10 May 2011

Free Comic Book Day 2011 - "Young Justice/Batman: The Brave and the Bold"

FCBD 2011 Young Justice Batman BB Super Sampler #1

Young Justice "Face Your Fears"
Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco
Artist: Mike Norton
Colorist: Zac Atkinson
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover by: Mike Norton & Alex Sinclair
Assistant Editor: Michael McCalister
Editor: Jim Chadwick

The Young Justice team (comprised of Justice League members's sidekicks) is sent to Colorado, where villainous Psycho-Pirate is in the process of stealing a container of plutonium.  He attempts to slow down the Young Justice members through the use of a mask that allows him to amplify and manipulate emotions in others, paralyzing the teens with their innermost insecurities and fears.  Naturally, they eventually overcome and save the day.

It's a rather perfunctory story, but it uses the fear sequence to offer exposition about who these characters are, which is of course the intended purpose of a FCBD book: an introduction.  I've seen a few episodes of the animated Young Justice series lately and I dig it.  I won't go out of my way to pick up the comics, but I suspect they'll be just as enjoyable as the show.  My favorite part is that Psycho-Pirate's partner/master, Atomic Skull, appears to be using a Runabout shuttle from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as his getaway vehicle.  That design is pretty distinctive.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold "Let Me Tell You About Bruce Wayne..."
Sholly Fisch - Writer
Rick Burchett - Penciller
Dan Davis - Inker
Gabe Eltaeb - Colorist
Travis Lanham - Letterer
Chynna Clugston Flores - Assistant Editor
Jim Chadwick - Editor
Batman created by Bob Kane

Bruce Wayne's absence from a charity fundraiser elicits disparaging gossip, as he's in Central City assisting Barry Allen (The Flash) in rescuing children from a burning building and confronting a pair of baddies (Heat Wave and Firefly).  I'm a sucker for stories that show us how Gothamites view Bruce Wayne and Batman, and "Let Me Tell You About Bruce Wayne..." is one of the more enjoyable ones I've come across recently.  I've seen a handful of the TV series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and while I was at first reticent about its tone I've got to say I think it's one of the stronger entries in the animated DC canon.  It's got a unique tone and aesthetic, and it's a testament to the flexible nature of Batman that this kind of lighthearted series can be just as valid as the grittier incarnations of the character.  This was a genuinely delightful short story.

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