Saturday, September 1, 2018

Retro Review: Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave & The Bold #1 (1999) Review

Green and Red All Over

Written by: Mark Waid, Tom Peyer,
Pencils: Barry Kitson
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Separation: Digital Chameleon
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Cover Price: $2.50
Published: August 1999

My favorite Flash and Green Lantern - and the ones that I grew up with - are Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. For some reason, due to my age, Wally West and the other Lanterns (with perhaps the exception of Guy Gardner) seemed to bypass my peak reading years. So it was with some interest that I stumbled upon this Flash – Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold series, starring my faves. Two for the price of one – sound’s promising. Let’s see what it is like. 
The story structure for this issue sees the tale separated into 3 parts and a very short epilogue. I should start by saying that this issue gives us two things that I appreciated. Firstly it was a self-contained story, and secondly it was weighted towards the human side of the characters. Before that though, the opening of the book sees an incident on an airplane which involves a shadow like presence that causes the apparent suicide of a passenger under its evil influence.  The scene then moves on to Hal waiting for Barry at the airport and some humorous exchanges following Barry’s late arrival. They then head to the party where the exchanges, Hal's competition for Carol Ferris and the period fashion all serve to make this really enjoyable. Then the shadowy presence from the opening scene returns. 
The second and third sections of the book show some great team action scenes taking place on another planet in pursuit of the enemy, and in closing on earth. A lovely little epilogue page is notable for its closing pieces of dialogue which show both men puzzled by what it is that bonds them together as good friends despite their many personality differences. It is a great closing to a fun book. Oh and Hal has to recharge his ring, which was great to see given the extended absence of this feature of Green Lantern lore in more recent years. 

Bits and Pieces:
The art in this book was rendered in the classic Bronze/Modern Age DC style, but given the publication date, the actual coloring and separation work was really fresh and nuanced. There was a wonderful opening page (first picture above). The story was where this book’s strengths lay though, and although the villain was pretty generic, as an opening issue in a series showcasing two classic characters this was a lot of fun.


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