"Rules of Engagement (Part Four)"
Writer: Andy Diggle
Artists: Whilce Portacio (p), Richard Friend (i)
Publisher: DC Comics
In this issue, Luthor finally makes his move not only against the Bat but also against, well, a whole country, and no three guesses for which one. Even though I have been with this series right from the first issue, I sure as hell didnít see this development coming, especially in light of the "known" past history of these two characters (both together and separately). Then again, this is DCís New Earth. Who knows what still stands and what doesnít?
Nevertheless, while Olí Baldy is busy taking over a nation, the Batman is busy trying to save his and Alfredís behind. The mechanical bat that Luthor unveiled last week not only infiltrates Batmanís bat-posse, it also gets into the cave and takes over the Bat-plane (I so want to call it the Batwing but in this incarnation? Nah), which leads to hell breaking loose inside the cave. However, after taking a tumble off the deep end (literally) and landing on a twenty foot thick "cushion" of Bat-guano, dead bats, maggots and the like, the Batman gets his bearings back and with some timely "stomping" help from Alfred takes out the mechanical pest.
By this point in the story oneís views on the artwork, as with the writing, are pretty much settled. As for me, Iíll just limit myself to repeating what Iíve stated before in my previous reviews: having seen Whilce Portacio on Wildstormís Wetworks, I am used to his style; others (i.e. new readers) might not be in the same boat as me and as such might find the artwork here a little (or more) jarring.
Conclusion: Eccentric artwork aside, "Rules of Engagement" is turning out to be quite an interesting story though admittedly, I wasnít too excited by this issueís dictatorial development.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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