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Saturday, August 20, 2005

My Collection - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD [1955 Series]

The Brave and the Bold [1955 series]
43 issues [1974 - 1983]
112 - 117, 120, 123, 133, 148, 159 - 160, 162 - 163, 165 - 186, 188 - 190, 192 - 193, 197, 200

Long lived DC title which went through a lot of changes. Began as historical fantasy (including Robin Hood, the Viking Prince and the Silent Knight [heh, Silent Knight, I just got that]), then became a Showcase-style title to debut new concepts (including of course the JLA by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky and some great Hawkman issues by Fox and Joe Kubert), then a super-hero team-up book, with Batman installed as the permanent lead star soon after until the end, when it was cancelled and replaced with BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS.

It was my favourite Batman title of the early 1980s, thanks largely to the Jim Aparo artwork in most issues, some great guest stars and the long running back-up series "Nemesis" from Cary Burkett and Dan Spiegle, a straight spy thriller without superhero overtones except the two full-issue crossovers with Batman (illustrated by Aparo). Unfortunately it had spottier distribution than the other Batman books, apparently, as I would miss about two issues a year. Didn't matter as much because there were few continued stories, although missing chapters of Nemesis was annoying.

Picked up a few back-issues in later years, mostly from the run when it was a 100-page giant with a lot of reprints. While I love the Aparo artwork in the lead stories of those issues, I never really got into Bob Haney's writing. I should probably look around and see if I can get a few of the later issues I'm missing at a reasonable price now, maybe sell some of the less memorable ones (if they'd reprint the Nemesis story I could get rid of a lot more).

A few favourites:

#159, Batman and Ra's Al Ghul by O'Neil and Aparo, I think one of the first times I read O'Neil's Batman, and an early favourite of mine.

#177 was one of Mike Barr's first issues, with Elongated Man, and his issues are usually worth reading.

#178, #181, #182, #197 are four issues written by Alan Brennert, about half his total comic book work I think, and are all great stories. #178, with the Creeper guest-starring, is probably the best of them.

#200 had a lot of fun stuff, with Dave Gibbons doing his best faux golden age style for part of a story that featured the Earth-2 Batman, plus an introduction to the Outsiders series that would replace this one. And Bat-Mite.

1 comment:

  1. Nemesis was an outstanding series. And I remember having the same distribution problems you recount. A large part of my pre-1980 Brave and Bold collection was acquired after I discovered my first local comic shop and it's healthy back issue stock.

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