In lieu of the fact that I may not have been the only one to miss the release of Batman Confidential #19, Iâ€™ve decided, in the face of the release of issue #20, to review both. I wonâ€™t do it at the same time, because that would take away from the fact that these are two really great issues, and deserved of their own time in the sun.
One of the best Batman storylines I have read in a long time is â€˜The Bat and the Catâ€™ storyline taking place at the moment in Batman confidential. A five part story depicts the antics of Batgirl, Catwoman, and Jim Gordonâ€™s notebook. Previously seen in the first installment; Batgirl lost the notebook, found Catwoman with the notebook, chased Catwoman in to a nudist club, got the notebook, left the nudist club, nearly lost the notebook again to Catwoman, and then at the end of #18 started getting shot at.
I may very well have just condensed the story in to one long sentence, but that is only half the picture. What Fabian Nicieza is doing here, is showing that he has a masterful grip on the inner workings of Batgirl and Catwoman, two of my favorite DC characters. For that, I could probably excuse anything. But there is nothing else to excuse in these issues.
Seeing Batgirl make a last ditch effort to save Catwoman from falling many stories to a landing even a cat might not be able to make, they are immediately shot at, and after delving into her Bat-belt for a flash-capsule, the pair takes on their assailant, one Anatoly Davidovitch.
Now as mentioned, Barbara is trying to recover her fatherâ€™s notebook, in which his current case load is fleshed out, though ciphered of course. She was going through it at the start to catch up on what he knew before Catwoman stole it from under her nose. At first it looked as if Catwoman was just up to no good, but it seems that Catwoman is out to save someone, acting very much up to Batmanâ€™s description of her, â€œthe Robin Hood of Alleytown.â€
The Bat(girl) and the Cat run in to the lionâ€™s den (too many animals here) and quickly find themselves in a spot of trouble, which then escalates as they realize they are beaten down, and left to lie in a warehouse which, turns out, is filled with blocks of C4. A last minute jump out a window saves them, only to land them out at the feet of Batman, who has finally decided to arrive on the scene.
Kevin Maguireâ€™s artwork in these issues is really keeping me entertained. Neither Batgirl nor Catwoman are especially busty, which in and of itself excuses any of the flaws that I might have found in his artwork. But Maguire actually has a really firm handle on everything, especially expressions, and the scenes where Selina puffs out her cheeks in exasperation or Barbara bites her lip in confusion are masterful. Even without Niciezaâ€™s inner-monologue â€“ depicted in Barbaraâ€™s case as torn pieces of paper out of a journal â€“ you would have no trouble gauging by their reactions what they are thinking.
The final page, with Batmanâ€™s appearance amidst the flames, is really awesome too, harkening back to an earlier Bat-era, without in the slightest echoing Adam West.
I think that Iâ€™m going to go and find a bad comic to review simply so that I can offset the 5 out of 5 that Batman Confidential #19 receives. If you are at all a Batman fan, then this is a comic for you. If you love Barbara Gordon or Selina Kyle, than you really have to get this comic.
Side note â€“ explain to me why I should pick up a comic that I donâ€™t like, simply so that I can give you all a low review scoreâ€¦ hmmm?