Of the many things that have happened to comic books in the last 20+ years is the creation of kiddie versions of popular titles. When I started reading comics, the kid stuff was Richie Rich and Archie. Everything Marvel and DC published was considered “all ages”, at least as far as I can recall.
Nowadays, there are “Parental Advisory” titles that are meant for mature audiences (this despite the fact that they feature superheroes), and also books made just for younger readers. This week we have two versions of DC’s team-up title Brave and the Bold. Read on for the scoop.
Batman The Brave And The Bold #12: This one is for kids, and is based on the Cartoon Network series of the same name. Yes, it’s for kids, but it’s also for adults. Specifically me. Nothing better than curling up on the couch with my sons and watching Batman, even if they do sometimes talk over the dialogue. (“Be quiet! Batman is talking!”) The comic I haven’t read, but it seems to be good enough. Shameless plug: Read my review of the Batman Brave and the Bold episode “Mayhem Of The Music Meister!” at AVClub.com. (Scroll down.) Here’s a clip:
Tiny Titans #23: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Tiny Titans is the best mainstream kiddie comic out there. Might not be for everyone, though, since it’s very silly and relies heavily on knowledge of the DC Universe.
Complete Little Orphan Annie Vol 4 House Divided Or Will Fate Trick Trixie Daily Comics 1932-1933 HC: This incredibly long title is confusing. Here’s a simpler explanation — this is a collection of the daily “Little Orphan Annie” strips. Back when I worked in PR and read multiple newspapers every day, I would read the comics page. I seem to recall thinking that some of the plotlines in Annie were surprisingly topical. Not sure if that was the case in the 30’s, though.
Marvel Super Hero Squad #4: The comic and cartoon are pretty bad, but both feature Hulk saying “Hulk smash!” a lot, which makes my kids laugh.
Transformers Animated Vol 12 TP: A lamer version of The Transformers. The old cartoon was pretty good, much better than the live-action films. The new cartoon series that these comics are based on is kind of meh. (Note: “Meh” is geekspeak for “not really worth the trouble.”)
Simpsons Comics #161
Finding Nemo Reef Rescue TP: Trade paperback of the recent Finding Nemo mini-series. Nice stocking stuffer.
Uncle Scrooge #386
Walt Disneys Comics & Stories #701
Borderline Kids Stuff/Older Kids
Brave And The Bold Vol 3 #30: And here is the other Brave And The Bold title. These are definitely not kid-friendly, at least not younger kid-friendly. For example, a recent issue featured a teenage superhero who died. I guess people die in the Harry Potter books, so maybe I’m being too uptight about that.
Black Jesus GN: I mention this comic — sorry, graphic novel — because of the continuing debate over the race of Jesus. This comic — sorry, graphic novel — is based on an upcoming film called “Black Jesus.” The description: “What happens when someone is born different? Are they accepted? And if they are accepted, what are they accepted as? Chris is born with special gifts and every individual has their own beliefs. Is Chris a Mutant or Messiah?” Eh. Not quite “meh”, but not exactly “yeah.” Listed as for Mature Readers.