Batman Incorporated #0 finds Bruce Wayne going on world tour, rounding up vigilantes for his crime-fighting army. Is this a good entry point for a sometimes difficult series? Major Spoilers has the review.
BATMAN INCORPORATED #0
Story by Chris Burnham & Grant Morrison
Script by Grant Morrison
Artwork by Frazer Irving
Letters by Pat Brosseau
Editor: Mike Marts
Cover by Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously in Batman Incorporated: Bruce Wayne is taking the Bat-franchise GLOBAL. It’s like the McDonald’s of crime-fighting, only with batarangs instead of quarter-pounders.
WHY NO BATWING?
This is a weird little issue. Essentially, it’s a showcase for the non-Batman members of Batman Incorporated to show off their stuff for a page or two. Knight gets some funny lines, Man-of-Bats and Raven Red go green while El Gaucho grumbles and there are a lot of jokes about a shrink ray. It’s light, fun stuff, although I am sure it will be incomprehensible to a reader looking to jump onto the title. Batman Incorporated has always demanded a deep knowledge of Bat-continuity to really enjoy it, and this issue does not differ in that regard. A new reader will find precious little hand-holding here.
Morrison’s superhero storytelling has gotten a little opaque as of late – perhaps it is his boredom with the mainstream superhero genre, or perhaps it is another facet of his experimental nature. Batman Incorporated #0 bounces around from character to character and back again with little rhyme or reason, but the underlying heart is here – there are tense moments, funny moments, and large moments, befitting Morrison’s epic vision for Batman that he is realizing through the Batman Incorporated series. This is good (if at times difficult) storytelling, for those willing to take the plunge.
CHRIS BURNHAM – ON SCRIPT?
Frazer Irving does some stunning work on this issue, as the highly-stylized storytelling matches up with his stylized artwork. The early pages focusing on boardroom maneuverings aren’t his strong suit, as his human figures pop out too much due to overly thick lining, but when the action gets underway, this issue looks great. Irving’s art is all shadows and pastels, and he delivers high energy action in a highbrow sort of way. Irving isn’t the usual artist for this title, but for one issue, it’s fun to see what he can do. Interestingly, series artist Chris Burnham has a co-credit for the story on this – and I like that Morrison and/or DC are willing to play around with the roles a little.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD – BUT NOT FOR EVERYONE
Batman Incorporated #0 is a strange issue, but Batman Incorporated is a bit of a strange title overall. I like it, but Morrison’s storytelling has become a bit disjointed even by his standards. If you’re a fan of the main series, I would not miss out on this issue. But if you are a reader looking to get into this title, issue #0 is not the place to start. But speaking as a regular reader, this issue delivered plenty, with some great pages of artwork, resulting in Batman Incorporated #0 earning four out of five stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
I really don’t like the concept of this comic. It rings too much like Tony Stark uses Iron Man as a bodyguard to me. It seems to me anyone with any intelligence would deduce that Wayne is Batman because of this concept.
That’s addressed in this issue. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin show up during the meeting where Bruce Wayne announces Batman Inc to the Wayne Foundation Board of Directors.
And the series has shown Bruce is aware that publicly backing Batman is putting Batman’s identity at risk. It shows people claiming that Bruce Wayne is Batman. He’s been actively engaged in attempts to confuse the matter.
And don’t forget that in the Batman Inc concept – which pre-dates Flashpoint – Dick operates as Batman in Gotham while Bruce is out recruiting volunteers. That muddys the water quite a bit when it comes to proving Bruce is Batman.
Still Wayne adopts all these wards. Batman gets all these Robins at the same time. It shines too much light on the Batman who uses the shadows to his advantage.
Ther’s no adoptions or new Robins showing up in Batman Inc. Damian’s the only Robin in Batman Inc, just like in the rest of the Bat books.
But it’s definitely not the dark, gritty, street level Frank Miller/Christopher Nolan Batman, so it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.