This is what a Batman comic should be

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Batman exploding?  A damsel in distress?  A guy proclaiming to be the modern incarnation of King Tut?  No, I’m not describing an episode of the 60’s Batman television series, that featured Victor Buono as the villain, but rather King Tut’s introduction into the Batman family of comics 33 years after first being introduced on TV.

BATMAN_CONFIDENTIAL_28.jpgWriters Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir conclude the final chapter of the King Tut story line in this issue, and they’ve followed the three-act structure perfectly.  They’ve also done something I’ve only seen a few other writers pull off well, and that is the cliffhanger ending of one chapter being explained away in the beginning of this one.

Considering Batman can’t die in these tales of the Dark Knight’s past, the exploding building at the end of the last issue, was only a tease to get the reader thinking how Batman and the Riddler would get out of their fix.  And Batman pulls it off quite well by not only saving himself and his adversary turned companion, he’s also able to save some valuable evidence that the duo will use to track down the whereabouts of Victor Goodman.

If you are someone who liked the deadly traps at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, then you’ll get a kick out of the booby trapped warehouse of the man who believes he is the risen king of Egypt.  And even though the Odd Couple of Crime Fighting barely make it through each of the deadly traps, it’s nice to see the writers are able to interject humor in natural places throughout the issue that keeps everything lighthearted, even when Tut is about to drop the hammer (so to speak) on the Riddler.

By issues end, Batman and the Riddler defeat the villain, but in the process end up creating a brand new one, that hopefully will appear in a sequel to this series in the very near future. There’s also a very interesting moment when the Batman flat out asks the Riddler why he didn’t kill him when he had the chance. To which the Riddler replies that he likes having Batman around as he’s the only who can figure out his riddles.

If DC were smart it would hold DeFilippis and Weir down on the ground and force them to sign a multi-year, eight figure contract to write exclusively for Batman, all the while taking their comic book scripts and allowing them to adapt the adventures of the Dark Knight into a series for HBO.  At the very least, this three part story has the two writers on my radar, and I’ll be paying close attention to what they take on next.  If they can repeat this performance elsewhere (and preferably in a Batman title), DC will have my money securely in its pocket.

Likewise with the fantastic art by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez; I could read a year’s worth of issues featuring his lines and never complain about wanting to see someone else’s take on the story.  He can draw the sexy women.  He can draw the subtle reactions and facial expressions in the characters.  He can draw the Riddler quite well, and he most assuradly can draw the Batman in his full 70’s regalia.  I like it, and I want more of it.

If you can’t tell from my continuous praise, I really like this arc.  That’s a full turn around from my stance on the entire series a few issues ago. Instead of trying to retcon history, and force a gimmick down the readers throats by proclaiming it the new new revised truth, The King Tut arc introduces a new character, an interesting twist that in retrospect lays the groundwork for the current disposition of the Riddler, and delivers a story that ever comic book reader should own.  Batman Confidential #28 is a fantastic read and deserves 5 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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9 Comments

  1. duckface
    April 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm — Reply

    Does Batman Confidential get collected? No stores around me carry it anymore :/

    • April 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm — Reply

      Have not seen it issued in a trade. Which is okay by me considering some of the awful stories this series has featured.

  2. The Dude
    April 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm — Reply

    The first two story arcs “Rules of Engagement” and “Lovers and Mad Men” were collected, but nothing has been collected since. The sales on this series haven’t been very good, so DC probabaly believes it isn’t worth putting out in trade form.

  3. duckface
    April 11, 2009 at 8:44 pm — Reply

    That sucks. I never did get to read the Batgirl-Catwoman one.

  4. BiffordMichael
    April 12, 2009 at 12:37 am — Reply

    What issues did this take place in…seriously can’t belive this got past me?!? Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez was like next to Perez for me back in the day and I had NO idea he was still working?!?

    Biff

  5. April 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    Biff #26-28 only three issues.

  6. April 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm — Reply

    What was the last five out of five that you guys gave? This is the only one that I recall from recent memory. I suppose that it should be that way as a five does insinuate masterful execution.

    • April 12, 2009 at 10:04 pm — Reply

      Ummm… I honestly don’t remember the last Perfect 5 I gave. Might have been a recent Buffy issue…

      Still, I agree that top marks shouldn’t be given every time, and especially not just to curry favor with whomever. If I give Doctor Improbable 5 stars every month, why would anyone care when I want to lavish praise on a book that truly deserves it?

  7. April 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm — Reply

    Locke & Key #3 got a 5 out of 5 – also reviewed this week. We try to keep the Fives to those that are truly deserving of the top award. I know there are others out there that give 5 Stars (or whatever their rating system is) to earn favor with certain companies, or lavish praise on nearly everything under the sun in hopes of getting free comics, I believe the reviewers at Major Spoilers are more conservative and mindful of what the book is really worth than other sites or reviewers. I believe the fairness in our reviews do more for us in the long run.

    While that may not make fans of FILL IN THE COMIC BOOK TITLE HERE happy, that’s our take on it, and at the end of the day, ALL reviews, no matter who writes them are that reviewers opinion. There will be those that hate our reviews because it does not fit with their world view of things, and that is fine by us. Eventually those reviewers that spout the love of all things FILL IN COMIC BOOK TITLE OR CHARACTER HERE eventually go so far over the top that it eventually catches up to them, and that ends up hurting that reviewers true standing in the community.

    There are also those that ONLY review comics they love and plan on giving their highest rating, simply because they believe you should only review titles you like. If that were the case, every website would have nothing but five star ratings. I believe reviewers should sample all sorts of titles and give their honest review of them. At the very least it ensures there will be a mix of review ratings, and it also ensures our reviewers get to sample titles from a variety of companies. I quite honestly would never have read anything from Boom! Studios or Dynamite Entertainment had it not been because I needed something to review for Major Spoilers So sometimes there will be some really bad ratings, and other times there will be some really good ratings, but there will always be reviews that are fair, balanced, and honest.

    I’ve been a reviewer of products going on 12 years, and it doesn’t matter if it is a blender, software, an MP3 player, or a comic book, being honest with yourself and being honest with the readers of your site goes a lot further than hyping stuff just to gain readers in the short term.

    :D

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