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Issue #20 of Batman Confidential continues ‘The Bat and the Cat’ storyline by adding another Bat to the mix, in the fourth part of this five part series. Seeing as the review for #19 is probably not far away from this sentence, I won’t bother reviewing what has happened, except to say that it is awesome!

BMCON_Cv20_solicit.jpgWe start out #20 with a really beautiful one page of Barbara, her red hair flowing out from underneath her cowl, and her expression definitely upset at the fact that Batman has just arrived on scene. The “Barbara Gordon granny-panty files” that Batgirl monologues about on this page depict three scenes of Barbara’s life that she puts in contention with Batman showing up “in the middle of my cat-fight.”

But once again, Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire show a remarkable understanding of these three characters. The next page over, Batgirl is thoroughly irked and embarrassed, Batman has a stoic expression that would make a statue think twice, and Catwoman is pestering Batman about Batgirl. “Tell me she’s not your girlfriend…? And her skin? So… vanilla. Have you seen her Naked? I have.”

Barbara’s inner-monologue simply states: GNYEEEEARRGH!

But it gets even better on the next page, with four panels of Catwoman slowly, teasingly, cruelly really, edges closer to Batman as she speaks, finishing with “you know how I get when innocent girls are… exposed… to the … seamier side of the city … I get all hot… and… bothered…”

I literally laughed out loud at this, feeling for Batman as he has to deal with this oft-lover of his in the presence of the younger Batgirl.

Needless to say, Batman’s arrival definitely ups the stakes, and as Bat and Bat make their way to a warehouse where the notebook and the girl are, Catwoman is, apparently, left behind.

But things turn all pear-shaped at the warehouse, with The Riddler turning up to decode Gordon’s notebook for the Russians. Nygma is after a suitcase that the Russians have, but before he can negotiate the full text of the notebook, Catwoman jumps in through the window at the suggestion that part of Nygma’s reward will be Elena, the girl that Catwoman is trying to rescue.

Batman holds Batgirl out of the fight, prompting her to remember the bigger picture, whatever that may be. But Batgirl jumps in at the last moment, saving Catwoman and allowing her to rescue Elena, but getting herself once more in to trouble with the big Russian, Anatoly.

Of course, while no one seems to be able to do any sort of damage to Anatoly, Batman takes him out with one punch. It’s a conceit I am more than willing to accept, because it is just really cool! Batman leaves Batgirl to go after the notebook as he runs off to retrieve the suitcase. This sends Batgirl off on the heels of The Riddler, which leads her straight to Arkham, where she is too quickly locked in the prison with the inmates all of a sudden free. “To be concluded,” indeed, and let me tell you, I just can’t wait for this to come out in trade.

Once again, I can’t find anything wrong with this book. I won’t go in to the artwork, because I would only be repeating myself from the review of #19: I just really like Maguire’s work! Another 5 out of 5 for me, leaving me to go off and find myself a crap book to review for all of you who don’t like it when someone likes reading. Of course, I kid… kinda.

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The Author

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

I'm an aspiring author who just happens to also work on the web, reporting on the environmental research and science at Planetsave.com that makes sense of the climate change hype, reviewing fantasy books at FantasyBookReview, because I love fantasy books and want to tell you all about it. I also blog over at Life As A Human and at Extralife.

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