FW Presents – Find Your Joy – Brave and the Bold #178


Rob and Dr. Anj find their joy in the Batman/Creeper team-up "Paperchase" by Alan Brennert and Jim Aparo, from BRAVE AND THE BOLD #178!

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10 responses to “FW Presents – Find Your Joy – Brave and the Bold #178

  1. Oh, yeah, always love a good discussion of a Brennert-scripted comic – he didn’t write many comics, but what he did write is gold. In fact, I was a little miffed by the ‘B’ rating. I would never give a Brennert comic anything less than an A-.
    It’s worth pointing out yes, while the political views expressed by the frothing-at-the-mouth TV commentator seem topical today, they were quite topical back in 1981 when the story came out. In the 1980 presidential election, Reagan campaigned, among other things, on dealing with ‘welfare cheats’ (I think he pretty much coined the term ‘welfare queen’) and whatnot, and there was plenty of racial dog-whistling as well.

    By the way, I’m surprised that neither of you picked Tales of the Batman by Alan Brennert (either HC or tpb) as your book recommendation. That’s one of the best value for money reprint books ever…

    1. Edo–

      Just FYI, when I looked on IST the TALES OF ALAN BRENNERT book was not available at the moment, otherwise of course I would have picked it!

      Also, I did say “B+.”

      1. Yeah, I just checked at Lone Star (mycomicshop.com) and Amazon; it’s listed as ‘out of stock’ at the former, while actual physical copies (i.e., non-digital) can only be ordered through the marketplace at the latter. Looks like it’s already out of print; glad I got mine on time. That was one of those rare occasions when I didn’t look for a cheaper used/remaindered copy – got it brand new.

  2. This was one of the very first comics I ever had. I got it at the barbershop & recall that the cover had been torn off. Thanks for reminding me of my entry into the DCU & collecting

  3. Even though this may be the “lesser” of Brennert’s DC work, it still made it (deservedly) into The Greatest Team-Up Stories Ever Told tpb back in the early 90s.

    I will admit, I didn’t quite “get” this story when I first read it. Of course, I was like 6 or 7, so no fault of Brennert’s there! I knew the Creeper from a World’s Finest back-up, so I was aware of him at this point.

    Always a pleasure to hear Dr. Anj and hear a Brennert and/or Aparo tale discussed here!


  4. Thanks for a great episode. I’ve not read this issue since it came out, the Creeper being one of those characters I’ve never been fussed about. Still, it’s an Alan Brennert book, so it’s bound to be a decent comic. I do like to hear Anj explain why he enjoys the Creeper.

    But come on guys, I pointed out the Legion cruiser in the feedback section on B&B #179! Do pay attention…

  5. For the life of me, from the time I bought this issue off the Spinner Rack, that Paper Monster has reminded me of something else, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. I’m almost wanting to say Video Man from the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon, but I don’t think that is it. Maybe it was some monster on Ultra Man or Space Giants or something I haven’t seen since the 70s. If someone can figure out what it is, please let me know because it has been a brain itch since the early 80s.

    Normally, I’m not to into “preachy” comics, but this one was fun because of Batman and the Creeper’s interaction. Someone as cool and in control (as Batman was in those pre-Miller, pre-Starlin days) and someone as nuts as the Creeper make an interesting contrast. That said, I don’t think it is nearly as good as the Brennert’s B&Bs with the Earth Two Robin and the one with the E2 Batman and Catwoman, but what is?

    What else is there to say about Jim Aparo? I think his art is a large reason that B&B was my favorite Bat-title from the end of Wein and Novick’s run on Batman until B&B’s demise.

  6. I think Mr. Brennert, (Rob calls him “Alan”), is too harsh on this story. I was in high school when I read it, I bought it fresh off the stands, and I found it quite instructive about the dangers of demagoguery. Not only that, but this issue featured a Creeper that I had been waiting for! My first exposure to the Creeper was in the classic “Bat-Murderer” story in Detective 444-448. Those comics were loaned to me by a friend at the dawn of my collecting days. I was instantly fascinated! I eagerly bought Secret Society of Super-Villains when he was on the cover, and according to Amazing Mike’s Amazing World website, that was his first appearance after I started buying comics. The Creeper soon had his own series in World’s Finest, by Steve Ditko, but I always found it wanting. Not only did it seem to exist outside of the current DC Universe, it wasn’t the same Creeper, and more importantly, the same Jack Ryder that I had met! Alan Brennert took the characterizations which had been established in those earlier stories by Len Wein and Gerry Conway, and continued them. A Jack Ryder who is smart and shrewd, whether or not he is in costume. A Creeper who is aware of the part he is playing, and delights in it! Finally, Jim Aparo is the best artist for The Creeper!
    When I was in high school, I had read very little work drawn by Steve Ditko, and less written by him. I have since read much written by Ditko, and I am disappointed that it seems his only solution to any problem is violence. Mr. A. beats up, or lets die, a pusher, and he also beats up the junkie. (not a real example. I am deliberately exaggerating.) A creation like The Creeper/Jack Ryder can use his public platform to try and raise awareness of a drug problem, like say an opioid epidemic, and encourage others to work on solutions to the problem. Ditko’s writings often just stated “This is bad. That is good. Violence is bad. Unless it’s violence for good.” Alan Brennert’s writing more often explores the nuances in such attitudes, and I really enjoy his DC Comics work!

  7. This was one of the first Creeper stories that I read as it was part of the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, Volume 1. I actually thought Creeper was a Bat-related character as he also appeared in the Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told! This was a fun story and an excellent example of how great both Alan Brennert and Jim Aparo were.

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