Comics reviews: Tiny Titans #26, Batman: The Brave and the Bold #15

Flickr photo by keri (CC BY)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #15

Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Robert Pope

This was a fun issue, with the cold opener particularly so. The main story features Batman (with the Flash—Wally West version) returning from the cold opener’s events to find a mysterious robbery in Keystone City, with Flash betting Bats on who can solve the mystery first. Flash’s personality here resembles that of the recent animated portrayals of him (as well as his Super Friends comic counterpart)—free-spirited and a bit of an ego, but capable of doing the job.

The cold opener was the best part of the book: the Mad Mod (an old 60s Teen Titans villain; a Carnaby Street mod fashion designer-turned-evil) has traveled back in time to 1960s London, where he captures British Parliament of the era in customized clothing of his design. Batman travels back in time after Mad Mod, and fights him alongside, of all heroes, obscure heroes “Super-Hip” and “Brother Power, the Geek.” Here, Super-Hip is presented as the era’s “top hero” (guess to fill the rather yawning gap between the JSA’s retirement and Superman/Batman’s debuts being in the late 90s at the earliest by this point; might write another sliding-timeline post about this and the Mad Mod in the future…) instead of Batman’s contemporary.

As for who Super-Hip is: a character that was created in the late 60s for the long-running Bob Hope comic book, as Hope’s geeky nephew who when enraged could turn into “Super-Hip”, a hero dressed in “swinging sixties” fashions with a guitar and some superpowers (flying, shape-shifting). Super-Hip only appeared for a few years’ worth of stories, but did appear once in mainstream DC continuity, at the wedding of Elasti-Girl in the Doom Patrol’s comic.

To my knowledge (unless there’s some cameo of him in some Ambush Bug special) this is the first time he’s appeared in a DC comic since the late 60s. Later pre-Crisis comics suggest their non-funny animal humor books (including the long-running Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope titles, as well as the Inferior Five) took place on “Earth-12,” so guess Super-Hip either crossed Earths just for the wedding or had an Earth-1 counterpart (though on Earth-1 Bob Hope was just an entertainer like in real life). Post-Crisis, as goofy as he is, I guess there’s no reason Super-Hip couldn’t still exist *somewhere* (either as a sixties-era hero like in this story or still as a contemporary of the modern heroes), though given what they’ve done to their current universe, imagine they’d want to make him “more realistic” (read: grim-and-grittied-up) somehow…

Brother Power the Geek” is even more obscure: a series that lasted two issues in 1968, about a mannequin brought to life via lightning and having adventures among the counterculture of the time (using some superpowers). Apparently too much for DC’s middle-aged staff of the time, it got axed quickly and largely forgotten until being revived years later for Vertigo.

Tiny Titans #26

Writer: Art Baltazar and “Franco”
Artist: Art Baltazar

A full length story here… Miss Martian wants a new doll, and thinks Gizmo’s a “dolly.” Hilarity (and Kroc cameos) ensues. Lots of emphasis on green as well (per March being when St. Patrick’s Day occurs), plus another appearance by Superboy (sans Match).

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