This week we get the final chapter in the four part Hell’s Bells storyline. The set up in the book's chapters preceding this one and especially the first two I found to be very compelling. This really did seem like the set up to a very well told detective story. The last two chapters however really fail to deliver on where we started from. The story changes from a something that is layered and interesting into a Batman must take down a monster ending. Now to be clear as far as Batman versus monster fights this one is not bad. The action moves along at a quick pace and it is satisfying.
Not that this story is lacking in good moments and like so many great Batman stories over the years Alfred and Jim Gordon’s plotlines become more interesting than the main storyline. One of the great things about Legends as a series is that these stories are removed from normal continuity so you know that things could happen that never would in the regular monthly titles. Because of this you really feel that Jim Gordon’s life is in real danger. I do have to say that I did feel slightly cheated when he survived after his “death” in the story. But we do see some very emotional moments from Batman as well as the Gordon family on just how much he means to the city as a whole. The scenes with the his family by his bedside do work very well and it is always nice to see him portrayed as three dimensional character and not just Batman’s cop buddy.
Alfred does save the day in the background again which we all have seen on a multitude of occasions in Batman tales of all forms in our lifetime. I do believe this one is unique. Batman has had trouble accepting that foes he has faced over the years are supernatural so that part comes is no surprise. But when we see that Alfred has had some of his gadgets blessed by a priest behind the scenes to render them effective against the monster here it really is a great moment.
Overall the biggest problem with this story for me is that the main plot fizzled out and seems rushed towards the end. The rest of the story however is very strong and they are some very nice moments. It would have been very interesting to see what we would have got if this story had say ten more pages.
Legends of the Dark Knight Chapter #73:
Reviewed by Ed Grause