Legends of the Dark Kight Issues #16-18 (1989) by Denny O’Niel

Hello everyone! Let’s talk about drugs!

SPOILERS BELOW

This is the second story line in the Legends of the Dark Knight series (The Venom arc) and I already like this one better than the last (really, the Night-Scourge was the best villain they could come up with? Ugh). Also I’m aware that they Venom story goes through to issue #20, but I haven’t read it completely. I’m only reviewing the issues I have read.

The new story begins with the death of a child. Batman feels guilty about not being able to get to her in time, so he personally goes to her father to tell him the news. You’d expect the dad to be upset right? He’s not. The dude just keeps working at his desk, and offers Batman some of the designer drugs he’s been working on.

Bruce takes them and then shit gets fucked up.

These pills were created with the idea to make an ordinary person into someone extraordinary. They specifically mention Superman several times, obviously intending to try ot replicate his strength and invulnerability.

When Bruce takes these drugs, he’s able to lift over six hundred pounds, which is how much the boulder weighed that kept him from reaching the child in time to prevent her death. He’s so glad that he can lift that much that he ignores the mood swings (Batman with mood swings–who knew right?) and the increased muscle mass (he gets Beefy guys).

Alfred is basically immediately worried. Bruce goes out several times to bet up thugs outside of the Batman suit, in an everyday disguise. With Bruce’s normal obsession with keeping everything seperate, it’s a definite change of character that the butler can’t ignore.

He tells Bruce several times that he intends to quit if this behavior doesn’t cease: his words are ignored. Alfred leaves (with an actual resignation and everything) and Bruce begins to realize that the drugs might not be harmless after all.

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What seems like days later, after Batman almost kills his buddy Jim Gordon to get more drugs, Bruce fully realizes that he needs help. He calls Alfred, who comes back to the mansion, and locks himself in the Batcave for a month while he goes through withdrawals.

I had to stop reading here. The amount of pain that Bruce put Alfred through, the hell he is putting himself through, the overall wonderfully fresh plot, I had to take a moment and gush about it.

The idea that Bruce Wayne, the worlds most stubborn and paranoid ass, would not only take a drug he didn’t recognize but then get addicted to this drug, is astounding to me. I love this concept, i love the way it was implemented (Alfred doesn’t take any shit, dude), and I love that the way it was resolved was so wonderfully in character.

I don’t know if its ever mentioned again, but this is before the days of the Batfamily, and really all I can imagine is his children’s reaction to finding out their so-called dad had once been a drug addict. Would they expect it, with all the billionare stereotypes? Or would they be shocked and appalled?

Feel free to comment what you think they’re reactions would be, and tell me how I’m doing at this review thing while you’re at it!

I absolutely adore this series arc, and I hope that everyone who reads it enjoys it as I do!

Read it here!

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