Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SPOILERS / REVIEW: Batman Incorporated #0

We've all read the stories, Batman and a group of like minded heroes escape from the Black Glove, Bruce rings the bell at the sight of the Bat, and in a non-descriptive manner, Bruce see's a vision of the future, two headstones, and the world in flames... So births Batman Incorporated!

After proposing the concept of Batman Incorporated to Wayne Enterprises (as well as catch an exec who was stealing from the corporation) Bruce sets off, recruiting old friends and new allies. We see him get in contact with Knight and Squire, who he uses to recruit the new Dark Ranger. We see the Russian Batman, Ravil, tread through snow with Batman and Robin, offering vodka to Damian. The Musketeer feels safe sitting this one out, especially after witnessing Nightrunner's abilities. Bruce keeps tabs on Chief Man of Bats, and Raven Red, while traveling to Japan, to repeal Mr. Unknown's probation status, offering a full time membership in the group. Finally, Bruce visits Dark Ranger in person, as they go on a mission together, and Bruce believes him to be ready.

The issue ends on a scene with Alfred and Bruce in the cave, echoing some of the themes Morrison has played with, that one of the truth's of Batman is that he was never alone. Discussing a possible romance between Squire and the new Dark Ranger, Bruce sees a meal left out for him by Alfred. Bruce tells Alfred that he can't remember the last time he saw him eat, yet there's always a meal left out. Bruce thanks Alfred, as they watch some of the footage of the more-impressive-than-he-knows Dark Ranger.


The Good:

First of all, I've got to say, I have really come to love Frazer Irving's art style. He's one of those guys who can be off putting at first, but once you sit down and read his stuff, it really starts to grow on you. What is really unique about his style (other than the way he actually draws) is his use of color. He uses a lot of colors in scenes you wouldn't expect, and it just adds to the overall artistic feel of the book. Can't even imagine someone else coloring his stuff.

In terms of the story itself, Chris Burnham and Grant Morrison used this issue to pretty much let us know "hey, these characters are still around!" especially the likes of Knight, Squire, Nightrunner and Mr. Unknown (who has a new costume). I enjoyed seeing these short little vignettes into the lives of each these characters. The Dark Ranger's story was the highlight, and you've got to think he'll play a larger part in the book going forward.

The Bad:

With each issue of this series (and most of Grant Morrison's work) there's a sense of gravity to the issue, as in "This really matters, you might not know it yet, but holy shit will you trip balls when it all comes back!" This issue sort of lacked it.  Although you get a sense there will be something more to come out of the Dark Ranger character, the issue just didn't have that big sense of something big hidden within all the small details, as one may have come to expect from the title.

Bottom Line: 

Overall, this was a well told, and well illustrated issue. Did it feel absolutely necessary? Not really. You sort of get the sense that the prospect of a Zero Month came up, and Grant Morrison said "Really? Alright then..." which may be why Chris Burnham came in and co-plotted it with Morrison (which, he did a good job of). There was a lot to like in the issue, but not a whole lot to really love.


1 comment :

  1. The highlight for me was Bruce doing one-handed pullups from a stalactite. Subtle, but awesome.