Urban Legends is consistently one of the best books I have the pleasure of reviewing. Especially with the last few, we’ve been given nothing but banger after banger stories, and there’s ZERO signs of slowing down here. In fact, I’m so excited about these, I can’t think of a proper intro. Let’s jump in.
Castle Arkham: On Haunted Wings
I absolutely loved this story. It’s a bit longer than your usual Urban Legends fare, but every extra page is worth it. A version of Batman acting as a Victorian monster hunter? Yes please! There’s a real appeal to seeing Batman stories set in different time periods, but something about the addition of fantasy elements really seals the deal here. The story itself is incredibly compelling, with an injured Batman being forced to deal with a mysterious new (and very eldritch) threat to Arkham, the dilapidated city run by various wealthy families, including the Waynes, Falcones, and Vales. The characters are fun and compelling, the action is incredible, and the pacing and intrigue keeps you wanting more every step of way. Bravo, Jim Zub.
The art is great here too, Max Dunbar’s designs and storytelling skills are on full display. The colors are stunning, which is no surprise, given Romulo Fajardo Jr. is on the job. All around great story that I don’t want to talk too much about for fear of ruining it somehow.
The Pennyworth Files: Chapter Three: Out of the Frying Pan
Chris Burnham does it again, folks! Alfred’s tangle with the terrifying continues as he hunts for ancient eldritch artifacts. As he faces down both treasure hunters and the Cult of Dagon, the story follows Alfred as he works with Sam, a museum security guard, to stop the Black Harpoon from acquiring the final key to the location of the temple of Dagon.
This issue isn’t a very plot-heavy one, mostly consisting of a big action scene and some smaller (perfect) Alfred moments, but it’s a pretty satisfying end to the Pennyworth Files. I’ll be sad to see this one go.
Okay. I’m going to be honest. This story made me cry.
This is hands down my favorite of the bunch this issue, Nadia Shammas absolutely knocked it out of the park. The general premise here is that Damian Wayne is injured, and Talia al Ghul has come to check on him. What ensues is the perfect co-parenting argument between Bruce and Talia, all culminating in one of the most beautiful moments I think Talia and Damian have had in a while, a chance for Talia to break down some of her walls that she’s had recently, and revert to a caring mother like she was in the beginning. It’s heartfelt, touching, and a wonderful story about superhero parenting.
The art is nothing to scoff at, either. Jahnoy Lindsay draws one of my favorite Talias I’ve ever seen. The combat in this issue is fluid and dynamic, it’s like watching a dance in the best way possible. Incredible work all around.
The Murder Club: Part One
Another long story, “The Murder Club” follows Batman, years ago, through a series of murders of Gotham’s wealthy elite. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of the multi-part stories in this book, but this one actually feels interesting. It’s written like a proper mystery, with Batman being just as in the dark as the audience, and it’s nice to see him do detective work. The twist at the end seems a little hokey, but I’m enthralled enough with the rest of the story to stay tuned for what’s happening next, which is always the mark of a great book!
The art in this one is also stunning, The color palette swaps when the story cuts away from Bruce are incredible, atmospheric, and perfectly capture that mystery vibe. Penguin’s design is also fun! It’s very reminiscent of Tim Burton’s take on the character, which I’m usually not a huge fan of outside of Batman Returns, but I think it works here. The framing of panels and angles of shots throughout are also masterfully crafted to keep the tension and suspense high, compelling the reader to turn the page.
- You’ve been enjoying Urban Legends so far.
- Castlevania meets Batman sounds right up your alley.
- You want to see some decent Talia mom moments!
This was a great issue. I continue to be surprised by what people put in these books, and I can’t wait for more.
Overall Score: 8/10
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this issue for the purposes of this review.