Within the past 5 years, DC Comics has released a multitude of books under their “Rebirth” and later their “DC Universe” line of books. Their latest is the “Infinite Frontier” series that has had a multitude of books launched and relaunched from them. One of these latest books is Batman: Urban Legends. It is an anthology series based on the Batman series of books by DC. DC got its start in comics with anthologies, so it is nice to see them return back to this format.
It contains stories written by Meghan Fitzmartin (Justice Society: World War II), Matthew Rosenberg (Hawkeye: Freefall), Joshua Williamson (The Flash), and Chip Zdarsky (Jughead). It also contains art by Eddy Barrows, Scot Eaton, Trevor Hairsine, Belén Ortega, Chris Sprouse, and Marcus To. The cover was drawn by Nicola Scott and Annette Kwok. It features an extremely interesting cover depicting a Bronze Age-styled Batman and Jason Todd in the background, with a modern-styled Batman and Red Hood in the foreground.
As always, the review will be judging the comic based solely on the contents within the issue itself, disregarding any previous issues, and instead judging it on its own merit. This issue is a fairly enjoyable comic on its own, but could definitely be improved by the other issues in this story arc.
The writing in all stories within this anthology is certainly competent and enjoyable, but it is by no means complete. The simple fact that writers are so used to having entire story arcs to make a full story out of, making the story on its own somewhat awkward to read. This is not to blame on the writers though. The simple fact of the matter is that writing for anthology books is extremely different from normal comic book writing. Many creators were able to write competently for anthologies because they learned to write when writing for them. Writers today never had to go through that process, so it is as if we are watching them learn how to write comics for the first time all over again. Instead of shorter, to-the-point stories, the issue is filled with just a few 20-page stories that all are only a fraction of a complete story.
Now for the part I hate to write about: the price. This issue is 8 dollars for a few stories that only fully make sense if you buy 3-6 other 8 dollar comics. As much as I was captivated by the lead story and enjoyed the rest, I would not recommend spending the 40 dollars to read the full story, and instead, just wait 6 months and read it on DC Universe.
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