Batman Incorporated #5 Review: Following in Batman’s footsteps

BatmanI cannot say anything that hasn’t already been said about Grant Morrison. The man has written for some of the most famous and best superheroes and had the honour of writing Batman’s death. His plots are complex and his writing concise. The problem is that his ideas are sometimes so difficult to grasp it can leave you frustrated. Every line of dialogue has a hidden meaning or has a subtlety requiring deep research to unveil. Batman incorporated is not one of those books and has spread the mythos far and wide. Incorporated was initially launched as a title from his rebirth and Bruce spreads the Batman brand worldwide to other do-gooders, hence the title. Since it’s inception there has been an undercover nemesis carefully observing and plotting against him. The antagonist organisation is Leviathan and Talia Al Ghul has been revealed to be its head, who happens to be Robin’s mother. The plot now thickens as Leviathan has had an assassination contract out on Damien for a few issues now, and only recently has it come to light, the reason why.

The progression of the story is an intriguing one as it involves Batman describing the future as a premonition. He knows what will happen to Damien and what Talia is plotting. The story certainly is a well narrated angle and it is always great to show future What If? storylines. The writing is paced excellently and coherent and ultimately makes a semblance of sense but when did predicting the future with absolute certainty become possible? Damien comes across as a loving and yearning son and it is a refreshing aspect of his personality that rarely comes out. The artwork is unique and visually intense especially with the crazy mobs of the future. Chris Burnham has his own style of drawing people, which is not based on appearing life like but comic, and plays well into a future zombified bad guys storyline. The ludicrous baby saving action sequence is superbly drawn and heroic, with great detailing showing realistic Batman injuries. I give extra credibility to Burnham in brilliantly catching the petulance of Damien better than many artists before him.

This Batman story focuses upon two aspects of his life; manipulation and having a family. Bruce seems to run between being a cold, lonesome, heartless hero and a warm, loving family man depending on the big storyline prior to the change. At present he is trying to pre-empt this and prevent Talia’s manipulation using their son. It is a great concept, the extreme of evil using her own flesh and blood for vengeance against Bruce. His only answer is to stop Damien from becoming what he wants to be most; his father. This is met with frank opposition and there are genuine moments of emotion and stubbornness shown by excellent close ups of Damien’s face. The real question is where this leaves Bruce. Probably nowhere new but he may decide to go without a Robin, not that there’s a shortage of partners out there. The consequences on Damien could be huge as he could take his rejection from his father to an extreme. He may grow to become his adversary and greatest challenge; the son and the enemy. This could be an excellent new angle for Bats and this book moves from strength to strength. Morrison and Burnham have crafted a welcome variation to Batman and Gotham with an intricate plot and great art accompaniment.

“There are faster ways to die in a world like this one” 


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  1. Amanda Duke

    Great review! Have you read Grant Morrison’s Supergods?

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