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Batman, Incorporated #0 - Brand Building Review

5

Beautifully unique art helps make the formation of Batman Inc. a story worth your time and money.

The Good

When it comes to Batman Incorporated, my only reading experience is Grant Morrison's New 52 series. So going into this I had some concern about feeling left in the dark, but thankfully that isn't the case here. Morrison manages to bring to light how and why Batman Inc started and even familiarizes us with a whole slew of its members.

It's far too often I'll read a comic and the experience feels like an all too quick read (I have this problem with BLOODSHOT). Such isn't the case at all with BATMAN INCORPORATED #0. Despite filling it to the brim with characters, Morrison was able to give each a unique and satisfying story and when all was said and done, I felt like I knew each quite well. These aren't just short cameos (Nightrunner aside) -- there's more than enough content here to get a firm read on the prominent members and an insightful look into their mindsets. In my opinion, it's a solid feat by Morrison.

The oh-so lovable brat Damian makes two quick cameos and both have hilarious dialogue. "I'll happily punch him" is a line that just oozes with Damian's assertive and arrogant personality. Little Wayne aside, there's a fair amount of humor thrown into the mix by other characters as well (release the "bat-mole!"). Also, you have no soul if the ending doesn't put a smile on your face.

There's no doubt in my mind that Frazer Irving's artwork is going to be hit or miss for everyone. For me, it was an absolute delight looking over many of these panels. The opening image immediately blew me away. The contrast of colors as Batman's plane flew away from a bright and heavily detailed explosion was incredibly impressive and I spent a good deal of time appreciating the first panel before diving into the rest of the issue. There's also an excellent amount of detail packed into most of the facial expressions.

The Bad

Like I previously said, not everyone is going to be a fan of Irving's unique style of art. If that's the case, I'm pretty sure it'll feel like a chore trying to read through this issue. Also, while I like how Morrison juggled a high number of characters, it might be an overlord of names and subplots for others.

The Verdict

BATMAN INCORPORATED #0 is a must read if you're into the Batman mythos. Morrison crafts a fulfilling tale packed with plenty of action, laughs and intrigue. Irving's positively unique artwork is just icing on this Bat-family cake.

15 Comments
Posted by zachkastner

You should really go back and read The Black Glove (the deluxe is great) and first Batman Incorporated hardcover. Grant's really sewn a masterful web.

I really dig the winks that he, Burnham, and Irving chose to highlight here.

Posted by Jawshco

Ha! I thought this was a cool #0 issue that further developed Batman dating service...uh, I mean, Inc.

Veiniac has to be the grossest villain ever. I think I'd hurl & pass out if I saw dude swinging around on his own veins. LOL!

Posted by Cavemold

So would you say it's new reader friendly? And how did change in his suit to catch the bad guy. I feel the Opposite on this one.

Posted by maybetoby

I feel bad for you that you missed out on everything Morrison did leading up to this. I've read it all since he started with Batman #655 way back in 2006. I've read it all (Batman, Batman and Robin, Return of Bruce Wayne) and Batman Incorporated is my favorite. It's a shame that it'll end with issue #12, which will be Morrison's last Batman story :(

Posted by johnny_spam

The opening scene was straight out of Batman Black Glove. Always loved the Batman Inc concept and it is interesting to see Chris Burnham as co writer. Frazer Irving's art is always awesome.

Edited by Fantasgasmic

Totally unnecessary issue in my mind. While the art was top notch, the colors were a bit too muddy for my tastes on every page except the boardroom scene.

More than usual, it starts to muddy the waters about how Batman Inc. fits in with New52 (I still say it isn't involved in it at all), especially given the 0 month tagline of "Before the New 52" since it seems to be more literal here. If you want to read about the forming of Batman Inc., it was well documented in the old DCU and didn't happen so long ago that it really benefits from this condensing or modernizing.

Lastly, I'm kinda mad that Jiro (assuming that was Jiro) didn't go back to the cool looking Mr. Unknown costume, or some sort of Kamen Rider/Super Sentai inspired Bat outfit.

3/5 stars.

Posted by KnightRise

Damnit Morrison! You know how hard it is to hate you when you put out awesome work such as this?! Since its announcement, I've had a hard time accepting the idea of Batman, Inc., but looking at the arc again and reading this particular issue; its grown on me. The humor was cute (a shrink ray gag and Bat-Mole: I laughed out loud), while at the same time it established Batman as this larger-than-life figure to the members. And Scout/John Riley/Wingman II actually looked like an Aboriginee, which was refreshing. I wish I read all of Morrison's run. Batman Incorporated #0 may have saved me from dropping the series. Phenomenal issue.

Posted by maybetoby

Batman Incorporated and Green Lantern seem to be mostly unaffected by the New 52, and that's fine with me. Especially with Incorporated. Morrison was head Batman writer before the change, so DC couldn't just sweep it aside. And it's definitely in-continuity with the rest of the 52, whether you like it or not. Especially when other titles reference it: Batman and Robin (obviously, especially with their own #0), Batwing (again, obviously and with #0 as well), and other Bat-titles like Batman: The Dark Knight that reference Wayne's funding of Batman. I do miss his original Incorporated costume (designed by Finch), it was pretty sweet looking. They kept Aquaman's costume from Brightest Day, they could've kept Batman's. Ah well...

Posted by jsphsmth

How many issues until morrison is gone? Cant wait to start reading it then. Hope Higgins get this series.

Posted by BatWatch
Posted by longbowhunter

I really liked Frazer Irving in this issue. Him and Grant Morrison gel. Knight and Dark Ranger stole the show for me and the ending was very heartfelt. I like seeing that side of Bruce. This and Talon were some of the best comics out this week. I love it that the Bat books are so strong right now.

Online
Posted by Lvenger

Am I the only who despises Irving's art on here? He ruined Batman and Robin for me as well as the Return of Bruce Wayne. I don't know what the big deal is. His pencils are obscure and the inks are highly irregular. At best his art is only worth 2 out of 10.

Posted by Teerack

This artist needs to take over the series, because the regular art is awful.

Posted by GalacticPunt

Just cracked the issue open this morning. Best issue I've read in this whole Zero month. More than that, it's one of the best single-issue explorations of the Bat-family I've read in 20 years. Such a great cast of characters, deftly re-introduced. Chris Burnham turned into a secret weapon here, apparently without penciling a bit of the interiors. He's credited for co-plotting this heartwarming issue, and I suspect he was also a kind of Director of Photography for Frazer Irving. Irving's art has always been pretty, but the storytelling has often been sloppy. Not here, where Burnham seemed to guide him into tighter, smaller, more expressive panels.

I especially loved the three-panel transformation of "Dark Ranger"s posture as Squire gives him a pep talk. Beautiful stuff, the kind of thing you re-read a page to digest. I felt a bit mixed about Morrison's "Happy!" this week, but THIS was the single-issue comic book at its best.

Posted by Jake Fury

Best zero issue, period.