REVIEW: ‘Batman: Urban Legends,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Urban Legends #3 - But Why Tho?

Batman: Urban Legends #3 is an anthology comic following in the footsteps of its two previous issues. It is published by DC Comics. The issue contains four stories: part three of  “Cheer,” written by Chip Zdarsku, illustrated by Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira with Jesus Merino and Marcus To providing flashback art, coloring by Adriano Lucas, and lettering by Becca Carey; the conclusion to “The Caretaker,” written by Brandon Thomas, illustrated by Max Dunbar, colored by Luis Guerrero, and lettered by Steve Wands; and part three of “The Long Con,” written by Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Ryan Benjamin, colored by Antonio Fabela, and lettered by Saida Temofonte. In addition, there is a story titled “Death Wish” focused on Lady Shiva, written by Che Grayson, illustrated by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque, colored by David Baron, and lettered by Aditya Bidikar.

“The Caretaker” finally closes the book on the Outsiders’ latest adventure, courtesy of Thomas and Dunbar. Thomas’s script flips between past and present, showcasing how the Outsiders-particularly Black Lightning-have grown as a team. Thomas also explores the relationship between Black Lightning and Katana, which is tied to the Outsiders’ main conflict.

On the art side, Dunbar draws multiple action sequences featuring the Outsiders, including a friendly sparring match between Katana and Black Lightning, and Lightning and Metamorpho battling multiple element-themed foes. One of these foes appears to be made out of living lava, while multiple oni-esque demons force Metamorpho to split into multiple versions of himself, later consolidating into one massive Metamorpho. Bringing all of this to life is the bright color palette that Guerrero brings to the table, which gives each character their own distinct flair-whether it’s the bright blue electricity crackling along Black Lightning’s body or Metamorpho’s purple and orange multi-textured skin. The issue ends with a hint that the Outsiders will return later in 2021, which I’m looking forward to, given how great Batman and the Outsiders was.

“Bliss” continues to dig deep into the friction between Batman and Red Hood, with Zdarsky showcasing their different methods and how they are more similar than they think. Jason is more of a physical presence, preferring to use intimidation tactics to get what he wants. Batman, on the other hand, is more methodical and patient as befitting a detective. Yet they’re both great with kids; when Batman approaches Tyler, the boy Jason has been taking care of, he offers him a lollipop. And Jason wants to make sure Tyler isn’t lost in the system like he was. This is juxtaposed in the art, with To illustrating Jason as Robin learning the hard way not to always rely on instinct and Merino drawing the appearance of a classic Batman foe who sets a trap for Jason. I like the shifting art styles, as they tie in with the thematic beats that Zdarsky is going for and highlight how much Jason has grown as a character.

Finally, “Death Wish” has Lady Shiva come to Batman to fulfill an unusual request. Grayson unveils Shiva’s past, peeling back the layers of the deadly assassin DC fans know and revealing genuine heart underneath. And to balance it out, Alburquerque draws a fast-paced fight scene involving kitchen knives to highlight Shiva’s deadliness as an assassin. The end of the story is a great reminder that despite the grim visage he uses to terrorize criminals, Batman genuinely cares about people-especially the people in his family.

Batman: Urban Legends #3 continues to delve into the lives of the Dark Knight’s friends and foes, hinting at a bright new future for the Outsiders. With “The Caretaker” wrapping up, I’m looking forward to what the next issue brings and what other creators will tackle in the lesser-known corners of Gotham City.

Batman: Urban Legends #3 is available wherever comics are sold.

Batman: Urban Legends #3
4.5

TL;DR

Batman: Urban Legends #3 continues to delve into the lives of the Dark Knight’s friends and foes, hinting at a bright new future for the Outsiders. With “The Caretaker” wrapping up, I’m looking forward to what the next issue brings and what other creators will tackle in the lesser-known corners of Gotham City.