There was a time when writer Grant Morrison’s Batman ruled the DC universe. It was the best book on the shelves and everyone wanted to read it. Then Scott Snyder came along and began to weave in some interesting stories, first with the Black Mirror and then moving on to the Court of Owls and the current Joker storyline. It’s easy to see Batman Incorporated has become the second or maybe even third best Bat book these days, but as a single issue read, is it good?
Batman Incorporated (2012-) #7 (DC Comics)
It’s not always obvious, but Grant Morrison gets to do what he wants, when he wants at DC Comics. Action Comics has been allowed to tell whatever story it likes no matter what Superman is up to in the rest of the books and the same goes for Batman. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s confusing for the reader when you don’t know how it fits into the current stories. Batman Incorporated has generally read as if it took place before Scott Snyder’s current Batman run. This issue though, seems to be a response to the Scott Snyder storyline with references I couldn’t help but notice.
Proof Joker is right about the Bat family junking up everything? Shut up already!
For those of you new to this story, Talia al Ghul is trying to make Batman’s life a living hell all so that her son Damian will come back to her; or so we thought. It appears she’s taken over the Leviathan shenanigans and wants to rule the world. There was a point we all thought Damian would end up ruining the future of Gotham, but recently we found out he was trying to save it. Essentially this series has been Grant Morrison arguing that Talia is the most powerful Batman villain.
Damian’s wittel bwothah.
Aww, they’re so cute with their sharp pointy sticks.
This issue hammers home one thing: if Damian was allowed to tag along as Robin none of the bad things would have happened. Batman wouldn’t be captured, nobody would need to die, etc. The fact that this is reiterated a few times in this issue proves Morrison really, really wants us to know Damian is good for Batman and needed. Considering how much Batman’s Inc. comrades have failed, maybe he’s right.
Is Morrison making a statement about Snyder’s story here: “Far more dangerous than the Joker…”
This issue is mostly plot with a smidge of fallout from the last issue. Many of the scenes take place in the Batcave where Damian has been pulling his hair out in frustration. There is an interesting moment Damian has as he plays with a cat. Visually he looks to be enjoying himself as any little boy would, but when he speaks to Alfred it’s all gusto and strength, particularly when he explains he was training the cat. It’s a cute way to show he’s still a boy, but wants everyone to know he’s the tough as nails ninja he was born to be.
Check out the Wayne decor. I spy a plane, giant quarter and a collection of space suits.
When this series started I couldn’t help but connect artist Chris Burnham to Frank Quitely. Something about the texture to clothing and weight of the characters is on display in each panel. I’m happy to report Burnham has slowly developed into something more unique since issue #1, possibly because he’s had to draw these comics as fast as possible. There’s still weight to the clothing, but everything is a bit more sketchy and free. Composition is good and action is still spectacular.
Final Score: 7.5
- Looks great
- Alright we get it already, Damian is needed
- Mostly plot driven
This isn’t a terrible issue, but it’s also not the best in the series. Chalk it up to comics being written for the collected format, but this issue doesn’t balance dialogue, action and plot well. It’s something I’ve noticed with Morrison’s scripts; he rarely has a good balance, but this issue tipped too far in the focus on plot and not enough on character and story. On the other hand, this issue shows things are getting even more fantastical in the story which is exciting.
Is It Good?
It is, but not great. You’ll enjoy yourself for sure, but it reads like it’s buying its time until the penultimate issue.