Review: The Untold Legend of the Batman #3

The Untold Legend of the Batman #3 cover
Cover by José Luis García-López and Dick Giordano

The Untold Legend of the Batman #3
Published and © by DC, September 1980

Title: “The Man Behind the Mask!”
Synopsis: Batman declares war on the mysterious villain who has been stalking him – but all is not as it seems.

Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Jim Aparo

Review: Story wise, this concluding issue is a bit of a letdown. While the fine origin recaps keep coming, the big payoff to the “who’s stalking the Batman?” storyline falls flat. It feels like somebody at DC – maybe writer Len Wein, maybe somebody in corporate – blinked. Instead of exploring the psyche of a guy compelled to dress up like a bat, the whole thing is blamed on some warehouse explosion that didn’t even happen in this title. Aparo’s art continues to be top shelf, though, and the miniseries as a whole offers a fine primer to the Batman mythos.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “2 1/2 out of 4 stars.” – Brent Frankenhoff, Comics Buyer’s Guide #1630, July 2007 

Cool factor: Jim Aparo’s work on this series is a tour de force.
Not-so-cool factor: The ending could have been spectacular.

Notable: Recounts the origins of Commissioner James Gordon, Batgirl and others.
Collector’s note: There are also cereal-premium mini-comic and book-on-tape versions of this issue.

Character quotable: “There’s something bothering your partner, Robin – something gnawing at the pit of his soul … and I wish to God I knew how to help him!” – Commissioner James Gordon, Bat accomplice

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Oct. 15, 2009.

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