Review of Alex Toth, Bravo For Adventure (IDW Publishing, 2015, 100 pages)
Let us first establish that talent is unique. There will not be “the next Milton Caniff” or the “Next Hal Foster.” There will be, however, the “first Alex Toth.”
If you are looking for the detail of Prince Valiant or the swashbuckling of Flash Gordon, you won’t find it here. If you are looking for colorful characters telling a wonderful tale you will find it in Toth’s 1970’s Bravo for Adventure, a saga perhaps closer to Milton Caniff than anything else.
Here, Toth is a storyteller, something all comic artists should be, but they sometimes fail. On one hand, Bravo, isn’t the greatest of artwork, but Toth tells a wonderful, detailed and emotional story that makes you want more. Frankly, I am not used to experiencing this amount of depth in comic-book story telling. This film noir adventure keeps you interested throughout and, perhaps, a bit sad when it ends because there is really no more.
What an era the 1970s should have been, with great talent and graphic novels, bringing diversity, entering the picture. There are no super-heroes here, no international technological crime rings, just America in the 1940s. We could have had variety, not just longer stories, fatter comics about the Hulk and Superman now being called “graphic novels.”
I am saddened by what could have been.
This book also contains a wonderful introduction that explains the long journey it took to present this adventure. It also has a shorter, humorous, surreal adventure too. It also presents an explanation of why the book is not in color, and some samples of how it would have looked.