Mild Mannered Reviews - Batman Comic Books

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Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1

Scheduled to arrive in stores: May 16, 2023
Cover date: July 2023

"Superman: Order of the Black Lamp"

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Javier Rodríguez

Reviewed by: JP Rocha
Click to enlarge

"Superman: Order of the Black Lamp" is one of four stories in the new "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" anthology. Along with this Superman story, two of the four are Batman stories and one was a Stormwatch story.

This story picks up some time after "Action Comics #1050". As a result of the stroke that Perry White suffered, Lois Lane is the acting editor at the Daily Planet. She is trying to find out how to support struggling sales, while Clark is dealing with what happened to Perry and blames himself.

Throughout the issue, Clark is narrating an article for the Daily Planet that he "co-wrote with Superman". We see Superman helping out a shipping boat in distress and stopping a heist of the First Metropolis Bank. While the article is telling the adventures of Superman, Clark is also making an analogy that reflects back on two weeks that he spent at a summer camp in his youth. To find out how this summer camp story will tie-in to the Order of the Black Lamp, we will have to wait and see.

4Story - 4: In a way this story brings us back to the 1940s with vibes of themes similar to the Superman Radio Show. The first two-thirds of the story is set up, and in the last third, Clark receives a package with an Order of the Black Lamp decoder ring and note. Calling back to his youth Clark uses the lamp of the ring in the dark to read the note that is actually a cipher with a map and the message "Save Me".

I enjoyed the retro feel of the theme as well as using this story to allow the main story in "Action Comics" to breathe some. I almost forgot what happened to Perry, so it is good to see it brought up in this story as we get to see Clark and Lois dealing with different impacts from his stroke.

3Art - 3: Overall, I enjoyed the art in this story. Javier Rodríguez has very good sequential storytelling. While there are really strong panels with excellent art, there are also some weak panels where the art is not good.

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Note: Except for digital first releases, the month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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