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The Flash! Batman! Infantino! Together! I’m in hog heaven! – The Brave and the Bold #67

August 22, 2010

 

I always used to associate the alliteratively-named The Brave and the Bold with the daytime soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful for no other reason than the double B barrage of both titles. The latter was (and is, I guess) a CBS confection that revolved around an assortment of babes and hunks in the fashion industry with (sort of comic book-y now that I think of it) names like Sally Spectra and Ridge Forrester. My grandmother loved that show — which is somewhat disturbing in light of its amped-up-even-for-a-soap-opera sexuality — and could update me on its developments as if she were reading the news section of a relative’s Christmas card. I’ll say this for it — it had a hell of an upbeat sax-fueled opening:

I, thankfully, have shaken the association between The Brave and the Bold and this spectacularly overwrought drama, but that had to be said.

I learned in my brief research of this issue that it marked the beginning of the long run of Batman team-ups in the title. And, in light of this issue’s publication date of August/September 1966, I was a little shocked by the cover puffery having Flash and Batman teaming “for the first time.” I guess without others around them, that’s true. Let’s not get too picky.

“The Death of the Flash” is brought to us by Bob Haney, Carmine Infantino and Charles Paris, and please note the open plaza with the ginormous tiles on the cover — an Infantino trademark that I’ve pointed out before.

This issue gets right to the point:

Nice work, Caped Crusader.

Batman runs up against a gang of high-octane hoods, and one crook outmaneuvers him so badly he crashes the Batmobile:

Later, the Whirly-Bat fares little better:

Even a simple “Bat”-less jet pack fails in the face of a simple smokescreen:

For shame.

While all this is going on, Flash has his own problems — he discovers that his super-speed is slowly killing him. Still, when Batman calls him on the ol’ Justice League ham radio, he answers the call and manages to catch one of the speedy thieves.

The “Speed Boys” hold a secret meeting where they revel in their villainy and talk about the source of their super-sneakers — meteors, radiation and Chuck Taylors!:

Flash continues helping Batman even after the Caped Crusader discovers Flash’s condition, and for his troubles the Scarlet Speedster soon apparently gives up the ghost:

Batman redoubles his efforts to catch the goons and soon springs a Santa-like surprise on them in their brownstone hideout:

He gets some unexpected help in rounding up the final Speed Boy — a living non-zombie Flash! This deserves an explanation:

Thank God for radiation, the miracle cure-all of yesteryear. Or maybe it was just that the sneakers’ funk acted as smelling salts. Whatever the case, Flash is once more healthy and all is right with the world.

This was a real fun story, mainly thanks to the principal actors and the deft lines of a favorite artist. It was different to see Batman fail miserably with his usually overwhelming technology — his body draped over a flagpole was a highlight (or lowlight, as it were). And whenever radiation finds its way into a Silver Age story, merriment and wackiness ensue.

I’ll stop here. I’m feeling a little off. Maybe I’ll go lay down next to my running shoes and see if that helps.

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