Writer: Vita Ayala, Ram V, Mohale Mashigo, and Mark Russell
Art: Nikola Čižmešija, Anand Radhakrishan, Arist Deyn, Karl Mostert, Nick Filardi, Steve Wands, John Pearson, Aditya Bidikar, Saida Temofonte, and Trish Mulvihill
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 11th, 2022
Vita Ayala and Nikola Čižmešija conjure up their talents to tell a tale that could alter BATMAN and ZATANNA’S relationship for years to come. And following the aftermath of FEAR STATE, the bizarre connection between Ghost-Maker and Wight Witch is finally uncovered by Ram V. Additionally, fans get to revisit who Chris Freeman is while Ace the Bat-Hound takes center stage as we possibly get the formation of the DC SUPER PETS! All this and so much more in this week’s BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11. Let’s dive right in!
BATMAN AND ZATANNA
Vita Ayala gives fans a mini trip down memory lane with BATMAN and ZATANNA that turns into something a bit more under the surface. Hints of young romance flicker as magical spells that could send shockwaves across the Earth echo throughout the issue. Nevertheless, readers learn little about what this exceedingly large magical opening is or why it’s connected to BATMAN and ZATANNA. Nevertheless, Ayala’s largest missteps within the issue were actually with her portrayal of SUPERMAN as some type of Dad upset that his daughter (ZATANNA) was “going on a date” with BATMAN.
It was weird and out of character for everyone involved. Plus, Nikola Čižmešija provides some more cartoonish renderings that even caused BATMAN’S cowl and eyes to change shapes along with his emotional tendencies, which is again out of character for BATMAN. He shows no emotion. And, take a good look at SUPERMAN in this story and tell me what looks weird about him physically?
Ram V hooks up fans with some background on Simon Saint’s personal assassin who resembles many parallels to a combination of the MCU’s Ghost and Taskmaster. Now, who better to explore this character than Ram V. Why? Well, he is the one who originally explored the character in CATWOMAN #29 branching out of FEAR STATE.
Now, anyone who has followed FEAR STATE, Simon Saint, or even Wight Witch knows she is an extremely deadly new villain on the scene. However, Ram V uses this issue of BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11 to explore her background with some incredibly intriguing twists that make the character even more unique as well as a mystery.
However, I sadly wasn’t a huge fan of Anand Radhakrishan’s almost charcoal drawing style. It was too dark to see specific elements of the issue and overall less detailed. Yet, when given the opportunity to focus and zoom in on characters’ faces, Radhakrishan really could provide some thorough detail. And, this style added to the level of fog and haziness the Wight Witch was encompassed in throughout the issue. Therefore, I get the tactic but wasn’t a huge fan.
Surprisingly, this was the story I was least looking forward to yet found myself attracted to the most. Long story short, KID ETERNITY is back… and he hasn’t really been around since 2012. So, it’s been quite a hiatus making Chris Freeman somewhat of a new adventure to endeavor. Moreover, he’s reasonably obscure which could be enticing to those looking for something brand new.
Now, as of this installment, he won’t refer to himself as KID ETERNITY. So if anything, the story feels like a partial reboot… yet it’s not. Additionally, his focus is in the realm of the supernatural. So, if that genre tickles your fancy, I recommend diving in. But ultimately, you learn all you really need about the character within this small introduction along with an ending that sets up nicely for the next issue of BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11. Furthermore, Mohale Mashigo does a fantastic job hooking new readers to the character while Arist Deyn provides illustrations and colors that are easy on the eyes. No, this single story isn’t worth the cover price but it will most certainly help.
ACE THE BAT-HOUND
Anyone who’s read practically any review of mine would know that I’m a Mark Russell fan. And yes, I know he oftentimes mixes social constructs with character interpretations to blend together aspects that many wouldn’t deem up to snuff for the comic clientele. However, when he chooses elements and characters that are more obscure, it fits well within his wheelhouse.
Well, Ace the Bat-Hound takes center stage as BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11 comes to a close in dynamic fashion. If you happen to be a dog lover who’s also a comic book fan, this story is right up your alley. Russell gives a new (possibly never developed) backstory for Ace and divulges someone unique bonding between BATMAN and the Bat-Hound. Sure, BATMAN’S voice is a bit off. However, I didn’t mind it too much. I actually enjoyed this version of BATMAN the most throughout the entire issue of BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11.
Yet the true star of this story wasn’t Russell. It was by and large the art led by Karl Mostert. His version of Ace is outstanding. He’s an incredibly large, almost monstrous German Shepherd that can’t be denied. The action scenes involving Ace were detailed with teeth and jaws on display. Plus, it’s almost as if Ace was drawn confident and stoic at that same time. And readers will discover Ace has experienced some pain in his life which helps provide that sense of stoicism. But together with Russell’s story, I left wanting this dynamic duo to have their own ongoing. I don’t want a mini… I want an ongoing. This was by far the best story of BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11 and makes this issue pretty darn close to the price of admission.
BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND #11 continues to bring its variety of BATMAN/Gotham-related stories to light in new and creative ways. This week, readers get a little Simon Saint, KID ETERNITY, Ace the Bat-Hound, and a ZATANNA team-up to boot. BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND does exactly what any anthology should do and so much more. This is the perfect time to jump on BATMAN: URBAN LEGEND since each story is just starting at ground zero. There really is no better time to hop on this bandwagon. If you’re looking for a reason, I highly recommend the “Ace the Bat-Hound” story followed up closely by “Eternity”. Both stories have a unique skill set and potential to be something more on their own that I think DC COMICS should look into and explore. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!