ďThe Brave and the BoldĒ
Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Colours: Dave Stewart
A fairly quiet issue this, as the overarching plot of the series inches forward, and more characters are re-introduced [sic] for the first time. To be fair, this isnít necessarily a slow-moving comic, as Darwyn Cooke packs in a lot of action and a lot of story even into the large number of pages heís got. Rather, thereís a feeling that the plot is expanding outward rather than moving forward. We see what Flagg has been up to, and we see how the world has reacted to the loss of the superheroes. Thereís more of the Batman/Martian Manhunter plot, and a tiny bit more of Wonder Womanís disenchantment with The American Dream. Hal Jordan is obviously Cookeís favourite, as yet again, he gets most of the book. But, on the other hand, Cooke introduces a version of Steel (I think - my knowledge of DCU history isnít that good), the Suicide Squad and the Challengers of the Unknown. Either the plot isnít going to turn out to be very complex, or the final issues are going to be double-sized or rushed (or both), because I canít see how any of this is going to pull together into a satisfying conclusion within three issues.
That said, this is still great stuff. Iíd probably buy anything that Cooke draws (this is a lie Ė I do not have Batman: Ego) and his writing is pretty good too. His biases are a little too obvious, with Superman coming across as a complete git, and Hal Jordan and Jíonn Jíonzz getting most of the screen time, but thatís not such a bad thing. That aside, the writing is generally quite subtle, which is a pleasant surprise in comics, not least from a writer/artist. He keeps things interesting even without a great deal of action and the general lack of superheroes this time around (a brave move), and I especially like the social and political commentary on offer here. So far itís nothing profound, and with everything else going on, thereís no room for it to be, but itís valid and appropriate for the setting of the story. Itís also rather even-handed, in that Cookeís own political leanings (or at least the political leanings heís trying to convey, if not his own) are obvious but never pedagogical.
Iím obviously a sad superhero-addict as I preferred the previous issuesí action with the Flash and Wonder Womanís attack on Superman, but this is a very well-written and astonishingly well-drawn comic nonetheless. On the whole, Iím not a DC fan, but Cooke has me hooked (!) with this series.
What did you think of this book?
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