Daily Archives: April 16, 2008

Quick Critiques – April 16, 2008

The Brave and the Bold #12 (DC Comics)
by Mark Waid, Jerry Ordway & Bob Wiacek

From the start, this team-up series has been a love letter to a simpler time in super-hero storytelling, and that certainly holds true with the conclusion of Waid’s lengthy, 12-episode story. I think he missteps, though, by embracing a Silver Age sensibility too much and forgetting the more modern touches that kept previous issues from being too campy. That the resolution will resolve around the sole female Challenger of the Unknown is telegraphed far too early in this issue. For a time, June is the only female player in the drama, so that she’s also the most terrified can easily be confused with the notion that the woman is the weakest. Megistus’s design is clearly inspired by the Silver Age, but it’s also goofy. The villain should really look intimidating, not silly. Firestorm’s role in the story makes sense, given the transmutation elements, but it comes from out of nowhere. That being said, there’s so much charm to be found in this climactic episode. From Ultraman’s magical escape from peril to Waid’s wink to Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier with the reteaming of Ace Morgan and Hal Jordan, there’s a lot of fun and energy in this story. Younger readers will no doubt be delighted. Ordway’s wide-eyed artwork is in keeping with the lighter, bold strokes of the plot. As I noted before, I wasn’t wild about the Megistus design, but I have to admit that Ordway did his job: he crafted a look for a Silver Age villain. Ordway also brings an impressive level of detail to the cosmic elements, from Ultraman’s burning flesh to the energies floating around June as she endeavors to save the world. The most surprising — and somewhat disappointing — was the link that’s made between these events and Final Crisis. One of the bonuses of this series has been its self-contained nature, so the passing “crisis” reference in this issue seems out of place. 6/10

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