Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Batman Incorporated #3 Review

By Dan Horn
July 31, 2012 - 13:25

Batman Incorporated is always good for some of that old Grant Morrison irreverent weirdness and humor, and Chris Burnham's gritty, ultra-detailed cartooning perfectly compliments Morrison's unique voice. This collaborative dynamic shines in this third issue of the title's second volume.

Damian, Bruce Wayne's son and the current incarnation of Batman's sidekick Robin, has been grounded on account of the scores of elite assassins that his mother, Talia, has tasked with killing the Boy Wonder. Now on his own, Bruce Wayne sets aside his Batman mantle to once again don the guise of Matches Malone to infiltrate Gotham's underworld and suss out some information on the pervasive secret terrorist organization known as Leviathan.

Batman Inc #3 is Grant Morrison reveling in crime noir and spy fiction. He places Matches Malone in smokey lounges graced with femme fatale crooners and diminutive crime bosses, while also utilizing zany tech and constructing a backstory of sleeper cells and double-agents. Morrison's script is like Raymond Chandler on speed having a knife fight with Ian Flemming. The story cuts deliberate and precise swaths of scarlet through the dense fabric of Batman Inc's pervading mystery.

Chris Burnham's panels are gorgeous, really playing off of the issue's noir sensibilities with deep shadows and cinematic panel progressions perfectly punctuated with revelatory splashes. Nathan Fairbairn proves the versatility of his incredible palette in this issue as well, oscillating between vibrant and sullen.

All in all, this is a fun installment that toys with genre while never achieving anything truly profound. The controversy that got this book pulled from retailer shelves is not as striking as I would have expected, but I suppose DC felt they were better safe than sorry, and with the tactful way they and their parent company, Time-Warner, have have handled the circumstances surrounding the Aurora shooting, I can't fault the publisher for being circumspect. The retailer hold on Batman Inc #3 ends on August 22, but if you're hard up for this one, chances are you can procure it somewhere. I did!

Rating: 8.5 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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