Batman, Robin, and company are barely in this issue at all and there aren’t any shocking moments like there were in issue #1 but what it does deliver is the most important Talia Al Ghul story ever told.

Chris Burnham is one of my favorite artists and he does a bang-up job on this issue. Everything about this book is perfectly penciled by Burnham and the vibrant colors by Nathan Fairbairn elevate the art even more. The Bond poster cover opens to a charity rock concert. From there we go to the white mountains of the Himalayas to the eerie green catacombs where a Lazarus pit bubbles. The book then takes you to the desert, to university, horse stables, a zeppelin ride, a fortune teller’s den, an underground lair, the ballet, a train ride through the desert, and more. When you’re done reading, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled the globe. It’s epic storytelling at its finest.

Problems: Batman’s wearing the New 52 suit in a flashback– it would’ve been a great opportunity to show off an older version of his armor and give a nod to classic designs of the character but instead it now looks like Batman has always worn the same suit. And

Spoiler
the scene with Talia meeting her mother could’ve been handled better. “They tell me you can see the future in stars and cards.” Who’s they? I thought Talia was sheltered and Ra’s didn’t want her meeting her mother? Who would’ve told her about the mom being a fortune teller or where to find her? Why is she surprised to learn that the fortune teller is actually her mother?

This shaping up to be a far better run than the previous volume of “Batman Inc.” and this issue in particular is the definitive Talia Al Ghul story. Whenever people ask about Talia Al Ghul, this will be the book everyone points to for answers about her origin and her greatest triumphs. It’s beautifully drawn, references classic Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul tales of the past, and Morrison does a superb job of catching new readers up on what Talia and Leviathan have been up to for the past 6 years of comics in 20 highly entertaining pages.

SCORE: 10/10