Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman, Incorporated #11

So Bruce is all pissed, he's got an exoskeleton and the Suit of Sorrows, and is all juiced up on Man-Bat serum and... HAHA. No. Batman Japan super fun times! Or Mr. Unknown for those of us who've been with Inc since day one. While he's on a date in the Internet 3.0 with Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, a gang of motorcycle ladies is wreaking some havoc in downtown Tokyo, setting off the Bat Alarm, which causes Jiro and Canary to be surrounded by a bunch of Batman faces just yelling "BAT ALARM!" Terrifying, I'm sure. Jiro and Canary go to their own Batcave, suit up, and go out to fight some crime, Batman Japan style.

It doesn't take long for Jiro and Canary to come across the gang of biker chicks, and it doesn't take long for them to figure out they're not going to be able to do much damage to them, for some reason. Jiro even manages to slice off a part of one of their helmets, only to have it regenerate... Something is up, but too bad for Jiro and Canary, as the bikers trap them in their own riot foam, and ride away.

Jiro and Canary regroup at the cave, where Jrio uses his computer to analyze any recent local videos of the biker gang to figure out where they may have went to. He also comes to the conclusion that they were using some sort of nano technology, thus the regenerating helmet, and comes up with a possible idea how to fight it, using the Internet 3.0. Jiro's computer tracks down the biker gang, but when they arrive to the location on the map, they find nothing but an exit ramp to nowhere.

Turns out they're in the right place, just cant see the massively cloaked base where the bikers are reporting back to their unpleased leader, who berates them after their joyride, when they were just supposed to get a neutron probe, in hopes they could get back in Leviathan's good graces.

Jiro and Canary remain outside a bit confused, but Jiro's optics eventually pick up an anomaly, and he gives Canary a specific frequency to use her sonic scream at, which reveals the hidden base. The biker gang meets the duo outside to start round two, but Jiro doesn't want to fight, as he and Canary tell the gang they know what they are, and they're sorry. The gang is confused but


Jiro and Canary end up sticking their helmets with darts that disable the nano tech to reveal some pretty ugly mugs. Turns out these women were supposed to be the best biker racing squad, and were going to be the public face of Leviathan, but their nano tech back fired, which caused Leviathan to abandon them and they've been trying to get back in ever since. Canary feels pretty bad and tells them they could have asked for help, as she asks them for help to stop their boss.

Next thing you know, Jiro, Canary and the biker gang are going up against the boss... LADY TIGER FIST. Yep, pretty much what it sounds like. Big battle gets going, and Canary even takes a pic of it with her phone... that may or may not have some Internet 3.0 voodoo going on with it... Anyways, things end up taking a turn for the worst, and next thing you know, Lady Tiger Fist rips Jiro's head off, you know... whatever.

Or perhaps not. Internet 3.0 hallucinations!  Jiro and Canary ended up altering Lady Tiger Fists' nano tech to put her into a mental prison, and when she wakes up, she'll be in a new one... or perhaps they'll just troll her, and that'll be a fake one too. Who knows!

When all is said and done, Jiro and Canary go on a date again and we get back to the final show down with Talia!


The Good:

The style of this issue is fantastic. Chris Burnham is a fan of old school manga, and the influence shows in both writing and the art, and having read manga before I even read comics, I really enjoyed this issue just for the influences it proudly wears. There's just a certain sense of an over the top ridiculous nature that can only be found in stuff like manga, and just makes you grin. The distinct lack of subtly to some of the stuff that happens here is just so funny and entertaining, key example being the turn of the page to "BAT-BLUFF!" Just great. Then on top of the writing style, Jorge Lucas' art fits the tone perfectly, with a little Kirby influence I want to say. Stylistically, this issue is just really good in both writing and art.

On a final "good" note, this issue has what pretty much the entire second volume of Inc has been missing, and that's the whole concept of Inc, in the supporting characters. I missed seeing people like Jiro in action, so good on Chris Burnham and Jorge Lucas giving us something other than Bruce and Talia fighting.

The Bad:

I mean, no matter how fun this was, it's still a giant cockblock to the momentum Inc had going to get to the end, but if this potentially allows Burnham to illustrate the final issues in full, fine. Other than that, some of the dialogue was a bit clunky and ham-fisted at times, but I struggled with thinking maybe that's the point stylistically? At the end of the day, I couldn't definitively tell so, sorry, it's a negative, but not a huge one.

The Bottom Line:

Yes, this issue completely interrupts the flow that Inc had going for it, and yes they probably should have announced this when they announced that Inc would be getting an issue #13, which we now know to be what issue #12 would have originally have been... All that said, when you take this issue for what it is, it's a fun and goofy love letter to classic manga with an over the top style you rarely see in western mainstream comics. It may have not been the issue we had been expecting, but it was great fun in the end.


1 comment :

  1. It felt like a Burnham pastiche of Morrison to me. I enjoyed it overall but some of the dialog was pretty bad, and I agree with you some of it seemed intentionally over the top.

    I don't mind getting an interlude - I kind of wish there had been issues like this interspersed throughout the run. The Inc. concept is so versatile and rich, DC could spend years exploring it.