BATMAN: THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #13 Review

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SYNOPSIS: Brave and the Bold enters its second year with five tremendous tales! …Batman and Guy Gardner face high strangeness when a UFO crashes in Gotham! And finally, Jason Shawn Alexander brings his legendary talents to Batman Black and White!

Wow! Hard to believe it’s been a year for this title! In a break from tradition, the Batman-starring content is in the back, instead of serving as bookends. There is certainly plenty of Bat-Family content in this issue if you are so inclined.

In perhaps the most old-school Brave & The Bold style of story yet, Batman teams up with Green Lantern Guy Gardner in “The Invader, part 1”. Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Lisandro Estherren, having this duo pair up not only feels like a TB&TB story but a “Bwah-Ha-Ha” era Justice League tale as well.

Clocking in at only eight pages, there’s not a lot to dissect here. A mysterious object streaks through the sky and craters somewhere in the Gotham woods. Batman goes to investigate, while on comms with Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Tracking radiation, Batman dons protective gear and discovers a saucer, prompting him to ask for GL assistance…only it isn’t Hal who shows up.

Despite its shortness, Fialkov gets in some good character beats for both Batman and Guy Gardner, who is as obnoxious as ever. I like how Batman looks under Estherren’s pencil, but I’m not taking to his depiction of Guy Gardner. It’s just a few of his expressions felt too cartoony to me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

The standout here for me is the colors of Patricio Delpeche. The watercolors add an ethereal touch and his skies as the saucer approaches Earth are beautifully rendered. Batman appears as if he is emerging from a cloud as he makes his entrance and Delpeche does a fantastic job of bringing the art and story to life with the mood his work creates.

“Perp Walk” the Batman: Black & White entry written by Rodney Barnes with art and plot by Jason Shawn Alexander certainly caught me off guard with its opening. It’s a pretty straightforward story on the surface, with Batman escorting a criminal to jail, but it’s the why that provides the intrigue and the character moments, one which is disturbingly tender. It’s a great, quick read, with dazzling art. Alexander seems to have many classic Batman influences, fused in his own unique amalgamation. I saw influences of Murphy, Jones, and Keith, to name a few. His Batmobile comes off like hell on wheels and would intimidate anyone roaring to a crime scene. The black and white coloring is brilliantly used to offer highlights and offers several striking images. This is what it’s all about!

If you’re reading this book solely for the Bruce Wayne Batman content (there is a different Batman in one of the stories), well, you might be disappointed with the brevity of this issue. However, both Bruce tales offer up a decent slice of entertainment, with “Perp Walk” taking the lead for me as it’s a complete story with gorgeous visuals. I haven’t had a chance to dive into the Nightwing and Deadman tale, but it’s by Tim Seeley and Kelley Jones, so it is definitely with a look. Caveat emptor for those looking for a lead Batman tale, but don’t miss the Black & White! Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: B

 

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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.