Review – Batman: Urban Legends #9 – Dark Knights of the Soul

Comic Books DC This Week
Batman: Urban Legends #9 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Urban Legends #9 – Alyssa Wong, Sam Johns, Dan Watters, Brandon Thomas, Writers; Vasco Georgiev, Karl Mostert, Nikola Cizmesija, Cian Tormey/Raul Fernandez, Artists; Rain Beredo, David Baron, Ivan Plascencia, Alejandro Sanchez, Colorists

Ray – 8.5/10

Credits. Via DC Comics.

Ray: Next issue’s Tim Drake story has gotten much of the hype, but this issue has four strong stories of its own—including one conclusion and one new tale.

First up is the conclusion to Alyssa Wong’s Batwoman story, as the recovering Beth is forced to go undercover once again as Red Alice to try to uncover Seer. The segments where she infiltrates her own former cult are tense and the action is strong, but this story’s big strength is how it deftly covers the genuine pain and anxiety of struggling with mental health. Much of this story plays on the brilliant Tynion/Nguyen story about the mirror game and Kate’s own struggles with her identity. Beth’s struggles are as deep, and this story does a fantastic job of expanding on the bond between the sisters. I was a little disappointed to see no follow-up on Cass this issue, but maybe that story will be in Batgirls. The ending is hopeful and ominous at the same time, and lets the next writer determine which path Beth goes down.

Simpler times. Via DC Comics.

Next up is a new story by Sam Johns and Karl Mostert, focusing on one of Gotham’s oddest villains—or rather two, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The two burly henchman twins have never been big threats, but now they’ve walked away from crime and have fallen on hard times. Dum struggles to make ends meet, while Dee is battling a mysterious ailment. March Harriet, their old friend from the Wonderland gang, is shocked by how low they’ve fallen. In many ways, the villain of this story is the health and social welfare system, as two not particularly dangerous villains may become one desperate and dangerous one as he battles to save the only person who matters to him.

Next up, Dan Watters continues his Azrael story in a prequel to Watters’ ongoing Arkham City mystery. Azrael can sometimes be a hard character to like, filled with religious fervor and madness. As he chases down the mysterious streak of resurrections across the city, he comes across a villain who was dead, then alive—and maybe dead again. But the reason has much more to do with mad science and a tie-in to another book than any actual gods or demons. It’s fast-paced and exciting, but with a new character being introduced and only one issue to go, I’m not sure how it’ll wrap up.

Finally, Brandon Thomas and Cian Tormey return to the Outsiders for the second chapter of their sequel, as the present and future collide. There is a lot going on here in about twenty pages, with multiple versions of the same character and new villains. But at its core, is a great story where Duke Thomas manages to rescue his team one-by-one and beat his own fears as he goes up against an upgraded version of fear gas. Some strong visuals and character-driven moments bring the whole thing to a satisfying close with a last-page visual that’s probably going to make some fans very happy.

Overall, no real weak links as this anthology continues to deliver.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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