Four Colour Thoughts – Batman: Urban Legends #1

The Creators — Chip Zdarsky, Stephanie Philips, Brandon Thomas, Mattew Rosenberg – Writers; Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferriera, Marcus To, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, Ryan Benjamin – Artists; Adriano Lucas, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, Antonio Fabela – Colours; Becca Carey, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, Saida Temofonte – Letters

The Players — Batman, Red Hood, Oracle, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Grifter, Penguin, Nora Fries, Nightwing

The Story — There is a new drug on the street and both the Red Hood and Batman want to put a stop to it. Harley misses Ivy, The Outsiders are in a bit of trouble and Grifter might be in over his head without really knowing it.

The Take — One of the first titles to spin out of Infinite Frontier is a Bat-book that features one full-length tale by Chip Zdarsky, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferriera and Marcus To along with three back-up stories by a plethora of creators. The lead tale is not exactly anything new story-wise as the street drug angle is a little played out but Zdarsky does a great job of keeping readers interested, especially as the story is more about characterization and the relationship between Red Hood and Batman which Zdarsky understands perfectly. Readers can easily tell that as it moves along into future issues, there will be a confrontation between the two, though whether that leads to any sort of reconciliation remains to be seen. Harley Quinn follows it up with a short story where she thinks of Poison Ivy and the good times they had, of their relationship with the former missing the latter immensely. The third feature of the book finds The Outsiders in action and while they do their ultimate best, with Metamorpho being controlled by their enemies, Black Lightning and Katana stand no chance and end up prisoners. Finally, Grifter ruminates on his past a little, manages to get himself in a bit of trouble, has a run-in with Batman and looks to have another when the story continues in the next issue. Overall, this was a good book, one with an inflated price tag but one with a lot of extra pages packed with action, drama, romance and more and one that would be ultimately worth it. The lead by Zdarsky is definitely the best of the bunch, the emotional content packing a punch in addition to the accompanying investigation into the new street drug while Grifter by Matthew Rosenberg would come a close second with Harley and The Outsiders following in that order. If these thick anthology-style books are the new norm at DC then it is a welcome change as it not only provides a bit of Batman but gives some other characters a shot at a life they may not have had otherwise in this new DCU.

Worth It? — Yes.

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