2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend Trading CardsBrand: Cryptozoic
Of all the comic heroes, few resonate more than Batman. He didn't come from another planet, mess around with dangerous machines or get bit by a bug. His super power is that he's smart, has lots of toys and came from a rich family. One of the darker mainstream comics, Batman has risen to greater fame in recent years thanks to Christopher Nolan's immensely popular film trilogy. But 2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend takes the Caped Crusader back to the comics.
The last set of Batman trading cards was 2008 Rittenhouse Batman Archives. Despite a sketch card in every box, the set was a only moderate success. The extensive use of cover art in the base set offered collectors very little that was new. 2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend goes in the opposite direction. Every card in the 63-card base set comes with all-new art commissioned by the card maker. Card backs are written by Adam Beechen, who has written several comics and cartoons in his career including Countdown to Final Crisis, Teen Titans and Justice League Unlimited.
Every box of 2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend delivers a sketch card. The checklist of artists is massive, ensuring lots of different takes on Batman, his friends, enemies and the world of Gotham.
The Batcave is a nine-card foil puzzle that explores Batman's iconic lair. The Batmobile also gets its own nine-card insert set. Each of these fall two per box.
Inserted 1:24 packs is the Circus of Villains Poster set, which focuses on Batman's eight greatest enemies.
Product Configuration: 24 packs per box, 5 cards per pack
Price Point: Low-End Entertainment Card
Target Audience: Comic Card Collectors, Batman Fans, Set Builders, Sketch Card Collectors
2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend Box Break
- 1 Sketch Card
- 5 Inserts
- 120 Total Cards
2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend Checklist
Base Set Checklist
2 Bruce Wayne
4 Dick Grayson
5 Jason Todd
6 Tim Drake
7 Alfred Pennyworth
8 Commissioner James Gordon
11 Barbara Gordon
12 The Joker
13 The Penguin
14 The Riddler
16 Harvey Dent
17 Poison Ivy
19 Selina Kyle
21 Wayne Manor
23 Lucius Fox
25 DC Comics Red Hood
26 The Court of Owls
27 The Huntress
29 Ace, The Bat Hound
30 The Scarecrow
31 Mr. Freeze
32 Ra's al Ghul
34 Red Robin
35 The Birds of Prey
36 The Outsiders
37 Kate Kane
44 Azrael as Batman
46 Batman Beyond
47 Black Mask
50 Vesper Fairchild
52 Harley Quinn
53 Kathy Kane
54 Killer Croc
55 Jervis Tetch
57 Batman Utility Belt
58 Silver St. Cloud
59 Leslie Thompkins, M.D.
60 Ventriloquist and Scarface
61 Batman of Earth Two
63 Batman and Superman
CP2 Mr. Freeze
CP3 The Penguin
CP4 The Scarecrow
CP6 Poison Ivy
Adriano "Andy" Carreon
Aston Roy Cover
Autumn Rain Turkel
Brendon and Brian Fraim
Bruno Bull de Oliveira
Eric Van Elslande
Frank A. Kadar
Jason Keith Phillips
Jonathan T. Racimo
Mick and Matt Glebe
Nestor Celario Jr.
Ramsey "Raz" Sibaja
Remy "Eisu" Mokhtar
Ted Dastick Jr.
William Donley III
Promo Card Checklist
2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend Product Review
Reviewed by Ryan Cracknell
Good: All-new art, wide cast of characters, full-color sketch cards, Carnival of Villains posters.
Bad: Too much rainbow foil with inserts, individual foil puzzle pieces don't stand on their own.
The Bottom Line: It has been a long time since Batman and his corner of the comic universe had his own set based on original content. Too long. 2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend does the Dark Knight proud, giving collectors new images, high-end sketch cards and more. Everything about the set looks great, although I wonder if more variety would spice things up with the basic inserts.
Card Design: 4.3/5.0
I'm a big fan of the direction Cryptozoic has taken with the base sets for their comic licenses. For a long time, the hobby relied on recycled images used in other things. Everything in 2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend is new. The company commissioned a handful of artists to create the artwork for the base set and it looks fantastic. Each artist does a good job of capturing the updated likenesses of Gotham City's many citizens and guests.
Sketch cards, which fall at least one per box, are anything but sketches. They're all done in color and show a lot of care and detail.
Inserts are all done with rainbow foil stock. They look nice, but it's overkill. If there's a way to change up things a little in that regard, it would make the chase cards seem a little more special. That said, the Circus of Villains Posters are my favourite cards in the release. The circus poster theme works very well, giving them a distinct and consistent look throughout.
One thing I've grown tired of is foil puzzles, especially ones that have cards that don't stand on their own. Companies have been relying on this format for more than a decade. While I understand how it encourages set building to one extent, those who buy a single box are often left with a strange-looking card. The Batcave is big and the over-sized puzzle format is a good way to capture it all. But it's very hard to get excited about a card that is largely plain with a bat head in one corner. If puzzles are going to continue, why not make every card stand on its own. Then, if someone builds the set they have something even better.
Whether you're a long-time Batman fan or someone who's new to the DC Universe, the base set covers a lot of ground. The Dark Knight is connected to many people and this set shows it. Yes, Batman's in the name, but there's not that much of the Caped Crusader himself. And that's a good thing. Base cards give brief bios for the characters (and a couple of gadgets and locations) they showcase, creating a solid overview.
With nearly 150 artists doing sketch cards for the set, there is a ton of variety in the artwork. This is great for collectors as each piece of art really does feel unique.
2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend follows a very similar format as other releases from the company. The major selling point is the sketch card. The combination of the quality and the reasonable price point make it a solid buy, even if you don't land a highly coveted sketch.
But Cryptozoic has done a little bit extra to add value. Some boxes over deliver and have a second sketch card. There are also a very limited number of redemptions for over-sized sketch cards, which command a lot of attention.
This is a product where you might not make a lot of money if you sold everything, but you're not going to lose much either. For collectors, this is a nice balance.
The Fun Factor: 4.2/5.0
I've long been a Batman fan. Maybe not a hardcore one who buys every issue, but as far as heroes go, he's one of my favorites. 2013 Cryptozoic Batman: The Legend does a very nice job of capturing the dark and brooding universe it inhabits today.
That said, I wish there was a little more variety in card styles. None are bad, but there's a lot of foil in the chase. Changing that up a bit would freshen up the pack-ripping experience a little.
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