Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Flash Facts: Flash Meets Batman

Brave and the Bold eventually became Batman's hang out, but Flash started in regular team-ups there before the dark night detective.

Still, it was exciting when the scarlet speedster met the Gotham guardian...

...and they did so six times over the course of Brave and the Bold's history.

Let's take a quick look to shed some light at those team-ups!

Brave and the Bold #67

First up is Brave and the Bold #67 (August-September, 1966), where Batman has to deal with "The Death Of The Flash", written by Bob Haney, pencilled by Carmine Infantino and inked by Charles Paris.  Batman is dealing with a gang in Gotham called the Speed Boys, who are using radioactive sneakers to rob at super speed....and calls on help from his fellow JLA member, the Flash.  Problem is, the Flash is dying (and dying faster the more he uses his super speed!).  Batman eventually figures out the problem, though the Speed Boys kill the Flash first by outrunning him (making him burn himself out faster).  Still, Batman solves that too....and the Flash hunts down the last of the Speed Boys.

This tale has been reprinted a few times, once in Super DC Giant S-16 (September-October, 1970) which also features the origin of Metamorpho, again in the Brave and the Bold Annual #1 of 2001 which also features the Green Arrow/Martian Manhunter team-up and a cover by Dick Giordano, and in the Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups volume 1 tradepaperback of 2007 (though the last is only in black and white).

Brave and the Bold #81

Next up is Brave and the Bold #81 (December-January, 1968/1969, by writer Bob Haney, pencilled by Neal Adams and inked by Vince Coletta) with "But Bork Can Hurt You" with Batman and Flash facing off against newly powered Carl Bork, who is raising a criminal army to take over Gotham.  Flash finds the source of Bork's power, a mystical statue, and has a problem breaking it, as the statue is as invulnerable as the recipient of its power.  Still, Flash finds a way to destroy the statue, and Bork loses his power, and, as an ordinary man, is beaten by Batman.

This tale has been reprinted a few times, in the Best of Brave and the Bold #2 in November, 1988 with a cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, in the Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams hardcover of 2003 and tradepaperback of 2012 and in black and white in the Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups volume 1 tradepaperback of 2007, and Bork even returned (mutated further, but stronger and "more invulnerable" in the much missed Power Company series of 2002-2003.

Brave and the Bold #99

Batman and Flash get together for Brave and the Bold #99 (December-January, 1971/1972), under a cover by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, but for the story of "The Man Who Murdered The Past" by writer Bob Haney, penciller Bob Brown and inker Nick Cardy.  This time, the heroes deal with Batman being possessed by the ghost of a sailor, but Batman believes that there is a way for him to communicate with his dead parents, and that his father, Thomas Wayne, had been working on a way to return from the dead before he died.

This story has only been reprinted in black and white in the Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups volume 2 tradepaperback of 2008.

Brave and the Bold #125

It took a little time for Batman and Flash to work together in B&B, but it did happen in Brave and the Bold #125 (March, 1976) as they fought the "Streets of Poison" (by writer Bob Haney and artist Jim Aparo).  In this story, Batman and Flash deal with corrupt General Lin "Tiger" Chan, and find long lost pilot, Amy Stimson, as well as stopping the flow of drugs to the United States from Asia, much to the relief of Commissioner Gordon.

This story found itself  reprinted in the Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo (Volume 2) hardcover of 2013, as well as in black and white in the Showcase Presents the Brave and the Bold Batman Team-Ups volume 3 tradepaperback of 2009.

Brave and the Bold #151

The last of Bob Haney and Jim Aparo's Batman/Flash team-ups happened in Brave and the Bold #151 (June, 1979), and you'd think the heroes might have had a fun night out, but instead faced the "Disco Of Death".  Batman and Flash faced off against crooks inside of a haunted dance hall, as well as the Phantom of the Stardust Ballroom in this story, which might almost have been called "Dancing With The Super-Heroes"...if it wasn't serious (as the Phantom was killing dancers...and Iris Allen was even involved in this case, before Flash's life got much more serious in his own title!).

This story found itself reprinted in the Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo (Volume 2) hardcover of 2013.

Brave and the Bold #194

Last but not least is Brave and the Bold #194 (January, 1983), which is a special tale, as it involved past Batman and Flash foes teaming up against the heroes in "Trade Heroes -- And Win!" by writer Mike W. Barr, penciller Carmine Infantino and inker Sal Trapani under a Jim Aparo cover  Motivational therapist Dr. Andrea Wye helps the lower end of criminals (Flash Rogue Rainbow Raider and Batman foe, Dr. Double X) get confidence (and hey, these villains weren't quite in the range of Joker or Reverse-Flash), and the villains switch heroes under advisement....but, thankfully, the heroes win out anyway!

This tale found itself in the Tales of The Batman: Carmine Infantino hardcover of 2014, along with many Batman  Detective Comics tales from the 1960s (of the "new look Batman", which was also the time when Batman was "powing" it up on TV), and this story was a nice throwback to that era of the Adam West 1966 Batman TV show (as well as to the earlier days of the Flash, when Carmine Infantino was co-creating the classic Flash's Rogue's Gallery), with modern self-help thrown in (and Mike W. Barr would use Andrea Wye to menace the Outsiders, like he also picked up Metamorpho, as well as artist Jim Aparo....).  All this goes to show how much fun it can be to use the past in the future!


  1. Wasn't there also an issue of BATMAN: BRAVE & BOLD wherein Batman teamed up with the Jay Garrick Flash?

  2. Yep! Issue 13 of the 2008 series by Mark Waid and Jerry Ordway. A great issue....but I'm not quite up to the 21st Century yet!