When we interviewed Liam Sharp...he hinted at a project he had coming. I can only assume (safely) that this was it. If I had any idea of what he had coming down the pipeline I would have pressed for more details. That being said we have ourselves issue 2 of The Brave and the Bold (Batman and Wonder Woman). Why we don't get early previews of issues yet...I dunno. However, until we do, I read and attempt to review day of. So with my gripes of issue 1 behind us. Let us talk about how this issue holds up.
I want to start of by saying FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Batman! Reason being, with the help of Alfred he WILLED himself out of a magic induced hallucination that has claimed hundreds. It's that type of lazy character development that makes Batman so awesome and that I hate. That being said, it allows for writers like Sharp to do really cool things; like have a black leather clad man dressed as a bat will himself out of a Magic induced sleepwalking dream state. And it's just fucking awesome. Lets just tally this one in the Unhinged section as well because it should be clear as to how epic the panels iare. . .and before we more more into story. Let's continue to talk panels. This issue supersedes the panelling of the last issue in that from box to art you have Sharp unhinged. Letting his imagination bleed unto the page. I mean I'm pretty sure the 2 splash page with Batman fighting his hallucinations; right before his starts to snap out of it. He hit a classic Bruce Lee pose.
That coupled with the purple colorer panels against a black backdrop really does a lot to help these two pages pop. This is what comic books are about. A co-existence of story, art, and colors. Colorist Fajardo Jr. is definitely in his element with this book and with Sharp illustrating his own words you can se feel the passion blazing from each page. This issue also answered the question of who is monologuing the whole thing. Though still leaves you curious as to who the homeless guy is. (Unless I missed it). All and all we are looking at a much better issue 2.
Look, there is no doubting that this book is very exposition heavy. There is a lot of build up with no immediate reward and it is easy to fault the book for that. Even Sharp himself took to twitter today to talk about how he had concerns that this issue was a bit slow. . .and it is. But if I'm being brutally honest. Who cares, the man is telling a story here. I can bitch about how King McCool talks to much, or how Diana breaks down her lasso and its existence for no reason. However, Sharp is doing something that I criticized "The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams" for not doing. And that's accommodating an audience that might be new to Wonder Woman, Batman, AND/OR DC Comics. So though this comes of as a negative I must admit that it's a negative that helps make the issue really stand out from other comics, because it's handled with care and purpose. The other small thing that bothers me is the problem with reading a comic or watching a movie with the goal to critique it. You notice shit you wouldn't notice otherwise. Like the fact that I feel most of the issue Wonder Woman is drawn looking more akin to Xena Warrior Princess and then on that last page she looks more like Betty Boop in costume. It's just one of those things that sticks out to me. Her face seems smaller and more rounded. Her hair more curly when where as in the beginning she appears to have sharper (no pun intended) facial features and less curly hair. *Kanye Shrug*
So Batman's awesomeness aside, which I HATE saying. There are a few unhinged moments in this issue. First of all you open the issue and Wonder Woman has got a character hemmed up in the sky by his throat or collar or whatever. Fact is she's giving some Lord of the Rings reject looking guy the business with the finest title art surrounding her. The next looney part for me was when the same "guy", name Captain Furf I believe, whipped out a shank (a.k.a a dagger) and was ready to dispatch on senior McCool. Also did King McCool intro himself holding the head of a demon he slayed. WHAT!? So many legit great moments is this issue it's hard to name them all.
That being said, go pick this up. Like what's wrong with you that you're not already reading this. I'm NO Batman fan. I'm HARDLY a Wonder Woman fan. . .and the ONLY reason I picked this title up is because I interviewed Sharp and wanted to see more of what he's about...and I can say without a shadow of a doubt he's about that cray cray. If the man isn't getting buzzed and drawing some of the most insane panels I've ever seen, I dunno what's up. This run SO FAR is right up there with The White Knight and Mister Miracle. If I had a rating system this would be a solid 8.5 out of 10. I can't look past that Wonder Woman thing or ignore the issues pace. However, Sharp is making a fan out of me and I promise he will make one out of you too.