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?
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!
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.
As seen in TheLego 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 MarcusTo 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.
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.
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
Written by: Brandon Thomas, Stephanie Nicole Phillips, Matthew Rosenberg, Chip Zdarsky Art by: Eddy Barrows, Laura Braga, Ryan Benjamin, Marcus To
Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes—and villains—who will get a turn to shine in Batman: Urban Legends, a brand-new monthly series tying into the biggest events in Gotham City. The series begins with these can’t-miss tales:
– Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky enters the world of Gotham City with celebrated Detective Comics and DC Future State: Robin Eternal artist Eddy Barrows for a six-part story chronicling Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug sweeping through Gotham. It’s a night that will change his life forever—and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.
– Writer of the DC Future State “Grifters” story Matthew Rosenberg picks up where he left off, continuing from the pages of Batman #101! Superstar artist Ryan Benjamin joins the team as we learn why Cole Cash is in Gotham in a tale that hints at what Halo might be…and we also get Batman vs. Grifter-round two!
– New Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and DC Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga join forces for a Harley tale set just before the launch of her new series. Harley’s determined to sort out her history with Poison Ivy—but first, she’ll have to find her!
– Coming off the DC Future State “Outsiders” tale, writer Brandon Thomas begins a three-part saga reuniting Black Lightning, Katana and Metamorpho. But this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with a figure from Katana’s past, in a story drawn by fan-favorite artist Max Dunbar (Champions, Dungeons and Dragons, Judge Dredd)!
Written by: Meghan Fitzmartin Art by: Eddy Barrows
Tim Drake is dead at the hands of the Magistrate. Uh, so why is he getting back up again? With the dangerous and supercharged “Lazarus Resin” coursing through the veins of the hero once known as Robin, can Tim recover enough of his fragile psyche to finish the mission and blow the sky convoy? And can Spoiler and Darcy escape the clutches of Peacekeeper 03 in time to save their friend in the process? It all comes to a head in this cataclysmic finale!
Written by: Meghan Fitzmartin Art by: Eddy Barrows
Lazarus Resin is on its way to Gotham City, and the Magistrate intends to use this regenerative super drug to make its forces immortal! That is, unless Tim Drake has anything to say about it! Join the ultimate heist at 20,000 feet as Robin and Spoiler hijack the sky convoy that could mean the end of freedom in Gotham forever-if the emotional baggage between Tim and Stephanie doesn’t do them in first! It’s the fist-flying, sky-diving, robot smashing, fascist-punching adventure that you cannot miss-from rising star writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural) and top artist Eddy Barrows (Detective Comics)!
Explore the world of Gotham in a brand new anthology series, Batman: Urban Legends which launches in March 2021 from DC Comics. Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes—and villains—who will get a turn to shine in a brand-new monthly anthology series highlighting top talent and a mix of new voices making their mark on the city the Dark Knight calls home.
The first six issues are anchored by a Batman/Red Hood thriller from writer Chip Zdarsky and fan-favorite artist Eddy Barrows. Renegade vigilante Jason Todd, a.k.a. Red Hood is investigating a new and lethal drug sweeping through Gotham City. In the course of one night, this investigation will change his life forever – and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.
Future State: Grifters writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Ryan Benjamin continue from the pages of Batman #101, as gun-for-hire Cole Cash is still in Gotham, on the trail of the true motives of the Halo Corporation…and yes, Batman and Grifter go head-to-head again!
In a story set before the launch of the new ongoing Harley Quinn series, writer Stephanie Phillips and Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga team up to help Harley sort out her complicated history with Poison Ivy – but first she’ll have to find her!
This debut issue also launches a three-part tale of the Outsiders, courtesy of Future State: Outsiders writer Brandon Thomas with art by Max Dunbar. This saga reunites team members Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho, but this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with the appearance of a figure from Katana’s past!
Batman: Urban Legends #1 is a $7.99 prestige format series, debuting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 with covers by Hicham Habchi (main), David Finch (variant), and Kael Ngu (variant).
DC Comics is kicking off 2021 with a look into the future with DC Future State. The rumored line-wide event has been revealed today. It kicks off in January 2021 and goes through 2021. DC Future State features a combination of monthly and twice-monthly oversize anthologies, as we well as a miniseries and one-shots,
DC Future State spotlights the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in fresh new roles, with all-new characters taking up their iconic mantles. DC Future State features an incredible array of creative talent, combining award-winning writers and artists with new voices from the worlds of TV, movies, and animation. In March 2021, the regular DC title lineup resumes, continuing existing storylines from 2020 and introducing new arcs for the year.
In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space! The final chapter of Dark Nights: Death Metal (on sale January 5, 2021) brings new life to DC’s Multiverse, kicking off this glimpse into the unwritten worlds of DC’s future!
A stellar array of writers and artists are on hand to deliver this unique look at beloved DC characters, including fan favorites such as Mariko Tamaki, Brian Michael Bendis, Gene Luen Yang, Joëlle Jones, Joshua Williamson, Nicola Scott, Cully Hamner, and John Timms, along with new voices such as award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Brandon Vietti (Young Justice), Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, DC Super Hero Girls), Brandon Easton (Thundercats, Transformers: War for Cybertron), Alitha Martinez (REPRESENT! It’s A Bird!), L.L. McKinney (Nubia: Real One), Paula Sevenbergen (Stargirl), and Siya Oum (Lola XOXO), among others.
Check out below to see what the future beholds!
In this future, Gotham City is controlled by the Magistrate. This villainous regime has taken control of the city, now under constant surveillance. All masked vigilantes have been outlawed and Batman has been killed. But led by an all-new Batman, a new assembly of Gotham’s guardians rise to give hope to all of those who lost it!
Future State: The Next Batman #1-4
The Next Batman, by John Ridley, Nick Derington and Laura Braga
Outsiders, by Brandon Thomas and Sumit Kumar
Arkham Knights, by Paul Jenkins and Jack Herbert
Batgirls, by Vita Ayala and Aneke
Gotham City Sirens, by Paula Sevenbergen and Emanuela Lupacchino
Future State: Dark Detective #1-4
Dark Detective, by Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora
Grifters, by Matthew Rosenberg and Carmine di Giandomenico
Red Hood, by Joshua Williamson and Giannis Milonogiannis
Future State: Batman/Superman, by Gene Luen Yang and Ben Oliver
Future State: Catwoman, by Ram V and Otto Schmidt
Future State: Harley Quinn, by Stephanie Phillips and Simone Di Meo
Future State: Nightwing, by Andrew Constant and Nicola Scott
Future State: Robin Eternal, by Meghan Fitzmartin and Eddy Barrows
Due to his involvement in an international crisis happening in the near future, Clark Kent has been rejected by Earth, causing him to focus his lifesaving efforts outside his adopted home. He travels to Warworld to rise through the ranks of gladiatorial combat in order to defeat Mongul with the help of some unlikely heroes. Back in Metropolis, Clark’s son Jon has taken on the mantle of Superman. After seeing the horrors that befell Gotham, he bottles Metropolis in order to keep it safe, putting him at odds with Supergirl.
Connecting the two oversized Future State: Superman titles, Shilo Norman, the man known as Mister Miracle, finds himself caught between the city he grew up in and the battle-torn planet that could be his downfall.
Meanwhile in the Amazon rainforest, Yara Flor is chosen to be the new Wonder Woman. Years later, the new Superman and Wonder Woman join forces to save their cities in a new superhero team-up the likes of which the world has never seen.
Future State: Superman of Metropolis #1-2
Superman of Metropolis, by Sean Lewis and John Timms
The Guardian, by Sean Lewis and Cully Hamner
Mister Miracle, by Brandon Easton and Valentine De Landro
Future State: Superman: Worlds of War #1-4
Superman: Worlds of War, by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Mikel Janin
Midnighter, by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and Gleb Melnikov
Black Racer, by Jeremy Adams and Siya Oum
Mister Miracle, by Brandon Easton and Valentine De Landro
Future State: Immortal Wonder Woman #1-2
Immortal Wonder Woman, by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and Jen Bartel
Nubia, by L.L. McKinney, Alitha E. Martinez and Mark Morales
Monthly Miniseries and One-Shots
Future State: House of El, by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Godlewski (one-shot on sale February)
Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman, by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage
Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes, by Brian Michael Bendis and Riley Rossmo
Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman, by Dan Watters and Leila del Duca
Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex, by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh (3-issue series ending March 2021)
Future State: Wonder Woman, by Joëlle Jones
Justice League Family
A thread of great change runs through the Justice League heroes: a new League is built upon secret identities (even from each other), but an old and evolved enemy will use these secrets to try and overthrow the world. For the supernatural heroes of Justice League Dark, the very fabric of reality has shifted, and heroes are being hunted.
For Flash, Shazam, and the Teen Titans, it all begins when the four Riders of the Apocalypse unleash hell in a battle at Titans Academy, Barry Allen is cut off from the Speed Force, a Famine-controlled Wally West may be beyond saving, and Billy Batson makes a deal with the devil that will change Shazam forever. Off-world, John Stewart and the remaining Green Lanterns are stranded in the shadow of a dead power battery; Jackson Hyde and Andy Curry are separated across the galaxy; and Amanda Waller executes her ultimate plan with a new but terrifyingly familiar Suicide Squad on Earth-3.
At the end of time, Swamp Thing reveals its true intention, ruling supreme until a remnant of humanity launches a rebellion, and Black Adam looks to the past as the only way to save the future of the Multiverse.
Future State: Justice League #1-2
Justice League, by Joshua Williamson and Robson Rocha
Justice League Dark, by Ram V and Marcio Takara
Future State: Green Lantern #1-2
Last Lanterns, by Geoffrey Thorne and Tom Raney
Tales of the Green Lantern Corps, by Josie Campbell, Ryan Cady and Ernie Altbacker, with Sami Basri and Clayton Henry
Future State: Suicide Squad #1-2
Suicide Squad, by Robbie Thompson and Javi Fernandez
Black Adam, by Jeremy Adams and Fernando Pasarin
Future State: Aquaman, by Brandon Thomas and Daniel Sampere
Future State: The Flash, by Brandon Vietti and Dale Eaglesham
Future State: Teen Titans, by Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval
Future State: SHAZAM!, by Tim Sheridan and Eduardo Pansica
Future State: Swamp Thing, by Ram V and Mike Perkins
Written by: Joshua Williamson Art by: Eddy Barrows
It’s the drag race from hell in this one-shot tie-in to Dark Nights: Death Metal! Taking place after the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal #3, the Darkest Knight is after Wally West and his Dr. Manhattan powers. Thankfully, Wally has backup in the form of Barry Allen, Jay Garrick, and Wallace West! It’s a knockdown, drag-out race through the Wastelands as the Flash Family tries to stay steps ahead of the Darkest Knight and his Lightning Knights!