09 November 2011

Legends of the Dark Knight: "Destiny" & "Mercy"

Legends of the Dark Knight #35-36
Plot and Art: Bo Hampton
Script: Mark Kneece
Letters: Tracy Hampton Munsey
Color: Olyoptics with Airika Lindsay
Edits: Goodwin and Kaplan
Batman created by Bob Kane
Early Aug-Late Aug 1992
$1.75, 32 pages/each

A dude dressed up like a Viking shows up in Gotham City, tangling with some shady low-lifes.  Naturally, he runs afoul the Batman.  Together, they discover that they are the descendants of a shared piece of Viking lore, told throughout this two-part story as a parallel to the present day activities.  I'd go into what the present day story is, except it really doesn't even matter.  It's just an excuse to showcase the mythological tale.

To be honest, I'm not big on this story.  The premise is okay, but it gets a little too clever for its own good.  Honestly, I think it would have been more satisfying for me if they had scrapped the present day stuff altogether and simply told the Viking myth story.  I dig the art, though.  The cover to issue #35 is still one of my favorite LOTDK covers.  A shame the story inside fell short for me.

"Destiny" was reprinted in the trade paperback, Batman: Other Realms.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #37
Story: Dan Abnett + Andy Lanning
Art: Colin MacNeil
Letters: Ken Holewczynski
Color: Olyoptics
Assistant Edits: Bill Kaplan
Edits: Archie Goodwin
Batman created by Bob Kane
Sept 1992
$1.75, 32 pages

A rookie cop and her partner go in to apprehend The Cossack, a mountain of a man who delights in bare knuckle beatings.  The rookie insists that the Batman stay out of it and let the police do their job.  He obliges, but it costs the rookie's partner his life and she is left for dead.  To repay his debt to her, Batman undertakes to train her himself in secret, until she has become a fighting specimen out of control.  This eventually leads to an underground, illegal "fight club" marked by brutality...and a confrontation with The Cossack.

I liked the premise of "Mercy" quite a bit, and the art was terrific--particularly the full page reveal of The Cossack on page 14.  Like "Destiny," though, this one didn't quite scratch my LOTDK itch.  Whereas I think "Destiny" needed some shaving, I think "Mercy" could have benefited from being expanded.  Knowing it was a standalone issue, I could sort of tell where everything was headed because I knew it only had so many pages left to resolve itself.

Not that it's terribly important, but with issue #37, the title officially becomes Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight per the small fine print inside the issue.  I personally wish they'd left Batman's name off the covers and out of the title; I think it seems a little more mature that way but maybe it's just me.

I am currently working on a novel for NaNoWriMo; this blog post was composed in October.