Batman: Urban Legends has been one of the most consistently well done comic books in DC Comics publishing line-up. This series has shown how an anthology ongoing series can work as we’ve seen a lot of great, talented creative teams developing different storylines involving the Batman Family and friends. In the latest main story arc we’ve seen Batman teaming up with Zatanna has brought out old wounds between the pair while trying to save the world. Along with that we have the ongoing stories involving the new Birds of Prey and Ace the Bathound also continuing. Let’s see how things go with Batman: Urban Legends #15
Writers: Vita Ayala (Batman & Zatanna: Bound To Our Will); Joey Esposito (Batman & Plastic Man: Bending The Rules); Che Grayson (Birds Of Prey: Memory Lane); Mark Russell (Hounded: Bear Witness)
Artists: Nikola Cizmesija (Batman & Zatanna: Bound To Our Will); Jason Howard (Batman & Plastic Man: Bending The Rules); Serg Acuña (Birds Of Prey: Memory Lane); Karl Mostert (Hounded: Bear Witness)
Colorists: Nick Filardi (Batman & Zatanna: Bound To Our Will); Ivan Plascencia (Birds Of Prey: Memory Lane); Trish Mulvihill (Hounded: Bear Witness)
With John Constantine’s help Bruce Wayne is able to take over Eos body to reach Zatanna. They discuss how if they bring down Celeste and Eos so they have to get to the side of The Rift where Batman and Constantine are stuck in.
While waiting for Zatanna to do what she needs to do Batman reveals to Constantine that in the past he turned Zatanna away even though she used their code word “Reviver,” which they agreed that they’ll drop everything to help each other out. Constantine says that while that sounds tough there is still time for Batman to repair his relationship with Zatanna.
Elsewhere Zatanna is able to sneak into where Celeste and Eos are at. Zatanna quickly creates a spell to hold Celeste and Eos in place. With Batman and Constantine’s help Zatanna is able to send Celeste and Eos to the other side of The Rift.
In the other side of The Rift Batman and Constantine face off against Celeste and Eos’ true forms. Zatanna immediately creates a spell that allows her to transfer her magic powers to Batman to help him out. End of main story.
Batman: Urban Legends #15 is another great example of how to do superhero anthologies right. Each story in this issue strikes a different tone depending on the cast being used. Even with two of the four stories involving Batman the stories all hit differently. At the same time, they all stay true to the world built around the Batman Family.
The first story with the ongoing adventure of Batman, Zatanna, and John Constantine works because of the chemistry of the three. Even with Zatanna split up from Batman and Constantine there is a lot of meaningful character development for all three characters. Vita Ayala and Nikola Cizmesija do a great job balancing how Batman and Zatanna are the leads of the story with Constantine there as a supporting character.
Diving into more of the big issue between Batman and Zatanna as we actually see the event that turned the latter on the former was very much needed. Ayala and Cizmesija are able to provide us with context as to why Batman and Zatanna have been acting the way they have to each other this entire story. In the process, thanks to some words of encouragement from Constantine, we get to a point where the once this story concludes the way Batman and Zatanna repair their relationship will be an organic development.
The only knock I have against the Batman and Zatanna story is that the main villains of Celeste and Eos continue to be dull, one-dimensional antagonist. There isn’t much depth to their characters. Even when trying to give them different personalities both come across as nothing more than random monsters of the week who are here so Batman and Zatanna have something to defeat, which isn’t helped by the character designs.
The second story with Batman and Plastic Man teaming up was a nice surprise. Joey Esposito and Jason Howard do a good job at tapping into the unique chemistry these two heroes that rarely team-up is. In taking on the KG Beast both characters get to shine with the different skill sets they bring to the table. That along with the banter they share makes me hope this isn’t the last time we see Plastic Man team-up with a member of the Batman Family.
Above the two Batman stories is the Birds of Prey story that continued in Batman: Urban Legends #15. Che Grayson and Serg Acuña have done really well in tapping into what the chemistry between Lady Shiva, Katana, Ghost, and Miracle Molly. These four are all people who would normally clash because of how different they are. Which we do see with how this Birds of Prey decide to handle what to do with Noah Grove once he is captured.
Because of all that Grayson and Acuña are able to deliver an impactful hook ending with Katana revealing that she joined this Birds of Prey team to take down Lady Shiva. This was an unexpected ending that is fitting for who Katana is. Lady Shiva has been such a prominent antagonist that Katana using this opportunity to have Shiva drop her guard long enough to deal a possible killing blow was well done. This ending further drove home how in this run of Batman: Urban Legends issues that the Birds of Prey story is the one I’m most invested in.
The Ace the Bathound story that wraps up Batman: Urban Legends #15 was one that I continue to be conflicted on. In terms of constructing a story Mark Russell and Karl Mostert is solid. Unfortunately I’m just not connecting to this story like I thought I would. Having Joker involved in this story does not help any as the tone just feels like it is conflict with itself in what type of story they want Ace to be involved in.
Batman: Urban Legends #15 was another strong issue in what is one of DC Comics best titles. All the creative teams involved tell stories that deliver something different to keep the reader engaged with what is going on. The chemistry between the different casts used in particular gets you invested in one, if not all, the stories in this issue.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10