First Published: January 2007
Contents: The Brave and The Bold #59 (April-May 1965), #64 (February-March 1966), #67 (August-September 1966) to #71 (April-May 1967), #74 (October-November 1967) to #87 (December 1969-January 1970)
Key Creator Credits: Bob Haney, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky, Neal Adams, Ross Andru
Key First Appearances: Time Commander, Copperhead, Hellgrammite, Bork
Story Continues In: Showcase Presents The Brave and The Bold Batman Team-Ups Vol. 2
Overview: In the mid-1960s, Batman was reaching to new heights of popularity. Along with the weekly television show, the character could be found across a variety of titles, such as Batman, Detective Comics, World’s Finest, and the Justice League of America. So why stop there? If the Batman and Robin team-up is so great, wouldn’t a team-up with Batman and <character of the month> be just as great? Absolutely!
The Batman team-ups collected in this volume are an interesting mix. We get team-ups featuring many of his teammates from the Justice League, such as Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Hawkman. There are “unusual” team-ups with the supernatural characters, such as Deadman and the Spectre. And then there are the downright confusing team-ups, such as Sgt. Rock during the days of World War II.
Bob Haney wrote the majority of these stories and seemed to be given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted within the pages of the book. These stories have often been described as taking place on Earth-B (for Bob Haney). The art features some of the best artists at DC during this era, with Mike Sekowsky, Ross Andru, and Neal Adams doing some of his earliest work for DC.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: This is a fun, fun book. You see Batman in goofy pairings that would never happen with the modern dark-and-brooding Caped Crusader. This volume gives us a look at the changing DC Universe during the late 1960s. Wonder Woman’s second appearance in this volume is during her white jumpsuit, no powers Diana Prince era of stories. Neal Adams redesigns Green Arrow’s outfit into his most familiar costume and goatee in his second appearance in the book. We get one of the first encounters between Batman and the Teen Titans, which started the ongoing storyline of Dick Grayson/Robin trying to get out of Batman’s shadow and become an equal hero in his own rights. As long as you keep in mind that some of these stories should fall outside of the ongoing continuity, you will be fine!
Footnotes: The Brave and The Bold was an anthology title that started in 1955. In 1959, it became a try-out book for new characters, such as the Suicide Squad, the Justice League of America, Cave Carson, and Hawkman. Later debuts include the Teen Titans and Metamorpho. Issue #50 featured the first “team-up” with Green Arrow and the Martian Manhunter. With issue #74, Batman became the permanent host of the title, teaming him up with all kinds of characters in and out of continuity.
Who’s Who / Reprinted Elsewhere:
#59 – Batman & Green Lantern
#64 – Batman & Eclipso
#67 – Batman & Flash
#68 – Batman & Metamorpho / Showcase Presents Metamorpho Vol. 1
#69 – Batman & Green Lantern
#70 – Batman & Hawkman / Showcase Presents Hawkman Vol. 2
#71 – Batman & Green Arrow / Showcase Presents Green Arrow Vol. 1
#74 – Batman & Metal Men
#75 – Batman & Spectre / Showcase Presents Spectre Vol. 1
#76 – Batman & Plastic Man
#77 – Batman & Atom
#78 – Batman & Wonder Woman and Batgirl / Showcase Presents Batgirl Vol. 1
#79 – Batman & Deadman
#80 – Batman & Creeper
#81 – Batman & Flash
#82 – Batman & Aquaman
#83 – Batman & Teen Titans / Showcase Presents Teen Titans Vol. 2
#84 – Batman & Sgt. Rock
#85 – Batman & Green Arrow / Showcase Presents Green Arrow Vol. 1
#86 – Batman & Deadman
#87 – Batman & Wonder Woman
The full review can be found at EssentialShowcase.com.
To find the original issues, or reprints, of The Brave and the Bold, check with your local comic book store. In the Midwest, I strongly recommend Clint’s Comics in midtown Kansas City. Clint’s has been in business for nearly 50 years at the intersection of Main St. and Westport Rd. The back-issue selection is incredible, and what you see in the store is just a small fraction of their total inventory. In addition to the back issues, Clint’s stocks current issues, trade paperbacks, toys, T-shirts, and more. Check out Clint’s Comics to build your own essential collection!