Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reading Review: Batman Incorporated Volume 2 Number 5

I've been fairly disappointed with the New 52, the DC Comics reboot.  The one exception is Batman Incorporated, perhaps because it is a title that essentially was left alone storywise.  Publicationwise, it was abruptly ended and then in hiatus for almost a year, so the New 52 was a pain where this comic was concerned, but it could have been worse.  Writer Grant Morrison has been creating a massive Batman story since 2006 across such titles as Batman, Batman And Robin, Batman:  The Return Of Bruce Wayne, and Batman Incorporated, and I have found it very enjoyable.  Sure, it's embarrassing to be a fortysomething reading Batman comics, but if they write them like this, then I'll read them when I'm an eightysomething.  Basically, the overarching storyline is that Batman has formed an organization called Batman Incorporated that internationalizes Batman and creates a Batman army so he can confront a terrorist organization called Leviathan that's run by Talia Al Ghul, his ex-girlfriend from Hell and mother of his child, Damian.  From what I can gather, Talia is mad Batman broke up with her so she is getting his attention by sending Man-Bat ninjas to attack him and Gotham City.  Also, she's decided that her son has spent enough time with his father, and she wants him back as well.

Yes, it's a superhero custody battle.  This comic is totally ridiculous, but it's also totally fun.  In this issue, Batman has a vision of the future wherein the current Robin, Damian, is Batman and Gotham City falls under the assault of a virus that seems to turn people into Joker zombies.  As a result, Batman decides to send Damian back to live with his mother, but Damian is having none of it.  Some of the pages could use a few more panels on them, but overall it's a satisfying comic.  Even when Morrison's panel per page count is light, enough daffy but thoughtprovoking ideas are floating around in his stories that the comic must be read carefully to get the full impact.

I noticed in this issue that the future Commissioner Gordon is Barbara Gordon, and Morrison has her back in her wheelchair, which disappeared controversially in the New 52 reboot of the character.  Some of the story parallels The Dark Knight Rises movie's plot with Gotham under threat by a nuclear bomb from the federal government.  This time, Batman doesn't save Gotham, and that isn't even the cliffhanger ending.

Morrison's reportedly leaving this title and Batman in general with the 12th issue.  If so, I will miss him.  This comic isn't high art, but it's a good time!

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