“Batman Incorporated”, Volume 2, Prologue: Brand Building (Batman Incorporated #0)

A rather short post to start off our last stretch of the run, I’m afraid. As you can see, with this being the New 52 that I mentioned before, we’re back to the start of Batman Incorporated as far as issue numbering goes, and I’ve also put this first hardcover, Demon Star, under the subtitle of Volume 2, the last book being Volume 3 when we get to it, just to avoid confusion. Since these New 52 books are collected in two separate volumes anyway, I would assume that my way of making the series a trilogy is what actually makes sense. The last book ended with a book reveal and I expect that this one will follow suit in its own dramatic way.

On the subject of New 52, there is something that I would quickly like to talk about before we begin. In whatever post it was that I talked about it, I believe I said that, though Morrison apparently ends the run with the opportunity for someone else to take over, no one has. This may not be true after all. You see, in comparison to this first hardcover, which collects seven issues, I noticed that the second is actually quite thicker. Curious, I took a lot at the copyright page and, sure enough, there’s an additional issue called Batman Incorporated Special #1. It’s hard to believe there’s just the one though because when I say that the book’s thicker, I mean it looks almost double the size, which is a little strange seeing as the second book should probably be of the same length if it also collects seven issues. Either way, I decided to do myself some detective work on the interwebz about this and it turns out that this special one-0ff isn’t written by Morrison at all, but in fact other writers and artists we’ve never seen taking stabs at the characters. For that reason, I’m probably not going to bother talking about it in any of these last posts, even if they’re closely tied and / or are actually pretty good. After I’m done with the run – and you can read my plans for the remainder of it at the end of this post – I may review it separately if I like what I see, but don’t hold your breath.

Alright, with that outta the way, we can begin, though probably end this post just as fast. This is a bit of an unusual issue and, if I’m being perfectly honest, not very good. That latter point is probably a shocker, so let me explain. See that zero in the title? Well, it actually makes a great deal of sense that it’s there. Kind of coinciding with this being a reboot-that’s-not-a-reboot of Batman Incorporated under the New 52 name, this issue seems to be targeted to new audiences that DC were trying to draw in, attempting to explain some of what’s come before. It doesn’t work, however – you can’t possibly jump on here and enjoy the remainder of what’s to come without having read anything else that’s before. Not, I will say, because it would be difficult to understand – instead, I feel like the point of the Oroboros symbology would be lost on you, as would the significance of Damian as a character. In addition to that, for the readers who were wanting to immediately see what follows the last volume’s cliffhanger reveal, I imagine that this was a bit frustrating to find instead; I know it was for me, anyway.

It’s a shame that even the artistry of Frazer Irving, a man who I’ve praised throughout his appearances in this run, can’t save it. Indeed, even his artwork isn’t up to par. For the record, and to be completely fair, I get the feeling that this may not have been a planned issue, and so both he and Morrison may have been rushed. It’s less noticeable with Morrison – after all, it isn’t exactly difficult to retell a little of what you’ve already written in other scenes of the run – but it certainly appears that Irving had to rush his artwork out of the door. His artwork does have a peculiar style to it admittedly – and I’d actually go as far as to say that’s the kind you instantly associate with him, making it quite unique – but it isn’t usually quite as filled with plain backgrounds like this is. He does make a good attempt at at least doing some interesting things with the colouring but the simple fact of the matter is that it’s lacking in detail, adding to what’s already a poor issue, hopefully the last we’ll see.

So, yes, the real beginning of the end actually starts next time, annoyingly enough, and I’ll get my thoughts on that first one at least tomorrow. If you’re wondering what my plan is for reviewing these last twelve issues, the answer is that I’ll be going through them one by one right enough, hopefully wrapping up my thoughts on the entire run in one more post following the final issue. The very last thing I’ll do is create a page – that I’ll probably add to the sidebar of the blog – listing all my entries on the whole thing, including the few posts in which I’d just sat down and talked about my thoughts in general once I’d gotten to certain points, so that no poor soul shall ever have to suffer their way through the archives of this blog to find anything specific. That should be a fairly handy thing to have but, after it’s put together, that’ll be me completely done, at which point I’ll probably make a post about what I might start doing next on the blog. God knows, I’ll most likely begin another series of comics seeing as I’m not exactly short of choices in that department, but there’s video games that I’ve been meaning to talk about as well, so who knows? Well, what I do know is that, whatever comic series I start next, it won’t be Batman or more Grant Morrison, lest I become completely obsessed with both.

Until next time.



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