Wonder Woman Wednesday: ‘The Brave and the Bold’ - Comic Book Review

One of the best parts of the success of Wonder Woman’s comic for DC Comics' popular “Rebirth” event was watching artist Liam Sharp’s own rebirth as a mainstream superhero comic artist. I first encountered Liam’s art during a brief, but memorable, run on the Hulk alongside writer Peter David and inker Robin Riggs back in the day. I really liked Liam’s art and was sad to see his run so short lived. I would love to see him return to the character.  After that, I kind of lost track of Liam’s career, as he went on to start his own comic publishing platform, Madefire. 

After a rough couple of years, thanks to the divisive New 52, DC has turned it around with the popular, company-wide reboot to iron out some of the continuity wrinkles. It was so awesome to have Liam Sharp on the initial rotating art team opposite the talented, fa- favorite Nicola Scott.  Legend has it that Liam came on board thanks to Jim Lee and an epic Red Sonja sketch. After nailing 3 pages of a Wonder Woman samples, the rest is history.

It was sad to see Liam’s run come to end, but I was was excited for him, as Wonder Woman gave Liam a platform to return to the spotlight. And return he would. Liam’s contribution to Justice League Metal was amazing and led me to suspect that he would write and draw a Justice League arc as his next move or a Batman solo story.  What super star artist doesn’t have a desire to take on the Dark Knight? 

Needless to say, I almost peed my pants when I found out that the secret project was The Brave and the Bold limited series, featuring a story teaming up Diana and Bruce Wayne. An Irish god enlists Diana’s aid in a Celtic murder mystery, hence the need for the help of the world’s greatest detective (even if it means interrupting a romantic get away in Antarctica with Steve Trevor).

I couldn’t wait to visit real-life Wonder Woman and owner of Golden Apple comics in Los Angeles Sharon Liebowitz to pick up my copy of The Brave and the Bold #1 the day it came out. I was expecting some novice jitters from Liam’s story, as he is mostly known for his art. I was pleasantly surprised by how well-crafted and intriguing the story was with realistic dialogue and spot-on pacing.  I think it was the perfect setup for what promises to be a pretty epic storyline.

The art is beyond breath taking. The first three pages are staggering with detail and definitely set the mood for a tale straight out of Dungeons and Dragons. The opening scene reminds me of Lord of the Rings, like a hyper-detailed sword and sorcery straight out of Heavy Metal Magazine. If '80s-style movies can influence TV shows like Stranger Things, why not '80s-style comics influencing current comics? I may be biased, but the '80s certainly was a good time to be a comics fan.

The detail Liam puts into his art is astonishing. Romulo Farjado, Jr. adds the perfect mood as colorist. Still, I would love to see a black-and-white director’s cut, as Sharp’s line work is so lush and impossibly detailed. It’s like the best of Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, and Barry Windsor-Smith. Yet Sharp adds a powerful superhero element all his own.

The Brave and the Bold #1 is a great start to what is sure to be an exciting story of the Amazonian Princess and the Dark Knight Detective. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Well done, Liam.

Follow me on Instagram (@MichaelFitzTroy).

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 18:39

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