Review: The Brave & the Bold #148

The Brave & the Bold #148 cover
Cover by Jim Aparo

The Brave & the Bold #148
Published and © by DC, March 1979

Title: “The Night the Mob Stole Xmas!”
Synopsis: Batman teams with a down-on-his-luck Plastic Man to crack a tobacco-smuggling ring and return a Christmas display to Gotham.

Writer: Bob Haney
Penciler: Joe Staton
Inker: Jim Aparo

Review: You almost need a different grading scale for Bob Haney’s Brave & the Bold – one that accounts for some serious zany. Batman cruising in a convertible Batmobile during a snowstorm? A downtrodden Plastic Man reduced to working as a bell-ringing Santa? A mob tobacco war that everyone keeps referring to as a “buttlegging ring”? It’s like reading an issue of Flaming Carrot! Visually, Joe Staton and Jim Aparo’s styles don’t quite mesh; their work here is decent, but the artists are better apart than they are together. It’d be hard to call this issue “good,” but it is quite enjoyable.

Grade: B-

Second opinion: “Staton’s cartoonish style is almost right for Plas, and Aparo’s inking maintain the necessary continuity.” – Mark Lamport, AFTA #3, April 1979

Cool factor: Let’s give it up for Bob Haney, Bronze Age dadaist!
Not-so-cool factor: God help you if you take your Batman serious.

Collector’s note: According to the Grand Comics Database, there is a 12p British variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “We’re closing in on this buttlegging ring!” – Commissioner Gordon, with a straight face no less

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Dec. 1, 2012.

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