Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Batman: Urban Legends #2 Review

 Three out of Four Ain't Bad

Writer: Cecil Castellucci, Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin, Max Dunbar, Marguerite Sauvage, Marcus To
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: April 14, 2021

I usually am not an anthology book kind of guy.  Sure, my attention span suffers a huge hit jumping from story to story, but it's also because, for the most part, I never end up enjoying every story in the book.  It comes down to the math, and while some are satisfied with less than a 100% shooting percentage, I get mad if I get stuck with any duds at all.  That's just me, but I don't need nonsense to up the page count and the cover price.  Still, I liked the Batman/Red Hood and Grifter stories in the first issue, so my hopes were high going into this one.  Let's see how it is...

Chip Zdarsky's Batman/Red Hood story puts things on hold a little bit this issue.  Red Hood is still reeling from killing that piece of crap at the end of the last issue, not just because he knows Batman is not going to like it, but because he might have made an orphan out of the young kid he was trying to help.  We get more flashbacks of Jason's youth, but these are more hard-hitting and play off well with the kid and his current situation.

Of course, Batman is on his way, and to Bruce's credit, Jason swings first.  I'm not saying Jason's wrong since Batman usually comes in full-cocked in these situations.  This whole story is about how parents affect their children and running the story through Jason, Bruce, and this little kid is well done, and while things look grim right now, I hope this is the beginning of a better Batman/Red Hood relationship.

Cecil Castellucci is up next with a Batgirl story that is as insignificant as it is ridiculous.  After her awful Batgirl run, I was hoping never to see her writing Babs again, but here we are.  This one-shot (thank god!) has Oracle go up against  Vi Ross, one of the worst villains of the past couple of years, and Castellucci sets the tone by having the Big Bad mess with people's Rumbas and Ice Makers before graduating to schedule re-arranging.  Then she cranks it up to 100 with germ warfare, but nothing hits.  In the end, Oracle wins, Vi Ross gets taken away, and I want my 15 minutes back!

Moving along, Brandon Thomas continues his Outsiders story, and while I was a bit confused by the end of the first issue, I was also intrigued to see where it was going.  Thankfully, we find out what is going on, and it's one of the most exciting ideas that a writer has had for Katana in a long time.  Plus, it uses Bryan Hill's run as a basis of it, making a lot of sense.  It's a real quick read, but I am fully invested in this story now.

Mathew Rosenberg finishes things up with Grifter, and I loved the first chapter, which doesn't change here.  Sure, I would have liked a bit of story progression, but I love the character work from Rosenberg, and seriously, there are so many cool little mysteries going on here that kept me smiling the whole time.  Don't worry if you know Grifter or not because Rosenberg is setting him up to continue after this mini, and don't you want to be in on the ground floor?  He has to continue after this, right?!?

I haven't mentioned the art yet, but it is excellent throughout.  This is a damn good-looking book, and every art team brings their a-game.  

Bits and Pieces:

Batman Urban Legends continues to surprise and impress me. The book looks great, and while I wish every story here were a winner, there are three really good ones and one stinker.  


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