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Batman Incorporated (2012) #1

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

June 10, 2012

Title: Leviathan Part One: Demon Star

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art:
Chris Burnham
Letters:
Patrick Brosseau
Colors:
Nathan Fairbairn
Cover Art:
Chris Burnham
Editor:
Mike Marts
Publisher:
DC Comics

Returning for what promises to be the finale of his Batman run, Grant Morrison kicks off the second volume of Batman Incorporated with a pretty startling story. Talia Head’s Leviathan is growing in power, attacking on several fronts, targeting members of Batman, Inc. and bringing the conflict straight to the doorstep of the Dark Knight.

This issue is surprising on several fronts. Morrison has wasted absolutely no time getting into the heat of the moment, starting us in the midst of the action with several attacks already executed and several battles already over and done. The energy here is about as high as it’s ever been during Morrison’s tenure with the Bat.

This is a New 52 title, but aside from a few cosmetic changes it doesn’t appear that Morrison has been forced to make too many concessions for the sake of setting it in the changed world. Bruce and Damian are still Batman and Robin, Dick was Batman for a time in the not-too-distant past, and the assorted members of Batman, Inc. are virtually untouched… even Batwing, who now stars in his own solo title. This is basically a good thing. Morrison had quite a momentum built up, and the lapse since the previous Leviathan Strikes one-shot may actually have served to help keep the pace brisk. The differences in the New 52 have all been suitably explored in the other titles and there’s no pressure to do so here.

Chris Burnham came into the previous series rather late in the game, but he’s making it is how. His style is influenced somewhat by frequent Morrison collaborator Frank Quitely, but not so much as to deem him a copycat. He’s drawing a classic Batman and a strong Damian, with the more monstrous characters depicted in a fashion that feels very consistent with what’s been done in the past.

The end of this issue, of course, is the real shocker, and if it were anybody but Morrison behind the wheel I’d be virtually certain there’s a stunt in the works to reverse what we seem to see on the last page. There still could be, of course, Morrison could be playing his own game, but from him it does feel more organic and less forced than it would be in many titles.

All in all, this issue stands as a fine beginning to a final act.

Rating: 8/10

Batman, Incorporated #6

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment

May 31, 2011

Title: Nyktomorph                                                                                            

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art:
Chris Burnham
Colorist:
Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer:
Pat Brosseau
Cover:
Chris Burnham
Editor:
Mike Marts                           
Publisher:
DC Comics

Ever since his return from the “dead,” Bruce Wayne has had a new mission: recruiting operatives from all over the world to be part of his new Batman, Inc. In this issue, as the search continues, Bruce assembles his most trusted operatives to tell the truth about his new mission. Batman Incorporated isn’t just a peacekeeping force – it’s an army, and he’s preparing them to fight a very specific threat. This issue is a lot of fun. It brings together the entire extended Batman family, it introduces still more of these new international Batmen, and fans of the Cassandra Cain Batgirl have cause to rejoice – she’s back, she’s part of the team again, and she’s got a brand-new name (since Stephanie Brown is using “Batgirl” these days). There’s a ton of stuff to like here. The inclusion of unlikely (but highly deserving) operatives like Catwoman and Commissioner Gordon  as legitimate members of Batman, Inc. is surprising, and makes for a nice nod to the importance of these characters to Bruce. There’s a really nice bit with Bruce throwing the conspiracy theorists off his trail (a gentle poke at the internet, I suppose) and it’s always fun to see Bruce with his sons again. Chris Burnham is a very good choice to take over the art chores for this arc. His style is similar enough to Frank Quitely’s to feel appropriate but has a different sort of energy to it. He mimics the form, but the feel is more classic, and that’s really cool. This issue was one of the most entertaining Batman books I’ve read in quite a while.

Rating: 8/10