Review – Batman: Urban Legends #21 – Fast Rides and Dark Trips

Comic Books DC This Week
Batman: Urban Legends #21 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Batman: Urban Legends #21 – Anthony Falcone/Michael Cho, Julio Anta, Dennis Culver, Joey Esposito, Writers; Michael Cho, Miguel Mendonca, Hayden Sherman, Vasco Georgiev, Artists; Dave Stewart, Roman Stevens, Jordie Bellaire, Alex Guimaraes, Colorists

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The final leg of this title begins, with three new stories and one continuing tale. How do they shake out?

Credits. Via DC Comics.

“The Wheelman of Gotham” by Falcone and Cho, with art by Cho, is an old-school adventure tale as the Batmobile finds itself stymied by a mysterious getaway driver who seems to win every race. As Batman (and a Robin who looks like Tim but has Damian’s friends, oddly) investigate, they build a new Batmobile to counter the threat and uncover the secrets of the mysterious criminal under the helmet. This story has a great visual aesthetic, but it feels like it could have been an arc, not an issue, and ends a bit abruptly.

Faster and deadlier. Via DC Comics.

“Survivor’s Guilt” by Anta and Mendonca is the shortest of the four stories, and it’s a strong one. Set the day before Renee Montoya accepts the Commissioner job, she interferes in a wrongful arrest and comes face to face with an ex-con who blames her for ruining his life. She’s forced to reckon with some of the moral compromises she made as a rookie cop in a corrupt system, and encounters her ex Batwoman for a frank talk about the difficulty of working within the system. It’s a bit dialogue-heavy, but it also works really well as a look into Renee’s mind right now.

The first chapter of “Arkham Academy” by Dennis Culver and Hayden Sherman is an odd one. Set in the old Arkham Asylum, it focuses on a group of teenagers with one thing in common—they’re all the children of supervillains. When the son of Wrath is arrested on shady charges, he’s assigned to this mysterious program run by a shady doctor—who makes them dress in supervillain costumes, exposes them to actual villains, and works for an even shadier doctor. It’s an intriguing concept, but the ten-page length just throws us in without much preamble.

The second chapter of “The Murder Club” by Esposito and Georgiev is definitely not what I expected. What started as a dark thriller about someone murdering the wealthy of Gotham via a mysterious disease took a wild turn when Thomas and Martha Wayne showed up in Wayne Manor, seemingly from the moment they would have died. Bruce is naturally suspicious, but Alfred insists he sees them as the genuine article. Damian and Dick are brought in to help investigate, leading to some surprisingly emotional moments as the threat escalates. The reveal of the villain took me by surprise, and this is an unexpectedly compelling story to end the run.

Overall, another four strong stories, although two of them suffer a bit by the strictures of the format.

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

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