Saturday, December 20, 2014

[New 52] Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison issue #12

The last three issues I reviewed have been coasting on a solid 7 out of 10 rating, and I'm quite hesitant to do the same with this one since this did contain the long overdue ass-kicking battle between Batman and the Heretic. The majority of the pages fortunately focused on that conflict but there's a subplot concerning Spyral and Jason Todd that went over my head because we never really spent enough time with this plot thread to fully understand whatever foreboding ramifications are coming. What I could comprehend is that Batman Incorporated is an illegal private army that should never have been authorized and everyone in the global intelligence communities wants it dissolved but not before Bat-Inc's vigilantes help out in extracting Leviathan out of Gotham City once and for all. Why, of course! 

This issue is gratingly misleading; everything about it is still a set-up that should have taken place instead in issue #11 as oppose to that unfortunate filler concerning Jiro and Japan. This is the issue that follows the finale and yet it's lacking the punch I was looking for, narrative-wise, in spite of the gruesome amount of back-and-forth punching and kicking between Batsy and the Heretic. In fact, with the exception of those incredibly drawn and vivid fight scenes between the two, most of the other elements for this installment are forgettable and fall apart when you try to scrutinize it with a more logical perspective.

It's getting very tiresome for me to mention the fact that the world and setting Morrison created in Batman Incorporated are not AT ALL a part of the New 52 jurisdiction and nothing screams that fact more than this issue at hand because by the last pages we see Talia al Ghul blowing up Wayne Tower. Meanwhile, in Scott Snyder's Requiem issue tribute to Damian entitled Resolve, we see Wayne Tower very much still existing, cascading beautifully and darkly on the Gotham horizon as Bruce stands there revived from his grief as he finds the will and strength to go on after his son's demise. It's one of the most poignant illustrations I've ever seen because of that specific backdrop so upon reading this issue and witnessing the symbolic 'fall' of the 'House of Wayne' via tower-bombing, I can't help but feel that this is DC and Morrison's special way of telling the readers that they FUCKING HATE EACH OTHER right now because neither of them can get their timelines straight; they both seem to insist on their versions of reality so New 52 Bat-stories and Bat-Inc completely cancel each other out due to these inconsistencies in details. It's become very blatant that I can only just shake my head grimly at this point and just let these assholes do what they must do among themselves. Good grief! So after much deliberation, I am giving this issue yet another 7-pointer.

I guess with four issues rated 7 out of 10, my general review and evaluation for the second volume of Batman Incorporated will be significantly lower than I intended. I can live with that. Even before I approach the end of this run, I have made up my mind that the first six issues collected in Demon Star were far more superior in scope than this latter part which is ironic since the second volume should have a more resonant appeal. But I digress.

Though there is less depth here, I would still commend the cliffhanger that this issue ended with where Talia finally confronts Batman in his cave so I can only expect an awesome fight scene between these two ex-lovers/grieving parents. A small character moment concerning Dick holding back the Squire from trying to kill the Heretic was quite sad to see, and surprising because I did not expect Dick to show any compassion for the jerkwad who murdered his adoptive brother. Overall, the visual appeal of this issue is its strongest suit. I thought Burnham truly went all-out with his panels and layout choices for the earlier confrontation between Batsy and the Heretic who has an eerie Damian-baby face underneath his iron mask. I also like that panel of Talia striking him down after he was defeated by Batman because she's one vicious cunt who apologizes for nothing. Fucking Talia al Ghul, man.

Bitch needs to die and the bitch will.


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