Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Batman: Urban Legends #9 Review


Writer: Sam Johns, Brandon Thomas, Dan Watters, Alyssa Wong
Artist: Nikola Cizmesija, Vasco Georgiev, Karl Mostert, Cian Tormey
Cover Price: $7.99
Release Date: November 9, 2021

I was into this book big time when we were getting the Red Hood and Grifter stories at the beginning, but it's hit or miss for me since those both ended.  This month we continue one story I am interested in and get a one-shot that surprised me.  Does that equal out to a banger of an issue?  Let's find out...

The story I am interested in is the first one, which features Batwoman and Red Alice.  I love just about everything Kate Kane, and that is even more so when her sister, Beth, shows up.  Alyssa Wong does a good job setting up the sisterly bond for those not in the know, and after the last issue, it's obvious Beth is putting everything on the line, including her sanity, to help her sister.

The actual story involving Anti-Oracle/Seer is not that interesting, but that's just because Seer is not that interesting, to begin with, and feels oversaturated in these tie-ins by now.  However, I like how Wong writes her main characters and would love to see a Batwoman book by her down the road.  If we get it, though, it better include Beth because Wong writes her and her struggle well.

The following story is a Tweedle Dee and Twiddle Dum story by Sam Johns that fits the phrase, "I didn't know I needed this!"  We open with a flashback to their last big score, and I have to admit, I rolled my eyes when I first read it.  But then Johns takes us to the present, and the story turns on the feels big time!  You could look at this as a rip on our healthcare systems or the failure to help and rehabilitate those who need it the most, but to me, it's about brothers looking out for each other and the heartbreak of not being able to do enough.  This one brought up some emotions I didn't know where even there, especially for these characters!

Dan Waters is up next, continuing his Azrael story, and unless you are a big fan of the character, there isn't much going on here.  I guess it's a prequel to his Akham City book, but nothing has happened that makes it a must-read for that.  It has a Task Force Z feel to it (and an odd editor's note that doesn't want to commit fully), but not enough to make it feel necessary.  What it felt like the most to me was a boring Azrael story that I would usually skip.

The issue ends with the finale to Brandon Thomas' Outsiders story, which could have used a bit more information and a less convoluted plot because it was hard to keep track of what was going on by the end.  I thought this would be THE story to diverge from Future State's possible future, but it ended up smaller than that.  It looked great, but overall, I think Thomas had too many ideas and not enough of a clear path to tell them, which made this whole thing an utter mess.  

While the art was outstanding throughout this issue and was a plus overall, the Azrael and Outsiders stories were big disappointments and took away the momentum that opened the book.  If you are an Azrael fan or could take anything positive from the last story, your score will easily be higher than mine.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman Urban Legends #9 has two good stories, but unless you are an Azrael fan or can make something out of the Outsiders, there is an equal amount of hit and miss.  I liked the art throughout and enjoyed the sisterly interactions in the Batwoman story by Alyssa Wong and the brotherly love in the Sam Johns' Tweedle Dee one.


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