batwatch's Legends of the Dark Knight #23 - Unnatural Selection, Part 1 of 2 review

Legends of the Dark Knight #23

Unnatural Selection

Legends is one of the best Batman comics on the market, but it had its first massive failure last week with a lousy tale about a stone carver that made no sense. This week, we have a brand new creative team bringing us the two-part story, "Unnatural Selection." Is this issue the right choice for you, or should you stay away from this monstrosity?

In this issue, Batman investigates a bizarre animal attack which leads him to a collector with some abnormal taxidermy.

Cryptotaxidermy

This issue involves the real life phenomenon of people who collect spliced together animals which has come to be known as cryptotaxidermy. I have heard of this sort of thing, but I had forgotten it until this issue. Here are some pictures of it if you are curious. Real weird stuff.

The mixed animal aesthetic works quite well for the Batman universe. After all, Batman is basically a blend of human and bat. It definitely created suspense and a creepy vibe which was aided by the dark artwork of this story.

The Raptahipodile

Though the book did do a decent job of building up tension, it was released in an unsatisfying manner when the creature was revealed. Quite frankly, it looked stupid, and though I am sure such a creature would be a threat just by virtue of its size alone, it just did not manage to be menacing. This is further aided when Batman's brief battle with the creature was poorly illustrated. The creature hits Batman. Batman hits the creature. It's kind of boring.

Conclusion

This issue contains a pretty good buildup coupled with a pretty bad conclusion. Still, this was just the end of part 1, so I am interested in seeing how it finishes. If the basic concept interests you, then give it a try, but stronger artwork would go a long way to making the story better.

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