This week from DC Comics we get a 70 page amalgam of stories. In fact the title misleads the reader a bit. This title may read Batman Urban Legends 1, but they would have been better off calling this Gotham Urban Legends 1. Batman has nothing to do with this title. Instead what we get are four different stories from the Gotham universe.
Urban Legends looks to be an ongoing mix of stories. Red Hood, The Outsiders, Harley Quinn and Grifter make up this issue, and the stories looks to run for different lengths. Red Hood runs for 6 chapters, the Outsiders for 3, Grifter for 5, and Harley looks to be a one off. New short stories will likely fill the holes left by completed stories.
These stories are a mixed bag. I generally do not like issues like this because they are large issues with varied stories. Many times a reader may like a couple of the stories, but rarely the whole title. In this case only half of the stories really add up to much.
Urban Legends 1 – Red Hood
I really like this story with Red Hood. Jason Todd has always been one of the great enigmas and wild cards in the Gotham universe, even when he started off as Robin. This story gives us a great glimpse of his mind both now and when he was Bruce’s protégé.
Jason tries to track down the source of a new drug flooding Gotham streets called Cheerdrops. This new drug gives a sense of euphoria and pleasant hallucinations, the problem is they then self destruct by walking in front of cars or drowning.
The true heart of this comic, though, comes from Jason revealing what he thought about his past, growing up with Batman. That and Batman is out there. This comic builds up yet another clash between Jason and Bruce in teh coming chapters. The two don’t exactly see eye to eye. In fact Jason comments about having to use rubber bullets in his gun in order to even stay in Gotham.
Jason tries to help a young boy whose mother overdoses on Cheerdrops. He sees a lot of himself in the boy and tries to keep him from being gobbled up by the system. To do that he must hunt down the boy’s father. Of course Jason manages to do so, but immediately wishes he hadn’t. The boy’s father is a Cheerdrops manufacturer and when finally cornered, makes it very clear he could care less about the boy. Rule number one: Don’t piss off a man with a gun, even with rubber bullets. Jason proves even rubber bullets can kill as he shoots the man pointblank…several times. That confrontation with Batman just got a whole lot tougher.
This is the best of the four stories in this issue.
Urban Legends 1 – Harley Quinn
This story with Harley may be good, but it’s out of place. Basically, Harley laments the loss of Poison Ivy. The two apparently break up at some point, and now Harley mopes around their old place, thinking back on their relationship. She happily stumbles across the first plant the two owned together, and that’s your story.
Harley sports her new outfit as well, and it looks great. It gives her a more mature look while keeping her look faithful to her signature features. Most of the new costumes post-Future State look pretty good.
This story by itself sucks, plain and simple. There is no point to it and its nothing but moping the entire time. To find a point you will need to track down Harley Quinn and Batman when it comes out. As part of a greater whole in her own title this would be perfectly fine, but as a random fragment in a composition comic it does nothing.
Urban Legends – The Outsiders
I really do not like all these Outsiders stories. I do not follow them, so I have no clue what is going on. The stories so far make it feel like you are jumping into the final act of a movie having not seen any of the previous footage. You also do not get to see the ending, so the fragment you do get means next to nothing.
This fragment follows Katana and Black Lightning on a wild chase from the bad guys.
Urban Legends – Grifter
Cole Cash, The Grifter. I can’t usually follow the purpose of Cole’s stories. They are random and all over the place. He will do everything wrong and get in all sorts of trouble, but his skills and wit make it extremely fun watching him try and fight his way out of things.
Cole works as a bodyguard for Lucius Fox, but then crosses paths with Penguin and Nora Fries. Then he thinks he can take on Batman. He does hold his own, but you get the feel Batman is toying with him more than anything. Something happens and by the end Nora lies dead near a river and Batman and Nightwing find her body. Batman believes Grifter killed her.
I have no idea where this story is headed, but if it follows Grifter you know it will be entertaining!
Urban Legends – Final Thoughts
Well there we have it. One really good story, one extremely entertaining story, one story out of place and a final story that is a fragment of a whole lot of nothing. The overall value of this title will depend on how much you enjoy the characters it uses.
For those that read it, what did you think of Batman: Urban Legends 1? Head over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and let us know what stood out to you from this title.