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Batman: Urban Legends #1

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 15 critic ratings.

Batman may be the biggest name in Gotham City, but there are lots of other heroes – and villains – who will get a turn to shine in Batman: Urban Legends, a brand-new monthly series tying into the biggest events in Gotham City. The series begins with these can’t-miss tales:

• Superstar writer Chip Zdarsky enters the world of Gotham City with celebrated Detective Comics and DC Future State: Robin Eternal artist Eddy Barrows for a six-part story chronicling Red Hood’s investigation of a new drug sweeping through Gotham. It’s a night that will change his life forever-and put him in Batman’s crosshairs.
• Writer of the DC Future State “Grifters” story Matthew Rosenberg picks up where he left off, continuing from the pages of Batman #101! Superstar artist Ryan Benjamin joins the team as we learn why Cole Cash is in Gotham in a tale that hints at what Halo might be… and we also get Batman vs. Grifter – round two!
• New Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and DC Future State: The Next Batman artist Laura Braga join forces for a Harley tale set just before the launch of her new series. Harley’s determined to sort out her history with Poison Ivy – but first, she’ll have to find her!
• Coming off the DC Future State “Outsiders” tale, writer Brandon Thomas begins a three-part saga reuniting Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho. But this reunion quickly turns into a confrontation with a figure from Katana’s past, in a story drawn by fan-favorite artist Max Dunbar (Champions, Dungeons and Dragons, Judge Dredd)!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
71 pages
Amazon ASIN

15 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 90


    This series is off to a strong start, presenting multiple tales that show how flexible and versatile this side of the DC Universe can be.
  • 90

    Geek Dad

    There are too many plot threads in Gotham to count, so DC is supplementing the Bat-line with the oversized anthology Urban Legends. This first issue has four stories continuing threads introduced in Future State—and introducing a major new talent to the Bat-line. Cheer Flashbacks shed some new light on the complex relationship between Bruce and Jason, and the story builds to a brutal and emotional climax that will likely put new stress on that father-son bond. It’s more proof that Zdarsky, while often known for his comedy, is one of the best dramatic writers in comics. New Roots It’s only a snapshot, but it gets across nicely that these two had something special. It seems like the relationship is on the back burner for now due to Ivy’s ongoing plotlines as Queen Ivy, but even if they’re not together, Phillips makes the case that these two (former?) villains are one of DC’s best couples. The Caretaker It’s definitely a lighter story than Thomas’ Future State mini, but it has the same action-movie energy. It’s a fun read—and then it takes a very clever twist with the last splash page and makes me wonder what the hell is going to happen in the next chapter. DC needs more of Thomas’ chaotic energy in their superheroes. The Long Con The action is fast-paced, the dialogue is funny, and Batman’s appearance shows he really doesn’t know how to deal with yet another wild card in Gotham. The ending is my only quibble, as it’s either a weak fake-out or a major but pointless death. Overall, though, a very solid first issue with no real weak spots.
  • 90

    But Why Tho?

    Batman: Urban Legends #1 is a solid chronicle of the Dark Knight's friends and foes, featuring tales of triumph and heartbreak. If you're a fan of Batman or a specific character within the Batman mythos, chances are there's a story in here for you.
  • 90

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Urban Legends was an enjoyable read, and while I couldn't wait to read Chip Zdarsky's Red Hood story, I liked the whole package. Chip's story wasn't even my favorite by the end, and it had nothing to do with the quality of his story because it was great! Check it out, and don't skip any, you hear!
  • 90

    Lyles Movie Files

    Despite the hefty price tag, this is a very enjoyable anthology that’s a must-grab issue for Batman fans.
  • 90

    Dark Knight News

    Pick this up, as it will be one of your favorite playgrounds for some time to come!
  • 85


    Last, but certainly not least, Matthew Rosenberg is back at it with Grifter. The start of his five-chapter story, "The Long Con," was a bit frustrating " but in the right way. Cole Cash is something else; this story was a great way to end the first issue of this anthology.
  • 84

    The Super Powered Fancast

    Cheer The differences in the methods of both characters are on display in this story and the division between the two of them is well played out in a story that engages the reader as an inevitable confrontation plays out. New Roots Phillips crafts a sweet story in this short interlude. A story that is filled with great character development and evolution that is bolstered by Braga’s great art. The Caretaker A great, action packed short story that drew me in with both its story and interpersonal relationships. Thomas does a great job of bringing immediacy into the story and Max Dunbar’s art is amazing. The Long Con Rosenberg makes Grifter a more interesting character in this short story. Beyond the characters bravado and attitude, there is potential for an evolution for the character especially given the circumstances created in the plot.
  • 83

    Graphic Policy

    Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an absolute win for the anthology format that DC Comics has been trying out with all of the four stories in the comic being entertaining and shedding light on a unique cast of characters. The longer stories that bookend the comic are especially noteworthy thanks to Chip Zdarsky's pitch-perfect handle on the fascinating character of Jason Todd in “Batman and Red Hood” and Matthew Rosenberg and Ryan Benjamin's skill with verbal and visual humor in “Grifter”
  • 80


    ake a trip into Gotham's darker side in four fantastic tales by creators at the top of their games.
  • 80

    The quality of the installments range from riveting and complex to entirely forgettable, which will surely satiate the curiosities of readers who were drawn into the book by the more well-known characters.
  • 80

    DC Comics News

    Batman: Urban Legends #1 is an old timey digest of awesome. The stories are up and down, but for the most part, this has a ton of legs. It makes sense for some of these smaller characters, who for some reason, could not sell books on their own, to be here, in a book, with the big guy's name on it to sell a few more copies. Hey, if this is what it takes to get an excellent Red Hood story, to get to see the Outsiders again, and to watch Grifter go toe to toe with Bruce and Dick, I am all in.
  • 80

    Newsarama by Gamesradar+

    A well-curated mix of stories from some of the best creatives currently working in the superhero genre, Batman: Urban Legends #1 marks the successful re-establishment of the jumbo anthology into the direct market. Harley and Ivy is the highlight here, but the quality is high across the board. After 'Future State''s mixed results with the format, this successful launch bodes well for the future of the DC anthology.
  • 77

    Multiversity Comics

    He is vengeance! He is the night! He is…in every single comic, I swear. Bat-fatigue is very real, people. It seems like the bulk of DC’s output these days is coming directly out of Gotham CIty. I won’t pretend that I was particularly excited for this comic or expected to like it all that much but I was really pleasantly surprised, I have to say.
  • 70


    "Fine with room to grow" about sums up my feelings, and I wish I could be more positive here. I mean, Batman by Zdarsky? More Rosenberg Grifter? Wackiness with the Outsiders from Brandon Thomas and Max Dunbar? This should have been a home run, but instead it was more of a base hit. Hopefully the upcoming chapters find the stories hitting a stride, along with leaving room for some solid standalone one-and-dones. As it is, Batman: Urban Legends is a great idea that falls short in the execution.

More From Batman: Urban Legends (2021)

About the Author: Chip Zdarsky

Steve Murray (born December 21, 1975), known by the pen-name Chip Zdarsky, is a Canadian comic book artist and writer, journalist, illustrator and designer. He has also used the pseudonym Todd Diamonte. He worked for National Post for over a decade, until 2014, as an illustrator and humorist (as Steve Murray) and wrote and illustrated a column called “Extremely Bad Advice” for the paper as well as The Ampersand, the newspaper’s pop culture section’s online edition.

He uses the Zdarsky pseudonym for comics-related work, using it to create Prison Funnies and Monster Cops and as artist and co-creator of Sex Criminals with writer Matt Fraction. Comics attributed to him include Howard the Duck, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Daredevil and Spider-Man: Life Story for Marvel Comics, Batman for DC Comics and Jughead for Archie Comics.

Early life

Steve Murray was born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Barrie, Ontario.


Murray has illustrated for such clients as The Globe and Mail, New York magazine, CBC and Canadian Business.

In 2000, Murray created Chip Zdarsky as a pseudonym and alter ego for his persona as a comic book writer and illustrator, developing his own independent projects, such as Prison Funnies and Monster Cops (which can be read online or in print) as well as collaborating on a variety of projects, including Dark Horse Comics titles Fierce and Rumble Royale. About his alter ego, Murray said “I wanted to have a sad-sack cartoonist persona that lives in his mom’s basement, paints figurines for money, has restraining orders against him. And that became a character.” He describes the character as “an idiot who doesn’t know what I’m doing. I’ve had no success in my life. No matter what, I’m going to mess things up.” Murray initially attempted to keep the identities separate and secret.

From 2008 to 2014, Murray penned and illustrated a weekly advice column for the National Post called “Extremely Bad Advice”. He also wrote another column in that paper, Tear Jerk, in which he reviewed films to see if they could actually make him “weep like a baby”.

Along with Kagan McLeod, Ben Shannon, and Cameron Stewart, he is a co-founder of the studio The Royal Academy of Illustration and Design, which produced Rumble Royale.

In 2010, he also launched a mock campaign for mayor of Toronto. He was not an officially registered candidate, launching his satirical “campaign” through social networking platforms after the deadline had passed to register as a candidate in the real campaign.

Chip Zdarsky and Matt Fraction
In June 2013, Image Comics announced that Chip Zdarsky had teamed up with Invincible Iron Man and Hawkeye writer, Matt Fraction, on a new creator-owned series titled Sex Criminals. The first issue was released on September 23, 2013. Sex Criminals was declared number 1 on Time magazine’s list of “Top 10 Comics and Graphic Novels” of 2013.

In 2014, Murray won a Will Eisner Award for Best New Series for Sex Criminals.

Zdarsky wrote the first series arc of the relaunched Jughead comic for the 2015 New Riverdale relaunch.

On February 15, 2017, it was announced that beginning that June, Zdarsky would be writing a brand new “back-to-basics” Spider-Man series Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man that would run alongside writer Dan Slott‘s run on The Amazing Spider-Man. Zdarsky later wrote the two Spider-Man miniseries Spider-Man: Life Story and Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow.

In November 2018, it was announced that Zdarsky would serve as the writer on Daredevil, with Marco Checchetto serving as artist. The series began publication in February 2019 and lasted until November 2021 with issue 36. This leads into the event Devil’s Reign, also by Zdarsky and Checchetto. A new Daredevil #1 will launch in June 2022, with Zdarsky and Checchetto returning from the previous volume. The series will explore the fallout of Devil’s Reign and the effect it had on both Matt and Elektra, as both are operating as Daredevil.

In 2020, DC Comics announced that Zdarsky would be among the creators of a revived Batman: Black and White anthology series to debut on December 8, 2020.

In February 2022, it was announced that Zdarsky will serve as the new writer for the mainline Batman book, starting with issue 125 on July 5, with Jorge Jiménez serving as the artist.

[Latest Update: May 26, 2022]

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