REVIEW: ‘Batman: Urban Legends,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Urban Legends #4 - But Why Tho

Batman: Urban Legends #4 introduces a new pair of stories following the conclusion of the Outsiders focused story “The Caretaker” in previous issues. Published by DC Comics, the issue features part four of  “Cheer,” written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Eddy Barrows & Eber Ferreira with  Marcus To providing flashback art, coloring by Adriano Lucas, and lettering by Becca Carey;  and part four of “The Long Con,” written by Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Ryan Benjamin, colored by Antonio Fabela, and lettered by Saida Temofonte. The new stories are “Superman Punch,” which focuses on Luke Fox/Batwing, and part one of “Sum of Our Parts” which features Tim Drake. “Superman Punch” is written by Camrus Johnson, penciled by Loyizo Mkize, inked by Trevor Scott, colored by Andrew Dalhouse and lettered by ALW’s Troy Peteri. “Sum of Our Parts” is written by Meghan Fitzmartin, illustrated by Belen Ortega, colored by Alejandro Sanchez, and lettered by Pat Brosseau.

“Superman Punch” follows Batwing as he attempts to track down the Riddler, running into Killer Croc in the process. It also happens to be an example of life spilling over into art, as Johnson plays Luke Fox on the Batwoman TV series. Johnson writes Batwing as an equal mix of compassionate and intelligent, as he solves the Riddler’s puzzles with ease and manages to strike common ground with Croc. A flashback also shows Luke bonding with his older brother Tim — who will eventually don the mantle of Batman in Future State. Mkize, Scott, and Dalhouse turn in some extremely detailed work; the shining silver and blue costume that Batwing wears provides a nice contrast to the Riddler’s lime green suit and Croc’s acidic green scaly skin. The fight scene between Batwing and Croc is also appropriately brutal, leading to Batwing utilizing the “Superman Punch” in a victorious move.

“Sum of Our Parts” once again sees Fitzmartin tackling Tim Drake after writing him in Future State; here Tim is shown struggling with his path in life after dropping out of college and soon stumbles onto the case of several missing kids. Tim has always been my favorite Robin because he dealt with more normal problems such as school and even crushes; both of those are brought up, particularly his relationship with former flame Stephanie Brown. Fitzmartin’s writing will remind readers of what separates Tim from his fellow Robins and what makes him an endearing character.  She is joined by Ortega, whose artwork is nothing short of stunning as Tim is shown gracefully leaping off buildings and engaging in combat with a new enemy known as the Chaos Monster. The Chaos Monster is utterly horrific, with writhing tentacles across his head and a face that looks like he stepped out of a Lovecraftian story. Sanchez adds to the horror by giving the story a color palette that casts shadows across the edges of the page, making it look like the Chaos Monster rose up out of the darkest depths of one’s nightmares.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention “Cheer,” which for my money continues to be the most emotional story in the series so far. Zdarsky understands the pain that Jason has gone through, and also showcases how his death still weighs on Batman. Nowhere is this made more clear than with To, who puts a new spin on the infamous “Death in the Family” sequence in Batman #428. The sequence features Batman cradling Jason’s dead body, while simultaneously telling himself in the present that he intends to rescue Jason from Mister Freeze’s clutches. “The Long Con” also has its moments courtesy of Rosenberg, Benjamin, and Fabela, as Grifter not only comes toe-to-toe with Deathstroke but Superman as well. The story ends with the reappearance of another Wildstorm character and I’m glad DC is utilizing more of this universe.

Batman: Urban Legends #4 is packed full of stories featuring fan-favorite Batman characters, including thrilling twists and turns. Now that the book has hit its halfway point, things are starting to get interesting and I’m eager to see where the next two issues go from here.

Batman: Urban Legends #4 is available wherever comics are sold.

Batman: Urban Legends #4
5

TL;DR

Batman: Urban Legends #4 is packed full of stories featuring fan-favorite Batman characters, including thrilling twists and turns. Now that the book has hit its halfway point, things are starting to get interesting and I’m eager to see where the next two issues go from here.