Friday, April 26, 2013

Batman Incorporated #10

(w) Grant Morrison     (a) Chris Burnham, Jason Masters, and Andrei Bressan



Holy Batman, Batman!

Grant Morrison seems insistent on seeing Batman's world -- literally and figuratively -- burned to the ground. After offing Damian Wayne and Batman, Inc. agent, the Knight, he's basically given up all pretense about Leviathan and the nature of Talia al Ghul's evil machinations.

Also, something that's been bugging me is the timeline of events. I know, I know. don't worry about the continuity -- enjoy the story for what it is. Unfortunately, DC made it a point to release a slew of "Requiem" issues mourning the death of Robin. Well, where do those other Bat-book issues fall? How much time has passed since Damian died and has Batman been doing other things (like stuff in his other titles), or does all of that "Requiem" business happen after the final issue of Batman, Incorporated?


So, Azrael makes his 'New 52' debut this month when Bruce goes to him for his armor. It's the kind of deus ex machina element Morrison utilizes from time to time that seems to work for him, while coming off as cheap under lesser hands.

Nightwing, Red Robin, and Red Hood are all off dealing with their own situations, illustrated over two pages by Andrei Bressan, who manages to botch all the character faces. Dick Grayson and Tim Drake look duck-faced, and Jason Todd doesn't resemble his generic, black-haired, handsome look at all. In fact, Todd looks like he's been punched in the nose a half-dozen times. I normally wouldn't point out details like this with such scrutiny, but with the rest of the issue looking so good, Bressan's rushed-looking work really hits the brakes on the narrative momentum.

It's unfortunate, but Batman Incorporated #10 feels very much like the filler issue it is instead of being a stepping stone toward Morrison's endgame. It is, technically, but there's a lot of exposition, a lot of waxing poetic about the idea of crime and the concept of justice. In a way, it almost feels derivative of Morrison himself. These are ideals and themes he's used in Batman stories in the past, and instead of feeling conclusive by nature, it seems repetitive. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the issue, because I seriously enjoy Morrison's work. It's just not the strongest issue of the series.


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