The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #6 – Liam Sharp, Writer/Artist; Romulo Fajardo Jr., Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Liam Sharp’s epic fantasy saga concludes in The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #6 – or does it? We don’t have any official word, but this issue ties the plot up nicely while also leaving room for a very welcome sequel. Last issue revealed the mysteries of the plot, as the mysterious drifter in Gotham turned out to be none other than King Elatha. His well-intentioned plan was to tear open the gates between Gotham and Tir Na Nog, freeing his people from their realm after eons. Unfortunately, this also had the effect of releasing the imprisoned Mad King Balor, who is now free to return to his realm and take back power. This issue is largely chaos, in the best way – both Gotham and Tir Na Nog are now pulled into the same war. While ogres and elves flood into Gotham, the GCPD has their hands full with this mysterious invasion. Elatha, meanwhile, returns home to find his brother, and teams up with the heroic Cernunnos to fight for the fate of Tir Na Nog. Aside from Balor (who is probably the weakest character in the story) everyone is given solid motivations.
This series could easily have just been a visual feast, but Sharp turns out to be as great a writer as an artist. It’s essentially a tragic Shakespearean saga of family rivalry and the dark side of tradition that’s led the brothers to this point. Cernunnos, one of the only purely noble characters in Tir Na Nog, fights to the end before eventually falling in battle. In some ways, this miniseries doesn’t really feel like it’s about the title characters. Wonder Woman gets involved in the final battle, and dispatches Balor in a spectacular segment. Batman, meanwhile, is back in Gotham and tries to keep the peace with the new residents of Gotham. Sharp’s fantasy creatures are fantastic, and it feels like we’ve just barely scratched the surface of Tir Na Nog. The story doesn’t quite resolve by the end either – not everyone is back where they belong, and the fate of the kingdom is very unsettled. The issue ends with a mention of “Book One”, which means that Sharp probably has a second act in mind. Given the depth of the art here, it probably won’t be any time soon, but I can’t wait to see what Sharp has planned next.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.