Comic Book / The Brave and the Bold

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brave_and_the_bold_v1_124.jpg
Issue #124, where the villains attack Batman by attacking the comic's writer and artist... Just a normal day for Batman!

The Brave and the Bold was a DC Comics Silver Age comic book series that ran from 1955 to 1983. It is best known for its incarnation as a superhero team-up comic, in which various DC superheroes joined forces with each other (but mostly with Batman) to fight menaces too big to face alone.

The original concept for The Brave and the Bold was an Anthology Comic of historical adventure stories, featuring the likes of Robin Hood, the Viking Prince, and the Silent Knight. From issue #25 it became a try-out title for new potential series, beginning with the debut of the Suicide Squad, and going on to introduce the Justice League of America, Cave Carson, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and "Strange Sports Stories", all of which went on to achieve at least occasional recurring status.note 

It became a team-up comic with issue #50, which featured an alliance between Green Arrow and the Martian Manhunter. (Although with occasional lapses back into being a try-out title, such as #57, the debut of Metamorpho.) Issue #54 featured a team-up between Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad, which led a few issues later to the formation of the Teen Titans. Batman appeared in the title for the first time in #59, teaming up with Green Lantern, and from #67 on, he was in every single issue. The series ended with its 200th issue, a double-sized special featuring a team-up between Batman and ... Batman.

The tone of the team-up stories could vary considerably. Some were straightforward Batman stories (you wouldn't think a crossover between Batman and House of Mystery would work, but in #93 Denny O'Neil made it), but many, to put it bluntly, carried the torch for the kind of Silver Age wackiness that made Superdickery.com what it is today, into the Bronze Age. (Exhibit A: #108, in which Batman accidentally sells his soul to the Devil to save a child, then teams up with Sergeant Rocknote  who reveals the "Devil" is actually Hitler! But also actually the Devil!). Most of these (and the majority of the series, in fact) were written by "Zaney" Bob Haney, the man so famous for his cheeky defiance for continuity, common sense and logic that even his editors once claimed his stories might take place in their own alternate universe, "Earth-B(ob)". Needless to say, Haney's stories have developed their own fans, not hindered by the fact that he worked with Neal Adams and Jim Aparo doing career-best work.

A new The Brave and the Bold series ran from 2007 to 2010, which removed Batman's ex officio status and returned to being a series where any combination of heroes could team up. The spirit of the Silver/Bronze Age Bob Haney original is arguably better carried on by the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

The Silver/Bronze Age version of the comic provides examples of:

  • Avengers Assemble: Featured in issue #28, the debut of the Justice League of America.
  • Back for the Dead: Issue #187, "Whatever Happened to What's'ername?", features a team-up with the Metal Men and the return of a character who had fallen victim to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in Metal Men over a decade earlier. Three guesses what happens to What's'ername in the end.
  • Clear My Name: Played with in #59, as Time Commander claims he escaped jail to prove he was convicted in his civilian identity of a crime he did not commit, going so far as to claim he's "a modern Edmond Dantes." He steadily maintains his desire to be cleared of that crime throughout the story, but we never learn if he was actually innocent. His crimes as the Time Commander that didn't have anything to do with clearing his name render it a moot point.
  • Enemy Mine: Two separate issues, #111 and #191, had Batman teaming up with the Joker to solve murders that the Joker had been framed for.
  • Eye Remember: In issues #188-189, during a teamup between Batman and Rose & Thorn, Batman comments that seeing the image of a killer in a dead man's eyes is myth, but nonetheless checks. Sure enough, he sees an image of the killer frozen in the victim's eye. No explanation is ever given.
  • Horror Host: Cain, the host of House of Mystery, introduces and narrates issue #93, in which Batman might or might not be receiving spectral assistance in his latest investigation.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: In issue #191, when Batman and the Joker turn the real villain over to the police, the Joker says "Take him downtown and book him!" Then he turns to Batman and says "I always wanted to say that!"
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Played literally in #115, where the Atom shrinks down and jumps on Batman's brain to control his Only Mostly Dead body. Includes the revelation that Batman punching criminals is literally a reflex for him.
  • Mugged for Disguise: Issue #166 has a female mercenary being hired to impersonate Black Canary. The real Black Canary is held bound and gagged in her undies while the impostor dons the heroine's trademark fishnet outfit in order to fool Batman.
  • Super Dickery: Many instances, including the particularly unusual version in the page picture, where the villain threatens the artist to make him draw Rock shooting Batman, and thus, kill him.
  • The Noun and the Noun
  • Team-Up Series: Batman teaming up with others, in the Trope Codifier.
  • Totally Radical: The Teen Titans in their introductory stories.

The 21st-century version of the comic provides examples of:


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