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COMIC BOOK REVIEW

COMIC BOOK REVIEW:
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #5


Author: Bill Ramey
Saturday, April 28, 2007

FROM DC COMICS: "Part 5 of the 6-part 'Rules of Engagement.' It's all-out war as Batman goes up against an army of Lex Luthor's G.I. Robots!"

I don’t know what to make of this BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL. When I first heard about it and it’s premise -- stories about The Batman’s early years -- I was quite interested. I absolutely love these sort of tales -- YEAR ONE, THE LONG HALLOWEEN, and BATMAN AND THE MAD MONK to name a few. Sadly, BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL isn’t in the same league as those aforementioned titles, and it’s not even close.

Look, it's not like I expected greatness, but at least something good. And frankly, BC hasn't been -- at least not so far.

In the latest installment of this title, we are treated (and I use that term in jest) to Part 5 of the “Rules of Engagement” storyline. And if you haven’t been keeping up, it’s the story of Bruce Wayne and The Batman’s first encounter with Lex Luthor. All we get out of this issue is a bunch of splash pages by artist Whilce Portacio (who is obviously and talented artist, but his Batman cowl sucks) and very little in terms of story and dialogue from writer Andy Diggle.

In short, Part 5 is nothing more than a set up to what I guess is “the big finale” in issue #6: The Batman vs. Lex Luthor.

It seems to me as if they are saying to the reader, “Isn’t it cool to see Batman flying a jet!” And, “Isn’t it cool to see Batman ride a motorcycle!” It’s as if they are trying to shove “This is COOL” down our throats hoping that we don’t notice that the story sucks. I’m sorry, having robot soldiers say things such as “Kick Ass!” and “Rock an’ Roll!” isn’t my idea of good storytelling.

I gave BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL high marks when I reviewed issue #1 a few months back. From that point on, this storyline has done nothing but go downhill in my opinion. “Rules of Engagement” finishes up next month in issue #6, so perhaps this Bats/Lex showdown will provide us something better than what we’ve been given with this title so far.

I’m also not ready to give up on BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL either -- not based on its sub par inaugural story arch. I was told by DC Comics that they have “big plans” for this title, and I’m going to hold them to that

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