Overview

The Brave and the Bold #30

Review

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The Brave and the Bold #30

Credits

  • Words: J. Michael Straczynski
  • Art: Jesus Saiz
  • Colors: Brian Miller
  • Story Title: The Green and the Gold
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Dec 16, 2009

As with last issue's ode to the 1960s with Brother Power the Geek, issue #30 forgoes superhero action in favor of intellectual discussion. Well, not entirely, as Hal Jordan faces some insect-like robots on a nameless world. In a fairly unbelievable lack of foresight, Jordan is stranded on this planet without enough juice in his ring to reach a power source to recharge. No matter, since it is a mere plot device to bring out a remnant of Dr. Fate, before Kent Nelson's death. What ensues is an interesting, if self-indulgent, discussion on the nature of destiny and free will, fitting I suppose with the background of the characters.

In a handshake with Green Lantern in the past, Dr. Fate transfers an aspect of his power and consciousness into Hal Jordan's power ring. Upon release of this power, the Kent Nelson Dr. Fate springs from the ring and assists Jordan with his foes. The ensuing conversation between the friends provides the philosophical conflict. Jordan tries to persuade Dr. Fate that his death and that of his wife Inza can possibly be undone. Nelson takes the position that the past is immutable, and trying to change it would be wrong. I have a fondness for Straczynski's loquacious comics, and though I didn't find it particularly illuminating, this being a well-mined vein, it was an interesting spin. Especially ironic with Hal Jordan, given his history as Parallax and his attempts to undo the destruction of Coast City, though this doesn't come up in the comic itself. I don't know that Straczynski intended this to be a commentary on retconning in the superhero worlds, but it could definitely work as a metaphor for that.

Given the absolutely strange nature of reality as it is ill understood in modern physics, specifically regarding the nature of time, I felt this dialog didn't go far enough. For two extremely powerful beings with cosmic experience, the arguments sounded more like freshman liberal arts students. No doubt such a conversation would be almost entirely speculative and shrouded in the unknown because of our limited understanding of reality, but it just seemed forced in the context of these well traveled heroes.

Artistically, the book was a joy to look at. Almost every page was bathed in yellow, between Dr. Fate and the aliens. This made it actually very soothing and pensive to look at, matching the tone of the story. Saiz's Dr. Fate is not only a powerful figure, but an elegant one. He has a very graceful rendering style with no stray lines. A very pretty package.

There isn't much in the comics market like Straczynski's Brave and the Bold. It's not much concerned with continuity or adventure or heroics, but about ideas. Its a kind of Dialogs of Plato with spandex, and good for a diversion.

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Comments

  • Steven Surman

    Steven Surman Dec 23, 2009 at 12:40pm

    Dr. Fate and the Green Lantern are both bad-asses.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Dec 30, 2009 at 12:52pm

    This is a fine book and one that I am amazed is selling so poorly. One of my favourite titles coming out from DC at the moment and all the better for its self-contained in one issue stories.

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