Monday, December 8, 2014

[New 52] Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison issue #2

I have no love for Talia al Ghul. Whatever sympathy I could have for her has went out the window....literally. While I was reading issue #12 of Morrison's Batman and Robin last week, I actually did throw something out of the window because I was inconsolably angered when her son Damian asked her whether or not she could love him for the way he is and not for what she wants him to be--and she coldly replies, "No, I'm too much of a perfectionist."

And when he refuses to give up his role as Robin, she declares him as an enemy of the al Ghuls from that point on. Now there's a bounty in his head, courtesy of mommy dearest.

Like, fuck you, you crazy bitch. I never had any kind of affection for her to begin with so I had no qualms when I realized that she's going to be the main villain for this line-up of Batman Incorporated. It's an understandable natural progression for her character after all. She's everything that her father Ra's wanted in an heir; ruthless, cunning, egocentric and with a complete disregard for her own loved ones' personal needs if they happen to clash with the plans for her bigger-picture world domination. Ra's must be so proud of how his progeny turned out. That said, this second issue was probably the best thing I've read in the series so far and that's ironic for me, considering this is entirely a Talia-centered story. That only goes to show that Morrison has a great understanding of his villain, and so his writing of her characterizations demands precision.

He certainly delivered the goods on that department whereas artist Chris Burham's illustrations are just as rich and superb. This time we don't even need Batman, Robin or Gotham to properly enjoy a Bat-comic book and that is an achievement by itself. I think Batman Incorporated is slowly shaping itself to become one of the finest titles New 52 has offered.

In this issue, we get to travel across different places and Burnham's depiction of each region/country was nuanced and vague enough to hold interest and allow readers to fill in the details for their own while reading. The backstory pertaining to Talia's upbringing and rise to power unfolded remarkably well, and I really have to give it to Morrison. This has been a satisfying and enthralling piece most especially since I hate Talia al Ghul and yet this story was able to make me understand and examine her motivations, desire and loathing directed towards the world she has to lead. The issue also contains a hefty amount of flashbacks and references from old comics yet again, particularly on notable stories Morrison has written before like Batman and Son and Mike Barr's Son of the Demon which I read and reviewed last July.

At its core, this story has been a fleshed-out examination concerning all the relationships Talia had formed in her life (with Bruce and Damian, and her attempts to keep the three of them united even if it's to serve her selfish goals) but, more importantly, it was an intimate and brutally honest look at Ra's and Talia's fractured father-daughter relationship and the fact that whoever Talia has decided to become now all ties back from the life she was raised in, and the small yet life-changing moments that happened between that truly did a number on the way she perceives herself as a woman, mother and heiress to an empire. Her concepts about power, legacy and family have been distorted into something sinister, something not even her father would expect her capable of reinforcing. Her characterization is chilling and interesting and she's officially become a character I would love to loathe the fuck of as the series progresses. I can feel it.


No comments:

Post a Comment