New 52 – Batman Incorporated #1 review

This is a very engaging read. It’s funny, it’s imaginative, action-packed, and it has the best pacing I’ve seen in some time. I’m not a die-hard Grant Morrison fan and I seem to like his stuff as often as I hate it, but I think he knocked it out of the park with this issue. Not only does he tell a entertaining, energetic story, but he does an incredible job of refreshing readers on what happened in his previous work on “Batman”, “Batman & Robin”, and the first volume of “Batman Incorporated” without weighing the book down with boring exposition and obvious info-dumps. These refreshers not only make it easier on old fans, but it makes the book new reader friendly as well.

As for the art, Chris Burnham is one of my favorite artists. He does brilliant scenery, very emotive faces, and his style is a lot like Moebius and Frank Quitely (with less wrinkles). The creative way he organizes the panels is wonderful, and as I said before, the pacing is perfect. The opening fight scene at a meat processing facility is one of the most dynamic battles and unique set pieces I’ve seen in the New 52 so far.

I…I just really liked this issue which is funny because usually I’m pretty lukewarm about Morrison’s Batman work and find him better suited for Superman, the X-Men, and other, more fantastical heroes. But the tone here was very well done and there are plenty of moments that will have people talking fondly about their old favorite Batman stories (There’s a nice nod to “The Dark Knight Returns”) and discussing what’s to come in the future. My only complaints would be that some of Bruce and Damian’s development in Tomasi’s “Batman & Robin” Born to Kill saga has been lost. In fact, “Batman & Robin” and “Batman Incorporated” will likely conflict with one another quite a bit in the future and I see that becoming a problem. Also,

a number of characters, if not all of those heroes who died in the previous chapter “Leviathan Strikes!” are now alive again without any explanation. So with to “Return of Bruce Wayne” and all of the heroes here being resurrected by Morrison on a whim, why should I care if Damian’s life is in danger when he can be revived one issue later with no questions asked? And that was my biggest problem with this issue. Everything else was great fun and it looks phenomenal, but bringing back everyone who died robs “Leviathan Strikes!” of a lot of its weight and removes the urgency behind the threat in this issue. 

At a time when Bat-titles are hiking up to $3.99 and everything this month is a one-shot fight against Owls, “Batman Incorporated” is a breath of fresh air. I don’t see a reason for any Batman fan to miss this issue. Give it a shot and I think you’ll be back again next month to see what happens.

SCORE: 9.5/10