Batman Urban Legends 1: A Batman Anthology

Batman Urban Legends 1 does something I always enjoy. It brings readers an anthology issue. So, rather than just having one story in the issue, there are four tales of action and excitement here. However, not every story ends in this issue. In fact, none of them do. Three of the four stories will continue in the next issue of the series. The other story continues in a completely different series, which annoys me.

The image shows Batman jumping in the sky. His arms are spread and his cape blocks out some of the moon. The world behind him shows skyscrapers, bats, and a red and pink sky. The words Batman Urban Legends are at the top of the image.

Anyway, the main bulk of Batman Urban Legends 1 is “Cheer.” Chip Zdarsky writes, with art by Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira. Marcus To does the artwork for flashback sequences, Adriano Lucas gives us the colors, and Becca Carey kills on letters.

This story sees Jason Todd “The Red Hood” patrolling the streets of Gotham and searching for a new drug called cheerdrops. The drugs makes people euphoric to the point of ignoring everything around them. In one tense sequence, a man suffering from the drug is on a roof top. He thinks he is on a skyscraper and jumps off because he’s having so much fun. Batman saves him, but the scene works as a deft illustration of what cheerdrops does.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Batman comic, so I am not fully up to speed on the relationship between him and Red Hood in Urban Legends 1. However, the comic catches readers up quick. Bats is mad at Hood because Hood has killed people. This leads them to not working together, even as they both work toward the objective of getting cheerdrops off the street.

This chapter of Cheer explores the past relationship between Batman and Red Hood as well as their current. There are some heavy flashback scenes where Zdarsky paints the picture of an impatient Jason who idolizes Bruce. Zdarsky then uses that emotional beat to explain the nature of their adult relationship. It gives new readers everything they need to know to enjoy the story. I look forward to seeing where this goes next.

The Other Stories in Batman Urban Legends 1 Are Weaker

The second story in this issue are a Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy one that I want to read more of. However, it is the one that continues in a different series. I know that is a comics crossover thing, but I don’t like it.

The third one features The Outsiders Katana, Black Lightning, and Metamorpho fighting some sorcerers. I haven’t been following that title either, so once again I don’t know much about what’s going on. Unlike the Batman story, though, this one doesn’t have the space available to bring readers up to speed.

The final story features Grifter from WildC.A.T.S., a character I care absolutely nothing about. I read the chapter because it was in the comic I was reading, but I have no interest in how it continues.

So, Batman Urban Legends 1 brings forth an anthology series that will tell its stories in short chapters. I love this. It’s like 2000AD or Heavy Metal. I think comics in general can benefit from this style. However, this particular issue really only succeeds with the main story. The Harley/Ivy one would count because it is a good heartfelt chapter, but because it won’t continue in this series, it doesn’t pass, either.

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