I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I was hoping that Grant Morrison would learn from the debacle that was Batman’s return from the dead and the insanely stupid first run of Batman Incorporated that his attempts to “push the envelope” usually suck. The pages of Batman Incorporated in the New 52 are no better and what’s worse, Morrison is trying to steal the thunder created by Batman writer Scott Snyder and his Court Of Owls.
The layered and wonderful story that Snyder concocted has given Batman fans something to rejoice over and even driven up the sales of the title. What Morrison had tried to do for so long, Snyder did in nine issues. Never one to be outdone when it comes to cheap plot devices, Morrison has sunk as low as he possibly can. He’s killed Robin. Yep, at the end of Batman Incorporated #1, Damian gets shot in the head. The beginning of issue #1 had Bruce in a cemetery yelling at Alfred that Batman is done and so is Batman Incorporated. Suddenly, the police arrive and yell that Bruce Wayne is under arrest before the issue flashes back to a month ago.
The rest of Batman Incorporated is a standard Grant Morrison mess of bad writing and an overdeveloped need to be “edgy.” The enemy in this is some demonic group called Leviathan that comes complete with winged bat creatures and other such ghouly monsters. There’s some dribble about a mob guy eating his brother and then he’s carried off by demon bat-creatures. There’s also an injected subplot about Damian’s mother sending a hit squad after Damian, which results in him getting shot in the head and, we think, killed. Is Robin really dead? At this point, who knows, but if Grant Morrison’s love of attention and glory remains constant, I’d say things look bleak for the boy wonder.
So, what parts of issue one bother me the most? Is it the fact that Morrison simply ignores the New 52 time-stream and writes as though it never happened? Is it the cheap way he tries to steal the Court Of Owls thunder by killing off Robin? Perhaps it’s the way some cheap dime store thug gets the drop on Batman just so the death of Robin can happen. It may just be that Grant Morrison is still clinging to his pretentious airs when he writes comic book scripts. Batman Incorporated was a stupid idea to begin with and now Morrison has made it worse.
The art from Chris Burnham is a pretty crappy attempt at being Frank Quitely. Batman is drawn like a bad caricature of himself, almost like somebody used a cheap action figure as the basis. Robin looks like a Campbell’s Soup kid and overall the art is just lacking. If you want to know how ridiculously bad Batman Incorporated is, just flip to the panel where Robin introduces Batcow. You can’t make this crap up folks.
(2 story 2 art)