Batman: a brooding, stern, fierce vigilante. Wonder Woman: an independent, powerful beacon of feminism. Add these two together with heavy doses of Celtic lore and what can go wrong? Turns out, damn near everything. The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3 is an aimless comic overstuffed with even more Celtic lore that continues to show no regard for the titular characters.
I never once thought I’d find any incarnation of Batman boring, but in that regard, The Brave and the Bold has blown me away. The “Batman” in this issue merely resembles the Dark Knight in appearance, reading nothing like the brutal vigilante the character has been known as since Frank Miller’s Year One.
The vast majority of Batman’s dialogue sounds like the musings of a middle-aged British caricature of a detective rather than words from the mouth of the world’s most feared and respected administer of justice. This iteration of Bruce Wayne says things like “Thank you kindly, but away girls!,” “Please, I beg your forgiveness, I meant no offense,” “I think not,” and “fabulous”- the latter being the most unbelievable word to escape his mouth. At no point does this feel like a Batman story, but rather an already existing story that forces Batman in place of a wildly different character.
The horrendous dialogue from Batman was so distracting I had to reread multiple pages more than once just to pick up on the narrative — I was too busy laughing at how absurd it was to think Batman would actually say half of these things. There’s not even much of a narrative to be distracted from in this issue or the entire series in the first place.
Much like the opening issue of this limited series, this issue is overflowing with little insights into Celtic lore that do little more than give the reader answers to a St. Patrick’s Day themed episode of Jeopardy. Batman and Wonder Woman are supposed to be investigating a murder, yet most the issue they’re simply wandering around Tir Na Nog while Batman laments on his scientific approach to crime solving as Wonder Woman serves as tour guide, presenting all the juicy, inconsequential facts about Tir Na Nog that she can dispense. This story is so aimlessly boring, I definitely wouldn’t have finished it had I just been a casual reader and not reviewing the issue for AiPT.
If this series has anything going for it, it is undoubtedly the art. The environments are richly detailed, overflowing with plant and wildlife on every panel. The creatures of Tir Na Nog are given intricate care as well — from the wretched Famorians to the smallest faeries, each feels like a real, living being inside the pages of this comic. The art would’ve been better off in a coffee-table book than being thrust into such a poorly constructed, boring narrative.
I had high hopes for this series. The Brave and the Bold is a moniker usually reserved for DC’s best heroes on their most grand adventures. The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3 is a disservice to the characters and the moniker with a downright terrible representation of Batman thrust into a story that is going nowhere. Don’t bother with this series.