Batman: Legacy, Volume 1 is a crossover arc and follows on from Contagion immediately with the same writing team and Legacy references Contagion a lot especially “The Clench” virus. However, Legacy is most notable for delving into who is behind the terrible plague as opposed to the effects of it on Gotham. Legacy, Volume 1 was written and drawn by more or less the same team that wrote Contagion.
Batman: Legacy, Volume 1 collects Detective Comics #697-700, Catwoman #33-35, Robin #31, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #53 and Batman #533.
Legacy does not jump right in with the whole Clench thing, in fact it does take a few issues before that happens. In Legacy, we get the first appearance of Lock-Up, a character we will see a bit more of in No Man’s Land later on and he is going around giving his version of tough justice which includes the capture of Two-Face. Of course this kind of shit won’t fly in Batman’s town and lock up is soon locked up. The storyline doesn’t have any bearing on Legacy as a whole but the mini storyline is actually enjoyable in it’s own right. What isn’t cool though is that during this time in DC Comic’s history Dick has that ponytail.
A fun enough intro before The Clench comes back – but was it too soon? Contagion was literally just before this story opened would it have been better to collect Contagion with Legacy 1 and for a bumper book? I only raise this point as if someone pick up Legacy they may be a bit lost or if someone picks up Contagion they won’t have a “full” story. Just my observation.
Anyway, with the next storyline from Catwoman we have a classic thief caper and the art dips a bit as well. From Lock-Up to this the reader doesn’t get a smooth reading experience and neither do they get on with much of the plot as neither of these two stories are connected and Catwoman only connects to Contagion/Legacy towards the end. But, in saying that I did reply enjoy this Catwoman story in its own right – the classic Catwoman costume is here, Hellhound is a bad ass looking villain, Indiana Jones vibes and Selina and Umberto’s time in the somewhat farfetched temple is quite humorous. It’s not Catwoman at her best but its a very good Catwoman story – it just doesn’t fit in with Legacy well.
When we get back to Gotham we get a Robin issue that is a blast and a great Wildcat issue, but once again it has no bearing and it’s more of a filler issue again, we’re not at half way through the book saying this! Finally we get to the prelude to Legacy which starts in the middle as they head to Sudan for the cure for Clench v2, there’s a clear but very loose and lazy connection now to Catwoman arc. It’s slow moving but enjoyable especially as I had enjoyed Contagion but there’s still deja vu in the air.
Nightwing, Robin and Batman working together is rare and petty epic -they’re really pumped up for this mission and you know what? It’s seriously good; it’s both exciting and humorous to see them work together and it begins to gather up pace, art seems to modernise as the issue goes on and towards the end I loved it. I’ve not read much R’as al Ghul so I was pleasantly surprised to find the plot leading up to him and the League.
The final issue in particular has a very good twist (it didn’t stop with R’as!) and genuinely gets me excited for volume 2. I am a bit disappointed with how Talia is written and portrayed but my jaw dropped when Bane made an appearance. A totally epic finish.
Overall, Legacy Volume 1 is a strange one. More than half the book are filler issues with little or no connection to “Legacy” but when Legacy gets going it is one of the best books from that period in DC comics history. The art is of its time but not terrible when read today. Would recommend if No Man’s Land was your thing and you want to check out the extended Universe surrounding the events as Contagion/Legacy does lead into Catclysm and beyond.
Last update on 2021-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API