Author: John Bierly
Thursday, December 18, 2008

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS: "'Rights' part 3 of 4! In an attempt to gain insight into this new kind of criminal The Joker represents in Gotham, Batman goes undercover to share the lunatic's cell in the Gotham City Police Department's holding pen! And a rogue officer hunts down Commissioner Gordon!"

Let's keep this one short and sweet: The only good thing about BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #24 is that at least we're one step closer to this abysmal story being over.

Part three (of four) of the "Do You Understand These Rights" storyline sees The Joker still killing people AFTER being taken into custody. In part one, he killed a cop's wife by using his one phone call to call her, tell her he was her doctor, and explain to her that she was dying of a painful, incurable disease and that she should immediately commit suicide rather than suffer.

So of course, without taking time to wonder why he didn't sound like her doctor or why she hadn't been to the doctor recently to have the blood tests he referenced, she immediately killed herself without hesitation. So much for second opinions.

In part two, The Joker killed a judge in the courtroom ... with a peanut.

And in this issue, he commits yet another courtroom murder by dropping a banana peel out of his pants leg in just the right spot where she happens to walk right on top of it, causing her to pull a MILLION DOLLAR BABY that's so shocking that someone in the courtroom exclaims, "Holy cow, did you see that?"

The only decent moment in this book is The Joker's reaction to Matches Malone. But the subsequent Batman "moment" is so ridiculous that any coolness writer Andrew Kreisberg musters is undone. All Batman has done in this arc is pout and mope.

And to add further insult, Kreisberg has the nerve to use a Joker line from THE DARK KNIGHT in a context that's incredibly weak. Shame, shame, shame.

And then of course there's the ending, which is spoiled on the cover, even though Jim Gordon has white hair on the cover and dark hair in the actual issue.

(Note to editors: Your job applies to making sure the art's as consistent as the words.)

This storyline is terrible. As I mentioned in previous reviews, we've got the Nolan/Ledger Joker fresh in our minds, the vile Azzarello/Bermejo version from the JOKER graphic novel, and Grant Morrison's Joker who makes sombrero jokes and gives himself a snake tongue with a razor blade.

In a Joker climate like this one, Kreisberg's contrived joke-of-a-Joker just doesn't pass muster.

One more issue, gang. And then we get a story that brings King Tut from the Adam West TV show into comics continuity, because we've all been begging for that, right? Oh, well. It's got to be better than this garbage. - John Bierly

Indiana native John Bierly started writing for publications when he was 17 and never stopped.
His favorite things in life are family and friends, concerts, burgers, Mountain Dew, and of course...
You can read his blog at JOHNBIERLY.COM.

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