DC Comics
The Brave and the Bold # 27
By Koppy McFad
September 19, 2009 - 00:07

DC Comics
Writer(s): J. Michael Straczynski
Penciller(s): Jesus Saiz
Colourist(s): Trish Mulvihill
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh
$3.99 US


Robby Reed, holder of a magic dial that turns ordinary people into random superheroes, visits Gotham City and has his dial stolen by a common thief. But the thief finds the dial turning him into a hero, where he is compelled to join Batman in battle against a massive crime wave unleashed by the Joker.

The fate of the thief isn't much of a surprise. We know that Robby is going to end up with the dial by the end of the story. And they even have the title "Death of a H.E.R.O." plastered on the cover. But amazingly, the creative team do manage to pull out some surprises in this self-contained story that makes the readers see everything differently, changing the whole meaning of the story in the last pages. It is a dramatic device that turns what could have been a hokey story into a moving one. They also give us a Batman who is compassionate and sensitive-- quite a change from the Bat-d*ck that many people have complained about. Of course, those who don't like seeing a touchy-feely, falliable Batman may object.

The art has a very human scale with Robby and company all looking like real people rather than the larger-than-life heroes of most comics. The lines on their faces, the weariness in their eyes, are quite visible. Even the actual scenes of heroics don't look too unrealistic. That helps a lot in a story which features a mopey kid and a cheap hood. It remains to be seen if this style will work in a story where superheroes are suppose to do the impossible and make us believe in the incredible.

Robby looks a little too mature and modern compared to the crew-cut kid who appeared in the 1960s comics but perhaps this was deemed necessary to make him look less out of place in a modern setting. Just the same, it is hard to think of Robby as the kind of person who sleeps in the nude.


Rating: 7/10

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