boxes had a surprise — the entire 35-issue run of the 2007 version of The Brave and the Bold.

BRAVE AND BOLD ORIGINS

The Brave and the Bold #1

The Brave and the Bold #1


The Brave and the Bold has been a long-time DC title, first appearing in 1955. It was an anthology title from the start, with the first 24 issues starring heroic (but not super-heroic) characters like the Silent Knight, the Viking Prince, the Golden Gladiator, and DC’s version of Robin Hood. There’s some awesome artwork in those issues by greats including Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, Mort Drucker, Irv Novick, Jerry Grandenetti, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito. Writers include Bill Finger, France Herron, Bob Haney, Robert Kanigher, and Jack Miller (who usually just wrote text features).

With issue #25, The Brave and the Bold turns into a Showcase-style try-out book for potential new feature series. It starts out slow, with the original non-super powered Suicide Squad, created by writer Robert Kanigher and artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. They appeared in The Brave and the Bold #25-27 and again in #37-39. The team consisted of Rick Flag Jr., Karen Grace, Dr. Hugh Evans, and Jess Bright. (Modern readers may know them best from Darwin Cooke’s The New Frontier. Flag was also a long-running character in John Ostrander’s modern version of Suicide Squad.)

The Brave and the Bold #49

The Brave and the Bold #49


The Justice League of America (#28-30), Cave Carson (#31-33 and #40-41), and Hawkman (#34-36 and #42-44) also debuted in early issues of The Brave and the Bold, as did the unique Julie Schwartz-edited project Strange Sports Stories in #45-49.

Superhero team-ups began in B&B #50, but Batman was not involved (yet). The first team-up was actually Green Arrow and the Manhunter From Mars (as stated on the cover — most everywhere else it was just Martian Manhunter). Other pairings quickly followed, interspersed with :

  • Aquaman/Hawkman in #51
  • The Atom/The Flash (interior art by Alex Toth!) in #53
  • Metal Men/The Atom in #55
  • The Flash/Manhunter From Mars in #56
  • Supergirl/Wonder Woman in #63
  • The Flash/Doom Patrol in #65
  • Metamorpho/Metal Men in #66
The Brave and the Bold #67

The Brave and the Bold #67


Finally, in #67, the Batman team-ups begin in ernest, starting with Batman/The Flash. With certain infrequent exceptions — such as #72’s The Spectre/The Flash and #73’s Aquaman/The Atom — Batman would appear in every subsequent issue until The Brave and the Bold #200, which was also the 64-page last issue of the series. That final issue featured the long-awaited Batman of Earth-1 teaming with the Batman (and Robin) from Earth-2.

The Brave and the Bold #200 also introduces the concept of Batman and the Outsiders — a popular series from the 1980s and yet another Batman spin-off. It would get worse before it got better.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS 2007 (Umm… also THEN. Sorry.)

The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3

The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3


The first 16 issues of the 2007 The Brave and the Bold series are written by Mark Waid, with George Pérez illustrating the first ten. The final six issues of Waid’s run (through #16) are drawn by Jerry Ordway and Scott Kolins. So right off the block, this book was going to be not only a good read, but a feast for the eyes. Characters appearing in those early issues included Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Lobo, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Wonder Woman, Power Girl, The Flash, Doom Patrol, Blackhawk, Boy Commandos, Metal Men, Dial H For Hero, Hawkman, The Atom, Teen Titans, Ultraman, The Challengers of the Unknown, Golden Age Flash, Deadman, Green Arrow, Nightwing, Hawkman, Catwoman… and, of course, Batman and Superman.

The Brave and the Bold #5

The Brave and the Bold #5


The first six-issue arc is quite amusing, especially the slightly-out-of-character 17-year-old Supergirl crushing big time on GL Hal Jordan. (This actually gets creepier later on. Damn you George Pérez for drawing such attractive women!) The story also involves Batman, Blue Beetle, Lobo, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. (Kinda-sorta — although the three-page Batman/Karate Kid fight alone is worth the price of admission!) This is the only story I’ve had time to (re-)read before deadline. Can’t wait to finish the rest of the series, especially some of the later issues that I’ve never read. SO glad I found this run!

The Brave and the Bold Vol. 5

The Brave and the Bold Vol. 5


From The Brave and the Bold #17 to #26, the creators are more fluid. Writers include Marv Wolfman, David Hine, Dan Jurgens (writer/artist of the Booster Gold/Magog story in #23), Matt Wayne, Adam Beechen, and John Rozum. Artists are Phil Winslade, Doug Braithwaite, Bill Reinhold, Norm Rapmund, Howard Porter, Roger Robinson, Hilary Barta, and Scott Hampton. New characters added to the mix here include Raven, The Phantom Stranger, Static, Black Lightning, Hardware, and Xombi. Green Lantern continues to be very popular through this era.

The Brave and the Bold #35

The Brave and the Bold #35


The title re-stablized from #27 through #35, which were all written by J. Michael Straczynski and illustrated by Jesus Saiz (with Chad Hardin, Justiniano, Wayne Faucher, and Walden Wong all helping out on #31). Cliff Chiang provides full art for #33 (staring Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Zatanna)! Characters new to the title include Brother Power The Geek (yes, really), Dr. Fate, the Joker, the Demon, and in the last issue (#35, and my favorite issue), the Inferior Five and the Legion of Substitute Heroes! No wonder this was the last issue! How could anybody top that for… uh, I don’t know what… perhaps it’s better that we don’t know…

______________________________

KC CARLSON: Currently keeping the comic book short box industry in the black. (Can I get another 100 boxes by Friday, please?)

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. You know, if I didn’t buy so many comic books, I could probably afford to hire somebody to assemble all those comic boxes… wait… but then… AHH! Thinking is hard!

USER COMMENTS

We'd love to hear from you, feel free to add to the discussion!