Old School, New School
The first issue of Brave and the Bold I ever read was a Batman and Green Arrow team-up. Not sure who the artist was, maybe it was Jim Aparo inked by Dick Giordano. But it had a cool look and a pretty wild updating of The Maltese Falcon. Oliver Queen had either inherited or bought - at an auction - a Falcon-like statue. Queen was obsessed with possessing this thing, and Batman was the sensible, level-headed one, trying to warn Queen. I still, to this day, have not been able to track down the next issue that concluded that story in the original Brave and the Bold. But I was hooked, and when I could, I grabbed it every month. Even after it had become Batman and The Outsiders.
I would have loved to see George Perez on this issue. But, you know what? Jerry Ordway's not so bad. I read this thinking, Geroge who? Jerry's got a good team backin' him up, too.
This is the change of pace that Mark Waid needed. He should have done this sooner and scapped all that cosmic, universe-spanning Megistus...stuff. The Brave and the Bold that I remember was never really about that. It may have been about science-fiction, but it was never so grandiose, cosmic or universe-spanning as Mark Waid made out some of the previous issues. I can't fault his ambition, thinking big and starting out with a bang. It was a good read, but the thread in some places was just brutal and painful.
This is a very cool team-up. I think other than a Green Arrow team-up, my favorite was a Batman, Barry Allen team-up.
Here in this issue of Brave and the Bold, Jerry Ordway reminds me of the All-Star Squadron. If I remember, I think he worked with Rich Buckler on that - I may be wrong. There's this whole classic, old school, Golden Age look. Mark Waid does an excellent job of bridging the generation gap. I'd like to see Batman partnered up with Alan Scott, or Dr. Mid-Nite, or Wildcat - although that might be redundant.
The Penguin is an interesting choice - and it works! The Penguin and T. O. Morrow. Although I'm not really clear as to why or how he manages his escape, everything else works. As Harrison Ford said about The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it's all about the McGuffin. If you can by that, sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy the ride. make sure your seatbelt is fastened and keep your hands and feet inside the car until it makes a complete stop. Watch that first hill. Everything else is cake.