The Urban Legend (comics)

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The Urban Legend
The Urban Legend (comics).png
Art by: Steve Baker (Newtasty design)
Publication information
PublisherGyldendal Forlag
First appearanceJanuary, 2012
Created byJosef Tzegai Yohannes
In-story information
Alter egoMalcolm Tzegai Madiba
  • Extraordinary strength, speed and agility
  • Genius-level intellect
  • Master martial artist and hand-to-hand combatant
  • Peak human physical and mental conditioning
  • Expert tactician and strategist

The Urban Legend is an Eritrean/Norwegian comic book series created by Josef Tzegai Yohannes with art by "NewTasty" (Steve Baker). It features a black superhero that uses martial arts skills to fight street crime.

Publication History[edit]

The Premiere Issue of The Urban Legend, titled “The Birth of a True Superhero,” was originally published by Josef Yohannes in January, 2012 in Norway.[1]

In 2013 the 1st 8 issues of season 1 of The Urban Legend was released.[2]

The Urban Legend - Season 1- “A Real Superhero in the Making” compilation book was released in October 2014 through Gyldendal Forlag. It consists of the 8 first issues of TUL. Season 2 of The Urban Legend was released in 2015 through Bestselgerforlaget and consisted of 6 issues.

In addition to the regular series, The Urban Legend also releases special edition issues, including issues about education, ebola, and bullying.[3]

The Urban Legend collaborated with The Malala Fund and 20th Century Fox for the release of the documentary movie "He named me Malala,” as Malala was featured in The Urban Legend in a one-page comic strip with The Urban Legend, which was released with the movie and is part of school curriculum.[4]

Character Biography and Synopsis[edit]

Malcolm Tzegai Madiba is a 29-year-old high school teacher in the fictional city of Capital City (also known as the City of God). Corruption has forced the city to near-bankruptcy. With the police force cut back, crime has taken over the city. After the murder of his cousin, Malcolm adopts the alter-ego of The Urban Legend, a crime-fighting superhero committed to justice and protecting the innocent.[5][6][7]

Season 1[edit]

Cover of Season #1 (compilation book)

When Malcolm's friend, a local business owner, is robbed and assaulted, Malcolm is troubled that the assailant has not been arrested or charged. That night, the assailant, Young Evil, discusses a money laundering plan with nightclub owner Sugar Bear. They are interrupted by Justin, one of Sugar Bear's employees. Worried that Justin knows too much, Young Evil and his gang of thugs kill him in an alley near the club later that night. The next day, Malcolm learns that Justin – his cousin – has been murdered. Overcome with grief and burning with a desire for revenge, Malcolm swears that the criminals will pay. Shortly after, a young female newspaper journalist who's been covering the crimes is cornered by Young Evil and his gang on the street. Before he can assault her, Malcolm, as the Urban Legend in a yellow and black costume, jumps in to fight Young Evil and his thugs using martial arts. When police sirens are heard, the injured criminals run off, leaving the journalist unhurt and alone as Malcolm slips away, covering his suit with a long coat. Subsequently, a bounty is put on Malcolm's head, leading to the kidnapping of his friend Matin. After besting Young Evil in a showdown and saving Matin, a young reporter named Sarah Parks makes Malcolm into a hero of the people. In revenge, Young Evil lures him to a showdown with the monster Manchild, who nearly kills him. After recovering in the care of his friend Mr. Fong, he faces Manchild again. When Fong is captured, Malcolm travels to China, then Japan, to rescue him. After a successful showdown with the Seven Deadly Assassins, Malcolm returns to Capital City. After Malcolm's return, he is homeless and has lost his job as a teacher because he has been away from work too long. The city is in worse turmoil than ever. A female villain by the name La Madrina (Godmother in Spanish), has her eye on ruling the criminal underworld, so is killing powerful men in the criminal underworld by seducing them. She also gets Malcolm's job as a teacher by flirting with the school principal Mannerheim. On Malcolm's first day back at school, there is an explosion. Shortly after, the Mayor is assassinated while giving a speech assuring the people that everything is under control, leading to riots in the streets of Capital City. It's all a conspiracy led by crooked cops and the Nationalist Citizen Council to trap TUL and get rid of him once and for all.

Season 2[edit]

After being set up by the crime bosses, Malcolm is sent to Bush Penitentiary as riots fill Capital City and Sarah Parks is kidnapped. After his escape, Malcolm faces new enemies, La Madrina and “The Suburban Myth.” Thinking Malcolm is dead after he fell for their trap, The Suburban Myth goes on a rampage. Malcolm goes to Norway with his new girlfriend, Lise, where he gets pulled into a war between the police and the gang B-Gjengen. When Malcolm is framed for murder, Oslo goes into full mayhem. The city is saved by The Urban Legend, but not before Lise is killed. A grieving Malcolm escapes to a rural village, where he finds that he is connected to the town's mysterious folklore. The Suburban Myth and La Madrina think they have killed The Urban Legend after they set him up in a trap. La Madrina leaves town believing her job is done, but he isn't dead. The Suburban Myth goes on a rampage and The Urban Legend must use everything in his power to stop him.

Supporting Characters[edit]

  • Matin: Malcolm's friend and co-worker at Tubman High
  • Marco: A good cop and Malcolm's friend
  • Mr. Fong: Local grocery store owner and friend of Malcolm
  • Sarah Parks: Freelance journalist for the local newspaper
  • Walter Griffin: The Mayor of Capital City
  • Lise: Malcolm's girlfriend
  • The Devil's Advocate: The leader of the criminal underworld
  • Young Evil: Thug and nephew of Devil's Advocate
  • Mr. Carter: Devil's Advocate's unscrupulous lawyer
  • Detective Fletcher: Corrupt cop on Devil's Advocate's payroll
  • Sugar Bear: Sleazy nightclub owner and criminal
  • La Madrina
  • The Suburban Myth
  • B-Gjengen


The initial run of the premiere issue of The Urban Legend, “The Birth of a True Superhero,” sold out in Norway. It made international debut at Comic Con International in San Diego in July 2012.[8]


The series was inspired by a trip to Africa, when Yohannes, who is of Eritrean heritage, saw poor children playing and decided to create a hero for children of African descent all over the world to look up to.[5][9]

In June 2015, The Urban Legend did a collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center for their 10 years anniversary.[10]


  1. ^ Snorre Bryne (January 28, 2012). "Her er Norges første superhelt" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  2. ^ Brian Truitt (October 11, 2013). "Arch Enemy rolls out second wave of daily digital comics". USA Today. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Lærer barn om ebola" (in Norwegian). Akers Avis Groruddalen. May 22, 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. ^ Espen H. Rusdal (January 2, 2016). "To superhelter møtes" (in Norwegian). Dagsavisen. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b Brian Truitt (October 15, 2013). "'The Urban Legend' fights crime on the mean streets". USA Today. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  6. ^ Brian Truitt (April 25, 2014). "New 'Urban Legend' issue reveals 'conflicted' hero". USA Today. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  7. ^ Sveinung Stoveland (December 9, 2015). "Malala blir tegneseriefigur i norsk serie" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  8. ^ Av Mattias Mellquist (October 28, 2015). "Jeg svarte kritikerne mine med å gjøre superhelten min enda svartere" (in Norwegian). Vestby Avis. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Creator of "The Urban Legend" becomes Mandela Ambassador". The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria. October 7, 2014. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  10. ^ Espen H. Rusdal (January 5, 2015). "Feirer heltene" (in Norwegian). Dagsavisen. Retrieved 14 June 2016.

External links[edit]