Happy holidays everyone! With it being the holiday season we got plenty of new comic books coming out as we inch closer to the end of the year. This week in highlighting some of the releases from last week I’ll be taking a look at how Batman: Urban Legends #10 and Strange Academy #14 turned out.
Writers: Meghan Fitzmartin, Sam Johns, Dan Watters, and Tini Howard
Artists: Alberto Albuquerque Jimenez, Karl Mostert, Nikola Cizmesija, and Christian Duce
Colorists: Nick Filardi, David Baron, Ivan Plascencia, and Sarah Stern
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
The Good: Its no secret that my favorite version of the Batman Family is when they are working as a united unit. Whether that is as their superhero personas or regular lives, its always great to see them interacting with each other. That is where the Batman and Red Robin story by Meghan Fitzmartin and Alberto Albuquerque Jimenez and the Nightwing story by Tini Howard and Christian Duce really shine. Both creative teams explore how the relationships within the Batman Family are important to these characters. Adding in that both stories took place around the holiday season help make the impact be even greater.
The Batman and Red Robin main story by Fitzmartin and Jimenez did a great job at following up on Tim Drake starting a relationship with his friend Bernard. They did a good job using how Tim is trying to help Bruce, as he sees how tough of a time his mentor is having working as Batman alone, to add to the weight of the talk Tim is trying to have with him. Bruce showing thanks to Tim for being there for him and opening his eyes to the state of Gotham City made the moment when Bruce showed his support for Tim and Bernard’s relation a great way to end this story.
The Nightwing story by Howard and Duce also did a great job at digging more into how Dick Grayson has become such a workaholic since he returned. Between his work in Bludhaven, Gotham City, and Teen Titans Academy he has started to be Nightwing more than Dick Grayson. Using this as a launching point to have Nightwing go through his own version of A Christmas Carol was well done. It all coming back to the Batman Family creating a new tradition in the first Christmas together since Alfred Pennyworth’s death got me hoping we see a holiday story for the franchise every year.
The Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum story by Sam Johns and Karl Mostert also did a good job at wrapping up this storyline in Batman: Urban Legends. The first part of the story in the previous issue didn’t grab me but the storytelling very much improved. And surprisingly that improvement came with the way Batman got involve. He created that emotional investment in this story with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum that I didn’t expect to have when it started. But here I am actually caring about how Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum concluded in Batman: Urban Legends #10.
The Bad: Once again the Azrael story just does absolutely nothing for me. The character just does not grab me whatsoever. Which makes caring about what his journey has been in this storyline he got in Batman: Urban Legends not work to make me a fan of Azrael.
Overall: Batman: Urban Legends #10 is a great example of why the best version of the Batman Family is when they are united. The stories starring Batman, Red Robin, and Nightwing solidify this fact. In the process we get a lot of great character work that uses all the developments in their lives that makes this a can’t miss comic book for Batman fans.
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colorist: Edgar Delgado
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
The Good: This has been a crazy year for the Strange Academy. The previous arc was one of the most emotionally impactful. That impact continued in Strange Academy #14 as Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos explored the ramifications of what just took place with the students. And that is really where Strange Academy #14 shines. You do see how the events of the previous impacted the students differently. Some are able to go back to the daily life at Strange Academy while others are taking it much harder. Its this type of balance between all the characters where you see the relationships really shine.
Doyle and Calvin’s characters in particular get some major developments in Strange Academy #14 that could shape 2022 for this series in a big way. Each one has their own paths they are taking. Which is crazy to say that these two have such intriguing arcs since they were not the characters I was interested in when this series started. It just speaks to the magic that has been created with this series thus far.
It was also great to see Doctor Voodoo take a much more active role in this issue without Doctor Strange around. With the Death of Doctor Stranger event going on it is important to show that magicians like Doctor Voodoo will step-up to carry on the legacy. Doctor Voodoo is a great character and he showed throughout Strange Academy #14 that he is a great mentor for the students to have as they progress in the world of magic.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Strange Academy #14 closed out 2021 with a strong aftermath issue that creates even greater interest for the students and staff of the school going into the new year. Skottie Young and Humberto Ramos have really found their groove on this series that now even characters I didn’t like in the first few issue I found myself very invested in during this issue. Hopefully we continue to see this series develop all of the characters in this in great, unexpected ways.
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