Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Classics - Brave and the Bold #200

This wasn't quite the final issue of The Brave and the Bold.

The title has been revived a few times, though usually as a mini-series. For many longtime fans, issue #200 was the end of an era, as the series that started in 1955 came to a halt in 1983.

But they certainly sent it out in style. In a team-up that wasn't really a team-up, the Batman (Batmen?) of Earth-1 and Earth-2 ended up fighting the same foe across decades and the gulf of dimensions.

The clever story is written by Mike W. Barr, and he provides a solid wrap-up to the series. The art is by Dave Gibbons (with an inking assist by Gary Martin), and he turns in his usual fantastic work.

The story is split between a case involving the original Batman (set during that character's prime), as he faces the criminal mastermind known as Brimstone. He's one of those villains who can't resist giving Batman and Robin clues about his next heist - and, as you'd expect, that ends up being his downfall.

For this story, Gibbons draws in a style that channels Dick Sprang and some of the other great Batman artists of the '50s and '60s - it's beautiful work.

The second story features "our" Batman facing a villain he'd never met before - a man named Brimstone! The art is in Gibbons' modern style, and it's great work from a comics innovator.

It's a well-crafted story that links the old and the new and brings closure to one of DC's long-running titles.

It was a shame to see it end, but it didn't take long to have a new Batman book ready - the issue includes a preview of the (then) upcoming comic Batman and the Outsiders by the excellent team of Barr and Jim Aparo!

Can't keep a good bat down!

Grade: A-


No comments: