Thursday, June 29, 2023

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #2 Review


Written by: Tom King, Ed Brisson, Christopher Cantwell, Joëlle Jones
Art by: Jeff Spokes, Javier Rodríguez, Mitch Gerads, Joëlle Jones
Colors by: Jeff Spokes, Javier Rodríguez, Mitch Gerads, Joëlle Jones
Letters by: Clayton Cowles, Saida Temofonte, Simon Bowland, Steve Wands
Cover art by: Simone Di Meo
Cover price: $7.99
Release date: June 27, 2023

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #2 continues the chaptered anthology series when Batman faces Joker for the first time, Stormwatch is tasked with stopping a killer virus, Superman finds a mysterious fortress, and Batman reminisces about his scars.

Is It Good?

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #2 has merit, but it's mostly a humorless, joyless, low-energy attempt at creating a showcase highlighting the Dark Knight and his allies. On the positive side, you get a collection of different forms and flavors of Batman and Batman-adjacent stories without having to commit to a multi-arc story. On the negative side, the stories are largely slow, frequently dreary, and not particularly entertaining, especially for the elevated cover price.

If you like the current direction of Batman comics, this anthology is more of the same. If you wanted an anthology to showcase infrequently-seen Batman-related characters or just wanted a Batman book with something different, you'll be disappointed.


Batman: The Winning Card, Pt. 2

After a gruesome mass murder, Commissioner Gordon enlists Batman during his first year as a Caped Crusader, concluding the best way to fight crazy is with crazier. When Batman sets a trap designed to beat Joker at his own game, Batman soon learns he'll need more than strength to beat the Clown Prince of Crime.

This is an odd continuation of the story from the previous issue. There's no circumstance where Batman, even in his year one days, is beaten in a straight fight by the Joker, and yet, here we are. The story is dark, grim, and visually effective, but the whole gist of Joker as a character is victory through insane cleverness. Here, Joker out-endures and outfights Batman, so it looks good but rings false.

Stormwatch: Down with the Kings, Pt. 2

The team is sent on an assignment to track down a Xebellian sword that contains a lethal virus that feeds on salt water. If the virus cuts anyone, the results are deadly within 72 hours. If the virus gets into the ocean, the results will be catastrophic.

Ed Brisson's story takes a little while to get going, but once it moves, it sprints. The threat makes sense for a team portrayed as something between Doom Patrol and Suicide Squad, but the threat itself (a Xebellian Blade that infects its victims with a saltwater-eating virus) doesn't make a whole lot of sense when it's wielded by underwater people. Jeff Spokes's art is fantastic, but the plot is contradictory.

Superman: Order of the Black Lamp, Pt. 2

Superman follows the trail of the mysterious decoder ring he received in the last issue to an unexplored mountain in Kasmir. There, the Man of Steel finds an underground fortress housing a secret army with advanced weapons, robots, and more. When Superman fights, sneaks, and tunnels his way into the fortress's depths, he comes face-to-face with a forgotten hero who hasn't aged a day in decades.

Why is a Superman story in a Batman comic? Nevermind. Christopher Cantwell's Golden Age-inspired story has a mildly interesting mystery at its heart, and the twist cliffhanger is intriguing, but Javier Rodríguez's minimalist art style may be a little too post-modern for the average reader's taste.

Scars (All Things Considered)

Batman returns to the Batcave with a leg wound that's sure to leave a scar. In a brief moment of self-reflection, Batman considers all the ways he's earned scars in his career as a Caped Crusader.

Joëlle Jones's story about a life of earned scars reads as a mostly silent, B&W montage cum vignette to showcase Jones's composition skills. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if you were interested in a complete story, this short, at best, falls into the flash fiction category.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #2 gives you different views into the Dark Knight with generally great art. But each chapter is either significantly flawed or lacks anything to get excited about.


No comments:

Post a Comment