REVIEW: ‘Batman: Urban Legends,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Urban Legend #2Batman: Urban Legends #2 is an anthology comic picking up where the events of the first issue left off. It is published by DC Comics. The issue contains four stories, each focused on a different character or characters related to Batman. 

This issue contains the second part of “Cheer,” written by Chip Zdarsku, illustrated by Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira (with Marcus To illustrating flashback sequences), colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Becca Carey; “The Caretaker,” written by Brandon Thomas, illustrated by Max Dunbar, colored by Luis Guerrero, and lettered by Steve Wands; and“The Long Con,” written by Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Ryan Benjamin, colored by Antonio Fabele, and lettered by Saida Temofonte. It also features a new story focused on Oracle, “Ghost In The Machine,” which is written by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated and colored by Marguerite Sauvage, and lettered by Carey.

Once again, “Cheer” takes center stage as the best story of the bunch. Given Red Hood’s history with Batman, and how it has taken center stage in the marketing and covers, the story would have to match the level of hype. A large part of this is due to Zdarsky’s scripting, which digs more into Jason Todd’s psyche and his contentious relationship with Batman. Jason is also struggling with guilt over his latest murder, and how he may have placed a boy in the same predicament that he was in as a younger age. Zdarsky is no stranger to writing superheroes with inner struggles-his work on Daredevil is proof of that. Also pouring emotional weight into the story are Barrows, Ferreria, To, and Lucas. Barrows gives Jason a wide range of facial expressions, from sorrow to rage; To illustrates Jason in his younger years and provides a parallel to the present day situation that Jason finds himself in. Lucas rounds out the artistic talent by coloring the past sections with a lighter palette and the present sections with a darker, moodier one to suit the atmosphere of Gotham.

The other tale that really stood out to me was “The Caretaker,” namely how it continues to make the case for an ongoing Outsiders series. Thomas perfectly captures the dynamic between the Outsiders—especially Metamorpho and Black Lightning, who have a friendly rapport as they travel to rescue Katana. Dunbar’s art continues to have an animated vibe to it, especially where Metamorpho’s shapeshifting abilities are concerned. The opening of the issue literally features him stretched out like a piece of Laffy Taffy, and later on he even becomes a jetpack for Black Lightning. Dunbar also designs some oni-inspired villains who are connected to Katana, with Guerrero giving them a reddish-orange color scheme that makes them look like actual demons.

The other two stories are relatively decent. “The Long Con” features more of Grifter’s usual antics, while “Ghost In The Machine” picks up a plot threat from the “Joker War” storyline. However, what makes the latter story stand out is Sauvage’s art. Her colors are bright and eye-popping with green taking center stage due to Oracle’s color scheme. Barbara Gordon even gets a new trendy/hi-tech outfit in a single page spread, with Carey labeling its various functions in helpful text boxes.

Batman: Urban Legends #2 continues to explore the lives of the Dark Knight’s allies, particularly where Red Hood and the Outsiders are concerned. Next issue will see the end of “The Caretaker” story and while I’ll be sad to see it go, I hope the remaining issues of Urban Legends continue to flesh out Gotham’s Guardians.

Batman: Urban Legends #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Batman: Urban Legends #2
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TL;DR

Batman: Urban Legends #2 continues to explore the lives of the Dark Knight’s allies, particularly where Red Hood and the Outsiders are concerned. Next issue will see the end of “The Caretaker” story and while I’ll be sad to see it go, I hope the remaining issues of Urban Legends continue to flesh out Gotham’s Guardians.