This week from DC Comics We get the stories of a hero redeemed, a hero taking on another hero to defend a villain, Bird Boy coming to a rescue, and a little birdie teaming up with a devil. Batman Urban Legends 6 finishes the story of Red Hood, introduces the DC Universe to Zealot, sends Tim Drake to the rescue, and Black Canary making a deal she already regrets. This title has done a mostly amazing job telling stories of lesser characters that do not have their own titles.
The first story finishes the story that launched this title. Red Hood and Batman have had a lot of problems. Their ways and beliefs just do not mix. This story took Jason Todd over the line, and ever since he tries to fight his way to redemption. With Batman the prisoner of Mr Fries and Cheer, Jason needs to work fast. He finds Bruce’s prototype antidote and rushes to Bruce’s rescue after helping himself to a bit of Bruce’s gear. The resulting clash reveals more than either Bruce, Jason, or readers could ever imagine.
I really like the batsuit (minus a cowl) Jason uses. Under the power of the Cheerdrops, we discover what truly makes people like Jason and Bruce happy, and happy doesn’t always mean something good. In fact happiness can be found in the darkest recesses of a mind. Jason fights through a form of the cheer-gas using mental discipline he usually lacks, but his determination to help Bruce cannot be denied. I love his line: “You know what happiness is? It’s knowing that others have your back.” Right on cue the entire Bat-family crashes the party.
A Common Darkness
Jason fought the Cheer-gas and resisted the feeling of a family at peace at long last. It’s Bruce’s visions of happiness and the effects of the antidote that really shakes things up. In fact, it drives Bruce to the line Jason walks constantly. Bruce’s rage unbalances him, and he nearly crosses the line. If Jason does not talk Bruce down, Bruce crosses the line and kills Cheer. How can Bruce be angry at Jason when Jason talks him down from becoming Red Hood. You can feel immediately an understanding crosses between the two.
Jason sees to it Leslie and her son, the new “Blue Hood” get settled into their new home so they can start their recovery. Then we get the hug without a hug, the olive branch that may one day let Bruce and Jason find peace around each other. Jason even swears off using guns, not for Bruce’s sake but for his own. The brand new Red Hood suit Bruce gives Jason will help mend fences.
Then perhaps the scariest part of this Urban Legends 6 story group. As Bruce drives away, he looks extremely sad and almost broken. When Bruce had visions of happiness, he saw visions of family and peace, but this peace came at a cost. The greatest joy of Bruce’s dreams came when his hands squeezed the last breath from Joker. A family at peace because of the body, dead at his feet.
Urban Legends 6 – When Defending Friends Means Protecting Enemies
This next story starts off rather weird. Diana and Max Lord have gone around for decades. Max Lord is the one person that Drove Diana to kill, so to see her coming hell-bent after Lord again shouldn’t shock anyone, but swinging a pair of swords, killing everyone who crosses her path should. She may look the part of the Amazon Princess, but Max Lord knows his adversary all too well. This imposter bent on death is none other than Zealot of the WildC.A.T.S.. DC has been slowly introducing the WildC.A.T.S. team members with Grifter showing up in the Bat-books and the whole team showing up in Future State.
Zannah seeks justice and to kill the evil that goes by the name Max Lord. There is nowhere Max Lord can go that she will not find him. It looks like the world might lose one of its darkest minds when a familiar set of bracers block the killing blow. Diana and Zealot trade words about honor and lines that should not be crossed. They act like there is a history between the two, but I do not believe there is…yet. Diana simply recognizes the need to kill and is determined to keep Zealot from going down that road.
The battle may end with Max getting away, with Diana in hot pursuit, but this isn’t the end. If Diana ever finishes her dimensional pursuit of Janus, Zealot may be waiting for her. Zealot’s purpose also needs to be explained. She uses Diana’s blood off her sword to give her face her traditional marking, but then Zealot puts some of that blood in a vial. Whoever Zealot is working for, they wanted the Amazon’s blood.
Urban Legends 6 – Drake Saves the Day
Tim Drake swings in and saves the day. Beyond that, I get really tired of characters getting retconned of PC purposes. That’s all I have to say about that. Next Story.
Urban Legends 6 – An Infiltration Gone Bad
The final story catches up with Black Canary. She and Ollie continue their dance of love/not love that seems to follow them through every title. Their fighting/flirting shows up in the Justice League title the same as it does here. Their banter gets interrupted by Batgirl/Oracle/Barbara because she has a job for Dinah. Barbara tracks the gear Batman lost as a result of the Joker War, and it appears a new player is snatching it up. Barbara wants Dinah to infiltrate T.R.U.S.T. and help bring it down.
It just so happens T.R.U.S.T. is looking for someone with a certain set of skills that essentially spell out Black Canary. Feigning a falling out with the JLA, Dinah is the perfect person for the job. in fact, this story showcases everything Dinah/Black Canary is known for from her volatile relationship with Ollie, to her smart ass, no holds barred mouth, to her martial prowess and the Canary Cry. The worst part about the fight she gets involved with during the insertion? The body she sent flying onto her favorite car. She liked that car.
This Urban Legends 6 story seems pretty straightforward until the ending. Two figures step out of the shadows that I think everyone wishes they had stayed there. Ballantine describes a work partner she wants Canary to work with. As Ballantine puts it, Canary is to be the precision scalpel while her partner will be the blunt force trauma. This Trauma’s name? Deathstroke! For being a company fighting evil, they sure have a strange taste in allies.
As if Slade Wilson wasn’t bad enough, the mercs sent to kill Miss Ballentine were soldiers hired by Ballantine from a certain criminal organization. Somehow this squared a debt the organization had towards Ballentine. Apparently, the pawns are being moved into position for the beginnings of a new war, a shadow war, led by none other than Talia Al Ghul! For the rest of this story, you will need to pick up Deathstroke Inc #1.