Batman, Inc. #12 delivers the big awesome fight scene we all wanted to see last month but didn’t get. However, with only one issue left, you’ve got to wonder how the heck Morrison is going to wrap all of this up in a satisfying manor.

There really aren’t any big surprises in this issue nor any of that famous Morrison symbolism. It’s all pretty straight forward but that’s okay because we get to see Chris Burnham illustrate an entire issue of balls-to-the-wall action. When we last saw Batman he had injected himself with Man-Bat serum and dressed himself in 3 types of armor. As you can imagine, what follows is page after page of Batman whooping the crap out of Heretic and the forces of Leviathan.

The only thing to detract from this battle is whatever is going on between Wingman (Jason Todd/Red Hood) Spyral, and the other Inc. characters, however, just like with the last 3 issues or so we don’t spend enough time with this subplot to really get a good grasp on what’s going on.

With the month-long delay (I call it that, but we had the filler issue with Batman Japan in that time) and climax that’s stretching across so many issues it might be a good idea to re-read the last few issues of Batman, Inc. before tackling this one. I know I’m having trouble remembering who is where and what’s going on since the finale has been stretched over so much time. It doesn’t make for a very satisfying monthly read, but should make for a fast-paced and thrilling TPB.

Quick Notes:

  • Talia’s mask is still an odd choice. I get it, it’s a play on the name “Al ghul” as in “Ghoul” but why is she wearing it at such random times? Why does she wear it at all? It definitely has too much of a Black Mask look to it.
  • There was a spelling mistake in which Robin says “I know you, you don’t I?”
  • Batman’s use of the Bats to administer an antidote on all of the Man-Bats in the comic’s opening pages was genius and one of the coolest moments in this book so far.
  • The pacing of the book was quite abrupt, especially in the end. The quick cuts have been happening pretty often in the most recent issues of this series and I wonder if Morrison and the gang are having trouble squeezing everything in.
Spoiler
We get one of Morrison’s biggest F-You’s to continuity when Talia blows up Wayne Tower, which was seen rather prominently in Batman #18 when Harper Row displayed the word “Resolve” in the skyscraper’s lights.

Resolve

As I’ve said before, I really like Chris Burnham’s art so I was ecstatic to see that he was illustrated the entire issue after needing a fill-in artist on the past few installments. There are some really great shots during the fight but a panel in which Heretic drops to his knees is one of my favorites because it makes such great use of the way the eye traces over the page.

Spoiler
I was surprised by Heretic’s baby face. That was pretty disturbing.
The colors by Fairbairn were equally fantastic especially when the violence was heightened and the imagery was saturated in red or the way the dark blues and greens captured the cold and foreboding atmosphere of the storm.

Now we just have to wonder if the next and final issue (besides the special coming in August) will give this massive saga a worthy ending. Batman has to defeat Talia, Oroboros has to be brought down, and if you recall from issue #1 of the New 52 Batman Incorpoprated, Bruce Wayne still has to get arrested! That’s a lot to squeeze into an issue that apparently won’t be super-sized.

Overall

It doesn’t progress the story as much as I would have liked, nor does it have the depth of previous installments but the artwork is stunning and the fight scene between Batman and Heretic is worth the price of admission. If you’ve been keeping up with Batman, Inc. then you’re going to be entertained by this. I suppose my biggest complaint is that after all the wait for issue #12 to get here and only one issue left to conclude the story, I wanted more.

SCORE: 7.5/10