Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Brave And The Bold: Batman And Wonder Woman #5 - DC Comics

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN No. 5, August 2018
There is a decidedly dour feel to the quality of Issue Five of “The Brave And The Bold: Batman And Wonder Woman” which probably made many in this mini-series’ audience wonder whether the combined responsibilities of being both the title’s writer and artist was beginning to prove a little too burdensome for Liam Sharp after so many months work. In fact, with the exception of the Derby-born drawer’s impressive-looking cover illustration, as frustratingly misleading as to the book’s interior contents as it is dynamically staged, this entire twenty-two page periodical lacks any feeling of animated life or vitality until its final splash depicts the pointy-eared King McCool leading his desperate forces into “one last, great battle” whilst riding upon a giant boar.

Up until this point sadly, the “co-founder/CCO of Madefire Inc” seemingly offers little in the way of entertainment except bucket loads of dialogue and a plot twist which arguably makes something of a mockery of this comic’s previous four instalments by revealing that King Elatha actually faked his own demise so as to escape to the Dark Knight’s Gotham City. This surprising change of events, which the Caped Crusader only suddenly solves having finally gotten round to interrogating the sole murder suspect, Donal of the De Danann, admittedly comes as a total shock, but not as much as the book’s subsequent scene which depicts the pony-tailed monarch abusing “the fullness of body [which] is sacred to the rulers of the Sidhe” by willingly chopping his own forearm off on a wooden table; “Forgive me, Mother Danu! I do this for us all!”

Such a moment of grisly mutilation, only just pencilled ‘off camera’, at least contains a purpose to progress the story by allowing the now-maimed ruler of Tir Na Nog to don the Silver Arm of Nuada and use the “powerful Sidhe artefact” to “open the old causeways… out in the world…” Yet just why it took “the World's Greatest Detective” so many days before deciding to speak to this heinous crime’s sole witness and discover so “grave [a] missing detail” is rather baffling, unless of course it was simply a disappointingly lazy contrivance for this tale’s author to provide Elatha with time enough to lop off the aforementioned limb..?

Sadly, Sharp’s sketching also appears similarly as lack lustre as this particular tome’s pedestrian penmanship, with many of the publication’s panels lacking his usual fine attention to detail. Indeed, Cernunnos, Batman, the King and especially Balor Evil-Eye, all appear to have been hurriedly pencilled from time to time, with only the occasional glimmer showing through as to Liam’s true talent, such as when the “dread army of Sea Fomorians” stride out from their centuries long captivity.

‘First published on the "Dawn of Comics" website.'
Writer/Artist: Kevin Sharp, and Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.

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