01/04/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Titan Books. 168 page graphic novel. Price: £ 9.99 (UK. ISBN: 978-1-84856-720-7.
check out website: www.titanbooks.comand www.dccomics.com
It should be pointed out from the start that not all twenty-two of the heads behind Batman on the cover of this book are inside. Then again, one major guest-star that is, isn't. With me so far? Only the brave and bold can enter.
This version of the Batman has little in common with the recent animation adventures and an even further far cry from the recent Dark Knight films. If anything, this Batman's demeanour is more in line with the early 60s smiling caped crusader, who cheerfully rushes into battle against foes and dragging any of the nearby super-heroes in to help. Yep! This is the return to 'The Brave And Bold' Batman cross-over comic only this one is based on the new MIT cartoon series. As I haven't seen it, all I can go on is the contents of this graphic novel that features the first six issues of the comicbook version. I suspect it is also aimed primarily at the upcoming comicbook fans than us older generation. It goes without saying that the designs owe more to the animation series than the comicbooks.
That's not to say that if you're a Batman completest that there isn't something in here for you. There's the occasional wry moment and my favourite gag has to be Green Arrow's vibrating quiver owing to his communicator being in it. Mostly, though, its continuous action, often starting with the end of one adventure that isn't in the book and plunged directly into another. This Batman isn't confined to Gotham City but across America, which when you consider that is where the other super-heroes hang out, isn't surprising.
With Power Girl, he takes on Lex Luthor and his latest nefarious plan with an absorbing monster. With the third Blue Beetle, they take on the Thinker and his fantasy creations.
The team-up with Green Arrow is interesting as they have to go to Washington to protect the President who has an announcement of his kidnapping arrived early in the post. Batman masquerades as the Pres and Arrow as his bodyguard. It's all a plan by the Ultra-Humanite to replace the Pres that ultimately is foiled but also gives more of the villain's origin. It's interesting how they opted to give Arrow his 50s costume but given a need for simplistic design for animation, that's hardly surprising.
Batman and Aquaman is actually an underwater story mixed in with a spice of time travel as Dr. Cyber plans to wipe out human history to re-build it and sort out today's problems at the same time. It's a good thing that the generous-hearted Batman doesn't see some advantages of making some minor tweaks in that.
The Captain Marvel co-starred story is against Queen Of Fables and the fantasy elements are brought to the fore again as she abducts children for their tears to keep young.
The final story features Kid Eternity as Batman uses him to even the odds as General Immortus needs his help when his time machine has brought warriors to the present and won't obey his orders.
As you should be able to tell from my brief synopsises, I kinda grew into the pattern of the stories as I read them. You're not supposed to take them that seriously and I suspect the writers confidence in making plot twists grew over the six stories. Just don't think of copying him.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA