Sunday, July 20, 2014

Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison issue #5

The previous two issues were hard for me to read because I just couldn't get into the story and that alone disrupted my enjoyment. I did eventually connect to the present storyline on some level, all thanks to the surprisingly pleasant appearances of Kathy Kane, the previous Batwoman from the past, and the current Batwoman who just kicks ass and takes name like no other.

For this issue, we get to meet yet another hero for Bat Inc. recruitment, an Englishman who goes by the name of the Hood, a spy whom Batwoman meets as she tries to intercept Dr. Dedalus' location. I don't think I even mentioned Dr. Dedalus before, but basically he's the bad-guy at the heart of it all (the boss whom Scorpiana and El Sombrero work for). He has several aliases as well, one of which was Agent Zero who hired Kathy Kane to uncover Batman's identity and whom I assumed also had her murdered years ago. I think the idea behind Dr. Dedalus' character is imaginative. Morrison mentioned in the conception of his characters that he wanted a senile criminal mastermind who refuses to retire and so his schemes are getting more erratic and illogical due to his deteriorating mind. I think that makes this particular villain both pitiful and dangerous.

In addition to this clever characterization, Morrison also made use of the Ouroboros which is an ancient Greek symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. It also ties up to the mysterious phrase, "A ring around the world" (which will play a significant role in the next issues so keep that in mind). Dr. Dedalus is obsessed with this symbol for some reason and once they managed to apprehend the bad guys (Batwoman kicks Scorpiana around which was awesome, especially when she commented on Scorpiana's costume: "You seriously wear a swimsuit?") and Batman was able to stop a bomb from obliterating the island (nothing like trying to disarm a deranged criminal mastermind's bomb to keep the suspense going), they eventually discover that this mission in Argentina has connections with the global threat Batman had been preparing for: THE LEVIATHAN.

We then get a flashback sequence labeled "Prologue" where we are taken to a small village in North Africa. David, also known as Bat-Wing, stumbles upon a disturbing practice where African children are being lulled and brainwashed into giving their loyalties to an ominous organization that call themselves the Leviathan. The issue ends with that which actually improves the quality of the storytelling for me. I think this issue has answered some questions from the previous two, as well as offer more puzzles to solve. But at least now I can make sense of the story in general which has something to do with this mysterious Leviathan who seems to be Batman's number-one priority in his hit-list. In fact, we will later discover later that they are one of the reasons why Bruce Wayne decided to franchise the Batman ideal across the world ever since he came back from the dead (post-Final Crisis storyline where he was trapped in the future and saw something that he is now determined to stop from happening).

This issue ties up the Argentina storyline well and I'm very relieved that we can move on to another plot especially now that the game is afoot and the stakes are taking a darker turn and it's getting risky for everyone involved.


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