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Tag Archive: Batman Incorporated


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On the heels of the wind up of the “Death of the Family” story arc in Issue #17 of the monthly Batman comic book series a few days ago, it’s ironic that Grant Morrison is making news today with his own Batman series creation Batman, Incorporated.  The Batman “Death of the Family” story had some readers thinking one of the key Batman related characters was going to meet his end–probably not Batman, Catwoman, Batgirl, or Dick Grayson/Nightwing, but maybe Alfred or Batman’s son Damian Wayne (the current Robin) or even the original Robin killed off in the comics, Jason Todd, since resurrected into the Red Hood.  Some readers were disappointed in the finale issue of the “Death of the Family” story even after re-reading the story title which never actual implied a death “in” the family.  No one died but the family was left in turmoil.  And that was that.

Today a major shift occurs in the DC Universe with the release of Batman, Incorporated Issue #8.  Below is a five-page preview followed by spoilers, including the telling cover, after the break.  Don’t read on if you haven’t already seen the content in other press but make sure you grab today’s issue.  It’s a sure bet Batman, Incorporated Issue #8 will be sold out everywhere early today as this will be one of those issues that makes the mainstream press, causing the masses to flock to stores to buy up extra collecting copies.

Batman Inc Issue 8 preview page 1

Batman Inc Issue 8 preview pages 2 and 3

Batman Inc Issue 8 preview pages 4

Batman Inc Issue 8 preview page 5

Read on for more, including spoilers.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It takes a lot for me to flat out not like something as I tend to try to be open-minded about new ideas and new ways of thinking.  This is one of those books that flat-out didn’t work at all for me.  It’s hard to say which I liked least, Grant Morrison’s impenetrable story or Chris Burnham’s cartoony art style that changes from page to page to the point of lacking continuity of design.

Batman, Incorporated #1 was released last week.  Actually another Batman, Incorporated #1 was issued as recently as November 2011, but with the reboot of the New 52 somehow this series has maneuvered around the other Bat-titles and earned another shot at ongoing series.  So many Batman titles… and now with this new series at DC Comics they have finally made the line bloated.  At some point you have to give new readers context.  Why should I care about this new story?  Where does it fit in the rest of the DC universe?

Issue #1 follows Batman and Robin, this time Robin is Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul.  Now keep in mind there is already a Batman and Robin series.  And these characters appear in the main Batman series.  And the villain of the book is a guy wearing a ghost mask called Goatboy.  Yep, Goatboy.  It’s a character like that that makes me think Grant Morrison is putting us on.  Basically there is a bounty on the dynamic duo and a down and out father is determined to kill Robin and by the last panel seems to be successful.  That’s the whole story.  There’s also a lot of inexplicable gruesome gore that does not appear to relate to anything.  Like this panel.  The sound effects “Pok!” are supposed to illustrate… who knows?

I hate to even re-print such an image, but you should know what you’re getting if this one is on your buy list.  In the end, it’s just gross and pointless.

The story is really driven forward by Damian/Robin.  He is feisty and argumentative, but he is also skilled at taking out the criminal set.  Unfortunately, he reminds you of a rugrat–one of those kids that annoy you in real life and are hard to care about in any story, comic book or not.  Batman is revealed in story and art as a pretty one-note caricature.  The dialogue is clunky.  The scenes have no transitional flow.  There’s not really not much that can be said by way of character building.  Perhaps the reader is expected to have read last  to be told in last year’s Batman, Incorporated series?

Again, in Batman, the series, these characters exist and carry on an ongoing storyline.  What makes us need this story to be told in tandem?  Unfortunately Issue #1 was enough to tell me I don’t care enough to find out what happens next.

   

The big news for the week in comicdom is DC Comics’ confirmation yesterday that it will cancel 6 of its 52 regular series after Issue #8, after a lot of speculation over the past several weeks that DC would trim off some of its low selling titles.  DC has offered very little by way of explanation other than low sales, and it released the names of the six titles unceremoniously at the end of its press release touting the addition of 6 replacement titles.  Unfortunately three of the exiting titles were part of DC’s effort to diversify characters and its audience.  As to the new titles, there is some good news, some indifference, and some… seriously?

The best news, of course, is that the very best of the New 52 titles are continuing, including All Star Western, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batwoman, Captain Atom, Justice League Dark, Savage Hawkman, and Wonder Woman.  And a character who I thought deserved her own regular title is now getting one.

The departing titles are:

Blackhawks – Blackhawks are an elite force of military specialists equipped with the latest in cutting-edge hardware and vehicles.  Their mission: Kill the bad guys before they kill us.

Hawk and Dove – The living avatars of war and peace root out the hidden forces who look to plunge the country into a deadly civil war.  Dove made an appearance in Justice League Dark as a pretty good character.

Men of War – The attempt to bring Sergeant Rock to the 21st century just didn’t get the expected readership.

Mister Terrific – One of the departing titles featuring a black character.  Though he has no super powers, Mister Terrific has a brilliant mind and an aptitude for science which he used to create the T-Mask, which renders him invisible to technology, the T-Spheres, which have several functions including holographic projection, generating electric charges and granting limited flight.

O.M.A.C. – Kevin Kho has become an unwilling participant in a war between Checkmate and Brother Eye as he is transformed into the One Machine Army Corp known as O.M.A.C.

Static Shock – A young justice title, focusing on a black teenager who was meant to be a modern, updated Spider-man for the DC universe.

DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras stated that the characters in these titles will continue to be appear in the New 52 universe titles.

So the biggest disappointment of the new “second wave” on New 52 titles?  A TWELFTH Bat-title: BATMAN: INCORPORATED.  Really? If you’re not keeping track, we already had Batman, Detective Comics, The Dark Knight, Batwing, Batman and Robin, Batgirl, Batwoman, Knightwing, Catwoman, Birds of Prey, and Red Hood and the Outlaws.  No criticism intended of some of these titles (like the exceptional Batgirl and Batwoman), but there is only so many Bat-stories one can keep track of each month.   Ok, it was pretty clear Grant Morrison was going to come back with this title this year, so it isn’t a great surprise.  Still…

The cool news is a revamped classic title, WORLDS’ FINEST, known for its Batman and Superman team-ups, now with the apostrophe moved from where it was in World’s Finest, as it appears to have intentionally moved to account for the multiple Earths in the DCU.  The part we like is Huntress, just wrapping up her limited series, she will be a lead character sharing the storyline with Power Girl.  Written by Paul Levitz with shared art duties for George Perez and Kevin Maguire. DC is marketing this one as Stranded on our world from a parallel reality, Huntress and Power Girl struggle to find their way back to Earth 2.  Which brings us to the third new title:

EARTH 2.  Written by James Robinson with art by Nicola Scott.   This one could be fun, as there’s an unlimited number of change-ups that can be done with the parallel universe concept in the DCU.  The greatest heroes on a parallel Earth, the Justice Society combats threats that will set them on a collision course with other worlds.

A big surprise for me is the reboot of DIAL H.  Originally a classic series called Dial “H” for Hero, and rebooted only a few years back (2003) in a great series called just H.E.R.O., I think I have read all the back issues on this one and always liked the concept.  If it is like the original, you have a dial like the alethiometer in The Golden Compass, which is used by Joe Citizen, often changing hands, to allow you to be the hero you want to be as circumstances require.  It’s a little like Quantum Leap or Dollhouse, where you get to change everything with each new installment.  This will be written by comics newbie China Miéville with art by Mateus Santoluoco.

And the war concept must not be dead, despite killing the Men of War title, as it will be replaced with the classic title, G.I. COMBAT.   This will be a war series with three ongoing separate stories, written and drawn by three separate creative teams.

Finally the sixth new title to be added is THE RAVAGERS – Written by Howard Mackie with art by Ian Churchill. This is a Teen Titans and Superboy spinoff where four superpowered teens on the run fight against the organization that wants to turn them into supervillains.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

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