When we last left the Caped Crusader he was trapped in front of an army of fake looking Russian soldiers in the sewers of Russia.
Many people were guessing that these soldiers were holograms. If you were one of those people, then congratulations, you were right. We find out that they were a “clumsy volumetric display” as Batman put it. Silly homeless man, you can’t fool Batman.
Now truth be told, I’m of two minds about this issue. On one hand, we get to see a lot of story and character development. On the other, the issue has a lot flaws. Now be warned, the rest of the review will contain spoilers!
So after Batman shows us how clever he is, he has a little banter with Petr (the homeless man), and we find out that Petr never leaves the sewers, because “Moscow is a jungle!” This leads to a funny joke about the Dukes of Hazard, which I like. But at the same time, if this man hasn’t been to the surface since the Dukes of Hazard were popular, where did he get the equipment to set up a holographic army? It makes no sense!
Batman then leaves the sewers and encounters a bunch of street toughs, who run from him in fear, because they think he is a vampire. Batman tries to convince them that he isn’t scary and that he won’t hurt them. BUT WAIT! I thought Batman was trying to establish a reputation of fear in Moscow, so why is he trying to convince these kids that he isn’t scary?
We go back to the sewers and see the Bear’s face for the first time, while he is being whipped by the Tsar for failing to kill Batman. This ends with the Tsar getting angry and storming out, because the Bear stopped the Tsar from whipping him. This is some pretty good character development for the Bear.
Now we get to my favorite part of the book, which involves Batman “questioning” two men after half drowning them. Awesome!
After this we get a scene of the Tsar telling a kingpin, to tell all the other kingpins to relax about Batman. Which honestly, I don’t think was needed.
Batman returns to his hotel room and is confronted by Colonel-General Lukzov, who has discovered that Mr. Bateman is actually Batman. I can’t imagine how. Batman beats up Lukzov’s men, and convinces the Colonel-General to let The Caped Crusader continue his quest to bring down the Tsar. BUT WAIT! We then find out that Lukzov has been in cahoots with the Tsar! Shocking. And that is the biggest problem with this story arc, it’s really predictable, and as such, it’s not that exciting, or interesting.
Anyways, the book moves on to a very disjointed ending. There’s a page of Batman sneaking up on Petr, then a couple more panels of Lukzov, then a couple panels of the Tsar and the Bear, then a couple more panels of Batman and Petr, then a panel of Lukov’s family, then finally two panels of the cliff hanger. So we are left with the Bear, hiding in some bushes.
Despite the ending being all over the place, it did make me want to find out what happens next, and is the best cliff hanger so far for this arc.
I really am of two minds about this issue, but it really isn’t exciting me, and making me count days until next issue. At the same time, it really wasn’t that bad.
The Art is good but not great, Jock's cover was awesome, but the interiors are nothing to get excited about.
So, to sum up my feelings; I thought it was good but not great, it has good points and bad points. But if you’re not a collector of the title like me, don’t go out of your way to pick this up. I am being generous with the rating, but it is more for anticipation of the next issue than anything else.
Batman Confidential #33:
Reviewed by TheCapedCrusader