Daily Archives: January 5, 2020

DC Reviews: The Brave and the Bold #158


“Yesterday Never Dies!”


Script: Gerry Conway
Pencils: Jim Aparo
Inks: Jim Aparo
Colors: Jerry Serpe
Letters: Jim Aparo
Cover price: 40¢
Cover art: Jim Aparo (pencils/inks), Tatjana Wood (colors), Todd Klein (letters)

Synopsis: Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince are at a party for United Nations diplomats when masked gunmen arrive on the scene. Though Batman makes quick work of them, he and Wonder Woman soon learn the real target was the French ambassador with whom Wayne was meeting to discuss a business deal between the U.S. and France. A masked villain who calls himself Deja Vu takes credit for the attack, vowing to destroy the economic relationship between the two countries — and with his “flashback fog” capable of making people relive their most traumatic experiences, he just might do it!


Prime Cut Panels: WAIT WAIT WHAT BATMAN’S WORST MEMORY IS THE NIGHT HIS PARENTS WERE KILLED OH MY STARS WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED SUCH A THING THIS IS A SCENE THAT’S SO RARELY DEPICTED IN THE BATMAN BOOKS AND AUDIO-VISUAL ENTERTAINMENTS BASED ON HIS okay I’m done now.

Great panel placement by the late, great Jim Aparo here, plus a nice visual representation of the effects of the villain’s “flashback fog” on its victims. Though I’m a little skeptical that even a Batman hepped up on anger gas would have the strength to make Wonder Woman flinch, much less say “What in Hera’s na–AAHHGG!”


Great Moments in Advertising: “If I stop them, they’ll be crushed by sudden change in gravity.” Uhhh… I don’t think gravity is what you mean here, Mr. Superman sir. But then, he’s talking about a spacecraft within Earth’s atmosphere moving at the speed of light even though kids on the mountain can clearly both see and remark upon its approaching presence — so maybe, just maybe, everything here isn’t on the scientific up-and-up.

(Also, “your atmosphere was more dangerous than we anticipated” — wait, so this alien is blaming air for him almost turning his spaceship into an unidentified crashing object? Pretty weak, dude.)

The classic Hostess ads were never less than delightfully deranged. Literally no problem couldn’t be solved by golden sponge cakes or mass-produced fruit pies. If only all of life’s challenges were so easily overcome.


Random Thoughts: Originally a tryout series for new strips, The Brave and the Bold switched to Batman team-up stories right around the time that Adam West TV show took off. Funny how that works.

A pretty average B&B outing here, with both A-list heroes getting equal time to show their stuff against a one-off villain who (as far as I know) is never seen again. And honestly, that’s just as well — there’s only room for one fear gas-slinging varmint in this here DC universe, pardner, and that position is already filled.

In case you were wondering, this villain’s motive for sabotaging trans-national business deals is his father’s death in an American canning plant, an accident he blamed on Americans and American business. At the end of the story, Bruce pulls out a bit of patented “two sides of the same coin” nonsense, remarking: “I wonder if he and I are so different, Diana. His hatred of the Americans made him the man he is… and my hatred of criminals made me the Batman!” Diana says the only thing you can say in response: dude, you save lives every day before breakfast. Batman: Oh, right. Scene.

Grade:


The challenge: Can I review a month’s worth of DC books from January 1980 in under a month?