Saturday, August 13, 2011

Batman Incorporated #7

Cover by Chris
Burnham, Nathan
Writer: Grant Morrison
Batman Incorporated #7 (June 29, 2011)
Penciller: Chris Burnham
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Patrick Brosseau

I have been debating whether or not to read this comic book mostly because I was always drawn to and put off by the cover. It seemed so insane to me. Batman riding a Bat-pod, as red cowl wearing kid rides a horse and another Batmanish-looking guy wearing a cowl and an American Indian headdress rides a buffalo (can you even ride a buffalo?) in the American desert. My brain couldn’t handle this cover for a very long time.

I’m going to be honest and admit that I also avoided this issue because it was written by Grant Morrison, whom I love to dislike. But my curiosity and belief that I should give the guy another chance won out, so I finally read Batman Incorporated #7.

First of all, this series is all about the franchising of the Batman symbol by Bruce Wayne, which is sort of depressing in a hipster way. Batman’s sold out, man! But it’s also sort of cool that the Batman symbol and ideals can go global and mean something to people all over the world. Truth be told, however, I inherently dislike any Batman comics that feature Batman outside of Gotham City. It seems wrong to me. They belong together. But, Bruce Wayne has decided to recruit his own network of vigilantes and leave Dick Grayson in charge of Gotham as he travels the world. I don’t know, none of these aspects about this series excited or interested me but I read the comic anyway.

Batman Incorporated #7 focuses on an extremely poor town in western America. The local vigilante is Man-of-Bats, a Lakota Batman who operates in broad daylight, checking in on neighbor’s door-to-door and making no secret of his real identity. His son, however, is growing resentful of being pushed into the sidekick role of Raven and the growing tension between the two men provides a crucial conflict in the issue.

Of course, there is an extremely action-packed sequence featuring the main villains, the mysterious group Leviathan and a much-needed and appreciated visit by the original Batman, Bruce Wayne.

I have to say that the plot was alright-enough but the characterizations were very strong. Morrison gave Man-of-Bats a very fresh and dynamic personality; he was unlike any other vigilante I have encountered thus far. He was enthusiastic but flawed and therefore very real feeling. His son, Raven, however, just seemed more like your typical angsty and resentful teenage sidekick/son so he didn’t do that much for me.

The art, however, threw me. When it was just scenes of characters talking or investigating, it was quite strong and detailed. The fight scenes, however, were so violent that the art jumped straight into the ridiculous. As an action and horror movie fan, blood, gore and violence really do not bother me at all. In fact, I quite like it. In this comic, however, the blood and wounds were so unrealistic, I had to wonder just where Burnham was getting his understanding of how the human body works when wounded. For example, when a character is stabbed in one panel, the blood explodes out in a fantastical arc, as if someone had just pitched a ripe tomato at a concrete wall. When another character is shot, the blood literally drenches the window in one uniform wave. It was ridiculous. There was also a gross panel that featured a crying snotty baby with an overflowing diaper. That upset me more than anything else in the comic.

I can’t say that anything in this issue makes me want to continue reading the Batman incorporated series. While I wasn’t overwhelmed with pretension as I usually am with Morrison’s comics, I still didn’t love it.


  1. Yeah, I gave Batman Inc. a real try there for a while, I liked the concept a lot in theory. But When I got to the end of either the first or second issue and there was an apartment that was full of water with a giant squid in it attacking people I knew it wasn't going to last haha

  2. @Pat Hughes Yeah, I never understand it when comic books pull stuff like that. Like you can have the most gritty straightforward storyline and then bam! werewolf/shark hybrid or robot monster out of nowhere.