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CSBG Archive

Five Goofiest Moments in the First Five Team-Up Stories in The Brave and the Bold

Every day this month will have the five goofiest moment from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book run. Once a week it will be the ten goofiest moments of a ten-issue stretch. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

Today we’re looking at the first five issues of The Brave and the Bold that dealt with superhero team-ups. Issues #50-54, written by Bob Haney (#50-51, 53-54) and Robert Kanigher (#52), with art by George Roussos (#50), Howard Purcell (#51), Joe Kubert (#52), Alex Toth (#53) and Bruno Premiani (#54).

As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The odd relationship between heroes and their teen sidekicks…

In #54, Robin is given an invitation…

I like how Batman is basically, “Yeah, sure, whatever.”

Later, Aquaman and Aqualad have an interesting discussion…

“Don’t forget the one hour thing, because, as you know, I presume you’re a moron.”

I also enjoyed the eel delivering mail. I’d love to know how the surface folk knew how to find an eel to deliver their note for them.

DC cities lack creativity…

In #50, a crime is committed at “city museum”…

Really? You can’t think of a better name than “city museum”?

And yet, such lack of creativity is widespread. From #51…

How convenient…

In #54, the bad guy is Mr. Twister (real name is Brom Stikk…I kid you not), and his staff allows him to create twisters. But I like how Bob Haney also pulls another power out of nowhere…

Oh…yeah…it creates twisters and also repels any blows against me! The connection between the two is clear, right?

Not the Black Canary/Huntress kind of Bird of Prey…

In #51, Hawkgirl goes through some changes…

For whatever reason, Hawkman’s reaction amuses me a lot.

Oh ye of little faith…

In #54, the heroes are looking for Mr. Twister and the teens that he kidnapped….

You have to love the utter lack of faith Aqualad has in Robin. “Why did you decide to just goof off in the middle of the mission?”

Iris “Shrewish” West…

In #53, Haney decided to wrap up this Atom/Flash team-up in an odd fashion….

Quite a ball-buster, Iris was…

5. Why don’t we just shoot ‘em?

In #52, we meet a French resistance operative who the Nazis have decided to imprison, Man in the Iron Mask-style, rather than just shooting the operative…

“They figured this would slow me down and make it hard for people to recognize me. A better way to slow me down, of course, would be to shoot me. Thank goodness that did not occur to them!”

4. Goofy and super-awesome at the same time…

This scene is quite goofy, particularly the dialogue (especially as Rock speaks it all out loud), but man oh man, is it awesome…

3. Yeah, sure, now pull the other one…

In the beginning of #50, we are introduced to the new concept of the book. That we’ll be seeing team-ups of various DC heroes, as demanded by the fans. Cool idea, but you have to love the audacity of them trying to claim that the first team-up requested was Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter…

Suuuuuure it was…

2. I don’t think that is even a preponderance of evidence…

In #54, you have to dig how Robin figures out that a note from the teens of the town is phony…

Oh Haney and your teen dialogue…

1. Send out the alarm! Tell the populace to watch out!

One of the things Haney was known for was not exactly always paying attention to the comics of the characters he used in Brave and the Bold. This is evident in #50. One of the many ways that Green Arrow was a Batman rip-off is that the police had an “Arrow symbol” that they would use to contact Green Arrow. However, unlike a spotlight, they would send up a flare shaped like an arrow (think the Fantastic Four and their four-shaped flare).

Well, in #50, Haney had the Arrow symbol, but he used it a bit oddly…

Yes, in this story, it is an ACTUAL GIANT ARROW!

You have to adore the idea of the police just shooting off a giant arrow whenever they need help. People getting hit out of nowhere from falling giant arrows – it is just a price you have to pay for having a bank robbery stopped!

34 Comments

‘Fill Wanted’ signs are fairly common in some places.

Thanks, Dan, I fixed that one.

In fairness, I think “City Museum” makes some sense in places called Midway City and Star City. The locals just call it City Museum, just to shorten things.

I think you really need to go to the Batman team-ups of the late ’60s and (even better) the 1970s to really experience full goofiness in B&B

In defense of “City Museum” – we have one here in St. Louis:

http://www.citymuseum.org/home.asp

Dull name, but an awesome place.

Oh, definitely, Graeme. I’ll get to those eventually. I thought it’d be fun to spotlight these lesser-known team-up issues first.

“The Five Goofiest Moments…” column could be retitled “The Never Ending Subject Matter…”

It’s hard for me to look at Speedy in these stories and not think about the horrible fate that DC had in store for him years later.

How, exactly, would teenagers go on strike?

I do love Bob Haney, though. His madness was glorious.

Of course, at DC these days, everything is in continuity and everything happened in the last ten years, so that means that Robin concluded that hip cats would say “jive” instead of “music” in about 2004 or so.

I have also been in several City Museums, though often that name refers to the museum showcasing local history, and while fun for history buffs they tend to be low on stuff worth stealing.

And I thought it was in established character to write Iris West like that?

And I thought it was in established character to write Iris West like that?

Yeah, Iris was pretty horrible back in the Silver Age. So it’s not so strange, but still pretty funny.

Are the Sgt. Rock and umm… other war comic pages from a team-up story, or just a backup?

It was a team-up of John Cloud, Sgt. Rock and Haunted Tank.

I’m curious about the most recent run Brian (or maybe others? think would have enough *unselfconsciously* goofy moments to make for a good list. I feel like Geoff Johns comics have some goofy moments, like Parasite getting his powers from a tainted donut in Superman: Secret Origins. Maybe Grant Morrison would work as well, but there (and often in Johns) the goofiness is pretty deliberate, a conscious effort to mimic the Silver and Bronze Ages’ excesses.

Which was freakin’ awesome!!!

If you asked me my favorite comic book writer ever, I could never decide, but Haney and Kanigher are definitely in the final four.

My top 4 Silver Age creators would definitely be Stan Lee, Bob Haney, Robert Kanigher and Gardner Fox. Arnold Drake seems very good too from the little I’ve read from him, but I haven’t read enough to be sure.

BTW: “Fill wanted?” What am I missing? What did I miss?

I estimate that I’ve purchased around 6,000 comics in my life. I think the most-represented writers would be Roy Thomas, Bob Haney, Robert Kanigher and Garth Ennis.

@Cronin: You should have explained what the specific team ups were each, to provide better context.

And overall, these aren’t so much goofy as badly written (you can tell the guy writing the Green Arrow one just reached over and asked someone how GA gets contacted by the authorities, was told “with the Arrow Signal” and just decided he knew what that meant instead of asking for more detail. Epic fail!)

(Btw, Iris was a *Saint* by Silver Age hero girlfriend standards- just what did heroes see in persons like Lois Lane that made them want to marry them? Were they masochistic??)

Mark Bramlage

May 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I think the whole Arrow signal thing was hilarious.

Were Iris West and Barry Allen the worst couple of the Silver Age?

I want a giant arrow that I can fire into a crowded city!

And Hawkman sounds like he’s talking to misbehaving puppy. Love it!

The Mad Monkey

May 16, 2011 at 6:35 am

The way J’onn is looking at Green Arrow kinda creeps me out.

Ethan Shuster

May 16, 2011 at 7:08 am

Ha ha! I can’t get enough of the Silver Age writers’ attempts to use the current “cool” language of the day. Teen Titans being some of the worst of it. Yes, Robin is right. Teenage lingo is a very specific language, where every term must be used at all times! I can just imagine magazine articles at the time detailing what all the terms mean, and Haney and others posting it up on their bulletin boards.

Well, of course Aqualad gets eel-mail. Underwater, they use the finternet.

Were Iris West and Barry Allen the worst couple of the Silver Age?

Nah, just typical. Like Sijo points out, all the Silver Age girlfriends were awful. I think Carol Danvers and Lois Lane were even worse.

Nah, just typical. Like Sijo points out, all the Silver Age girlfriends were awful. I think Carol Danvers and Lois Lane were even worse.

Here is the thing that gets overlooked regarding the girlfriends of the Silver Age: the rate of pre-marital sex in the U.S. has remained constant at 95% since the ’50s. However, oral contraceptives were not widely available until the mid-60s and Roe v. Wade did not happen until the early-70s. Obviously, that sort of thing would never be dramatized or alluded to in the comics of the Silver Age. Therefore, in the absence of strong contrary evidence, you have to assume that all those couples were having unprotected sex.

From that perspective, Lois Lane seems perfectly rational. She is under constant threat of career-ending pregnancy and (from her perspective) she was stuck in at least two love triangles. I am not familiar with Carol Danvers career as a love interest, so I cannot speak to that.

Even with the caveat above, Iris and Barry were pretty badly matched. They seemed so bored with one another in the Kaninger-Broome-Infantino stories that I have read. The only signs of any passion are her hissing put-downs at the slightest disappointment. It is a total mystery to me how they have become the “great romance of the Silver Age”.

Pete Woodhouse

May 16, 2011 at 11:30 am

“…with art by George Roussos (#54), Howard Purcell (#54), Joe Kubert (#54), Alex Toth (#54) and Bruno Premiani (#54).”
Man, that was some five-artist team-up in #54! Hopefully Kubert did the cover and Toth did the layouts. Sorry Brian, couldn’t resist!

Ha! No problem, Pete, thanks for the pick-up!

Even with the caveat above, Iris and Barry were pretty badly matched. They seemed so bored with one another in the Kaninger-Broome-Infantino stories that I have read. The only signs of any passion are her hissing put-downs at the slightest disappointment. It is a total mystery to me how they have become the “great romance of the Silver Age”.

They both got killed, back when that seemed to mean something. Then they both got better, and were finally reunited by writers with a lot of dubiously-based nostalgia.

Nah, just typical. Like Sijo points out, all the Silver Age girlfriends were awful. I think Carol Danvers and Lois Lane were even worse.

I’m guessing you mean Carol Ferris here, because Carol Danvers wasn’t really cast in the superhero’s girlfriend role (though lord knows she had her own appalling chapters in her, um, “love life”).

Brave and the Bold didn’t get GOOD good (but still goofy) for another five or six years, but these early team-ups have some scary good artists. Kubert and Toth are the big names, but Purcell, Premiani, and Fradon just knock it out of the park, too.

I love how the letter to Aqualad was in a stoppered bottle tied to the eel, presumably to keep it dry. And, he is reading it and waving it at Aquaman while still under water.

theno

Barry and Iris were the “great romance of the Silver Age”? Damn, I can’t even imagine that the other couples were even shittier than these two.

Brian, considering how you love the teen slang here, you should do a comparison between the 60s Teen Titans and 60s X-men. It would be a goofy free-for-all ;)

Sgt. Rock and his hatred of being looked at will be BACK in “The Tell-Tale Heart” in our August issue! Anyone else have the “Hold That Tiger Rag” going through your head after reading Rock’s monolog?

In that first page, “a far stranger meeting” is putting it mildly. That blond kid is apparently feral, Bugs Meany is literally climbing the walls, and one kid has taken his fashion cues from the Oompa-Loompas. And do any of the men in the adults meeting look less like grandfathers than dads?

#1 ought to have been Robin clocking himself. Ain’t that just like a Grayson, to punch a man when he’s sneezing? You got what you deserved, punk.

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