Batman: Urban Legends #1
In the post-Joker War Gotham, Cole Cash remains bodyguard to the holder of the Wayne Fortune, Lucius Fox. But anybody who knows the man that people call Grifter, there is always more happening that meets the eye. Just what is Cole up to and what could it have to do with his shadowy past?
Matthew Rosenberg writes Grifter like he grew up reading him in the early days of Wildstorm. Ryan Benjamin draws him as if… right. He was there. This story is everything a fan of the character could want it to be. Grifter comes off as charming, sexy, cool but the character works digs deeper and shows small moments of the insecurities that make the character complex enough to last (albeit in spurts) for the last 30 years while many contemporary characters have fallen out of favor. Cole is a tragic hero in the classical sense although he’d never consider himself one. And most others wouldn’t either yet therein lies the beauty that Rosenberg seems to grasp here. Benjamin and Fabela pair to create a dynamic and visually charged action comic dominantly, hyper-reminiscent of the bright neons of the nineteen hundred and nineties. Temofonte finishes the piece with perfectly placed dialogue that never allows the eyes to stop moving through the narrative fluidly and smoothly.
It was an excellent short story but it does raise (re-raise?) a number of questions for the character moving forward. We have the references to Lynch, Team 6, Halo, Marlowe and that great and varied cast of characters from the various incarnations of Wildstorm over the decades but none of the former stories seems to quite line up with what we are seeing here. Where do Cole and the rest of these characters fit into current DC canon? Do the effects on canon from Death Metal extend to Wildstorm and if they do, how? So far, no sign of Cole being gen-active (I’ve seen a lot of people ask about that already) but what does that really mean when you’re dealing with a con man? The tussle with Batman played out almost exactly as you’d imagine, to include Batman getting the upper hand more often than not, almost to a point where it felt disingenuous on Cole’s part. Time will tell as we are promised at least 5 chapters of Rosenberg/Benjamin Grifter and hopefully much more in the future.
Batman: Urban Legends #1 flashes me back to the '90s with a pitch-perfect Grifter story delivered by @ashcanpress @ryanbnjmn @AntonioFabela #SaidaTemofonte @Ben_Abernathy #DCComics #Wildstorm @JimLee #brandonchoi
Batman: Urban Legends #1: A Con is a Grift Your Heart Makes…
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 9/10
Art - 9/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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