New Comics: Space Cadets and Bat Bots


Just like high school, except in space and the leather-clad blondes aren’t beating me up and stealing my lunch money.

Let’s take a quick look at another new comic, this time the fourth issue of “The Brave and the Bold,” DC’s new revival of their classic team-up comic. So far, in a cosmic quest for a pair of artifacts, one mystical, one super-scientific, we’ve seen team-ups of Batman and Green Lantern, Green Lantern and Supergirl, and Batman and Blue Beetle. At the end of the last issue, a terrible accident had occurred while Bats and Beetle were fighting the futuristic Fatal Five, leading to Batman sharing a body with the evil cyborg Tharok — in other words, Batman is currently half-Batman and half insanely murderous robot!

In this issue, we start out with our focus on Batman and Blue Beetle. Bats is having trouble controlling the robotic half of his body and Beetle can’t figure out how to split Batman and Tharok back apart. The rest of the Fatal Five attack, and Batman seemingly sacrifices himself to remove the Fatal Five from the equation.

After that, we switch to this issue’s main team-up — Supergirl and psycho space-biker Lobo. Supergirl’s lost in space, and Lobo’s been hired to get her to the distant planet Rann, where Green Lantern has been teleported. Supergirl and Lobo are teleported from a scummy interstellar bar to, of all places, the Garden of Destiny — as in Destiny, the elder brother of Dream from Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics. Destiny, normally one of the most powerful beings in the universe, is a bit scatter-brained because he’s lost the Book of Destiny, which lists every moment of history, from the beginning of time to the end of everything. Supergirl decides to find the Book, and Destiny returns them to normal space, where Lobo takes her to Rann (and Supergirl welshes on paying him!).

And finally, we catch back up with Batman, still merged with Tharok, transported to the far future, where he’ll team up, next issue, with the Legion of Super-Heroes.

I’m a big fan of this book. George Perez’s artwork is as awesome as ever, and Mark Waid really has a knack for depicting multiple different characters and giving them enough personality to make them all distinctive from each other. The story is entirely rollicking, even in the places where it doesn’t make a lick of sense, and the idea that anything can happen at any time (who ever expected a character from the “Sandman” comics to make a guest appearance?!?) means you anticipate the next new surprise all the way through.

Verdict: Big thumbs up. Go git it.

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