Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Classicos DC - The brave and the bold tangent 2

Well, after the whole solicitations marathon of the last days it's back to our usual analysis of CLASSICOS DC - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. Or so I thought......

It seems that everything I start leads me back to cartoon shows these days. But let's start with the beginning. Since I'm still writing about volume 4 of the spanish edition of The Brave and the Bold I wanted to do a spotlight about one of the two guest artists included in the spanish edition. Now primary this edition focuses on Jim Aparo but since he's a fellow paisano this volume includes two stories drawn by comic legend Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. One is a team up with Hawkman and the other almost a team up with Scalphunter.

I'm saying almost because Scalphunter doesn't do much in the comic and there is not much interaction between the two heroes. The reason I'm going to write about this particular story is that the science involved baffles me a bit since I have never heard of hypnosis induced time travels before. Now as I said that's what I wanted to write about. But doing the research I found out that there was a comic series Jose Luis Garcia Lopez was involved with that I thought to have read.....but I didn't.

You see, a few years back I bought one or two ( I'm not sure ) issues of a DEADMAN comic with art by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez.

Those were two issues that told one story and in my memory in one of the issues Kara Zor - El ( the original pre - crisis Supergirl ) made a guest appearance. Well, as it seems my memory is not as good as I thought because according to internet sources that story was not in one of those comics but in 1998's CHRISTMAS WITH THE SUPER - HEROES 2 which I don't remember to posess.

But who knows maybe I bought it at some comic convention and just forgot about it. It's difficult to say without having access to my comic collection.

To make matters worse the issues that I had thought belonged to the DEADMAN miniseries were in truth from the series that was started after that and was supposed to be ongoing. But due to the limited success the series was cut short and ended with issue 9. Well, that's no wonder because I remember going through the issues at the Comicboerse in Stuttgart and the only ones that had good art were the two issues by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. Confused ? Okay, here's the deal :

In 2001 DC comic wanted to restart the DEADMAN franchise with a 5 issue limited series called DEADMAN - DEAD AGAIN that should lead into a regular series.

The synopsis of the least as far as I know......was that Deadman traveled to significant deaths in the DC universe like the death of Barry Allen or Jason Todd ( which is now a bit bizarre since Jason has been resurrected as the Red Hood ). The covers were done by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and the art in most issues were done by Leonard Kirk. The Green Lantern issue was of course done by Mark D. Bright and the Jason Todd issue was done by Jim Aparo who were the artists of the referenced original issues.

Looking back I don't know why I never bought it. I guess I was cutting back my pull list at the time. I think I have to see if I can get it in trade.

Anyway, the issues I bought were from the following series that ran from February 2002 to October 2002 called simply DEADMAN with art by regular artist......well, whoever that was. Right now I can't open the series index so I'll have to put it in later. The reason why so many pictures of DEADMAN came up during my search for Jose Luis Garcia Lopez is that he apparently did a four issue mini written by Andrew Helfer that picked up the story where Neal Adams' classic series left off. Hmm, I don't think I have read that one either.....or better neither of them. My comic budget is just going to explode.

After that whole confusion I went back to looking for more about THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD issue 171 and the first thing I found was a review at THE COMICS TREADMILL of the original issues that I will post when I'll do the post about the issue. It also isn't so sure about the validity of hypnosis induced time travel for getting accurate historical facts. Anyway, the second thing I found brought me right back to the cartoons.

In one of the solicitation posts I wrote about an issue of BATMAN : THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD that was announced as a spin off of the cartoon show. Well, today I found a trailer clip on YouTube.

Of course all the comments just talk about how this is not the real Batman and how he is supposed to be all dark and brooding bla, bla, bla. Well, comparing it to the issues of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD in the spanish edition I would say they pretty much hit the mark dead center. They even got the batsymbol right.

Yes, it's the original symbol with the yellow circle. I know that Frank Miller is right now cringing inside but all I can say is : suffer dude ! I had to swallow it for years ever since you decided to downgrade the costume. And millions had to suffer your BATMAN ALL STAR ( which I really enjoyed ) so now it's your turn to endure the pain. Ha ha ha. This is almost sweeter than when DC pissed off millions of Kylehugg.....I mean Kyle Rayner fans by bringing Hal Jordan back.

Aside from that I think I'm going to like the series. The animation is pretty good, the flow is smooth without awkward movements like in other series and the guest stars are also good. They included the new Blue Beetle which is a no - brainer since one of the best issues of the new THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD SERIES ( not counting the Wonder Woman / Power Girl team up.....didn't think I would manage to mention her, right ? ) was the one with Jamie. Naturally they just had to include Green Arrow since he was a mainstay on the original book but I like that they went with the classic version.

For me the original version was always the one wiht the beard and the long sleeves but who knows - they might surprise me. Can't wait to see the boxing glove arrow just for the wackyness of it - and because so many would really hate that.

As for the other guests they have gone for underused characters with a lot of potential. Aquaman is a mix of the old and the new with the old costume and the new beard. I'm just glad they got rid of the hook. Red Tornado was always one of my favorite JLA characters visiually and like Joe Kelly showed on his unparalleled run on JLA Plastic Man is one of the most underused characters of the DC universe. There are almost no limits to what he is capable of but he's never more than the comic relief in the book. I hope he can show his stuff on this show.

I have to wait till I have seen some episodes but I think this is going to be one fun series. And the fact that everyone else is going to hate it just makes it all the sweeter. You know, I really started watching SPONGEBOB when my brothers began complaining about it and telling me how much they hated it. We all like to stand out and enjoy the things others don't. And you really can't convince me that Batman's supposed to be dark and brooding - especially after reading the BRAVE AND THE BOLD issues by Jim Aparo where he cracks a smile or a joke and even laughs wholeheartedly. It's okay for Batman to be fun - and for comics too.

Which brings us full circle. This began with The Brave and the Bold by Jim Aparo and it also ends here. Yes, that's right - right here and right now. Once again it's time to wrap this up and continue it in our next part where we will take a closer look at Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and crazy time travel techniques. Unless something else comes up.

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