Current Reviews


Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #171

Posted: Friday, September 26, 2003
By: Ray Tate

"Irresistable" Part Three

Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Tony Harris(p), Wade von Grawbadger & Wayne Faucher(i)
Publisher: DC

Although Frank still takes up far too much space in the book, and the artwork does not reach the level of quality demonstrated in JSA:Liberty Files or JSA: Unholy Three, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight gives the reader something that no post-Zero Hour continuity book has yet to gift. Batman.

Batman is not a psychotic nor is he truly a vigilante. Batman is unique. Had his parents lived he would have been an extraordinary scientist perhaps still a criminologist but in the mold of Ellery Queen. The death of Bruce's parents in addition twisted him into a figure of fear but never to the innocent or any that need his help.

In short, Batman is a hero. He's as noble and heroic as the overtly shiny Superman. He simply deals his brand of heroism through a very different means. In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight we see Batman be a hero. We see his heroism change the expected outcome of the story. We see a true legend that's worthy of the Batman.

Frank, the antagonist, is a thoroughly unlikable character. His narration taints every panel of the story, but now there is a purpose for his anti-empathic qualities that seemed to counter the writer's want for readers to empathize with him. His very nature makes Batman's actions even more heroic. It would be easy to sympathize with somebody who exhibited at least one good quality, but even the way Frank expresses his guilt over his murder of Bruce Wayne makes it difficult to draw the reader to his side.

This three part Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight perhaps is not the best of the series, nor is it the worst. It also lacks the mediocrity of safety and instead delivers outstanding characterization of the Dark Knight--as well as Alfred--through the actions of one repugnant character.

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