Batman: Urban Legends #12 – Vita Ayala, Ram V, Mohale Mashigo, Mark Russell, Writers; Nikola Cizmesija, Anand RK, Arist Deyn, Karl Mostert, Artists; Nick Filardi, John Pearson, Trish Mulvihill, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The four new stories continue to unfold this month, continuing off a promising set of first installments last month.
First up is Vita Ayala and Nikola Cizmesija’s Batman and Zatanna story, which revealed that Batman and Zatanna share a secret history—and a secret mission where they battle to keep dark forces from invading their world once a year, spinning out of a fateful decision they made years ago. The art depicting the scale of the threat they face is excellent, and Ayala does a great job of fleshing out their unique bond. The addition of John Constantine, always a thorn in Batman’s side, is sure to take the tensions in future chapters up a few notches.
The second chapter of the Wight Witch story by Ram V and Anand RK continues to be particularly twisty, as the mysterious cloned warrior battles to reclaim her memories and identity. I was surprised by no major follow-up on her links to Ghost-Maker and Batman this issue, but the scenes of her interacting with a kind therapist who helps her unlock her past are fascinating. With Simon Saint already dead in the main line, it’s a little odd to see him play such a big role here, but Ram V and Anand RK are unraveling a truly fascinating and gorgeous sci-fi memory thriller.
The Eternity story by Mohale Mashigo and Arist Deyn is the oddest fit for this anthology, feeling more like a detour into odd corners of Gotham. This installment is stronger than the previous one, getting us into the nitty-gritty of how Eternity solves mysteries. After his neighbor is murdered, he communicates with her spirit and tries to unravel her last hours to find her killer—while dealing with a cranky and traumatized millennial ghost along the way. It’s compelling, but still feels a little more like an indie story air-dropped into a Batman anthology.
Finally, it’s Mark Russell and Karl Mostert’s surprisingly dark Bat-Hound story. And it’s once again the highlight of this issue, if not the entire run. With Batman captured, Ace finds himself in the custody of a villain who experiments on animals and tries to enhance them into bodyguards and soldiers. Some hilarious bits including a companion animal for Lex Luthor don’t overshadow just how vile this villain is, and it makes it all the better when Ace proves himself every bit his owner’s dog and leads an animal rebellion of some oddball enhanced creatures. I’m not sure how this is only one third of the way in, but I can’t wait to see what insanity Russell has planned for us next.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.