In a recent Q&A Man of Steel-centric event, George Perez revealed problems he had when writing the first few issues of the New 52 Superman. He asked the powers that be where Clark Kent was as far as story, where he was going and the like. He didn’t know it at the time, but Grant Morrison was on Action Comics, and DC was giving him full reign. Unfortunately for Perez, Morrison wasn’t telling anyone what his plans were and nobody had the nerve to even ask. Hence the reason why the first few issues of Superman under Perez were empty of story beyond punching monsters in the face. It appears Morrison has free reign on Batman as well, and considering this issue, that’s a good and bad thing. Sure, it’s great to get actual bona fide new stories in Batman Incorporated #2…but at what cost? More importantly, is it good?

Batman Incorporated #2 (DC Comics)

This issue is completely devoted to Talia al Ghul and her upbringing. If you never wanted to learn anything about this character…well, sorry. You’re going to have to start caring. It’s pretty clear by the end of this issue she’s becoming an even more important player in the Batman universe.

The moment the Ghul’s fell in love.

The book opens in a very strange way…at what appears to be a rock concert to raise money for the starving in Africa. Talia’s mother is speaking to Ghul…who’s dressed in his customary green cloak even at public events and appears to be a believer in making the world a better place. Morrison is most likely planting a seed here where Talia’s kindness comes into play. It’s a detail that is nearly inconsequential in the issue, but knowing Morrison it’s going to mean something down the road.

They grow up so fast.

Cute moments abound in this issue as we track Talia’s childhood. It’s most definitely not by accident that we see her going through similar motions that Damien went through as well. Chris Burnham does a bang up job here once again and it’s clear he’s got a definitive style. It might look like Frank Quietly’s work, but it has a softer tone that compliments the dialogue.

Screw Bruce Lee…?

What this issue exceeds at is showing just how difficult it would have been to grow up with a supervillain father. Morrison also doesn’t fail to show Talia’s desire to know her mother and by extension understand her womanhood. It’s been done before, but it’s clear her love for Batman was also a desire to be her own person and to give the middle finger to Ghul.

I sure do miss the days when Batman disguised himself.

It’s also clear Morrison is building up Talia to make her a new villain. If he adds shades of grey to her backstory maybe, just maybe, she can be unique. Based on the final page I think he’s going down the right road. It’s not apparent yet though, if it will succeed.

Watch out for that scorpion, Batman!

I’m a sucker for origin stories when told in a single issue. They allow the writer and aritst to come up with fun and interesting montages and this book has that in droves.

How not to raise a child, tip #238.

For a Batman book, there sure isn’t a lot of Batman. That’s okay, though, mainly because Talia is closely tied to Damien, and Damien is obviously very much a big part of who Batman is; at least in the new Morrison DCU. For $2.99 this is a fun read with some nice surprises, so might expect this to be in the running to make our 10 dollar budget in ComiX Weekly later today.

Is It Good?

When aren’t ninjas good? Yes.