BATMAN: THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #11 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Tristan Grey has mutated into a terrifying new version of Man-Bat, and it’s up to Batman and Maps to save him! But, when it turns out that Tristan is not the only person who has been infected by the Man-Bat serum, it will be Batman and Maps versus an army of leather-winged monsters! And lastly, Batman finds himself in a folk horror nightmare courtesy of Zac Thompson and Ashley Wood in a new Batman Black & White tale that has to be seen to be believed.


In “Mother’s Day, part 2”, writer/artist Karl Kerschl reveals why the story is titled so. I definitely didn’t see that coming!

A high-flying opening gives way to some romance and before too long, Batman & Robin are reunited and on the case. I liked how the story was paced and I got a glimpse of Bruce’s romantic side, which had to be sacrificed because Robin was in danger.

Speaking of danger, this issue is chock-full of it. Whether chasing four Man-Bats or the threat Bruce faces later, this story is full of suspense and action. Kerschl invests the reader in caring for Bruce and Maps, heightening the tension. The climax makes you wonder how Batman will get out of this and if Robin is up to the task.

Kerschl’s art is gorgeous and that is not the nostalgia for the blue and grays talking. Action is intense, you feel the height of Gotham City, and staging in the panel work keeps things exciting. Kerschl is a master. Why don’t we see more of him?

“The Crown of Twelve Tails” is the Batman: Black & White entry, brought to you by writer Zac Thompson and artist Ashley Wood. No stranger to the macabre, Wood is a great fit for this little tale of the occult that involves Ratcatcher.

Starting with the investigation of a gruesome murder, Thompson puts Batman through his detective paces, leading him underground and then to the countryside outside the city’s limits. The black and white format is an excellent use for this story, bringing out the abstractness in the art, as well as the horror. Wood’s Batman is magnificent — jagged avenger from the shadows, delivering a final blow with an immortal line. I love the unease of the conclusion, hinting at things to come.

Once again, when it comes to the Batman side of things, The Brave & The Bold delivers nothing but entertainment and quality storytelling. Kerschl brings the fun of Batman and Robin fighting the supernatural and Thompson and Wood delve into the real horrors that humanity can inflict. This is a book I look forward to every month! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A

 

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Javier Trujillo
Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.