Brave and the Bold isn’t one of the books that is regularly on my pull list. Rather, it’s one of those titles I’ll pick up if the characters appearing in it that month are any that I like – which this month, with it’s starring of Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Classic Flavored Batgirl, it very much was. That JMS was on writing duties and that Cliff Chiang was doing pencils was just icing on what already seemed like a really luscious cake, though it did strike me as odd as first when I saw the three women in the cover. Despite individual dealings with each other, we had never really seen the three of them, hanging out as a trio.
Halfway through the book, a conversation started by Diana starts to explain everything, and it’s at that point that I started to get what this story was about. And man, was it a good story.
It’s a fairly simple plot, but it serves the story well, because the emotion that the latter half of the story brings is…huge, once things start clicking into place. I had to reread the ending twice because, well, I started tearing up the first time around. I’m guy enough to admit it. It was sad – and not at all what I expected the story to be about, but it certainly made a lot of sense, and makes me wish to see some more interaction between Diana, Zatanna, and Barbara, because this could be a friendship as awesome as the one shared between Barbara, Dinah Lance, and Helena Bertinelli.
The art was, of course, beautiful. Cliff Chiang draws a great Diana, and his Zatanna is simply to die for. I would love to see more work from him on that front. His Barbara – both out of costume, and as Batgirl – is great, and I really want to applaud the fact that Chiang has the ability to draw modern, trendy outfits and make them work in a comic book setting, which few artists are able to do.
Though that does bring me to my one, minor gripe, about the story. There are a ton of modern references in a story that, in DC Continuity, took place many years ago – iPhone references, references to songs that have been released in the past three years…all of that pulled me out of the story and made me wonder if we were in some alternate universe for a moment. Granted, once the second half of the story gets moving…all of that flies out the window, and what’s important is this amazing thing that these women are doing out of love, solidarity, and friendship.
**** out of five.