Thursday, 29 July 2010

The Brave and the Bold Showcase vol 3

As far as superheroes go, I have been mostly on the Marvel side. As a kid I started from Spidey and Hulk and moved on to Fantastic Four, X-Men and Daredevil, and to this day those are my primary idea what superhero comics are like (Supergoof and Phantom Duck are of course there too, but that's another thing).

I did read some Superman comics, because my local library had them, and they were sort of entertaining but not particularly gripping, and I do have a vague recollection of going through some Batman comics and finding them boring and smudgy.

In time I started to get less enthustiatic about Marvel and notice that DC was putting out some interesting books, things like Watchmen and books which would in time become Vertigo. And for several years now of the big two it is them I have paid more attention to, but my knowledge of actual DCU has been very limited, drawn mostly from those early Vertigo books, occasional Batman standalone miniseries and some of the more marginal series like Chase, Young Heroes in Love and Manhunter (yes, me getting interested in a superhero comic more often than not equals cancellation), or second-hand information received from DC enthusiasts like good folks of GLA.

So why does a DC neophyte like me read a showcase of Batman team-up stories from 70s? It was in the local library. Is it good? Ehh, not really if you are not in the target group.
I do think Batman is an interesting superhero, as a character, the type of the stories he is involved with and what kind of visual style often goes with his stories. Of course there's plenty of crap he has starred in but as an idea he is pretty much my favorite of DC big ones.
Unfortunately here the stories are pretty sraightforward, Batman meets another superhero and together they deal with whatever problem has been thrown their way. Slightly more intricate than having two people hit each other for twenty pages but only slightly.
In individual doses this might be sort of entertaining, or if I had some background I could care about these teamup partners and get geekgasms of Batman and Sgt Rock being in the same story.
But as it is, going through this book is a bit of a chore, the highlights being marveling at some of the more outre teamup partners (that postapocalyptic Planet-of-the-Apes-ripoff seemed pretty interesting) and looking at the art by Jim Aparo. Pretty.

I should look at some other Showcases though, I enjoy the format (as well as Essentials of Marvel) but they have been concentrating mostly on Silver Age and what I have seen of Silver Age DC has not impressed me. Well, I did enjoy House of Mystery and Batgirl Showcases, Superman one I tried took forever to read due to almost every story making my brain hurt and stuff like Green Lantern or LSH I haven't even dared to touch.

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