Friday, July 18, 2014

Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison issue #4

I received the previous issue with a lukewarm response, mostly likely due to the fact that I was far too confounded about most of the details in that story that I was unable to properly enjoy it as a whole. Luckily, this issue did not suffer the same kind of problems I had with the last one--but it wasn't a solid issue in itself either. My favorite aspect of this issue is definitely the appearance of the first Batwoman, Kathy Kane, in a series of flashbacks; and the fact that we also get the current Batwoman, Kate, in the mix. This is also the issue where artist Chris Burnham makes his debut for the series. His illustrations perfectly matched the era where Kathy Kane belongs in during the flashbacks so I was quite happy about that.

This directly follows the events after the cliffhanger in the previous issue where Batman and El Gaucho have to fight each other to the death in order to save the three abducted children from drowning. Scorpiana baits them by revealing that El Gaucho had something to do with Kathy Kane's death in the past which naturally set Batman's nerves on edge because we find out later on that she was the first woman he ever thought of marrying--and the one who broke his heart which apparently no one has done before. Batman then proceeds to beat up El Gaucho while the other man tries to explain to him his role in Kane's death. But as I stated before, I couldn't care about what's going on in that plot point. What I focused my attention on is with the Batwomen of the past and present.

Of the past, Kathy Kane is an extraordinary and scintillating character of her own right. She was ambitious, determined and ready to take on a man's world which is what motivated her to put on a female Bat costume to begin with. Batman was absolutely smitten which didn't sit well with prepubescent Dick as Robin. But things are not as idyllic as it seems because Kathy Kane had a terrible secret and it's one that would cost her loyalty and relationship with the Dark Knight. I won't reveal what it is since it ties to the overall plot revelation of this issue but let's just say they ended in bad terms and then that follows her death later. Of the present, Batwoman tracks down the same organization that Batman and El Gaucho are caught up in. She meets a Kathy Kane impostor and apprehends her. She realizes that there is something more going on with her late family relative's murder case than meets the eye so she decided to find out more about it. I hope it's a good one.

The ending was quite anti-climactic. Somehow Batman and El Gaucho stop fighting. And then Scorpiana escapes, leaving the wheel-chaired El Sombrero behind. The enigmatic last lines are "Kathy Kane made it personal" and it was a nice touch. I certainly want to know what happened after she broke up with Batman because I feel like her death afterwards has some importance in the bigger picture. I also want to see more of her descendant Kate, the current Batwoman, investigate that piece of the puzzle and hopefully she joins Batman and El Gaucho in the next issue before I completely lose interest in this convoluted storyline.


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