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Review: Batman Confidential #44

Moody, gothic fun in the bayou.

No Caption Provided
Batman encounters re-animated museum corpses in New Orleans.

The Good

This issue revolves around a slightly-fictionalized take-off of the traveling Body Worlds exhibit. Anybody who's been to one of the galleries will know how simultaneously ghoulish and beautiful it can be, so VanHook's concept of those plastinated corpses coming to life is a brilliant one. I'm normally bored by vampires, but Dimiter's inclusion here actually works well. I was genuinely surprised to see that he was an ally of Batman and I'm intrigued to see how his vampiric bloodlust will play against all these walking pieces of meat.
The real star of this issue, in my eyes, is Tom Mandrake. He inks his own work and there's an impressive versatility to his lines. While he can do tight lines like the best of them, he really shines when he makes the linework get wavy (like when it melts into the rain), creating a truly gothic, sinister vibe. Indeed, his art here, coupled with David Baron's colors, reminded me Steve Bissette and Tanja Wood's seminal work on SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING. Though, the fact that this is set in New Orleans might have a lot to do with that.

The Bad

I don't really have any complaints. Like I said, I'm usually not that interested in vampires, but the team made it work here. 

The Verdict - 3.5/5

 Between this and Red Robin #12, this is shaping up to be a good week for Batman fans. If you'd like a no-strings-attached, outside-of-continuity Batman yarn that's got all the creepy vibes of an EC title, then check this all, by all means. Hell, I'd even recommend getting this for Mandrake's wonderfully macabre work alone.