Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Classics - The Brave and the Bold #47

One of the things I really enjoy about The Brave and the Bold is the way the series tackled a wide range of stories (I feel the same way about Showcase, too).

This issue featured an angle that was never terribly popular, although I loved it: Strange Sports Stories. It has a nifty kind of logic behind it: kids like sports, kids like science fiction - let's mash the two together and see what happens!

I don't know if it was the concept or the chance to draw guys who weren't wearing long underwear, but artists like the great Carmine Infantino (who draws both stories in this issue) seemed to jump at the chance.

(At least I think it's Infantino - in 1963, DC didn't have credits listed.)

The opening story tells about a young boxer who shows great promise, but when he loses a fight he finds himself tempted by an alien who offers a deal worthy of Satan - he offers to make the fighter unbeatable! But of course there's more to the offer than meets the eye...

The second story is a delight, as all sports are outlawed on Earth in the 30th Century (as a safety precaution, of course) - but a secret sports society flourishes. Which is good, because when aliens invade the Earth, the sports team in our only hope.

I'm not sure how long this series ran - at least four issues, I think - but I really enjoyed them, though I admit it was mostly because of the science fiction element, and the terrific artwork by Infantino, one of DC's all-time best.

While Marvel excelled at monster and fantasy tales, DC was the best when it came to these clean and clever science fiction stories, and the sports angle just made it that much more fun.

They're tough to track down these days (though many of the stories were later reprinted), but well worth the effort.

Grade: A-



Billy Hogan said...

In case you're not aware of them, two great websites to find creator credits on these older stories are and

Glen Davis said...

I love Strange Sports Stories. Could comics like that even get published today?

Chuck said...

Billy, thanks! I usually go to GCD's site, but sometimes I get lazy. ;-)

Glen, I wonder the same thing. Somehow I doubt it.