Batman: Urban Legends #18 is a good jumping-on point for new readers, with new stories kicking off in this anthology alongside on-shots. All told, there are five stories featuring different characters like Signal, Tim Drake, Alfred, Etrigan, and more. It’s a grab bag, but a satisfying package.
The opening story by Brandon Thomas and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque features Signal and the intense pressure he puts on himself to not make mistakes. This is the longest story in the anthology and a great way to start it, offering a satisfying arc for Signal. His teammates start to notice he’s getting a bit tense around certain things while the reader knows full well he’s doing way too much with school, training, superhero work, and trying to find his kidnapped mom.
The story moves at a good pace that builds towards a confrontation between Signal, Batman, and the Outsiders satisfyingly and believably. Thomas clearly understands how Signal is feeling, and he reacts accordingly. There’s a nice message in this tale about knowing when to ask for help or when to give it that should resonate with readers as well.
Next up is the Etrigan story by Henry Barajas and Serg Acuña in a story that’s gritty and a bit noir. Acuña is an artist to watch, and having read Flash 2022 Annual early, he continues to impress here. This is the kind of story that wouldn’t exist without an anthology series offering space for it as it’s a bit niche with its magic characters. It offers a decent story that feels messy but wraps up after a few pages.
Alfred takes center stage in the next tale written and drawn by Chris Burnham. This story works well thanks to how Burnham writes Alfred as a man of patience and good manners. He meets people and takes time with them, and means to help others no matter what. Burnham puts a lot of detail into backgrounds, like the cracks in streets or the baubles in a shop. Smash-cuts to Batman’s adventures when Alfred calls for help are also excellently done. Nathan Fairbairn’s colors add richness to scenes like warm oranges and yellows, with stark contrasts lifting Burnham’s lines. The story ends in a way that’ll have you returning for more next issue.
Next, Batman and Robin go on a done-in-one adventure by Tini Howard and Black M. Howard with art by Max Raynor. This is an enjoyable read thanks to how the Howards layer in Batman’s troubles losing Jason and his overprotectiveness of Tim Drake. There are some nice lessons thrown in by Batman that reveal him as a parental figure. This story also features an interesting villain. The captions can read a bit overly done at times, dragging the story down a bit, but the overall message is well done.
Hi-Fi colors the story, complementing Raynor’s fantastic art. You’ll drool over the Batmobile full-page spread as he barrels down on Arkham Asylum. The costumes always look detailed and on point with solid character acting throughout.
Rounding out the anthology issue is “Belle & Beau” by Greg Hahn and Mike Norton. This is a fun caper story with art that suits the style of the characters. Batman shows up and looks great, and the story rounds out with a message about Batman not being a total stickler for every person who commits a crime. This is another story that wraps up by further delivering a satisfying conclusion.
All told, Batman: Urban Legends #18 is a fun collection of tales. Its opening Signal story is going to hook you while the done-in-one tales add up to satisfying side adventures.
Join the AIPT Patreon
Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:
- ❌ Remove all ads on the website
- 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
- 📗 Access to our monthly book club
- 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
- 💥 And more!