Batman: The Brave and the Bold #7 – Guillem March, Kyle Starks, Gabriel Hardman, Matthew Rosenberg, Writers; Guillem March, Fernando Pasarin/Oclair Albert/Wade Von Grawbadger, Gabriel Hardman, Matteo Scalera, Artists; Arif Prianto, Matt Herms, Matt Hollingsworth, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This anthology has one continuing story, but three new ones as it continues to explore new corners of the DCU.
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The second chapter of “Batman: Pygmalion,” written and drawn by Guillem March, continues the tale of an amnesiac Batman who finds refuge with a single mother and her courageous daughter. As he rebuilds his crimefighting skills piece by piece, he encounters Catwoman, who seems interested in helping him, but Commissioner Gordon has other plans—because this Batman is wanted for a break-in, one he doesn’t remember at all. What unfolds from there is genuinely bizarre, with one twist after another that reveals that everything we know about this story is a complete lie. There’s one chapter to go, and it’s a fascinating concept for a story, although not at all what was advertised.
Starks and Pasarin take the helm on “Wild Dog: Here Comes Trouble!,” following up from Starks’ work on Peacemaker. Wild Dog, another vigilante with a taste for violence and a reputation as a loser, is the Quad Cities’ most ruthless hero—when he’s not chatting with food truck owners and dealing with legal trouble over his uniform. But when a team of heavily armored henchmen invade the town in an over-the-top robbery, he springs into action and blood follows. This is full of elaborate action scenes, but there’s a larger plot brewing under the surface here as Starks builds a compelling antihero story for a hero—or sort-of hero—who isn’t exactly likable but is very funny to watch.
Gabriel Hardman goes solo on “Aquaman: Communion,” which finds the king of Atlantis getting involved in the rescue of a single fish—only for that fish to give him clues to a much bigger crisis disrupting the migration routes across the ocean. When he investigates, he’s captured and wakes up on a Dominator ship and soon finds out he’s not alone. The ending makes this one of the strangest DC stories I’ve read in a while, with excellent pulp-sci-fi art and some truly out-there story elements that give it a bit of a Silver Age vibe.
Finally, Matt Rosenberg and Matteo Scalera team up on “The Wager,” a black-and-white tale that pits Batman and Etrigan against each other for the fate of a particularly disgusting criminal. Batman wants him to face justice—while the Demon has been summoned by a grieving mother to ensure he faces a very different kind of justice. It’s a darkly creepy tale, more ideal for Halloween, but the art is perfect for it and it has an interesting rapport between the two very different heroes.
Overall, four solid tales that get a little weirder than usual.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.