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Review: Legends of the Dark Knight Chapter #80

legends“Legends of the Dark Knight” is an out of continuity series that allows writers and artists to tell Batman stories without the confines of the New 52 continuity. After being on hiatus for a year, “Legends” returns with this new story entitled “Nevermore.”


The story opens at Arkham Asylum where we see a pair of doctors discussing a newly arrived patient. Dr. Updin enters the room and introduces himself and asks what he may call the inmate, as his real name is not on record…the man identifies himself simply as Edgar. Updin recounts that no one knows Edgar’s true identity as his fingerprints were not in the database…Edgar responds with a cryptic quote from Edgar Allan Poe, “All that we see or seem…is but a dream within a dream.” The two talk back and forth about mysteries, and Updin eventually tells Edgar that he needs a mystery solved himself…he then asks Edgar what he did to Batman, specifically what he did to Batman’s body.


We then flashback to “Then” and see the Dark Knight swinging his way through Gotham, with a trio of crooks tied up to a lamp post. We then cut to Commissioner Gordon who is at one of Gotham’s libraries analyzing a crime scene. Batman enters and Gordon explains how a set of letters from the French Revolution that were on display are now missing. It seems that someone had broken in and attempted to steal them…evidence points to Catwoman, but mysteriously someone seems to have kidnapped Catwoman and taken the letters as well. Batman collects some evidence to take with him to the Batcave and quickly departs.


Back in the cave, Alfred attempts to get Bruce to eat something, but Batman quickly jumps back into action as his evidence points to a potential lead in Slaughter Swamp. Arriving at an old mansion, Batman is accosted by several strange people…all named after characters from Poe’s work. Edgar reveals himself and states that Catwoman is here with them…a fight ensues between Batman, Edgar and his minions. The issue then ends with the narrative jumping back into the present where Updin asks what happened next. Edgar responds with, “then we killed Batman.”


This is definitely an interesting issue; I haven’t had a chance to read any of the past “Legends of the Dark Knight” digital chapters so I was really intrigued by this series. The writing is definitely well done, and is quickly paced…I was surprised how fast I read through this (granted it’s a digital issue and is shorter, but still paced well).


I loved the nods to Edgar Allan Poe’s work, especially the quote from Poe’s poem called “A Dream Within A Dream.” It will be interesting to see if the works of Poe influence the outcome of the story…in the poem, the speaker is wrestling with a conflict between distinguishing the difference of dreams and reality. Does this mean that Edgar is playing out some twisted fantasy in his head where Batman dies?


The art was also well suited for this story, everything seemed slightly…off. Lots of purples, reds and other dark colors to emphasize the darkness seeping throughout Gotham. I also really liked the design of the Batmobile in this issue, a neat mash-up of Nolan’s Tumbler, with Tim Burton’s Batmobile and a hint of Batman: Arkham Asylum.


Overall a very good chapter for the return of “Legends” and I am looking forward to where this story, and series goes.


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