I'm a well read grad student who's bluntly honest about all things, although I try to be most honest about myself.
I'm quite conflicted about this: there's a lot going on, and yet it still seemed rather slow in parts. There's a lot of dual ideas at play here, like modern day life versus a traditional life, American mythology versus Native American mythology, good versus evil, the real you versus the mask you wear out (and I have more to say about this one), and a rich life versus being rich.
This has a lot of scathing things to say about capitalism, and the gaudiness of modern things, although it never preaches, about this or anything else. This also talks about the reality of things: Bruce Wayne really is the Bat, and the mask he wears is his human face. To become himself, he puts a mask on, and in the end becomes that mask.
This is also a tale set in the earlier days of Batman, so it sets up a lot, like how Alfred will play into these stories by taking care of Bruce, feeding him information, although he also wears his own mask: that of the butler, the servant who drives Bruce around, and takes care of him in a far more normal capacity. And Alfred is done justice here: at one point where is ordered to leave the house for his own safety, he argues that his dignity is in not running and pleads to be able to stay at home. It was a strong scene for him, and a much needed reminder that he is stronger than I tend to think. I think of him as another slot on Batman's utility belt, quite often. Oh, more than that, as he's human and a friend, and Bruce and Alfred obviously care a great deal for each other. But because he's so often in the background, and doing what can be seen as menial tasks, I tend to brush him off as yet another tool: another means of information, a caretaker, a chauffeur, and seeing him stand up for himself and stand up to the man who kidnapped him... well, it was nice.
And there is another mind-blowing scene where Batman just comes into his own, using not violence, but words to make his point. Well, words, and some sabotage. It was powerful and moving, and it was as much the art as the script. The art was simply breathtaking during that scene, imbuing him with the mythical sense of power the scene demands.
That being said, while looking back, I like a lot of the ideas, so many were in the end. This felt like it was drawn out a bit, as some of the parts felt a little... padded? Slow? I do know that it took me a long, long time to finish the first three issues; the fourth and fifth moved much more quickly as they got to the heart of the action.
Worth reading, but I am hoping the other Legends aren't quite as hard for me to get into.*
*I know I don't have to, and that you won't be upset, Troy, but I still feel like I have to apologize. I tried so hard to let go of preconceptions and just get into this, and it was... hard for me. Am looking forward to moving on, though, as the ending was pretty amazing.