Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight is a collected edition with 3 short stories included – Blades, Legend of the Dark Mite and Hothouse. All written in the early 90s depicting Bruce Wayne’s early days as the Dark Knight. They’re darker than usual in tone to Detective Comics and the main Batman books and are self contained which starts and finishes in the same series. If you’re a fan of Batman and want to read some of the non mainstream titles then Legends of the Dark Knight early days is a great place to go.
Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight collects Legends of the Dark Knight issues #32-#34, #38 and #42-#43.
|Book Name||Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight|
|Book Series||Legends of the Dark Knight|
|Edition Reviewed||Collected Edition|
|Writer(s)||James Robinson, John Francis Moore, Alan Grant|
|Artist(s)||Tim Sale, P. Craig Russell, Kevin O’Neill|
|Where to Buy||Amazon|
Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight Review
Batman: Blades Review
Part 1 of Blades introduces two plot – the first is the killer of old people around Gotham – a Mr. Lime and the second is a daring new vigilante by the name of Cavalier who is actually an actor hoping to reveal his identity at a later time and boost his fame. We’re still in Bruce’s relatively early days of crime fighting and Mr. Lime is getting under his skin as he can’t figure out his identity.
Even though it looks aged I’ve always quite liked Tim Sale’s whispy drawings, or perhaps it’s because Tim Sale’s art has always been in books I’ve enjoyed reading. Nevertheless, I like it.
Blades has some great story telling and the plot line is very easy to follow, self contained and will make you think as although the characters of Lime and Cavalier only lasted these few issues they really make Bruce evaluate what he is and what he needs to be to become a better person. Batman: Blades made me think of what Batman could have been if he had gone down a different path for better or worse.
The reveal of Mr. Lime and how Batman deduces his identity wasn’t a massive reveal but it did reaffirm the reader of the Batman’s greatest trait – his determination and tenacity to never give up and never give in. On the otherside, Batman at first has hope when it comes to Cavalier but is ultimately let down – however Cavalier was not written as a black and white villain and many criminals can have some genuine reasons to break the law, ironically you could say Batman is just like him. The Cavalier reminds Batman that ‘the potential of evil is in every man’ which is quite right, especially in Gotham City. I also saw this as somewhat of a chronological foreshadowing as in the modern age reading order Two-Face had not been introduced yet.
Overall, Batman: Blades is easily one of the best Batman short stories I’ve read.
Batman: Legend of the Dark Mite Review
Legend of the Dark Mite is a truly unique experience, it really is. Bat-Mite has been around for a very long time but this is his (or hers) first appearance in the modern age. The book starts with a statement that ‘this is not an imaginary story’ and to be honest it may not be. It’s the story of Bob’s recollection of a crime – he claims the Bat-Mite, a trans dimensional elf (from a world where everyone is an elf dressed up as Gotham citizens) caused a lot of the problems and has shown Bob the light and that he doesn’t want to be a criminal any more.
During the evening Bob has take several cocktails of drugs but claims 100% that the Bat-Mite is real.
It’s a very short book, a lot of fun but a little bit pointless. I enjoyed it but as part of the Legends of the Dark Knight it seems a bit out of place.
Batman: Hothouse Review
In Hothouse, the last short story in Collected Legends of the Dark Knight starts off with a very interesting and gripping intro of a man attempting suicide with Bruce Wayne unable to save him despite all his efforts. Following on from this is a very intriguing story of Pamela Isley’s (Poison Ivy) return to Gotham following her and Batman’s first encounter in Four of a Kind. It’s a really well written book which attempts to make out that Poison Ivy is no longer the femme fatale she was and she wants to go straight.
Batman, still very wary of her after Four of a Kind trusts here a little too easily and what we find in Hothouse is how Batman can be wrong and sometimes his better judgement can be overcome by emotion, taking into consideration he is still very much in the early days of his career here. It’s a thoughtful book which makes a reader think whether or not what’s going on is black and white or not – as is the case with many Legend of the Dark Knight tales.
Much like Blades, Hothouse is a hidden gem. Not brilliant but a thought provoking short story.
Batman: Collected Legends of the Dark Knight is a great value for money collection of 1 decent, 1 silly and 1 great short stories. Get it if you’re interested in Bruce’s early days as Batman and want to know what he was like before he was always right. If you’re a fan of the new stuff and don’t want to look at dated art however, this isn’t for you.
Score : 4/5
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