The Brave And The Bold: Batman And Wonder Woman #2

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Brave&TheBoldDespite providing the Dark Knight with far more ‘screen time’ than its preceding edition, Liam Sharp’s script for Issue Two of “The Brave And The Bold: Batman And Wonder Woman” arguably still badly bogs itself down amidst the mythological weeds of Tir Na Nog and magic, to the point where much of the dialogue taking place within this twenty-two page periodical proves incomprehensible gobbledegook, or at best, a tiring banal read. In fact, there are debatably passages within this book, such King McCool’s speech “on behalf of the De Danann” or later Bruce Wayne’s laboriously lengthy explanation as to the tangible reality of enchantments, which genuinely must have tried the fortitude of even the most patient of bookworms.

Frustratingly for a publication featuring two of “DC Comics” ‘holy trinity’, there isn’t even any action to speak of with which to break up this monotony either, unless of course the co-founder of “Madefire Incorporated” felt Batman’s muscle-straining flight from “the dark spirit visions of the Phooka” was pulse-pounding enough to sate the adrenalin junkies within his audience..? Certainly, the Dark Knight’s tentative reaching out for a simple brick wall whilst being hollered at down his ear-piece by an increasingly anxious Alfred Pennyworth is about as exciting as this magazine’s plot gets, with perhaps the possible exception of Diana momentarily hoisting Captain Furf aloft and threatening to “end it” if the grotesque, skeletal-like warrior doesn’t stop threatening to kill Donal of the De Danann for the “murder of Eleatha, High King of the Fomorians”.

Quite possibly the only intriguing aspect to “In The Court Of The De Danann” therefore, apart from its British author’s marvellously detailed pencilling and fantastic-looking ghostly ghouls, is the strangely enigmatic hobo living within the Irish Quarter of Gotham City. Long-haired and weather-worn, the homeless vagabond predominantly speaks utter gibberish in his attempt to pacify his long departed “dear old ex-wife [named] Molly”, whose love the man seemingly lost whilst travelling “the length and breadth of Ireland” in search of “a way into fair Tir Na Nog”. This “last of the Gotham druids” apparently knows far more about the old places buried beneath the metropolis’ office blocks and car parks than he lets on, and his eventual discovery of a gateway to “freedom” at the end of his dilapidated, detritus-laden garden provides a surprising moment of emotional entertainment…

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For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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