21 November 2012

Faster than a DC Bullet: The Sandman Spin-Offs, Part XXVI: The Brave and the Bold: The Book of Destiny

Comic trade paperback, 156 pages
Published 2008 (contents: 2007-08)
Borrowed from the library
Read October 2012
The Brave and the Bold: The Book of Destiny

Writer: Mark Waid
Pencillers: George Pérez, Jerry Ordway
Inkers: Bob Wiacek, Scott Koblish
Colorist: Tom Smith
Letterer: Rob Leigh

The connections to The Sandman are even more tenuous in the second volume of The Brave and the Bold than in the first, though this is a direct sequel to The Lords of Luck. The Challengers of the Unknown spend much of the book puzzling over the Book of Destiny, but Destiny of the Endless does not actually appear.

What we get are a number of superhero teamups, as usual: Power Girl and Wonder Woman, the Flash and the Doom Patrol, Superman and the Silent Knight, and so on. They're good, but there's a spark in The Lords of Luck that's not quite present here. Is it that the connections between the stories here feel a little more forced? The Lords of Luck managed to balance the needs of done-in-one stories with an overall arc, whereas The Book of Destiny feels like a series of one-shots jammed together with an arbitrary villain. The fact that although the Challengers are the focus, they never really pop as characters (all I could remember was that "Red" was the redhead and June was the woman), which undermines the story somewhat, especially the final issue.

Still, if you focus on the individual stories and the artwork (George Pérez is joined in this volume by the almost-as-good Jerry Ordway), you have here a fun set of superhero stories. I might not ever know why what's-his-face was travelling through time and space, but I got to watch the Boy Commandos team up with the Blackhawks, and that's good enough for me.

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