There’s a whole lot to love about this issue but there were also a lot of things that had me scratching my head. It’s a must buy because some major developments occur and Grant Morrison drops in some cryptic lines that’ll definitely get a debate going too so it’s definitely a fun read. So let’s get into the review:
First of all, these covers are great. The Burnham one, the digital combo-pack version of the Burnham cover, and the Ryp cover all look fantastic and really catch the eye. The art inside is just as good with some particularly stunning page layouts by Burnham. However, we get 4 pages by Andres Guinaldo acting as a fill-in artist right in the middle of the story and that’s pretty jarring especially when he’s filling in for Burnham who has a very unique style. This isn’t to say that Guinaldo did a bad job, it’s just that the two styles didn’t blend well at all and the switch came at an inopportune time. And even though I’m a huge fan of Chris Burnham and he’s one of my favorite comic artists, even I was a bit confused by some of the things that happen in the book’s final pages.
Now let’s get to the head-scratchy things. The biggest question that arises from this issue for me isn’t “What’s that goat parable all about?” — I honestly don’t know. It has to do with finding enlightenment by reaching the top of a mountain but when Batman reaches the “summit” of his own personal mountain he doesn’t find any enlightenment so I’m not sure what sort of point Talia was trying to make. Whether or not the Batman of the 666 universe is indeed Damian doesn’t trouble me either although it’s now in doubt after some things Talia says. And something more intriguing then questionable is how Batman says something about how Talia doesn’t seem like herself, it feels like Morrison is setting up some kind of twist in the near future. No, what bugged me about this issue is why on earth Batman is going it alone! I’ve reviewed a lot of Batman comics now so I know that anytime there’s a big event Batman pushes everyone away and says he needs to do this on his own, but that approach doesn’t fit in Morrison’s Batman Incorporated. Not at all. In fact it goes against everything the series was built on. The entire premise of this book is that Batman isn’t going to go it alone ever again. He’s a Batman who understands that he needs as many allies as he can get for the greater good. So when we have scenes of Dick, Damian, Tim, and Jason hanging out in the batcave with an ever-growing cast of Bat-pets I can’t help but wonder what the point is of Batman Inc. if Batman’s just going to tell everyone to sit at home like he does in every other bat-title.
Besides those complaints I thoroughly enjoyed this issue. It’s a breath of fresh air honestly after reading all of these repetitive Death of the Family books. And if you’re a long time fan of Morrison’s Batman run you will not only enjoy all the action, character cameos, and creative page layouts but you’ll also get a little emotional. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Morrison’s run so the “big moment” that happens here didn’t strike a cord with me the way it will some of you, but it definitely came as a surprise. So go pick it up. Batman Incorporated is easily one of the most fun and interesting bat-titles being put out right now that makes great use of not only Batman but the entire Batfamily.