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.
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