REVIEW: ‘Batman: Urban Legends,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batman Urban Legends #5

Batman: Urban Legends #5 is an anthology series published by DC Comics. The issue contains four stories, including the final installment of “The Long Con” written by Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Ryan Benjamin, colored by Antonio Fabela, and lettered by Saida Temofonte. The issue also contains the penultimate installment of “Cheer”  which is written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira & Diogenes Neves with  Marcus To providing flashback art, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Becca Carey; and part two of “Sum of Our Parts” which written by Meghan Fitzmartin, illustrated by Belen Ortega, colored by Alejandro Sanchez, and lettered by Pat Brosseau. Finally,  “Wildcard” is written by Marguerite Bennett, illustrated by Sweeney Boo, colored by Marissa Louise, and lettered by Becca Carey.

Each issue has continued to feature a standalone tale focused on certain characters from the Batman mythos, whether it be Luke Fox as Batwing or Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. In “Wildcard” the focus is on Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, both of whom have held the mantle of Batgirl, along with the original Batgirl Barbara Gordon. Bennett laces the interactions between Stephanie and Cassandra with the same wit that she brought to M.O.M.: Mother of Madness, and also introduces an interesting conflict between the Batgirls and none other than Ryan Wilder, who has taken up the mantle of Batwoman on TV. Boo’s artwork feels very manga-inspired, especially in the scenes where Cassandra and Stephanie play video games and trash talk each other; if it weren’t for their superhero costumes, I’d think I was reading a slice-of-life-manga. And Louise’s colors help make each Batgirl feel unique, from Cassandra’s jet black costume to the royal purple Stephanie wears as Spoiler.

Both “Cheer” and “Sum of our Parts” dig deep into the mental state of their respective Robins, with both Zdarsky and Fitzmartin approaching Jason Todd and Tim Drake as humans first and vigilantes second. Despite a wedge being driven between himself and Batman due to his activities as the Red Hood, Jason genuinely cares for Batman and tries to track him down. Barrows’ illustrations of the Red Hood cornering suspects are once again juxtaposed nicely with To’s flashback art showing Jason as Robin working to save Batman from one of the Riddler’s death traps. In “Sum of our Parts” Tim is running himself ragged over trying to find his missing friend and still smarting over his breakup with Stephanie. Ortega and Sanchez highlight this by showing bags under his eyes and a perpetually pensive look on his face, whether masked or unmasked.

Finally, “The Long Con” wraps up the issue by delivering a bombshell reveal. Grifter calls in his covert ops team known as the WildC.A.T.s. This is a big deal for me; I’ve always wanted to see the Wildstorm and Milestone universes get more love at DC, a task that the New 52 initiative sadly fell short of. Rosenberg’s script slowly builds up to the revelation, and Ryan has his own chance to put a spin on multiple Wildstorm characters. And the declaration that the WildC.A.T.s would return made me very giddy as a 90’s-era fan.

Batman: Urban Legends #5 introduces long-lost characters from the Wildstorm Universe into the fray, and continues to shine the spotlight on the Dark Knight’s various allies. With “The Long Con” wrapping up and “Cheer” reaching its conclusion next issue, I hope that the series continues to find new ways to explore Gotham’s Guardians.

Batman: Urban Legends #5 is available wherever comics are sold.

Batman: Urban Legends #5
4.5

TL;DR

Batman: Urban Legends #5 introduces long-lost characters from the Wildstorm Universe into the fray, and continues to shine the spotlight on the Dark Knight’s various allies. With “The Long Con” wrapping up and “Cheer” reaching its conclusion next issue, I hope that the series continues to find new ways to explore Gotham’s Guardians.