NML Crossing

NML Crossing, Episode 061 – Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #118 (1999)

NML Crossing, Episode Sixty-One

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #118 (June, 1999)
Writer – Greg Rucka
Art – Jason Pearson & James A. Hodgkins
Colors – Rob Schwager
Letters – Albert De Guzman
Edits – Illidge, Gorfinkel, O’Neil
Cover Price: $1.99

Welcome to the one-offs!  Today we start our three-episode dive into some… err, “quirky” No Man’s Land tales?  This time out, Alfred dips back into his Shakespearean “Beagle” mode in order to entertain some NML ragamuffins with his tale of a certain Knight and his loyal Squire.

NML Crossing on Youtube




3 thoughts on “NML Crossing, Episode 061 – Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #118 (1999)

  • Glad you’re back! Sorry to hear about your latest bout of depression, but I have depression myself, so I know how it can make it difficult to do things, especially something creative (not that my experience is the same as yours, of course).

    I’ve yet to listen to NML episode 61 (just listened to episode 60 and am commenting here since I don’t see that episode on your site here).

    1) Lots of good stuff in that issue, especially the Barbara and New Batgirl conflict. I didn’t remember Gordon and Sara being in so much conflict during this era, and it’s not always a good look for either of them, but it is a take I like in the short term at least.

    I only have experience with Lockup from NML and from the animated show in the 90s (I think in the later era, when the animation was changed and it was the New Batman Adventures). He’s an interesting character, but I don’t think one who can be used much/is as versatile as other Batman villains. His role in NML here is a pretty good fit.

    2) I, too, am hazier on the DC timeline. Maybe because I grew up a Marvel fan primarily or maybe it’s the Crises that skew things for me a bit, or maybe it’s something else, but it’s also is a sense of context I miss often. I didn’t really think of that Batgirl special and Killing Joke coming out so close together, or Batman Year 1 and 2 for that matter.

    3) Funnily enough, I’ve only ever read Elfquest in its B&W forms. They were the only copies my local library had when I was growing up, and I loved reading them and the art. I didn’t even know there were color versions for a long time. The color looks good in the copies I’ve seen, but I’ll always prefer the B&W version.

    4) My bucket list? Mainly comic runs/creator runs I’ve read partially but never fully.

    For superheroes, some of them seem embarrassing. I’d like to read all of the original Claremont X-Men/X-Adjacent titles run (including Simonson’s X-Factor and New Mutants). I’ve probably read 2/3 or 3/4 of this run in scattershot form over the years, but I started reading this whole run chronologically a few years ago and have been chipping away at it in bursts.

    I’d also like to read all of the Lee/Kirby FF run. I’ve read about 1/2 of this, mainly issues 1-20 and then 45-65 or so, and I’m not the biggest fan of those first 20 issues, but once they get cooking later in the run, it’s some of the best superhero comics I’ve read.

    I’d like to read all the Giffen and Levitz Legion of Superheroes. I’ve read a bit here and there, and liked it despite not being the biggest Legion fan.

    Outside of superheroes, I love crime comics, and I’ve always wanted to read all of Stray Bullets. What I’ve read so far is pretty good and I like the art by Lapham. It’s interesting to compare that art to his earlier art for Valiant, which was technically strong but suffered a little from the Valiant house style that could be lifeless, especially in the wrong hands.

    All of the EC Comics crime, sci-fi, and horror stories. Yes, inconsistent story qualities, but the art is classic. All of the John Stanley and Irving Tripp Little Lulu comics, which I unashamedly love. Some classic newspaper strips, like all of Pogo, Peanuts, and such.

    I could keep going on, but it’s probably for the best that I don’t, given the size of the rest of my list.

  • I missed episode 60 on CIOIE but found it on The Cosmic Treadmill on Podbean so I’m going to fallow CJ’s lead and talk about it here.

    First off, this issue had a beautiful cover. All black with the new Batgirl inside the green circle of the night vision crosshairs of a rifle scope. Simplistic yet eye catching at the same time.

    To me, Black Mask went down way too easy. He was built up as such a big threat last issue but he and his whole gang get taken down by Batgirl all by herself in the first few pages. Very anticlimactic. Even the Ventriloquist was tougher to take down than this.

    Barbara’s notes on the new Batgirl seed the mystery of her identity with more clues. Knowing who she actually turns out to be, I find looking at the clues we are given fascinating. I’m interested to see if her identity can be discovered before it is revealed by just paying close attention to the clues. It kind of feels like trying to figure out who the Quakemaster was all over again.

    I haven’t read these issues since they were first on the rack. So I’m enjoying watching the Gordon’s relationship. Knowing how their story will end makes watching the depth their relationship be shown all the more important. Their love is a throughline that will be important as we move through this story.

  • If this wasn’t an issue of LOTDK it would have felt weird. But because it was in LOTDK with its history of stories a little outside of the norm, it feels right to me.

    I love Alfred solo stories. He has such a diverse history in universe that gets forgotten. He was a spy, he was an actor, he is so much more than just the butler. Alfred hides who he truly is behind the mask of being the butler just like Batman hides behind the mask of Bruce Wayne.

    Seeing Alfred in the No Man’s Land Gotham before the return of Batman was interesting. He seems to be an important part of Bruce’s plan. Alfred was on the ground doing recon for Batman while Batman was putting other parts of his plan into place. (Such as getting Lockdown and KGBeast to run the prison.) And Alfred can use his talent as an actor to portray the part of a washed up actor entertaining the people to hide his true recon mission from everyone.

    I enjoyed this issue. It is not necessary to the main story but it adds depth to the overall picture.


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