Saturday, December 6, 2014

[New 52] Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison issue #0

One month to go before I officially end my second wave of Batman comics diet, and I'll hopefully end with a successful run with three titles: The Dark Knight, Knightfall Omnibus volume 2 and the revamped Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison who is a Bat-writer I never always considered a favorite but whose work on the Batverse remains impactful even when he's being an asshole about it these days. Still, aside from him killing Damian Wayne in this series, I never really had strong feelings of dislike against him right until that said moment, and overall I think there are a few ways this year that he managed to win me over again. Four months ago, I reviewed the old-continuity version of Bat-Inc., which was composed of nine issues collected in a deluxe edition. Now I'm getting back to it with the New 52 version this week and I'm simultaneously fearful and thrilled to examine the content of these stories. I have 13 issues plus a special to wrap by next week!

Artist Chris Burnham has always had a peculiar art style and his illustrations for Batman Incorporated brings a lot of visual energy in the pages which suit the hyped adventure narrative of Morrison's issues to begin with. In this zero issue debut entitled Brand Building, however, Burnham takes up some co-writing duties instead while Frazer Irving does the artwork. I believe he was also the colorist and his palette was something unusually grimy and colourful at the same time. There is a lot of  monochromed watercolor-effect in the pages, if that description even makes sense. Personally, I can view this as a filler issue and that's because it's more of a recamp of events and the characters that are a part of the Bat. Inc vigilante franchise.

For a story issue, it doesn't have much, but I think it's a useful reference that will help readers like me keep track of the ensemble I might encounter over the course of the series. When I reached the end, there is this one-page recap of the characters who appeared in the present and a brief rundown of what happened and what readers will expect in the next issue, so I guess that's enough help for readers to understand what they're reading in case they get to the last page and aren't sure if they comprehended the events well or not. I sure hope this continues in the next issues because I'm not quite confident I can keep up myself without going online and checking out some sources after I read and while I'm writing these reviews.

There are heroes here that were familiar to me already (my favorite Jiro from Japan; El Groucho who I still have difficulty enjoying, Knight and Squire of England, Man-Bats and Raven whom I also consider a favorite duo, Dark Ranger of Australia, Nightrunner of France, etc.) I think the quantity of these vigilantes for this series alone can be overwhelming in a bad way because we never seem to have enough time to spend with them individually unless their services or the country they hail from are important plot devices that are required to be present for an issue. But I like ensembles (I'm a Lost fan) though granted this medium may not be the best way to tackle and convey multiple characters in a fleshed-out manner (Snyder and co. often struggle with this same problem with Batman Eternal which can still hold it together, granted that it's released weekly). 

But I will soldier on and try my best to untangle and tackle these supporting characters as long as Morrison's writing will permit me. I would like to consider this as a training ground for the next time I will find the time in my schedule to blog about X-Men series next IN TWO YEARS' TIME, realistically-speaking, which its comics, if you don't know already, ARE ENORMOUSLY DIVERSE IN SCOPE AND CHARACTER NARRATIVES. So, bring it on, Mr. Morrison. Let's Bat-Inc. my week!


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