Batman: Urban Legends #19 [Part Two] - DC Comics

Batman: Urban Legends #19 [Part Two] - DC Comics
BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS No. 19, November 2022
Providing Alfred Pennyworth with plenty of pathos and personality, Chris Burnham’s script for “On The Hook” certainly must have pleased anyone with even a passing interest in H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. For whilst the butler’s extremely engaging investigation into the theft of some jade jewellery is easily entertaining in its own right as the manservant desperately attempts to discern some meaning from all the clues he slowly uncovers. The ten-page plot debatably ramps up to another level once his informant Mollie starts talking about immigrant whalers discovering an ancient treasure deep within the belly of a malformed marine mammal, and it’s chilling connection to the aquatic deity Dagon.

In addition, the comic book artist does a first-rate job in permeating his pencilling of “The Pennyworth Files” with all manner of tentacles, nervous glimpses into shadowy corners and mysterious fish-faced stalkers. These side-glances, moments of haunting doubt and resolute bravado genuinely help imbue all this narrative’s cast with plenty of intriguing emotion, and will arguably cause many in the audience to sympathetically sigh with relief at the instalment’s end when Bruce Wayne’s determined employee realises he no longer needs to risk his life by covertly infiltrating “the D’Agostino Murder Manor”. But rather visit the Headless Mummy of Dagon display at the Gotham City Museum instead; “I’ll take an elder god over the mafia any day!”

Equally as mesmerising due to its detailed insight into the World’s Greatest Detective is “Leather Bound” by Brandon Easton, which doubtless provided this anthology’s audience with many a nightmare concerning giant reptiles feasting upon human limbs in unpleasant smelling sewer systems. Initially hinting at perhaps a team-up between Batman and the villainous Killer Croc, the Baltimore-born writer instead rather excitingly establishes a traumatic three-way battle, where the Dark Knight must defeat both Waylon Jones’ super-strong alter-ego, and simultaneously track down a mysterious maniac who is obsessed with skinning his four-legged victims’ scaly hides.

Artist Will Robson should also be given a resonant round of applause for his contribution to this twenty-two page thriller, with his depiction of the Caped Crusader proving particularly memorable. However, it is probably the illustrator’s incredibly detailed drawings of all this terrifying tale’s numerous cold-blooded killers which will linger in any perusing bibliophile’s memory, courtesy of some imaginative panels showing massively-mouthed crocodiles, komodo dragons and snakes all desperately trying to take a chunk out of Bill Finger’s co-creation.

The regular cover art of "BATMAN: URBAN LEGENDS" #19 by Dike Ruan

* This article was originally published here


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