Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman Incorporated #7

By Josh Dean
July 1, 2011 - 21:51

Full disclosure: I am a Grant Morrison fan. I don’t always get him but I almost always enjoy him. If you find him inscrutable, take this review with a grain of salt.

In this issue, Morrison is trying to accomplish two things. Firstly, he needs to move the war between Batman and Leviathan forward by having the threats become real. Secondly, he wants to educate us about the modern plight of the Native American. In the first realm, he succeeds admirably and with some nice thrills. In regards to second area…close but no cigar.

Man of Bats, the Native American Batman, and his son/partner Raven take the spotlight and demonstrate how they go about policing the reservation upon which they live. Their “secret identities” are kind of open secrets and everyone knows they are doctors by day, heroes by…later in the day? As a nice contrast to Bruce Wayne and his wealthy doctor father, the Man of Bats/Raven team drive around a beat up truck and use their storage shed as their Batcave. The problem comes in when a local street gang gets organized by Leviathan and decides to strike at Man of Bats to send a warning shot to Batman.

There is some great action here, with the attack on Man of Bats very brutal. This issue doesn’t skimp on the skirmish with Leviathan’s pawns. There are knives, arrows, shields, guns, nets and all sorts of hurty things at play here. It is almost as if Morrison has risen to the new challenge of a reduced page count by giving us a kind of “done in one” with a distinct three act structure while not diminishing the impact.

As for selling the atmosphere of the reservation, perhaps I have been spoiled by reading Scalped. Morrison hits the high points of poverty, drug use, alcohol abuse, casinos, neglect and everything else that is kind of the clichéd idea of modern Native American living (including a trite lesson in respecting animals). There is no new insight here but, I suppose if you never knew about the deprivations of the reservation lifestyle this issue may serve as an eye-opener.


What I found far more interesting than the harsh environment of Man of Bats was Morrison’s playing with the conventions of a Native American narrative. There is some ironic cavalry imagery in Batman and Raven’s charge that seems to place Batman firmly in the “meddling white man” category. By the end, he has extended an offer to Raven to dump a ton of Wayne Enterprises money into Man of Bat’s operations and Raven’s reaction is a nice definition of who these characters are.

Chris Burnham tones down the cartoony aspects from last issue and really kicks into Darrick Robertson territory by depicting some pretty harsh scenes. Towards the beginning, there is a panel of a baby covered in his own feces and snot in front of the corpse of his mother that is pretty wrenching. The action scenes have a Frank Quitely feel to them, also. I am pretty excited that Burnham will be in charge of the Batman Inc mini next year that will wrap up this storyline. Be warned, this is a pretty graphic comic for a general audience publication.
If you are into the Leviathan storyline, by all means check this issue out. If you are a fan of Man of Bats, this is a great showcase issue for that character. Essentially, Batman is a guest star and doesn’t get too many spotlight moments but that serves the story well. If you are easily offended by graphic violence, maybe give this a miss.

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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