Overview: In Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4, readers are offered four more stories that depart from the cliffhangers seen in the first two issues.
Story #1: “Enter the Abyss”
Written by: Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Art by: Kelley Jones
Colors by: Michelle Madsen
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Synopsis (Spoilers ahead): The story begins with Batman (Bruce Wayne) on the hunt. He is after a Jane Smith (obviously a pseudonym): shadows have swallowed 17 people around her, but not her. He enters a building he believes her to be in, jumping through the window, hoping to surprise the obvious trap, but once inside, all she wants to do is talk.
She tells of her birth in the “Dark Garden,” a realm of darkness. She was able to escape to our world, but hers pulls all the people she cares about or interacts with back to her realm if they have “darkness in their hearts.”
Batman and Jane Smith head into the realm together, hoping to save any of the most-recent missing people. The rest of the comic is their journey together, leading into a continuation of the series in Batman Beyond: Neo Gothic.
Here is the major problem. I think this is the perfect medium to introduce other runs that spin off, but up until now, that’s not what Batman: The Brave and the Bold has been. It has been stand-alone or continuous stories that readers come back to finish. On top of the $8 spent for stories that haven’t continued in two months, DC editorial wants readers to buy another completely separate comic to continue reading this new storyline?
The only comparison I can come up with over the overwhelming frustration I have is that it feels kind of like Apple changing all their ports to make us buy more chargers. I don’t like it.
Art: I really like the Kelley Jones art and the Michelle Madsen colors. This style lends itself really well to this type of story. It has a Leviathan look to it that lends itself to magic and different realms through long lost doorways. With the continuation taking place in Batman Beyond, I hope they continue this style in flashbacks. It could be a really fun contrast to the super bright pinks, reds, and purples that come with Batman Beyond usually.