This week, Grant Morrison returns to Gotham with Batman Inc. Volume 2, Tim Drake hijacks one of Batman’s titles to fight The Court of Owls, and a few classic graphic novels get re-released .

Here’s a list of all the Batman comics coming out this week, May 23rd, graded on a scale of my own anticipation.

None.  –   I’ll get to it…eventually   –   Eh…meh.  –  Bring it.  –  TAKE MY MONEY

Scroll to the bottom of the page and post in the comments section what books you’re most looking forward to this week!

May 23rd

Batman Incorporated #1

Written by Grant Morrison

Pencilled by Chris Burnham

32 pages

$2.99

In case you didn’t think Batman had enough books already, The New 52’s 2nd wave brings you “Batman Incorporated”. This is a book that, like “Batman & Robin” pairs up Bruce and Damian, but instead of concerning itself with Owls and the rest of the New 52 continuity it focuses on continuing the epic adventure Grant Morrison began all the way back in “Batman” #655 and left off with “Leviathan Strikes!”. If you’re unfamiliar with Morrison’s Batman, know that he has a different take on the character than many Batman writers. His goal with Batman is to “Throw out all this stupid dark stuff and the realism of it.” (quoted from the Grant Morrison documentary “Talking with Gods”…a bit of a pretentious title, no?) Grant Morrison’s super heroes do not trouble themselves with real world problems. Instead the obstacles faced are typically of the surreal, sci-fi/fantasy variety that only comics can do and do well. He doesn’t try to make their mission seem futile and he doesn’t add frailty to his superheroes, either. After all, that’s why they’re super! As a result, many fans refer to Morrison’s Batman as “BatGod”. The first issue of “Batman Incorporated” Volume 2 will have Batman and Robin facing off against an assassin called Goatboy and it also promises to reveal the mission of Leviathan, lead by Talia Al Ghul. I have a lot of mixed feelings about Morrison’s run. “Batman” #663, the Clown at Midnight was one of my favorite issues of the past 5 years or so, his “Batman & Robin” run was a lot of fun, and Damian has been an entertaining character, but I absolutely hate the idea of Bruce Wayne going public with his affiliation to Batman. It makes Batman look like a Tony Stark rip-off and it’s also a pretty dumb move on Bruce’s part. I know Grant Morrison has referred to the act as the “ultimate deflection” but that’s ridiculous. Now that every baddie knows Batman is funded by Bruce Wayne, it should be a no-brainer that you attack his supply line and kill Bruce Wayne and level Wayne Enterprises to the ground. Having Batman start a global initiative to install a bat-ally in every country is a good idea, having Bruce go public about it isn’t. I also hated the “Return of Bruce Wayne” storyline. Sending Bruce tumbling through time isn’t what I want to see. Still, although he has the potential to infuriate me with some of his ideas, Grant Morrison’s books are rarely ever boring and I’m interested to see what he does with this new series.

Anticipation Level:   Bring it.

Batman: The Dark Knight #9

Written by Judd Winick 

Pencilled by David Finch

32 pages

$2.99

Although the title of this series is two of Batman’s moniker’s separated by a colon, this issue’s protagonist is actually Tim Drake AKA Red Robin. It’s the last regular title taking part in The Night of the Owls (besides the Batman Annual coming out next week!) and it’s also the 3rd Night of the Owls tie-in written by Judd Winick. Winick wrote the Batwing tie-in (which was good) and the Catwoman tie-in (which had its moments but wasn’t that good) so I’m not sure what to expect from this. And if you haven’t been reading “Teen Titans” you may have forgotten that Tim Drake exists. He’s had a cameo in “Batman” #1 and “Red Hood & the Outlaws” #8, but overall Tim Drake hasn’t been that important to the batfamily in the New 52. Since I haven’t seen him tackle Gotham in ages, I’m pretty excited to see this issue just so it can remind us all that Tim Drake does have a role to play.

Anticipation Level:     Bring it!

There’s also one more Night of the Owls book coming out this week but from what I gather it has no real impact at all on the night’s events because… well, it takes place over a hundred years ago. “All-Star Western” is having owl trouble of its own in 1880s Gotham. Unless it has any serious bearing on the real Night of Owls, I likely won’t be reviewing it. Other Bat-titles this week include the Absolute version of “Dark Victory” which a lot of people claim is their favorite Batman story of all time. I think even Christian Bale said it was his favorite, but for me it’s a really weak sequel to “The Long Halloween”. I read it once and forgot about it. It’s from the “Ghostbusters 2” school of sequels where they basically repeat the same exact story from the previous installment. But if you did like “Dark Victory” and you liked it enough that you’re willing to drop $100 on the super-sized version, this is your week! And if you’re looking to catch up on your “Knightfall” before “The Dark Knight Rises” comes out, Volume 2: “Knightquest” comes out this week as well.