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Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #8

Batman: Urban Legends #8

Written by: Brandon Thomas, Dan Watters, Christian Ward, Alyssa Wong
Art by: Cian Tormey, Nikola Cizmesija, Christian Ward, Vasco Georgiev

Batwoman: FEAR STATE TIE-IN! Someone has hacked into the Oracle Network and has started spreading information around Gotham—Batman is dead, Cassandra Cain Batgirl is a killer, Fear Toxin is in the air. Which is true and which is false? Batwoman will find out with the help of Commissioner Renee Montoya and…Kate’s sister Beth, AKA Red Alice?!

Outsiders: FEAR STATE TIE-IN! Scarecrow has stirred Gotham City into a panic and it’s awakened one of his first students he experimented on, a man turned into a monster known as THE FEARFUL! The Outsiders will have to reunite with the Signal in order to stop the Fearful and keep the city at peace. But a message from the world of FUTURE STATE reaches the Signal and changes everything.

Azrael: Azrael, the last acolyte of the Order of St. Dumas, has returned to the streets of Gotham City after serving with the Justice League in the stars. He’s convinced he’s strayed too far from his purpose, too far from his teachings, and needs to reassert himself. But he’ll be met with a city that’s changed forever, a city that will shake his faith.

Professor Pyg: Just in time for Halloween, a tale of Super Hero horror from fan-favorite creator Christian Ward, writing and drawing a story of Batman hunting down Professor Pyg in order to find the victim of a kidnapping. Batman will dig back into his memories of youth to track down Pyg and save a child’s life.

Batman: Urban Legends #8

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #6

Batman: Urban Legends #6

Written by: Joshua Williamson, Meghan Fitzmartin, Matthew Rosenberg, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Trevor Hairsine, Chris Sprouse, Marcus To, Eddy Barrows

Red Hood: The epic “Cheer” story line reaches its conclusion, and Red Hood’s alliance with Batman will be forever changed. Will the former Dynamic Duo get the Cheerdrop drug off the streets for good? Or will they forever be at the mercy of the villain who created it? And will Red Hood find a new home for Tyler, the boy he’s sworn to protect? Tim Drake: Tim Drake is in the den of the Chaos Monsters with the other kidnapped teenagers of Gotham City. In order to free himself and the other teens, Tim will have to embrace help from his friend Bernard and hear something about himself he never knew. A brand-new chapter of Tim Drake’s life starts here, and you won’t want to miss it! Black Canary: Oracle locates some Batman weaponry, missing since The Joker War, and calls in her old friend Dinah Lance to help retrieve it! Fists will fly, the Canary will scream, and a stunning new mission begins. The ending will leave readers in shock and awe! Zealot: The HALO Corporation sent their top field agent, code name Zealot, to hunt Maxwell Lord. But the villain has a guardian angel in the form of…Wonder Woman?! A throw down for the ages will ensue!

Batman: Urban Legends #6

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #5

Batman: Urban Legends #5

Written by: Marguerite Bennett, Meghan Fitzmartin, Chip Zdarsky, Matthew Rosenberg
Art by: Sweeney Boo, Belén Ortega, Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin

Red Hood: Meet Cheer, the villain behind the insidious Cheerdrops altering the citizens of Gotham. When confronted with a man responsible for taking the lives of so many, including Tyler, the kid Jason Todd swore to protect, will Red Hood be able to stop himself from taking vengeance for a whole city? Grifter: Through four chapters of blood, bullets, and Batman, the true reason for Cole Cash emerging in Gotham City reveals itself at last…but it’s not what you think! Tim Drake: Tim is determined to find his friend Bernard, who was taken by a Chaos Monster before his very eyes. But this case is different from any Tim has taken on before, and the cracks are starting to show. Batgirls: Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown are just two teenagers breaking into Wayne Manor so they can play some video games. But when Oracle gives them a mission, the Batgirls suit up and head to an abandoned arcade to investigate.

Batman: Urban Legends #5

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #4

Batman: Urban Legends #4

Written by: Meghan Fitzmartin, Matthew Rosenberg, Camrus Johnson, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Eddy Barrows, Ryan Benjamin, Loyiso Mkize, Marcus To

-The penultimate chapter of the Grifter story is here! Grifter’s walking a deadly line between Lucius Fox and Halo’s plan…can he survive the endgame? Oh, and yeah, now Superman is after him! -As old wounds threaten to sabotage Batman and Red Hood’s investigation into the Cheerdrop drug turning Gotham City upside down, they run afoul of Gotham’s coldest criminal, MR. FREEZE! And the force behind the Cheerdrops will be banking on the former dynamic duo’s demise… -TIM DRAKE has returned to the streets of Gotham City and is seeking a new purpose, but what he finds is a string of young adult kidnappings committed by someone known only as “the Chaos Monster.” will Tim be able to get to the root of the kidnappings, or will he fall prey to them? Critically acclaimed Future State Robin Eternal writer Meghan Fitzmartin returns to tell this Tim Drake story with rising star artist Belén Ortega. -Acclaimed creator and actor Camrus Johnson writes an action-packed story featuring Luke Fox-the character he portrays on the CW’s hit television series Batwoman!

Batman: Urban Legends #4

Around the Tubes

Rorschach #8

It was new comic book day yesterday. What did you all get? What’d you like? what’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web to start your day.

ICv2 – ‘Guantanamo Voices’ Wins Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize – Well deserved.

Kotaku – Target Stores Will Stop Selling Pokémon Cards After Shortages, Fighting – Well that escalated quickly.

Reviews

Batman News – Batman: Urban Legends #3
Collected Editions – Batman/Superman Vol. 2: World’s Deadliest
Geek Dad – Rorschach
But Why Tho Podcast – Sprite and the Gardner

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #3

Batman: Urban Legends #3

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, Che Grayson, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Marcus To, Alberto Alburquerque, Eddy Barrows, Jesús Merino

• The mystery around Cole Cash and HALO deepens as Batman takes a more active role investigating the man known as Grifter. But other villains in Gotham have begun to notice what Grifter is up to, and they’re about to attempt an assassination! How long can the unlikely team-up between this Dynamic Duo last? • The Outsiders epic reaches its end with the return of three iconic Outsiders: Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho, all reunited to face down Katana’s mother-in-law! This finale will change the makeup of the Outsiders forever and set them on a new trajectory in the DC Universe! • Red Hood and Batman fight over what they should do with the child who is now orphaned as a result of Red Hood’s temper. While they place the child temporarily under the care of Leslie Thompkins, she debates if she’s doing the right thing. Is she just looking after another Robin in training?

Batman: Urban Legends #3

Preview: Batman: Urban Legends #2

Batman: Urban Legends #2

Written by: Matthew Rosenberg, Brandon Thomas, Cecil Castellucci, Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Ryan Benjamin, Marguerite Sauvage, Max Dunbar, Eddy Barrows
Cover by: Hicham Habchi

The new Batman anthology series continues! In part two of Chip Zdarsky and Eddy Barrows’s epic Batman/Red Hood story, Jason Todd has taken a man’s life, and now his mission is to keep the dead man’s young son safe. But Batman plans to take down Jason before he can make another mistake. Then, in chapter two of Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s senses-shattering tale, Cole Cash earns his pay as personal bodyguard to billionaire Lucius Fox, but what led him to Gotham in the first place? How does the mysterious HALO Corporation play into it all? And which Bat-Family character does he have an unfortunate meeting with in this chapter? And in part two of Brandon Thomas and Max Dunbar’s epic Outsiders story, see Katana’s perspective on what brought the Outsiders to Japan, who wants her dead, and what her ultimate punishment will be for no longer having her husband’s spirit in the Soultaker sword. Plus, Barbara Gordon has identified a citywide system hack from a foe she faced before as Batgirl…but this time around, Babs may have found a way to defeat her for good as Oracle!

Batman: Urban Legends #2

Batwoman Star Camrus Johnson will Pen a Story in Batman: Urban Legends in June

Out on June 8, Batman: Urban Legends #4 features Grifter, Red Hood, Tim Drake, Luke Fox, and a story by Batwoman‘s Camrus Johnson.

The comic features:

  • The Penultimate chapter of the Grifter story is here! Grifter’s walking a deadly line between Lucius Fox and HALO’s plan…can he survive the endgame? Oh, and yeah, now Superman is after him!
  • As old wounds threaten to Sabotage Batman and Red Hood’s investigation into the Cheerdrop drug turning Gotham City upside down they run afoul of Gotham’s coldest criminal MR. FREEZE! And the force behind the Cheerdrops will be banking on the former dynamic duo’s demise…
  • TIM DRAKE has returned to the streets of Gotham City and is seeking a new purpose, but what he finds is a string of young adult kidnappings committed by someone known only as “The Chaos Monster” will Tim be able to get to the root of the kidnappings or will he fall prey to them? Critically acclaimed Future State Robin Eternal writer Meghan Fitzmartin returns to tell this Tim Drake story with rising star artist Belén Ortega
  • Acclaimed creator and actor Camrus Johnson writes an action-packed story featuring Luke Fox—the character he portrays on The CW’s hit television series BATWOMAN!

Batman: Urban Legends #4 will feature stories and art by Chip Zdarsky, Meghan Fitzmartin, Matthew Rosenberg, Camrus Johnson, Eddy Barrows, Belén Ortega, Ryan Benjamin, Marcus To, Eber Ferriera, and more, with a cover Jorge Molina and variant covers by Dustin Nguyen and Irvin Rodrigues.

Review: Batman: Urban Legends #1

Batman: Urban Legends #1

As seen in The Lego Batman Movie, the Arkham video games, and the Batman comics of the 1990s and early 2000s, Batman’s strength is in the world and characters that he creates access to. Whether that’s his allies, villains, nooks and crannies of Gotham, or even police officers that he either works with or against, these personalities and settings are why I continue to return to the Batman side of the DC Universe. The creators of Batman: Urban Legends #1 understand this and flesh out different Batman-adjacent characters and even sometimes explore their relationship to the Dark Knight while also telling action, romance, and crime stories.

First up in this Gotham-themed anthology is the beginning of a six part Batman and Red Hood serial where Batman and his former protege-turned-killer vigilante (He’s switched to rubber bullets for the moment.) investigate a source of a hallucinatory street drug tackily called Cheerdrops. Writer Chip Zdarsky has a firm grasp on Jason Todd’s voice, including the darkness inside his soul and his hunger for justice, especially for Gotham’s beleaguered working class. Artists Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira and colorist Adriano Lucas nail the grit of the city with explosive linework and jagged layouts to go with a color palette that has had all the light sucked out of it. However, Excalibur’s Marcus To does the art in the flashbacks, which features brighter colors as well as simpler, cleaner lines with a more traditional superhero feel even though one of the scenes is set during “Under the Red Hood” when Jason Todd came back from the dead and started killing criminals.

“Batman and Red Hood” is also a study in contrasts in how two very different crime fighters deal with the same crisis. Batman is the World’s Greatest Detective and is super methodical with Barrows and Ferreria drawing him looking at the chemical makeup of Cheerdrops CSI-style, and his All-Star Superman-esque moment with a jumper is less feel-good and more evidence collection. On the other hand, Jason fights crime with his guts and heart and even admits in a wry line from Zdarsky that he’s not a great detective as he struggles to find a Cheerdrop stash house. However, he does find a boy named Tyler, and of course, Jason is great with kids and even lets him wear part of his mask while he looks for his dad in a dodgy part of Gotham. Zdarsky, Barrows, and Ferreira create something truly heartwarming between Jason Todd and Tyler.

There’s a throughline between this and the flashbacks where Batman (Portrayed as more of an action figure than man by To) struggles being a father figure to Jason, and Alfred does the job perfectly because he sees him as a human being and not an obstacle in his war on crime. Chip Zdarsky writes Alfred Pennyworth as the perfect parent to the Bat-family, who isn’t afraid to tell Batman that he’s full of shit and chooses compassion over a closed fist. And speaking of Batman, I love how Zdarsky doesn’t give him an inner monologue and depicts him more as a force of nature than a gun toting, broken man like Jason Todd, who agonizes over every decision and whose interaction with Tyler bring back memories of his mom who died of a drug overdose. Also, he’s not afraid to go a little dark, and Eddy Barrows and Eber Ferreira jagged layouts and emotional poses are along for the ride.

Batman: Urban Legends #1

The second story in Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an eight page Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy one-off from writer Stephanie Phillips, artist Laura Braga, and colorist Ivan Plascencia. Plascencia is this story’s secret weapon that shows the happy, hilarious times of Harley and Ivy’s first dates and the bleak current times for Harley as she has moved back to Gotham in her solo title and as a recurring character in Batman. Braga’s art is expressive and high energy for both the good times (Harley and Ivy smooching and snapping selfies) and bad times (A sudden bolt of lightning shattering their pictures), and she is a good fit for a story that isn’t centered around a heist or fight against a superhero, but a relationship. She and Phillips tap into the depth of feelings that Harley has for Ivy, and through some handy plant symbolism, they create hope for the relationship that has become very popular for fans in the past decade. “Harley and Ivy” is a nice, nearly slice of life oasis in the midst of the three other stories, which have more moving parts.

The third story in this comic is a 10 page “Outsiders” feature by Brandon Thomas, Max Dunbar, and Luis Guerrero starring Black Lightning, Katana, and an interesting take on Metamorpho. Thomas turns in kind of a mystery plot with the story starting with Black Lightning and an unseen Metamorpho in a Japanese prison before cutting to a bonkers, two page spread of a speedboat chase. Unlike the previous two stories in Batman: Urban Legends #1, Thomas and Dunbar go for a action over character focus, and honestly, I’m here for it. Dunbar uses arrows from their pursuers to act as eye-lines to follow the high speed chase, and he and Thomas have a clever moment or two up their sleeve, especially in regards to Metamorpho’s first appearance. The story isn’t particularly deep, but it has the vibe of a James Bond cold open with superpowers as Guerrero really makes Black Lightning’s abilities sizzle. Finally, Brandon Thomas’ plotting really kept me engaged with thinking about why characters were acting a certain way, and the the mini mystery box structure has me intrigued for the upcoming issue.

Batman: Urban Legends #1

Grifter is a character I didn’t really know a lot about except for some random comics like the New 52 Team 7 and JLA/WildCATs, but Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela have made this anti-hero/rapscallion and his various pratfalls quite lovable and hilarious Batman: Urban Legends #1’s final story. Grifter is like that guy who bluffs at poker, but never has a good hand. And until maybe the penultimate page of the comic, he’s either screwing up or making a joke about it beginning with his mad rush towards supervillain fire during his Team 6 days with a lot of characters with familiar names from Wildstorm comics. (I’m not an expert on these characters, and you don’t have to be to enjoy the story.) Grifter uses his sense of humor to detract from his mediocre performance as Lucius Fox’s bodyguard or to avoid getting his ass kicked by Batman, but he also has a mystery side that is revealed when he has a “date” at one of Penguin’s bars. The mystery starts to really unfold towards the end of the comic, but Rosenberg hints at every time, he talks on a headset with what I assume is his older brother.

The comedy in “Grifter” isn’t just limited to Matthew Rosenberg’s delightfully smartass dialogue. It shows up a lot in Ryan Benjamin’s visuals, which range from G.I. Joe or Authority homages (When the superheroes clean up Team 6’s mess.) in the flashback to pure slapstick. For example, Grifter spills a drink at a party Lucius Fox is meeting a client at and spills a drink on a woman. In this situation, Benjamin doesn’t just show a simple facial expression, but throws in some growlixes and makes you know that she’s furious that the soaking wet guy in Converse and blue jeans is even in the same room with her. This playfulness extends to the fight between Batman and Grifter, which starts as a serious throwdown and ends up in a total cat and mouse situation with Grifter finally getting enough self-awareness to call it quits. However, their paths will cross, and you can tell that Batman understands he’s a wildcard with his connections to Lucius Fox, the criminal underworld, and probably those Wildstorm guys. All in all, Matthew Rosenberg, Ryan Benjamin, and Antonio Fabela turn in a hilarious action-comedy set in DC’s weirdest and (sometimes) dourest city and also slowly unveil what seems to be a master plan to merge the worlds of Wildstorm and Gotham.

Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an absolute win for the anthology format that DC Comics has been trying out with all of the four stories in the comic being entertaining and shedding light on a unique cast of characters. The longer stories that bookend the comic are especially noteworthy thanks to Chip Zdarsky’s pitch-perfect handle on the fascinating character of Jason Todd in “Batman and Red Hood” and Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin’s skill with verbal and visual humor in “Grifter”.

Story: Chip Zdarsky, Stephanie Phillips, Brandon Thomas, Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Marcus To, Laura Braga, Max Dunbar, Ryan Benjamin
Colors: Adriano Lucas, Ivan Plascencia, Luis Guerrero, Antonio Fabela
Letters: Becca Carey, Deron Bennett, Steve Wands, Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.6 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Proctor Valley Road #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Batman: Urban Legends #1 (DC Comics) – An anthology featuring top talent taking on the world of Batman? Yeah, we’re in for this one.

Blade Runner Origins #1 (Titan Comics) – Discover the origin of the Blade Runners in this brand-new series!

Blue, Barry, & Pancakes (First Second) – A cute graphic novel geared towards young readers with lessons about friendship and listening.

Children of the Atom #1 (Marvel) – This series has been a long-time coming. The covers and art has hinted at a group that has a lot of inspiration from classic X-Men characters but what’s their deal? It’s not what we expected and a solid mystery.

Eternals #3 (Marvel) – The characters are coming to the big screen and this series is clearly an attempt to re-introduce them to the Marvel comic universe. So far, it’s been an interesting start though a little scattered in focus. The art has stood out as amazing though.

The Joker #1 (DC Comics) – We’ll admit, we were a bit skeptical about this one when announced but the first issue is a solid setup that has us excited for more.

Karmen #1 (Image Comics) – Guillem March’s series comes to Image as five single issues.

Maiden #1 (Heavy Metal) – A tale of revenge from Heavy Metal featuring Michelle Sears and Bart Sears!

Maniac of New York #2 (AfterShock) – The first issue knocked it out of the park. A film-like serial killer exists and terrorizes New York City. This is the story of the two cops looking to bring it down.

Mighty Morphin #5 (BOOM! Studios) – The origin of the new Green Ranger!

Minerva’s Map Key to a Perfect Apocalypse #1 (Lev Gleason – New Friday) – Don’t know much about this beyond the description. Minerva has been hired to locate two ancient, otherworldly items. Kind of has an Indiana Jones vibe about it.

Non-Stop Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – A new Spider-Man comic? Sure, we’re interested in seeing what makes it different.

Nottingham #1 (Mad Cave Studios) – A new take on the classic story of Robin Hood. Read our review.

Proctor Valley Road #1 (BOOM! Studios) – During a “Spook Tour”, students goes missing and a rescue for them begins.

Scout’s Honor #3 (AfterShock) – The series so far has been an interesting spin on an apocalyptic world with some solid underlying themes. We want to see where it all goes.

Serial #2 (Abstract Studios) – Zoe is on the hunt for a serial killer hiding in plain sight in her community. The first issue threw out a lot of concepts, this second issue begins to bring them together.

Sh*tshow #2 (Scout Comics) – A big bad destroyed almost all of the world’s superheroes and now it’s back to snuff out the rest. Can those traumatized about the first battle stand against this world threat?

Space Bastards #3 (Humanoids) – The series is full of over-the-top violence and humor and each issue has left a smile on our face.

Specter Inspectors #2 (BOOM! Studios) – We expected the first issue to be a spoof of ghosthunting shows but the debut delivered something different and very entertaining.

Thor and Loki: Double Trouble #1 (Marvel) – Mariko Tamaki and Gurihiru are back together for another fun adventure!

Almost American