Two Bat-Men, a Question and a Night Runner
Batman: Detective Comics #12 Annual features three stories, centering around three very different characters. While the stories featured in this issue are very different, they still manage to be connected by a single underlying theme.
The GoodWe open to Batman and, well, Batman; and take a peek at one of the first attempts at fleshing out Morrison's new outline for the Bat-verse. It is here that we see Batman go corporate with his appropriately titled new team, 'Batman Incorporated.' I admit, at first it seemed a little bit strange seeing two dudes dressed like Batman in the same panel, but you get used to it pretty quickly. In fact, I have to give writer David Hine some serious credit for distinguishing between Bruce and Dick so seamlessly. Even if the artist hadn't distinguished between the two characters through their costumes, I think I still would have known which 'Batman' was supposed to be Bruce and which one was Dick Grayson. The first story is set in Paris, France and a lot of what inspired this story seems to have been taken straight from news headlines. If you recall back in October, there were reports of violence and rioting in Paris, and we see the way current events may have influenced Hine's book.
I have to say, between the three stories, The last two were in my opinion, more interesting than the first. The second story features 'The Question,' who, after having taken on the Mark of Cain from Vandal Savage during Crisis in order to save The Huntress, she walks the Earth as though she were cursed. This story is absolutely amazing. The art is very pretty, but it's the dialogue in the story that is what makes this inspirational. This story will really make you like Renee Montoya.
The third story featured in the Annual is 'The Night Runner,' about a young Muslim boy and French citizen who struggles with racism and discrimination in France. What I like most about this tale is it's relevancy- it's as thought the writers of the story are paying attention to the present struggles of many French citizens, and it's interesting to see current events influence a comic book. The art is absolutely gorgeous, and very fitting with dark scenes and gritty panels.