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Longbox Junk The Brave and The Bold Part 2: Issues 191, 192, 195 & 196

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Welcome back to the series that's like that one guy at work who just does what he has to do and nothing else. He knows he's never going to get a great review from management, but he doesn't care as long as he just gets paid.

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (DC)

ISSUE 191

In a strange turn of events, Batman and Joker team up to find the truth after Penguin is killed and Joker is framed for the death. Will you be surprised if I tell you it's the worst team-up ever? Didn't think so. . .

This unlikely team-up between Batman and Joker was actually pretty good. . .in an 80's hilarity way, of course.

The Aparo art is barely passable and the story is thin and ridiculous, but you have to love the gymnastics needed in order for this teamup to take place. Then there's the hilarity of Joker trying to kill Batman twice "Out of habit" during their partnership. . .the "Jokermobile", and how Batman finds Joker by just going up to his "Ha-Hacienda" and knocking on the door.

Even Grant Morrison stayed clear of THESE events. And that's saying something.

All in all, this was actually decent, but only for the "Really?" factor.

ISSUE 192

It's time travel madness as C-List villain I.Q. somehow manages to make a time machine from parts bought at a local electronics shop, sending Superman back in time so he won't interfere with his nefarious schemes. . .but accidentally pulling Superboy forward so he can team up with Batman to take him down. Oops!

Pretty bad.

Aparo's art is better than usual on this one, and the cover is actually pretty cool. . .but the time travel shenanigans needed to force the Superboy/Batman teamup are so weak it's ridiculous.

And then there's Superboy fashioning long underwear out of lead to resist the Kryptonite the villian has for. . .reasons? No. EIGHTIES reasons! That's it.

So bad. No bueno.

ISSUE 195

Vampires have come to Gotham! Batman and Andrew Bennett (I. . .Vampire) team up to rid the city of filthy bloodsuckers and, in doing so, save the daughter of a mob boss before she turns into a cursed creature of the night!

I found this issue to be a lot of fun and a good read. The writing was grim and moody (mostly from Andrew Bennett's miserable perspective) and a nice change from the goofiness of some of the previous issues.

Also, unlike some of the other Brave and Bold stories that are extremely dated, I think this one holds up pretty well today.  Another decent example of when this series did things right.

ISSUE 196

After Ragman saves Batman from a trap, they team up to take down a group of domestic terrorists. Plus the origin of Ragman!

o me, Ragman has always been sort of an unnecessary character. This issue is no different. It's not terrible, but the writing is overblown in trying to be dark and grim, but just doesn't pull it off in the way the I. . .Vampire teamup in the previous issue did. Here, it just comes off as trying too hard. That and Ragman's origin is just ridiculous, no matter WHO writes it (at least in his original form. The revamped origin in the 90's was better).

All in all, like Ragman himself, I found no real reason for this to exist. It was utterly average in every way.

CONCLUSION

This handful of Brave and Bold really only had ONE good issue in it.  I don't have the full run, but I have the definite feeling that's the basic ratio.  Even from the limited number of issues I do have, it's pretty plain to see that this was a series that really didn't try too hard. . .

Up next. . .

Meet a man who has denied himself all pleasure except for the beautiful screams of the wicked.

R.E. Howard's grim puritan himself, Solomon Kane, in Dark Horse's "Red Shadows" mini.

Be there or be square!


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