The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3 – Liam Sharp, Writer/Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Gorgeous Story
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: The main plot of this series finally begins in Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3, as Batman awakens in the realm of Tir Na Nog. The opening segment is one of the issue’s best, as an amnesiac, naked Bruce Wayne is greeted by a trio of giggling sprites luring him into their bathwater. Liam Sharp’s writing of this mystic realm is fascinating, as he manages to give a unique voice to every single creature within it. It’s not until Diana shows up that Bruce remembers who he is and why he’s there, and she’s able to recruit him into solving the mystery of the murder of the king before the various magical races go to war. As Diana takes Bruce through the realm, which has collapsed into violence and squalor, it becomes clear just how out of his depth Bruce is. When he encounters a group of ogres using invisibility spells and exposes them using legends he’s heard of Irish folklore from an old nanny, he attempts to interrogate them – and winds up offending them, setting up a huge battle.
Bruce may be the best detective in the world, but a magical adventurer he’s definitely not, and that makes this the best kind of team-up. Diana is an amazing mystical warrior, but not a detective. Bruce is a crime-solver extraordinaire but has never been more out of place. Neither one could accomplish this mission alone. Liam Sharp has a surprisingly strong handle on dialogue for his first long-form DC Comic, and this issue makes me think he might actually be a great choice to take over on the regular Wonder Woman title (on writing at least, doing art for special issues as time permits). However, as good as his writing is, it’s his art that stands out brilliantly here. With quite a few double-page spreads, the detail he puts into every panel is staggering. It’s the kind of lush fantasy the Wonder Woman title has been missing for some time. The best issue of the series so far, a fascinating mystery, and one of the most gorgeous comics you’ll read this year.
Corrina: The art is so lush, so detailed, and so beautiful that this is one of those times when, if I bought the single issues, I’d also buy the deluxe slipcase edition as well. (DC, you have that in the works already, right?)
Yet while the art is eye-popping, detailed, and layered, Sharp’s writing also impresses, especially in how well he portrays Bruce and Diana. As Ray said, Bruce has never been more out of his element but he’s also able to contribute and he’s not unfamiliar with supernatural beings and thus is not intimidated (much) dealing with powerful and unpredictable beings. For Diana, who is used to walking in magic realms, she has some blind spots about how Tir Na Nog has been eaten from within, a cancer of despair that may be difficult, if not impossible, to heal.
The true villain is revealed at the end and I have no idea how our heroes are going to win.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.