Thursday, November 17, 2011

A collection of Batman's more...varied cases

When you pick up a Batman comic, there is a certain cast of characters you expect to see.  He has is traditional line-up of supervillains, such as Joker, Riddler and Two-Face.  And he has the people he generally calls for help, like Zatarra and Black Canary.

But that doesn't mean no one else ever visits Gotham City, or that Batman never travels himself, either.

Welcome to The All New Batman: The Brave and The Bold Volume 1.  Based on the Cartoon Network cartoon series, The Brave and The Bold has Batman team up with some of the heroes we don't see so often, and fight villains who might not be in the same league as Darkseid.

Collecting issues #1-6 of the comic book series, Batman mainly teams up with other heroes we're quite familiar with, but the stories aren't like ones we would generally see in one of Batman's normal comics.

In 'That Holiday Feeling', it's Christmastime in Gotham.  Billy Batson has taken the bus into town with Mister Tawny, but as they step off the bus they see chaos that isn't the usual last-minute shopping bustle.  Psycho-Pirate is broadcasting on all channels, and he's spreading the less cheer-y emotions like despair and greed.  Will Billy and his friends be able to get Batman out of his sulk and save Christmas?

While brooding might be in Batman's nature, marriage certainly isn't.  That's the side of Batman we see, along with Wonder Woman, in 'The Bride and the Bold'.  Eros is disgusted that Diana, instead of spreading love on Earth, has been fighting.  So he sends a few love arrows down to Earth and now our heroes are planning their wedding.  Will they find out where their new-found love really came from before they reach the altar, and what kind of party crashers might show up on the big day?

The heroes that Batman teams up here are generally better-known Justice League members, but the variety comes out in the choice of supervillains they face.  Rarely do Gentleman Ghost or Mouse Man get much print time, but here they get their time in the spotlight once more.

Highs:  Seeing Batman and Martian Manhunter practice their detective skills together

Lows:  I would have liked to have seen more varied superheroes here

Verdict:  A great companion series, suited for all ages, to the cartoon series

Further Reading:  Teen Titans Go!, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers

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