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The Brave and the Bold was a DC Comics Silver Age comic book series that ran from 1955 to 1983. It is best known for its incarnation as a superhero team-up comic, in which various DC superheroes joined forces with
each other Batman to fight menaces too big to face alone.
The original concept for The Brave and the Bold was an Anthology Comic of historical adventure stories, featuring the likes of Robin Hood, the Viking Prince, and the Silent Knight. From issue #25 it became a try-out title for new potential series, beginning with the debut of the Suicide Squad, and going on to introduce the Justice League of America, Cave Carson, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and "Strange Sports Stories", all of which went on to achieve at least occasional recurring status except for "Strange Sports Stories".
It became a team-up comic with issue #50, which featured an alliance between Green Arrow and the Martian Manhunter. (Although with occasional lapses back into being a try-out title, such as #57, the debut of Metamorpho.) Issue #54 featured a team-up between Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad, which led a few issues later to the formation of the Teen Titans. Batman appeared in the title for the first time in #59, teaming up with Green Lantern, and from #67 on, he was in every single issue. The series ended with its 200th issue, a double-sized special featuring a team-up between Batman and ... Batman.
The quality of the team-up stories varied considerably. Some were very good (you wouldn't think a crossover between Batman and House of Mystery would be one, but in #93 Denny O'Neil made it work), and some were, to put it bluntly, the kind of Silver Age potboilers that made Superdickery.com what it is today (Exhibit A: #108, in which Batman accidentally sells his soul to the Devil).
A new The Brave and the Bold series was launched in 2007, which removed Batman's ex officio status and returned to being a series where any combination of heroes could team up; it is currently being written by J. Michael Straczynski. The spirit of the Silver Age original is arguably better carried on by the animated series Batman the Brave And The Bold.
The Silver Age version of the comic provides examples of:
- Avengers Assemble: Featured in issue #28, the debut of the Justice League of America.
- Back for the Dead: Issue #187, "Whatever Happened to What's'ername?", features a team-up with the Metal Men and the return of a character who had fallen victim to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in Metal Men over a decade earlier. Three guesses what happens to What's'ername in the end.
- Enemy Mine: Two separate issues, #111 and #191, had Batman teaming up with the Joker to solve murders that the Joker had been framed for.
- Eye Remember: In issues #188-189, during a teamup between Batman and Rose & Thorn, Batman comments that seeing the image of a killer in a dead man's eyes is myth, but nonetheless checks. Sure enough, he sees an image of the killer frozen in the victim's eye. No explanation is ever given.
- I Always Wanted to Say That: In issue #191, when Batman and the Joker turn the real villain over to the police, the Joker says "Take him downtown and book him!" Then he turns to Batman and says "I always wanted to say that!"
- The Noun and the Noun
- Team-Up Series: Batman teaming up with others, in the Trope Codifier.
- Totally Radical: The Teen Titans in their introductory stories.
The 21st-century version of the comic provides examples of:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted, Issue #16 has Catwoman complaining about them, she longs to see a boy scout for a change. Then she bumps into Superman who heard everything she just said.
- Auction of Evil: Issue #16 has Superman and Catwoman investigating an underworld auction where one of the items being sold is the location of the cave containing the Clayface protoplasm.
- Covered in Kisses: The cover to issue #16, a Superman-Catwoman team-up.
- Going by the Matchbook: In "The Lords of Luck", the first story arc in the revival, a matchbook found on a corpse leads Batman and Green Lantern to the casino where he worked.
- Hurl It Into the Sun: Used by Wonder Woman in issue #7 in an attempt to dispose of the MacGuffin.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: Issue #31 had The Atom literally shrinking down inside of the Joker's brain at the request of some scientists. He is given a tour through Joker's childhood after accidentally walking through the wrong synapses and absorbing some memories.
- Mythology Gag: Issue #1 is a team-up between Batman and Green Lantern, just like the first Batman team-up in the original run.
- Philosopher's Stone: The MacGuffin in issue #7.
- Prequel: Issue #33 is a prequel to The Killing Joke.
- Self-Made Orphan: The Joker, according to issue #31.
- Stepford Smiler: Elasti-Girl in issue #8.
- Team-Up Series