Batman: The Brave and the Bold #12 (February, 2010)
Writer – Landry Q. Walker
Artist – Eric Jones
Colorist – Heroic Age
Letterer – Rob Clark, Jr.
Assistant Editor – Harvey Richards
Editor – Michael Siglain
Cover Price: $2.50
Heading back into the animated world for the Tenth Day of Christmas on Infinite Earths… and it’s a take on yet another animated series that I haven’t seen a frame of… though, if I’m being honest… this one actually sorta tickles my interest.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008-2011, Cartoon Network) feels like the kinda show where more of the oddball DC characters might get their chance to shine (just checking the Wiki tells me that ‘Mazing Man was a part of this!)… which, is right up my alley. Might have to actually check this one out!
We open, and it’s Christmas Eve… in the city that seems to have more Christmas Eves than any other, Gotham! Batman is on the trail of the Calendar Man. We get a bit of cute dialogue referencing how un-threatening the Calendar Man is in comparison to some of the other Christmas Eve battles the Batman has had, “Your rampage of irritating misdemeanors ends now, Calendar Man!”… however, before our man can collar the crim, he vanishes! And so, Cee-Emm celebrates… until the Earth explodes.
We rejoin Batman as he is being pulled to Rann via the Zeta Beam. Upon arrival, he meets up with… you guessed it, Adam Strange… who is locked in combat with… are those Shadow Demons from Crisis on Infinite Earths?!
Batman and Adam fight off the throngs long enough for Alana Strange to show up with the heavy artillery… and a rocket-hover-gimmick for the trio to escape on. Unfortunately, there is too much anti-matter interference for them to take off. Not that that’ll stop Batman though! He has his own toys… that somehow don’t have to comply with silly things like “anti-matter interference”. The Stranges hitch a ride with the Bat, as though he were a reindeer pulling a sleigh!
The heroes successfully escape… and make their way to the Psion Base. There we get a cute bit of Batman over-complicating their approach. He begins to meticulously plan how the trio will split up to look for the Central Control System… until, of course, Alana informs him that they’re already there.
Batman is miffed, and claims he’s have realized that soon enough… which leads us to a “girls can do anything that boys can” speech from Alana. It’s passive-aggressive sure, but doesn’t come across as politically charged and angry as it would be if written today. Sensing danger, Alana swats Adam aside… and is blasted for her troubles!
It’s a Psion baddie… who unfortunately brought a gun to a Bat-fight. Batman makes short work of him… and then presses for answers. The geek informs him that the Anti-matter generator is locked in overdrive… and has caused the Shadow Demons to bust in from Qward… and wreck all sort of havoc, including knocking over the first domino in deleting the universe. Oh, so that’s what happened to Earth! Satisfied with the information, Batman hits the goof with some kayo-binaca… but not before learning that all of the deleted universal information is being stored on “data orbs”.
And so, it’s up to our Zeta-beam saturated heroes to “restore the universe to an earlier date”. The following morning (Christmas morning), Adam and Batman grab the data orbs… and instead of being rendered out of existence, their Zeta-beam residue holds them together… and somehow makes Adam Strange look kinda Santaish… and Batman look more like Bat-Mite!
Batman and Adam Strange release the orbs while Alana reverses the Anti-Matter signal… and before long, the Earth (and presumably the rest of the universe) is back in business!
This new big bang ends with… a bang! Well, actually a “Thoooom”. Batman and Adam pop back to Rann, however just moments later the former’s Zeta Beam wears off returning him to Earth…
… precisely at the moment he left! Sorry, Calendar Man… it’s just not your day.
I really wasn’t expecting to like this. Figured it was going to be another “kids book” that pokes fun at how “silly” comic books are… but actually found that not to be the case at all!
I mean sure, there’s some Calendar Man silliness… but, more than not, this feels like it was written with a very real love of DC Comics and DC Comics history. So often I feel like these “all-ages books” are produced by folks too far detached from the source material… sort of just “piss takes” on superhero conventions and “har har hars” on how silly spandex-wearing crime fighters truly are. Which, really now… just isn’t necessary. We’re all “in” on that joke (and have made peace with it!)… we don’t need it drilled into our skulls.
I was absolutely shocked to see the freakin’ Shadow Demons of Qward. That’s one helluva deep-cut for a book of this sort. Between that and the story title “Final Christmas” during the year that Final Crisis is on the shelves… c’mon, that’s great. Especially for an idiot who is running a Christmas on Infinite Earths special for the second year in a row.
Of course the story ends conveniently… but, when it’s Christmas I find that I’m more willing to give that sort of thing a pass. Miracles are par for the course this time of year… so, it’s hard for me to get mad at it.
The art here is really good… though, still not really my cuppa tea. I do like it quite a bit better than the normal animated-style-in-comics look though.
Overall… this was a pleasant surprise! Not sure it will enter the annual rotation for me… but, had more fun with it than I expected! Worth grabbing if you come across it in the wild, or if you have young children (along with the fun story, there are plenty of neat activities included–see below)… also, available digitally for just a buck!
On the Tenth Day of Christmas on Infinite Earths, I give to you Batman: The Brave and the Bold #12, JSA Classified #33, The Spirit #13, Justice League Unlimited #28, Shade the Changing Man (vol.2) #19, Action Comics #762! Young Justice #40, Superman: The Man of Steel #109, Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special, and a Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2 Review.