The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1
Written by: Sholly Fisch
Art by: Rick Burchett
“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” gets rebooted with a new #1 (albeit pointlessly, as there’s no difference from last month’s issue), with this month’s issue featuring a team-up with a hero who’s been long overdue on the parent TV show, Superman. (The brief “cold opener”, which this month is just the story’s opening scene, is Batman and Black Canary vs the Joker). Superman needs Batman’s help in solving a mystery in the bottle city of Kandor, which sees the two soon setting off for Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and the Kryptonian city.
Superman and his relationship with Batman here is, like the series itself, Silver Age derived. Thus, the door to the Fortress of Solitude looks like the Silver Age version (the door needing a giant key only Superman can lift to unlock it, etc.), as does the bottle city itself and its rendition of Kryptonian culture. Aside from the presence of the Superman movies’ crystals, there’s no sign of Kandor (or Krypton) being a drab place, like in the John Byrne version of Krypton, or of Kandor/Krypton looking Arctic-like as in the movies.
Most welcome of all is the idea that Superman and Batman are close friends again. The post-John Byrne/modernized versions of the two’s relationship usually show them at odds with each other, or at best “uneasy allies that can never fully trust each other” (to paraphrase one description I’ve heard), which makes the two heroes sound more like obnoxious ninth graders in rival school cliques (or siblings fighting in the back seat of a car on a long family trip) than the “World’s Finest.” (A few recent non-canonical stories have poked fun at the post-Crisis model, including a scene in “DC: The New Frontier” where Batman’s shown *hating* having to behave toward Superman in such a manner in public as part of a plan. Unsurprisingly but disappointingly, this aspect got left out of the recent direct-to-DVD movie version…).
Funniest bit: Batman not letting Superman off the hook for some weird bit of Kryptonian folklore he tells Bruce about.
Tiny Titans/Little Archie #2 (of 3)
Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by: Art Baltazar
The second issue of this three-issue crossover sees Josie and the Pussycats (just Josie, Melody and Valerie here) invited to join the Titans’ “Pet Club,” under the mistaken impression of the trio being actual pets. Meanwhile, the Archies show up in their “Pureheart the Powerful” superhero guises, and Mad Doctor Doom and his sidekick Chester (the classic Little Archie villains) also show up to horn in on the crossover action.
Another enjoyable issue. The funniest bits: Beast Boy meeting the Pussycats, and Mad Doctor Doom’s scenes (with Chester and the other Titans).
Finally, yes, that’s the Batusi (the dance of 60s Adam West “Batman” series fame) they’re doing on the cover. They do it in the story itself, too!
Next issue promises to wrap the whole thing up with an appearance by Sabrina. Should be fun!