Monday, December 22, 2014

[New 52] Batman Incorporated Special #1 by Various Writers

This has been a rather surprising installment for me. After expressing my disappointment over how Grant Morrison wrapped up Batman Incorporated, I really did not expect that a special issue was still in order though the six standalone stories included in this package was not penned by Morrison himself but rather a roster of writers and artists who have worked alongside him during the conception and process of Bat-Inc itself. This special issue #1 features the global vigilante sensations whom we have gotten to know since the 2010 run such as Jiro (Mr. Unknown) and Canary, Knight and Squire, Dark Ranger, Nightrunner, El Gaucho, Man-Bats and Red Raven.


The thing you need to understand about the distinction between the Bat-Inc. 2010-2011 run and the 2012-2013 run is simply this: the former run was all about the globetrotting adventures of the franchise members scattered among countries and continents as they follow the exploits of certain criminal individuals that all lead back to the entity known as Leviathan, an organization that threatens to destroy the world one piece at a time just so it could build an evil regime in its stead. The latter run uncovers who is behind the Leviathan and it's no other than a woman who proclaims herself as the Demon Star, Ra's al Ghul's formidable heiress Talia who has had enough of men governing her life. She offers her son Damian and her beloved detective Batman a place in the new kingdom she plans to build but when they refused her, she decided to become the living epitome of their worst nightmares because, hey, hell hath no fury especially when the woman in question in the demon's daughter herself.

But let's not worry ourselves with that part of the story. In this special issue, we focus more on the other Bat-Inc supporting characters and their missions and cases in their respective countries. The timelines here are varied; there are stories here that deal with the aftermath of the confrontation in Gotham with Talia and the Heretic, while others are self-contained tales that are pre-Talia/Heretic. What this issue manages to accomplish is to hopefully reignite our interest in these other heroes we barely even know except in passing and in the context of the more Batman-centered main arc. Personally, I'm optimistic about the fact that this special is numbered. That could mean we may be getting a #2 but I suppose that depends on how well this would sell. After all, this feels like it's a creation of its own brand, given that Morrison's name is no longer associated with it other than the credit that he created these characters. I think it's remarkable because I wanted to know these characters and what else they have to offer even if Batman Incorporated has been officially disbanded. Who's to say they can't operate in the shadows? Or as a self-employed unit of do-gooders, like the reverse counterpart of the Suicide Squad?

After reading these 46 pages, I definitely want another one. If this was just a pre-taste of what's to come, then what are we waiting for DC? Approve a spin-off, for crying out loud! I recommend this issue alone because of its readable quality. This could be the issue that could get potential new fans into exploring the rest of Batman Incorporated that issue #0 failed to do so. This special as rightfully titled has a lot of potential. I hope it gets another installment and the creative team that worked on it will stay in the project. This could evolve into something really superb if we give it another shot, guys!


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