“Rules of Engagement is one of this series’ shorter arcs, clocking in at a mere three-issues-long. But even with that smaller scope, this story feels overly drawn-out in its middle chapter. Despite is compelling premise, this arc isn’t doing enough to take advantage of the Batman/Catwoman/Talia triangle.
Batman #3 was able to coast along partly on the mysterious nature of Batman and Catwoman’s quest. We didn’t know why the duo were breaking Justice League by-laws and invading a remote desert fortress, only that the rest of the superhero community was very unhappy about their actions. That momentum stalls somewhat in this new chapter. Writer Tom King adds some extra context to the situation and the real reasons for this showdown, but there’s little real sense of progress. As much as repetition in dialogue and imagery is a hallmark of King’s Batman run, here the repetition tends to wear out is welcome.