Batman: Urban Legends #16 Review – All About Family

Since the eleventh issue of this series we’ve had two different 6 part stories running at the same time. With Batman: Urban Legends #16 marks the end of the big story arcs involving Batman, Zatanna, and Ace the Bathound. This issue also marks the end of the three part story involving the new incarnation of the Birds of Prey that include Katana, Lady Shiva, Miracle Molly, and Ghost for the roster. With three different story arcs ending will they all conclude in a satisfying way? Let’s find out with Batman: Urban Legends #16.


Writers: Vita Ayala (Batman & Zatanna: Bound To Our Will); Josh Trujillo (Batman & Alfred: Some Things Remain); Che Grayson (Birds Of Prey: Memory Lane); Mark Russell (Ace The Bat-Hound: Hounded)

Artists: Nikola Cizmesija and Hayden Sherman (Batman & Zatanna: Bound To Our Will); Rosi Kampe (Batman & Alfred: Some Things Remain); Serg Acuna (Birds Of Prey: Memory Lane); Karl Mostert (Ace The Bat-Hound: Hounded)

Colorists: Nick Filardi (Batman & Zatanna: Bound To Our Will); Marissa Louise (Batman & Alfred: Some Things Remain); Ivan Plascencia (Birds Of Prey: Memory Lane); Trish Mulvihill (Ace The Bat-Hound: Hounded)


The merged Batman and Zatanna along with John Constantine fight off Celeste and Eos. Eventually they get enough distance for Constantine to hold Celeste and Eos off while Batman and Zatanna time to close the rift. With this Constantine and Batman are able to make it back to the regular world.

With Dr. Fate, Madam Xanadu, and Circe’s help Zatanna is able to close the rifts around the world.

At Safehouse 342, Bruce Wayne opens up to Zatanna that he is not looking to make a excuse for why he turned her away in the past when she asked for help. Bruce goes on to explain that at the time he was stuck in a vacuum of his own creation while trying to figure out who and what he was.

Zatanna says that Bruce can’t take all the responsibility for their fractured friendship as it is a two way street to make things work as friends. Zatanna says she will do her part to make their friendship something they don’t fail at again. Bruce and Zatanna hug while each saying “Always Reviver.”

Zatanna calls out Bruce Wayne so he understands they should be equals in their friendship they kill each other in Batman: Urban Legends #16. Credit: DC Comics

Later, at the Hall of Justice, as Aquaman invites Green Arrow and Black Canary over for dinner, while making an unintentional joke Oliver finds funny, Batman starts walking away. Superman stops Batman out of concern but Zatanna reveals that they just have to leave to attend a family dinner that the Robins and Batgirls are “cooking.”

In Gotham City, Bruce and Zatanna join Barbara Gordon, Duke Thomas, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Cassandra Cain for a dinner of take out food as a family. End of main story.


There is a formula that has been refined over the course of Batman: Urban Legends. Even with how many story arcs Batman: Urban Legends #16 was closing out there is a balance struck so no one story overshadows the other. The balance was here so even the one-shot story we get with Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth does come across as out of place. Each story has a purpose that serves an overall narrative of pushing characters forward.

The main story with Batman and Zatanna gets its strongest chapter in its six-part story. Even as the leading story of the last five Batman: Urban Legends issues the Batman and Zatanna story has been okay in comparison. There have certainly solid elements to this lead story as whenever Vita Ayala focused on Bruce and Zatanna’s dynamic the writing really shined.

It’s been on the threat they are facing that has left a lot to be desired. That weakness in the lead story does not change with this final chapter. Luckily the story with Celeste and Eos was only focused on for a third of this final chapter. And the 9 pages we do get to wrap this clash up worked well to showcase the Zatanna and Constantine’s magic powers.

From there the rest of the final chapter appropriately focuses on the strength of “Bound To Our Will” storyline, which was the exploration on the status of Bruce and Zatanna’s relationship. Ayala does a very good job making sure the focus of this relationship exploration was on Bruce and Zatanna coming into this story with a broken friendship. The impact of how contentious things have been between them was felt throughout this story and it was great that both were able to address this as adults.

What I particularly liked about how Ayala handled things is that she got across how both Bruce and Zatanna are to blame for how things have been between them. Though Bruce tries to take the full blame on why their friendship broke it was good that Zatanna called him out on trying to take agency away from her. Zatanna’s dialogue in this case was carefully chosen so that Bruce eyes were open to how they both share a friendship that is of two equals, which wouldn’t be the case if Bruce took full responsibility on the past. This made the ending with the BatFamily dinner work even better as Bruce does view Zatanna not just as another one of his superhero friends but as part of his family.

On the family note, the Ace the Bat-Hound story, “Hounded,” similarly ended on its strongest chapter with both Batman and Ace having a full conclusion to their respective arcs. The emphasis was certainly on Ace as he was the driver of this story. In that respect we do see how Ace stands on his own and as a leader of the other Superpets. By the end you do sense how there is a stronger bond formed between Bruce and Ace, which is emphasized with Karl Mostert drew both of them while standing next to each other.

The story that was more on the passable side was Josh Trujillo and Rosi Kampe’s Batman and Alfred Pennyworth story, “Some Things Remain.” The story was solid for what it was as both Bruce and Alfred are written well in this flashback story. What didn’t work is that it was just another Batman story when we already had two six part stories that dealt with Bruce’s family. I would’ve much rather had preferred if Trujilo and Kampe’s story involved other members of the Batman Family like Duke Thomas or Tim Drake in the present day.

Miracle Molly calms Katana and Lady Shiva down before they kill each other in Batman: Urban Legends #16. Credit: DC Comics

Che Grayson and Serg Acuna finale to their Birds of Prey storyline, “Memory Lane,” is a good example that not every story in each issue of Batman: Urban Legends requires Batman to be part of it. In using Katana, Lady Shiva, Miracle Molly, and Ghost for their story Grayson and Acuna are able to give us a different look at how things work in Gotham City. Which also allows the creative team to explore the unique dynamics of this cast, as we see how high tensions continued to be between Katana and Lady Shiva.

What I particularly enjoyed with how things ended for “Memory Lane” was the twist involving Miracle Molly. It’s refreshing to learn that Miracle Molly won’t simply be another reformed villain that becomes an ally for the Batman Family. Setting up Miracle Molly up to be a character that could play either side is a much more interesting angle to take her story. It certainly provides a strong potential for what role Miracle Molly could serve when she appears in any of the Batman comics in the future.

That said, I hope that if we do see this incarnation of the Birds of Prey in the future that we at least see Huntress join the team, possibly as the leader. It just felt off even in this ending that Barbara Gordon, Dinah Lance, and Helena Bertinelli were left out of this story using the Birds of Prey name. With Huntress not appearing in any other series at the moment she would work well as the leader of a continuing Birds of Prey alongside Katana, Lady Shiva, and Ghost.


Batman: Urban Legends #16 does a good job closing out the long running team-up story between Batman and Zatanna as well as the Ace The Bat-Hound led story. These two stories along with the Birds of Prey story, that also concluded in this issue, all provided good insight into the characters involved. Hopefully in future Batman: Urban Legends comics we see more of a balance with the rest of the BatFamily used so that Batman isn’t forced to be involved with every story in this anthology.

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10