Batman: Urban Legends #22 – Jamal Cambel, Yedoye Travis, Dennis Culver, Joey Esposito, Writers; Jamal Campbell, Lucas Silveira, Hayden Sherman, Vasco Georgiev, Artists; Adriano Lucas, Jordie Bellaire, Alex Guimaraes, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The penultimate issue of this anthology lands—and with it, two new stories kicking off.
First is the first of a two-part tale by writer-artist Jamal Campbell, focusing on Nightwing. Campbell’s art looks different here, less glossy than his usual style, and it works—reminding me a lot of the regular series both in style and tone. Dick is having a good time with his girlfriend and dog when a disturbing pattern emerges—someone is following him, creating a series of videos about him, and possibly engineering a series of crimes to draw his attention. As Dick investigates the mystery of this twisted “Director,” the story pulls in a series of other characters from around Gotham, building to a tense showdown that shows just how sick this mad auteur truly is. It’s a great exercise in building tension.
Next up is an interesting story titled “Utility,” by one-off creative team Yedoye Travis and Lucas Silveira. Focusing on Batman and Anarky’s rivalry and set years ago, it kicks off when some of Batman’s gear goes missing—and the citizens of Gotham start using it for their own self-defense. Anarky contacts Batman, making the case that maybe the citizens know what they’re doing—and challenges Batman to prove him wrong. Anarky is a little over-the-top here, but that’s part of his appeal, and this story makes me think killing him off recently was a mistake.
The second chapter of “Arkham Academy” by Dennis Culver and Hayden Sherman continues the story of the wannabe supervillains of Gotham as they go through a “scared straight” program run by a particularly shady doctor. This issue gives them an up-close meeting with Killer Croc, who doesn’t take particularly kindly to being mocked by the obnoxious “Lil Kitten.” When Croc gets loose of his restraints, things take an ugly turn. The only problem with this story is that so far, it doesn’t really feel like there’s anyone to root for.
Finally, the third chapter of “The Murder Club” by Esposito and Georgiev, and this story has had some wild stakes. Not only is Bruce chasing a mysterious assassin’s guild, but he’s dealing with his parents—returned through the timestream to see what their son has made of himself. This leads to an emotional confrontation with a much healthier Thomas Wayne than the one we’ve seen recently, and Alfred and Damian work to show Thomas exactly what Batman actually stands for. There are some great emotional moments in this issue, as well an an unexpected cliffhanger before the final chapter.
Overall, this is another excellent installment as we move toward the end.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.