Writer: Darick Robertson
Artist: Darick Robertson
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 18th, 2021
Legends of the Dark Knight has a long and unique history in Batman history. The first volume (and arguably the most well known) began in 1989 to capitalize on the Batmania craze that was still gripping the world. For the most part Legends story tend to be self contained and out of continuity. East to jump into if you just want a quick Batman story without all the baggage. This new volume of Legends of the Dark Knight carries on that tradition kicking off with a story that feels timeless yet modern at the same time.
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Darick Robertson of The Boys and Transmetropolitan fame both writes and provides the art for a story centred around Batman’s attempts to stop a poisonous gas from being sold to one of his Rogue’s gallery. The issue starts with Commisioner Gordon and some of his fellow Police Officers on the roof telling the story in flashback. As they wonder what has happened to Batman as it seems he’s disappeared.
The new Villian selling the gas wears a gas mask ala the Golden Age Sandman. But the villian is more of a device to allow Robertson to showcase Batman’s Rogues. You can see that Robertson likes the more traditional old school look of these characters. It feels like it’s been ages since we got The Penguin looking like his original look rather than the Pseudo gangster he’s been in modern times. The Joker here looks and sounds like the Clown Prince of Crime from the 70’s and early 80’s. Not as much like the sadistic serial killer he is nowadays. I might argue that Robertson is channeling some love of the old Kenner Super Powers toy line from the 80’s. If true than for this long time comic fan it makes the story even more enjoyable.
For a Batman story this first issue uses Batman sparingly. He shows up in brief doses, then leaves. That along with the flashback storytelling gimmick makes this feel like the story will be more about Batman’s affect on others, or otherwise, that a straight forward Batman story.
This first issue is part one of a three part story. Or two of the six digital chapters as this story has recently already concluded as a digital first series. The first issue does a great job of moving the story along fast. It is shaping up to be a nice timeless Batman story without the need to understand continuity. If you want a quick Batman story that doesn’t try to reinvent everything you know about Batman, then this is a good place to start.