Issue #20 of Batman Confidential continues â€˜The Bat and the Catâ€™ 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 wonâ€™t bother reviewing what has happened, except to say that it is awesome!
We 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 â€œBarbara Gordon granny-panty filesâ€ that Batgirl monologues about on this page depict three scenes of Barbaraâ€™s life that she puts in contention with Batman showing up â€œin the middle of my cat-fight.â€
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. â€œTell me sheâ€™s not your girlfriendâ€¦? And her skin? Soâ€¦ vanilla. Have you seen her Naked? I have.â€
Barbaraâ€™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 â€œyou know how I get when innocent girls areâ€¦ exposedâ€¦ to the â€¦ seamier side of the city â€¦ I get all hotâ€¦ andâ€¦ bothered…â€
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, Batmanâ€™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 Gordonâ€™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 Nygmaâ€™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. Itâ€™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. â€œTo be concluded,â€ indeed, and let me tell you, I just canâ€™t wait for this to come out in trade.
Once again, I canâ€™t find anything wrong with this book. I wonâ€™t go in to the artwork, because I would only be repeating myself from the review of #19: I just really like Maguireâ€™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 donâ€™t like it when someone likes reading. Of course, I kidâ€¦ kinda.