Fully focusing upon the Dark Knight’s enthralling exploration of Tir Na Nog alongside Princess Diana of Themyscira, Liam Sharp’s narrative for Issue Three of “The Brave And The Bold: Batman And Wonder Woman” treads a wonderfully fine line between bombarding its readers with arguably superfluous fluff concerning the “world of Celtic myth” and leading them by the hand through the thorough, “liminal” thought processes of “the World’s Greatest Detective.” Admittedly, Bruce Wayne’s metal abilities aren’t initially up to the challenge of solving “the mystery of a murdered god”, due to his mystical journey literally ‘wiping him out’. But his memory and quick-wits are soon returned to him courtesy of the warm, scented waters of a sprite-drawn bath and a spot of “skinny-dipping”.
Indeed, no sooner has the initially befuddled billionaire ‘slipped’ his Batsuit on, than he is commandingly riding an all-white steed through the beautiful yet sad “Land of the Young”, honing his senses to a place where “you tell me we cannot trust time” and contemplating the peculiar peace between “natural enemies” the Fomorians and the De Danann. This insight into Batman’s usual practice of applying logic and science to his deductive methodology is a delight to behold, especially when he suddenly throws aside “hard evidence” and “rigorous scientific testing” for “a stone with a naturally worn hole through it…”
Interestingly, the caped crime-fighter’s surprising ability to “see through faeries magic” with a hag stone, and subsequently confront three foul-looking monstrous beings, additionally provides the Derby-born writer with an opportunity to demonstrate another of the wealthy philanthropist’s investigative tools, an insinuating tongue which goads his suspects into acts of desperate violence; “You feck! I’ve killed better men than you for less… We loved our king!” Such an ‘out of the blue’ vehement outburst brings the Dark Knight’s preliminary enquiries to a pulse-pounding conclusion, whilst also providing Wonder Woman an opportunity to pit her superhuman muscles against those of the larger-sized Fomorian warriors.
Sharp’s artistic skill is equally as impressive within the confines of this twenty-two page periodical, with the co-founder of “Madefire Inc” pencilling some breath-taking scenic views of Tir Na Nog, not least of which is the land’s “very tangible border” double splash, as well as plenty of sense-shattering fisticuffs once Batman decides to adopt a more straightforwardly physical interrogation technique and employs both sleeping gas and his steely fists upon his foes. In fact, even this book’s enormously dialogue-heavy conclusion, set within the highly detailed tall towers of the Court of the De Danann, remains “interesting” despite a truly phenomenal word-count.