Most of this review is going to go in spoiler tags and even that’s going to be relatively short because it’s New Year’s Eve and most of my criticisms are the same as they were in the first 2 issues. To get right to the point: chapter 3 (of 4) doesn’t have as many bizarre things happen as the previous installment but the weird things that do happen are so incredibly out of left field that they will leave you dumbstruck, gobsmacked, and other such fun words I’ve failed to use in reviews throughout 2013.

Andy Kubert’s artwork looks phenomenal throughout. There aren’t any of those awful, over-exaggerated facial expressions this time around and there are some really fun action sequences and one awesome two-page spread in which Damian crashes through a bus with one of the best Bat-kicks of the year. But the story? The story is… I don’t even know! I don’t. Even. Know. I’ll list some of my thoughts in bullet-form in the spoiler tags below, but I really think you should step away from this comic and go try something else out instead.

Spoiler

  • The lettering used for Alfred’s narration looked very Joker-esque and featured too many underlined words. It was also odd for the narrative to switch to Alfred’s perspective for a brief moment this issue
  • Didn’t expect a criticism about the lettering first did you? Boring, right? How about this one–
  • Alfred becomes a cat
  • Yeah, that’s right. Remember Alfred the Cat? Well, now Alfred the Cat is literally Alfred as a cat. Alfred passes away and his soul moves on to the house cat of the same name. And yes, the cat can talk. Alfred is ending 2013 in grand fashion it seems. Not only did he become a cat today in this elseworld’s story but over in Injustice: Gods Among Us, he got into a fistfight with Superman, yes, THAT Superman. Kubert tries to make the possession of the cat ambiguous by never placing the feline in a situation with another character and having Damian suffer a head injury, but after so many other wacky things have happened in this series I wholeheartedly believe that the ghost of Batman’s butler is alive and well inside a kitty cat
  • I thought that Damian  Knew which priest he was confessing to in the previous issues and that that gentleman was really Jim Gordon who traded his badge in for the cloth. However, this issue shows that Damian thought he was telling his secrets to a totally random priest and when the name of “The Joker” is mentioned he has a fit and demands to see the man’s face. If it was Kubert’s intention all along to have a mystery regarding the priest, he should’ve kept the face hidden throughout chapters 1-3 and had us view the confessional from Damian’s point of view
  • The Joker shows up at the end of the comic, but that’s not the real twist. The twist is that it’s not actually the Joker, but another guy who looks like, acts like, and calls himself “The Joker.” I ask you, what is the point? Why introduce an all-new Joker that’s essentially the exact same character? Why would he abduct Bruce Wayne? Why… why does this comic book exist?
  • For the pretty art, that’s why.

Recommended If…

  • You like Batman Odyssey & All-Star Batman & Robin
  • Andy Kubert is your favorite artist
  • You’re just wanting to see how much weirder things could possibly get

Overall

I really don’t recommend this. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment and desire to see what sort of insanity Andy Kubert could possibly come up with next, I suggest you skip this one. The only thing that’s worth saving about all of this is the artwork, which is quite beautiful and perfectly colored.

SCORE: 3.5/10