Since this is my first BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL
review I figured I’d start off with my thoughts on the title overall. For better or for worse, I’ve read every issue of the title thus far, and it’s largely been a dull, confusing experience. Countless times during countless arcs, I’d ask myself “is this what this title is supposed to focus on?” or perhaps “DC cancelled BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT
Two things really kill my enjoyment of this title. First, the original vision for the series—illustrating key moments in Batman’s history -- is rarely ever followed. And second, just like LOTDK, once a story arc starts, you’re stuck with it for months -- even if it’s a real stinker. The only two arcs of BC that really shined in this format were “Wrath Child” (issues #13-16) and “A New Dawn” (issues #26-28).
Anyway, the reason I’m bringing this all up is because BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #49 doesn’t follow the rules of its predecessors -- and it’s one of the most enjoyable issues of the title I’ve read. Written by James Patrick (JOKER’S ASYLUM: HARLEY QUINN) and illustrated by Steve Scott (THE PHANTOM), this is a one-shot tale that explores how Batman analyzes a crime scene and catches the bad guy. No flying cars, no multiple Caped Crusaders, and no Omega Sanctions. It’s just Batman. And that’s a good feeling.
James Patrick’s story here is a shining example of what BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL could be in the DC lineup. With more “one-and-done” stories like this, it could easily become the quintessential “just give me good Batman stories with Bruce Wayne” title. And as good as the writing is, Steve Scott’s pencils and David Baron’s colors really bring the story to life. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the stunning Andy Kubert cover!
It should go without saying that I really, really enjoyed this issue. If DC keeps this up, the title could finally come into its own. Too bad this only seemed to be a fill-in issue, as BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL picks up next month with a five-issue arc detailing the Dark Knight’s first encounters with super-powered beings. Not exactly my cup of tea, but it’s being drawn by Jerry Bingham (BATMAN: SON OF THE DEMON), so it could be pretty cool. Either way, I’ll see you back here in five months!