Wednesday, March 27, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman, Incorporated #9

Spoiler alert: Damian is dead. The private funeral that only Bruce, Alfred, Dick and Tim attended was intercut with the immediate aftermath between Bruce and the Heretic, who taunts his sorta-father for being slower and weaker than him. While Bruce puts up a good fight, Heretic's words ring true as he starts to get some good shots in on Batman... that is until Dick comes to, sees Damian's covered body, and goes beast-mode on his former partner's killer.

At Damian's funeral, Bruce reminds everyone of who Damian was, and how the path he chose was his own. His final words of the short eulogy are that his son will be avenged, to which Dick says "amen."

Elsewhere in the UK, another funeral is held, this time for Knight, as Squire watches on from the TV, unable to bring herself to attend. But, Squire eventually has an idea, and does what she knows Knight would want her to do, and takes on his mantle, teaming up with the Dark Ranger.

Elsewhere, in UK Prime Minister's office (or at least that's who I think it is), they discuss possibilities of bringing Knight back to life, given how much he meant to the country. The Prime Minister mentions his knowledge of all the Lazarus pits being dried up, but one of his assistants mentions that might not be entirely true.

Back and Damian's funeral, Dick and Tim leave Bruce and Alfred alone. Bruce tries to remain calm with Alfred, who he knows allowed Damian to leave the cave, and tells, then insists Alfred to go on a vacation. When Alfred walks away, Bruce says to himself that this is now between him and Talia, and no one else.

Leviathan is still all boarded up in Wayne Tower, as their agents begin to rise all across the country, as much of the media believes Gotham is the epicenter of western civilization's collapse. On the roof of the building, Talia chews the Heretic out for killing Damian, despite it not being in his orders (and for calling her "mother.") Much to Talia's dismay, it seems her monster has gained a bit more than she would have liked from her real son, mainly his independent streak.

Back to the fight, the Heretic eventually fought of Dick, and focused back on Bruce, after proclaiming himself to be Batman now. This is the point where Tim steps in, and finds out the tank in the lobby is fully functional, using it against the monster, and Leviathan's agents. Bruce comes to, and they all make their escape. Dick with Damian's body, and Tim escorting Ellie who still has the key to the Oroboros bomb.

Later, Mayor Hady holds a press conference to announce that he's given into Leviathan's plans, Batman Incorporated will be banned form Gotham's streets, Bruce Wayne has to make himself available for questioning, and Batman is no longer welcome in Gotham. With the news, Gordon makes sure to cover the small Batman button he still wears on his jacket.

With downtime in the action, Dick, Tim, Squire (now Knight) and Dark Ranger go on the search for Jason Todd, while checking in with various agents around the world, as they've learned that the bombs that create a ring around the world, followed Batman Incorporated's recruitment path, so they've all got new missions. Dark Ranger ends up getting a scent... of sorts, to track Jason with... seeing as he pissed himself after getting knocked out.

Elsewhere, Jason wakes up, surrounded by a certain cult of deadly girls, and their headmaster (*cough*KathyKane*cough*).

Alone, in the cave, Bruce tends to his wounds, then finally marks Damian off as "deceased" on his agent directory. With Chaos still reigning in Gotham, he suits back up, but before he leaves the cave, he comes across Bat-Cow, and gives her a pet. It's at that moment that everything he has lost hits him, and Bruce lets out a cry of anguish.


The Good: 

As you would expect, this was a full fledged requiem issue, dealing with Damian's death. The reactions on both fronts were fitting, and shit has really gotten bad for Batman Inc. The issue had so many great little moments between Dick going H.A.M. on the Heretic, Squire taking over as Knight, Talia and the Heretic, and a bunch more, this issue really delivers the requiem themes on the largest scale of any similarly branded titles. Where this issue leaves the team and Gotham's stance on Batman Incorporated, leaves quite a few interesting opportunities for how it could all pan out, any of which I'm greatly looking forward to. Finally, it was nice to see some of the other lesser seen members of Inc. pop in.

Also... lol, Jason.

The Bad:

Honestly? Could have used a bit more of Talia. Even though she's pretty bad now, she's just as important to the story as Bruce is, and I feel like we should have seen more of her reaction, maybe with out the Heretic around. With that, I have this nagging feeling that a little more should have happened in general. I'm actually pretty hesitant to point that out, as something pretty fucking big did just happen last issue and you don't want to overload readers. Also, for consistency's sake, I really wish we could get a full issue from Burnham in. What has it been, since 5? Comic Vine's review actually sums up my feelings pretty well, in terms of fill in, Jason Masters fits pretty damn well, but his style is just too clean with the line work. It lacks that edge that Chris Burnham brings to his work, and I feel Masters could potentially alter a few things about how he tackles the pages, and they'd fit much better. That being said, it's not as if Burnham is only doing three or four pages, and there have certainly been worse fill in situations within the New 52. 

Then one last note, I have to say I was a bit let down by the emotional impact, but I feel like I could have just been spoiled by the masterful Batman and Robin #18

The Bottom Line:

This was definitely a calm before the storm issue (potentially too calm, but I've said my part on that), but damned if it doesn't make me look forward to said storm. Morrison and Burnham manage to deliver an issue that deals with the biggest event in Batman's recent history remarkably well, and on a more encompassing scale, showing the repercussions outside of the costumed characters. While it didn't hit the emotional mark that I would have liked it to, being that it was the issue immediately following the death of Damian in the series he died in, but it made up for it by showing many aspects of his death, that only this title would be fit to do.


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