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COMIC BOOK REVIEW:
BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1

Author: Bill Ramey
Wednesday, December 6, 2006

FROM DC COMICS: "Learn where the Dark Knight first got 'all those wonderful toys' as the superstar combo of writer Andy Diggle (ADAM STRANGE) and art team Whilce Portacio and Richard Friend (WETWORKS) go back to Batman's roots in a new monthly series! In this 6-issue tale, see exactly when Batman's war on evil in Gotham City ramped up — and how he rose to meet the threat of Lex Luthor's plans to move in on both Bruce Wayne's and Batman's turf!"

A BRAND-NEW BATMAN COMIC!!!!

OK, enough of that, but doesn’t that fire y’all up too? Anyway, on with the review…

BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #1 brings us a the first installment of a six part storyline titled “Rules of Engagement.” And I’ll even let y’all in on the best part of this story up front...

Lex Luthor is going to end up being the main baddie.

I guess I should mention that the stories of BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL will take place during the early years of The Batman’s career -- which I'm sure all you Bat-gurus already know.

Part one is a set up tale. It starts out with The Dark Knight just missing out stopping a murder of a young women in her apartment by an assassin (great stuff here, I won’t spoil it for you all!). Just when the assassin thinks he’s got away with the crime and from The Batman too, the assassin is assassinated.

And he’s not just taken out with some sort of conventional weapon -- he’s barbequed.

Literally.

The first part our story ends as Waynetech and Luthorcorp square off as they both give presentations to the government for a new defense contract. Of course, this meeting brings together Bruce Wayne and the owner of Lexcorp, Lex Luthor himself.

Obviously, we all know Lex is a ruthless asshole already, but does Bruce?

Of course he does -- nothing slips by Bruce Wayne! And that’s the core element of “Rules of Engagement,” the first face to face between Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. And The Batman too -- eventually -- I’m assuming.

Top-notch writing by Andy Diggle, as he seems to really get the young Batman/Bruce Wayne here. He seems to have taken a page from BATMAN BEGINS in the exchanges we get to witness between Bruce and Alfred (who looks a bit younger than what we‘re used to), as well as Bruce and Lucius Fox. Props also go out to Whilce Portacio and Richard Friend on pencils and inks respectively.

I found part one of this story a great setup for the next five as it has me quite looking forward to issue #2. Young Batman, high tech weapons, and Lex Luthor. What more could you ask for?!

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM, BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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