Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Batman: Urban Legends #3 Review


Hit Me With Your One-Shot

Writer: Che Grayson, Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin, Max Dunbar, Jess Merino, Marcus To
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: May 11, 2021

Batman: Urban Legends is one of my favorite books out right now, and it's primarily because of Chip Zdarsky and Mathew Rosenberg.  I am digging their Red Hood and Grifter stories, and while the Outsiders story is decent, the rotating one-shots have been chiefly garbage. So is this the first issue that they all come together to create the perfect issue?  Let's find out...

We begin with the Zdarsky Red Hood story, and while I still think this might give us a new status quo between Batman and Jason, this issue didn't progress the story much.  It still pulls at the heartstrings, and I like the dialogue, but it just ends up with Jason doing things his way while Batman does the same.  We get more flashbacks of Jason as Robin and a person connected to the Cheerdrops, but it doesn't feel like that much of a lead, at least not yet.  The issue ends with a "cool" cliffhanger, but this one just felt like setup through and through.

Next up is the one-shot story, and this month, we get Lady Shiva.  I like Shiva, so this was a pleasant surprise.  While the art style wasn't my favorite, I liked this one.  With a Batman and the Outsiders reference that made me smile and a reminder that being great is often lonely, this was a nice little one-shot. Then, of course, a fight breaks out, and with Shiva involved, you know it's about Cass.  This one takes a dark, sad turn, though, that did surprise me.  What also surprised me were the feels that I got from this story.

We then move on to the finale of the Outsiders story. Unfortunately, there isn't much to say about this one.  By the end, this was just an ad for an upcoming book, and seriously, if you are going to do that, don't do it with a bullshit story. Brandon Thomas did nothing here, and I still have no idea how in the hell Katana's husband even got out of the Soul Taker Sword!  

We end with the Grifter story, and after some Men in Black trying to recruit Cole, we see that he is getting cozy with his new boss.  That didn't take long!  We get more hints at who the mysterious voice is that keeps talking to Cole before going off to Cole and Lucius talking shop.  Since the guys at the beginning of the story intend to get some info on Fox, it creates more tension when he shows up.  There's also a bit of humor with Cole throwing double entendres at him the whole time.  Things pick up more when Bruce Wayne arrives, and he namedrops a specific person from Cole's past.  The issue ends with more Wildcats references, a team-up with Batman, and the idea that we've been rooting for the bad guy in this the whole time.

Overall, this was a down issue for me.  The Red Hood story wasn't much at all, and while I liked the Lady Shiva one-shot, the Outsiders story was shit.  The Grifter story continues to be good, but it's about time that we get more solid information about what's going on, and now I'm worried that by the end, it will also be a setup for an upcoming book. Finally, the art was mainly good (again, I didn't love the art in the Shiva one-shot), but I still struggle to decide if it's all worth the hefty price tag.

Bits and Pieces:

This was a down issue of Batman: Urban Legends for me.  The Red Hood story, usually my favorite, stalled a bit, and while I finally enjoyed the one-shot (a Lady Shiva one this time), the Outsiders story ended with a thud, and the Grifter one left me wanting more. But, if you are already buying this, it's hard not to continue.  I wish I could recommend it to everyone.


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