Liam Sharp’s Gift To The DCU Is Revealed In The Brave And The Bold #6

by Oliver MacNamee

All good things must come to end, and so we say goodbye to one of this year’s most spectacular books, as The Brave and The Bold #6 brings the curtains down on this Celtic caper. For now, at least. While Liam Sharp may be locked into Green Lantern for at least the next year or so, this series ends on the promise of a further book, and rightfully so given what Sharp has gifted to the DC Universe through the telling of this tale.

At a time when the Source Wall, as a result of superhero shenanigans over on Dark Nights: Metal and ongoing in the Justice League book, is seeing the multiverse teetering on the edge of the abyss, Sharp gives DC something back, rather than threaten it with implosion! This issue is no different from his previous work on this title, offering the reader intensely detailed and textured splash pages, double page spreads and large, widescreen storytelling that fits the scale of the story and the characters he has taken great pains in designing and creating.

Meanwhile knowing that the world of Irish mythology now has a foothold in this realm, and a doorway through which the denizens of Tír na nÓg can pass, after years living in exile, almost forgotten about. It’s a rich, magical pastoral paradise with a cast of characters equally rich in their depiction. No way could these legendary folk be confined to a 9 panel page. They’d simply burst out. No, rather give then the space to flex, fight and be feared. Forget your Greek and Norse gods, make way for the Irish and the likes of Cernunnos and company. I know who I’d have my money on in a three way drinking contest against Thor, Hercules and Finn McCool, put it that way.

Over the past six issues, Sharp has cleverly used the premise of a murder mystery to slowly and skilfully introduce us to a whole new pantheon of gods that have laid dormant to the world of comic books, on the whole. Which I was always surprised about given how many Plastic Paddies there are over in the Colonies, professing their Irish heritage by drinking a green coloured beer every Saint Patrick’s Day. But, Sharp is no stranger to these stories, as we’ve heard before, and his lifelong love of Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool), Nuada and his silver arm, and so many more myths that have informed this saga, has helped him forge and form a world ripe for revisiting, with Gotham City as both the gateway and refugee centre for those newly arrived faerie folk. Not many comic book creators can leave such a mark on the landscape. But, Sharp has. His legacy is for all to now see and make use of form time to time, should they want to. I do hope so. I’d love to see some of these magical men and women make their way into the DCU.

The ending has a mixture of hope, but also future threats. After all, as Batman points out, “They imprisoned themselves for a reason…” with a last page reveal that is infuriating, given how long we’re going to need to wait for a sequel.

The Brave and the Bold #6 is currently available from DC Comics.

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