Review: “Great BATMAN Authors: Neal Adams. Brave and Bold.” Batman Team Up.



He drew




“I guess you’re right, Batman…as always”

A set of comics where a great got his start and that served him to present authentic jewels of the ninth art shortly after.

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Second batch of Neal Adams’ Batman brought to us by ECC Ediciones after the one shared with Dennis O’Neil. Jump back two years to feature a handful of Dark Knight comics in the late 1960s. Comics from the time of shared protagonism with Superman and a few characters from the DC universe. In 1968, with only a couple of years at the publisher, Adams attracted enough attention to hand over the graphic and narrative controls of one of his main sports cars. With his groundbreaking realistic and cinematic style, the cartoonist blew the minds of readers of the time with innovative page layouts, mind-blowing anthropomorphic details never seen before, and an unprecedented sense of movement from points of view unusual for those already known. A visual presentation that turned the most spectacular cinematographic action sequences into a drawing. And above allthe most powerful image of Batman ever seen to that date and still remains a favorite for most fans. This volume brings together two episodes taken from the collection that he shared with Superman, World’s Finest Comics, seven from the series The Brave and The Bold, a container of the DC universe that justified the interaction of the protagonist with various characters in the house, plus a Christmas short story from the Batman series.


The issue starts with those dedicated to the one made up of Batman and Superman with a cover date of May and June 1968. Patience please. I am not going to repeat the topic that you have to put yourself in the context of the time to enjoy them because already in these times, and especially in competition, at this point more complex and deep stories are already proliferating. Yes, they have aged very badly. I say this because the situations created by the writers behind these two episodes are childish and silly. Nor should it be given more thought, understanding that it was one more series from the publisher with the only excuse being the union of its main characters, with no qualitative pretensions. Evasion of these years and let’s leave it there. These two cases could not be more exemplary. An alien squad seeking Superman’s demise teams up with another revenge squad of criminals seeking Batman’s demise by taking advantage of the two friends’ annual intelligence showdown. In this quote, both (and I’m not talking about the bad guys) test each other with a series of traps (supposedly funny) that go from the explosion of a nuclear bomb next to a city to thin ropes that break lead to the void. . The other example is a master actor of disguise who presents himself as a refugee alien pursued by another law enforcement officer from the same planet. His intention is to play with the two heroes as a final farewell to having a terminal illness and to whom the two follow the game as a tribute to his career despite the material destruction and urban disorder that the plan entails. . Very Silver Age but late. How could it be otherwise, a few laughs came from this reader before such an accumulation of Martians. The quality is elsewhere. It is in the name that gives name to the volume. And that is another thing. The dynamism of Adams with figures so large and so populated is impressive. They are episodes with many characters where they fit perfectly into the frames, from high and low angle shots. The design of the alien from the second story and its detail in close-ups is so believable that it seems that he has used a real model. The classic panel structure is twisted to its ends achieving that devilishly fast pace full of movement. It was so good that these comics are read in one sitting today. That is the main asset. These comics with a stencil and static drawing would not have survived. With Adams art they make it forever.

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Special mention are dedicated for The Brave and The Bold with scripts by Bob Haney. The artistic level rises in a series of self-contained stories that are more bearable in terms of script, more down to earth. In this context of clear stories. Always of a detective and conspiracy nature against adversaries who circulate in criminal organizations and corrupt companies. Deadman, Creeper, Flash, Aquaman, Sergeant Rock, Green Arrow and The New Titans team up with Batman in very classic schemes of cases to be solved and plots to be unraveled. The bizarre is found in the team up with Sergeant Rock to explain a story of the little horns in World War II presenting the good manners of Bruce Wayne as an allied agent against the Nazis. Stories in which we will see him as a Senator for one day and an industrial spy for another. As in the previous section, At the plot level they are simple and straightforward. Jack, Knight and King. Remember that they are twenty-four page comics where you have to justify the daily battles and the explanation of the alliances. There is no continue, everything must resolve to a single number. There is no room for character development, though there is at least some slight internal exploration (examples in the Deadman and Green Arrow story). However, they are better enjoyed than the first two of the volume as they have more plot logic (I repeat, in this context). Even so, the smile did not disappear from the face of the reader who subscribes here. You have to admit that they have their charm.

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But of course, the absolute protagonist is the good Neal. Above in one of the sweetest artistic moments of him. We are in late ’68 and all of ’69. It was the years of Deadman, House of Mystery, Batman and X-Men. The prelude to his great classics in Detective Comics and in Green Lantern/Green Arrow with Dennis O’Neil. Here continues to experiment with narrative and composition, reaching absolutely transcendental moments in the American comic industry. Images with a spectacular realism full of unprecedented points of view. From the appearances of the characters from the waist down to the three-dimensional perspectives of their precipitation. Those falls from a skyscraper seen from the side from a shot that starts from the other inside, doubling the vignette, to end in another with an impressive explosion in that same interior. The set of vignettes executed gives that sensation of reality so spectacular. Seen today the art of Adams continues to make your hair stand on end. I don’t want to imagine the rush that those who found this fresh from the kiosk must have experienced almost 50 years ago. The same with the lighting, just like Gene Colan (another great and contemporary in these matters) with the use of his shadows he knew how to give a lot of tension and strength both in highly active moments of action and in more passive and intimate situations. In addition, it endowed with tenebrism not to go to a more classic urbanistically Gotham unlike the current phantasmagorical one. He fitted it perfectly with the graphic appearance that he gave the character, making him an indissoluble pair.

Valiente y Audaz brings together a set of comics where one of the greatest artists in the world of comics got his start and which served him to present, shortly after, authentic jewels of the ninth art.

World’s Finest Comics 175-176, The Brave and The Bold 79-85 and Batman 219, DC Comics. Great Authors of Batman: Neal Adams, Brave and Bold, ECC Editions. Board. Colour. 232 pages Retail price: €23. Edition date: March 2017.


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Review: “Great BATMAN Authors: Neal Adams. Brave and Bold.” Batman Team Up.

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