When it comes to curating good anthologies, DC Comics does it very well which can be seen in Batman: Urban Legends nearly every month. The last issue features stories set in the future and this week a new batch of stories kick-off. Four stories, all part one or one-shots feature Batwoman, Azrael, Professor Pyg, and the Outsiders each in their own adventures.
Starting things off is “Disinformation Campaign” by Alyssa Wong and Vasco Georgiev with colors by Rain Beredo. A two-parter starting here, this book opens with Cassandra Cain murdering people in the streets. Cut to Batwoman slicing tomatoes with her sister Beth Kane looking on and still trying to control Red Alice from taking over her body. Batwoman knows Cassandra is innocent when questioned about her whereabouts, and so sets in motion a redemption story. The visuals are slick and the promise of more Red Alice is intriguing, to say the least.
This story gets creative with layout design, incorporating good layering of panels and story progression. There is a double-page layout that features the Bat logos of Cassandra and Batwoman in a cool way.
“Little Pyg. Little Pyg” by Christian Ward and letters by Steve Wands is the next story. A one-shot tale, Ward connects classic fairy tales to Pyg’s latest endeavors, but also how Batman always plans ahead. The visuals are dreamlike when Batman is on the page, or nightmarish and trippy with scenes involving Pyg. It’s a clever combination that is visually stunning.
Next is “Dark Knight of the Soul” by Dan Watters, Nikola Cizmesija, and Ivan Plascencia with letters by Ariana Maher. Kicking off a three-part story, Watters digs into Jean-Paul’s personality well. He’s a bit off, not quite a normal guy, but also not a villain by any means. The captions get inside his head well and show how he knows every crime a person might have committed and how God will judge them or connects to his thinking process. The costume looks great by Cizmesija and the letters by Maher do a lot in telling the story and mood of the character.
The book is wrapped up by Brandom Thomas, Cian Tormey, Raul Fernandez, Alejandro Sanchez, and Steve Wands in a story called “The Fearful.” This is a two-part story that goes all out with the fantasy elements and sci-fi details. Using time travel can always be tricky, but given the slick visuals and attention to the character it never comes off as false or cheap. There’s a variety of characters involved in this story that each have their own voice. The opening feels like I Am Legend, but it closes out like X-Men: Days of Future Past in the best of ways.
This is a good collection as each story varies wildly, digs into the minds of different kinds of characters, and offers up the beginning to multiple tales. Much like the entire series, Batman: Urban Legends continues to shine a light on lesser-used characters with strong results.
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