Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Batman: Urban Legends #8 Review


Biggest Book Ever?

Writer: Brandon Thomas, Dan Watters, Christian Ward, Alyssa Wong
Artist: Vasco Georgiev, Cian Tormey, Nikola Cizmesija, Christian Ward
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: October 12, 2021

I was worried that after Chip Zdarsky's Red Hood story ended, this book would no longer have the spark it started with.  That has 100% happened, and I am still waiting for something else to make this a must-read.  I love Batwoman, so I'm hoping that may do the trick as she leads the charge this month.  Let's jump into it and see if this issue gets this book back on my pull list...

Alyssa Wong starts things off with her Batwoman story, and while I am a fan of her Doctor Aphra book over at Marvel, this beginning (it's a two-parter) felt a bit off.  It's a Fear State tie-in that has Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) set up by Anti-Oracle (called Seer here for the first time) to look like a murderer.  Wong throws everything a Batwoman fan would want into the story... Kate's sister Beth / Red Alice, Rene Montoya, but it all feels messy and a bit off-center.  I hope the second issue tightens things up because the ending sets up some big things for Kate and Beth.

Next up is a one-shot Professor Pyg story by Christian Ward that felt like it was trying to grab the vibe from Tom King's Batman, specifically the Nightmares arc.  I liked this just as much as the Nightmares arc,  which means not at all.  Here, readers get a Professor Pyg story told as a fairy tale where Batman becomes the Big Bad Wolf by the end. But, again, it's reminiscent of another King Batman issue (Batman #57) as the story is framed as Thomas Wayne reading it to his young son, who learns those who prepare are the ones that win.  It's a one-shot with a unique art style but probably won't be remembered a day after reading.

Next up is Dan Watters, with what seems like a prequel to his new Arkham City book in a story featuring Azrael.  It serves as a good transition piece for Jean-Paul, coming after his space adventures in Justice League Odyssey, but the art style and writing just made me bored reading it. However, readers unfamiliar with Azrael will get the gist of the character as he trades bible verses with a dying man and comes face-to-face with Batman and worse.  The ending promises some undead action, and that's a cool angle for Azrael to get involved with.

The last story is the continuation of the Outsiders story that Brandon Thomas has written since Future State.  Cian Tormey's art was impressive, and this may turn out to be the most crucial story in the DCU right now.  I wish it were a bit easier to get into, though.  It's a time travel story with the elemental Black Lightning trying to fix things so that Future State never happens.  I am all for that!  But, as I said, it's chaotic and hard to follow, but hopefully, that's by design in this first part of the story.  Thomas has so many ideas going at once, and the whole thing gets lost in itself.  Still, this is my favorite story of the bunch because it could be huge!

Readers picking up this book know what to expect, and while I didn't love everything here, the Outsiders story could end up being a must-read.  I am glad that we are getting back to ongoing stories and even the ones I didn't like much here have the opportunity to get better as they progress.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman Urban Legends #8 is another mixed bag of sound art and okay stories.  Whether you like it or not will depend on your character and creative team tastes, but that's how anthologies go. However, the Outsiders story could have a huge impact on the DCU, so it's something to check out.


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