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Batman, Incorporated #2 - Eye of the Gorgon Review

4

After last issue's shocking ending, it's time to get a little more insight into Talia ah Ghul. Find out how this all relates to recent events.

Talia is such a great character is surprising how little we've actually seen of her lately. All that is clearly changing.

The Good

It's interesting that we pretty much know Talia's backstory but I can't recall actually seeing glimpses into her childhood. Grant Morrison leaves us in suspense after the first issue's cliffhanger ending in order to give us more on who Talia is and what makes her tick. She sometimes seems like a complex character and other times feels like she will always be in her father's shadow. What we're seeing is just how much there is to her. There is something to seeing Talia as a young child. Seeing the way she grew up and was raised. I really liked her character before but after this issue, I somehow like her even more.

Chris Burnham does a wonderful job with the art. I mentioned how kick-ass it was seeing young Talia in action and Ra's manages to look fierce and creepy at the same time. Seeing the different time periods fit together along with the flashback to early encounters with Batman was a treat.

On the surface it might seem like this is just a filler issue. That is far from the case. This isn't just a segue way to stall while the fate of a certain character hangs in the balance. This further pushes the story along in showing us what defines who Talia is. If anything, we have a better idea now than ever before. There were scenes tying back to Damian's earlier appearances in BATMAN #658 & 665. I'll admit, I did go back and compare the flashback scenes here with those earlier issues. I love that Grant actually used the same exact dialogue in a couple panels to really tie this story with the pre-New 52 issues.

The Bad

As great as it was that Grant did go back to those issues, this is where I get nit-picky. In this issue we see a revisit to that not-so-magical night when Talia and Batman shared some special time together. We get to see a little more of the events leading up to it. Unfortunately the setting here and what we see in BATMAN #656 (page 20), don't match up.

While I do dig Burnham's art and the way he drew Ra's, there were a couple times he almost looked comical.

Having this issue not pick up after the first issue was a little frustrating. The event that occurred was mentioned but we haven't seen what happens next.

The Verdict

Grant Morrison continues to show us how he weaves the web of a story for Batman, Damian and Talia. By showing us more on Talia, even if there weren't many shocking/revealing moments, it made me love the character even more than before. Grant must keep all his past work in a handy nearby location as he always goes back and makes sure events that take place now can be traced back. The fact that we see when Talia actually gets her own 'secret headquarters under London' (as mentioned in BATMAN #656) was spectacular. It might be a little difficult trying to fit this series in with all the other titles (in terms of current continuity) but when the stories are this good and entertaining, it doesn't matter. This series and Snyder's BATMAN continue to deliver month after month. Readers often question what Morrison is doing but all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

37 Comments
Posted by Mucklefluga

I love Burnham and Morrisons work when we get to the end of the Leviathan arc all the stuff put together is gonna be absolutely awesome :D

Posted by jsphsmth

I have been waiting six years for Morrison's work to pay off. I'm still waiting, so for the first time in my life I am dropping a Batman comic.

Posted by Green_Tea_Light
I have been waiting six years for Morrison's work to pay off. I'm still waiting, so for the first time in my life I am dropping a Batman comic.

I agree! It has all become a bit convoluted hasn't it! I think people sometimes mistake confusion for a lack of understanding and thus... Grant Morrison is a genius. When in reality, this story, when put together seems almost forced!

For example, Darksied (or the hyper adapter?) used Dr Hurt to get Batman to lose his mind so he went head on with Darksied so Darkseid could use his omega beams on him? Why didn't Darkseid just go to his house and zap him?! At least I assume that is what happened!! Return of Bruce Wayne was incomprehensible, the dialogue hardly made sense half of the time!

I recently reread: Black Casebook, Batman and Son, Black Glove, RIP, (short break off Morrison here for some Battle for the Cowl and Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader - Actual Genius btw), Batman and Robin 1-16 (which are good right up to when Bruce Wayne returns dragging the Return of Bruce Wayne story with him), Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman inc 1-8, and Leviathan Strikes... and I have to say it was quite unrewarding.

There were parts of each I liked sure, and I'd argue some parts were really masterful, but when you add the actual over arching plot - especially the darkseid stuff, because it doesn't make a lot of sense, it falls very short for me.

It seems that this whole idea of Morrison having a "master plan" helps people forget about the plot holes and incomprehensibly of it all.

Posted by microwave25

Agree with the last 2 comments. When it comes to Batman, Morrison rarely delivers.

Posted by HubrisRanger

Wow, shocked at the flood of negativity here. I thought this was an ASTONISHING issue that gave a very good overview of Talia and Ra's relationship, and gave a very clear reason why Talia is the way she is now and how it led directly to the birth and raising of Damien. My only complaint about it is indeed how it delays the resolution of how Damien survived (it is basically confirmed he did indeed survive, due to event of issue 1 being referenced in Batman and Robin, and also of course he survived), but I thought this issue Talia up as a viable and threatening villain for the series going forward, and explained why she set up Leviathan in the first place. Add Morrison's typical flare for absurdest humor, incredibly readable art from Burnham and a self-contained issue that has ongoing relevance, and I would likely say that this was my issue of the week.

Maybe having not read all of Morrison's run up to this point helps me not get hung-up on inconsistencies or how it ties in the larger story, and it establishes the mindset and perspective of a major character in this book going forward. This is among the best profiles for any Bat villain I've read for a long time, and it hammers home exactly what is at stake in the larger story.

Posted by JonesDeini

@Green_Tea_Light said:

I have been waiting six years for Morrison's work to pay off. I'm still waiting, so for the first time in my life I am dropping a Batman comic.

I agree! It has all become a bit convoluted hasn't it! I think people sometimes mistake confusion for a lack of understanding and thus... Grant Morrison is a genius. When in reality, this story, when put together seems almost forced!

For example, Darksied (or the hyper adapter?) used Dr Hurt to get Batman to lose his mind so he went head on with Darksied so Darkseid could use his omega beams on him? Why didn't Darkseid just go to his house and zap him?! At least I assume that is what happened!! Return of Bruce Wayne was incomprehensible, the dialogue hardly made sense half of the time!

I recently reread: Black Casebook, Batman and Son, Black Glove, RIP, (short break off Morrison here for some Battle for the Cowl and Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader - Actual Genius btw), Batman and Robin 1-16 (which are good right up to when Bruce Wayne returns dragging the Return of Bruce Wayne story with him), Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman inc 1-8, and Leviathan Strikes... and I have to say it was quite unrewarding.

There were parts of each I liked sure, and I'd argue some parts were really masterful, but when you add the actual over arching plot - especially the darkseid stuff, because it doesn't make a lot of sense, it falls very short for me.

It seems that this whole idea of Morrison having a "master plan" helps people forget about the plot holes and incomprehensibly of it all.

This' pretty much how I feel about Morrison's runs on traditional capes comics. I've come to appreciate more things about his Batman work, but for everything I like I find something to dislike. Like you said plotholes and pseudo intellectual meta-prattling. But hey, criticize the guy and you're automatically too shallow or not doing enough work or whatever. You know you usual apologists stances. Anyways I'll be following this book and sort of just ignoring the overall mythos of Morrison's run. I tend to enjoy his Bat work as separate stories rather than a whole.

Posted by B_Heart

Great series, can't wait for the next one

Posted by johnny_spam

Burnham's art is beautiful this issue really does show how important and dangerous Talia could be and the last page really helps make a case for how fitting she is as the last major villain in Morrison's run on Batman. It also works by showing how bad Damian could be if he never left that environment.

@Green_Tea_Light:Darkseid did not use the Hyper Adapter to make Doctor Hurt. The Adapter was bound to Bruce and by the end of Return of Bruce Wayne it was ripped out and sent back in time it then eventually encountered Doctor Hurt and infected him which was probably never it's intention. I do think Darkseid's revenge was set up the way it was because by the time Final Crisis happened Darkseid was dying and probably not capable of doing much so he had to leave a trap he hoped would work instead of doing anything himself.

Edited by Green_Tea_Light

@johnny_spam: I was under the impression that the Hyper Adapter was a manifestation of ideas and when Batman sends it back in time at the end of RoBW it turns into a tangible giant bat, as we see in the final issue... Presumably becoming the massive bat-skin which batman wears in issue 1. Even so, it still is a real stretch and poorly communicated. It seems like a clutter of ideas with no real direction to the narrative at times.

There may bits I "didn't get" as such, but I think I can blame that on a lack of communication and a lack of certainty where certain plot points are concerned.

Posted by KnightRise

At first I was like "ugh...Bat-rape. Again" Then I realized how it relates to Talia's character. Overall it was a solid issue, but a little off-putting that I didnt read the conclusion to Leviathan Strikes.

Posted by Dernman

ug I'm just plain not liking this at all. If it wasn't for the fact I read a fans copies I would drop the title.

Posted by TDK_88

Glad I am not the only one who is sick of this. When Grant's run first started I really got behind it. Now, I think simply, his "style" of Batman comics has passed and I can no longer enjoy it. It isn't "fun" I actually find it character destroying. Also, I must be one of the only people who doesn't like Burnham's art. It's detailed, sure, but it isn't BAT-ESQUE for my taste. Dropping this, someone I know will pick up the trade and if nothing else but for curiosity sake I may read it, but for now I'm happy to ignore this title entirely. It better not mess with any of the other Bat titles though.

Posted by Mumbles

@TDK_88:

I'm with ya on this. this issue was crap. a recap,and I believe one of the pages was from the last issue. Burnham's art fall off some how in this issue(don't really care for his work either way). Seems like he put a effort in the first issue but nothing in this one. Not really sure why this comic has a rating over a 4???? I'm giving this series one more issue to prove me wrong...

Posted by mbembet

i always like Talia than the whore catwoman

Posted by longbowhunter

Nice to see the spotlight put on Talia, regardless of the date rape.

Posted by Hatutzeraze

WOW! I was blown away by how good this was. It touched base on every major Talia al Ghul story ever written, tying them altogether into a seamless whole, while laying the groundwork for rich, thick, enticing future storylines.

The unsatisfied readers here have thought processes that seem utterly alien to me.

Posted by RainEffect

You, sir, have just won my heart due to your opening line in this review.

I may have to pick this up. Even though I absolutely despise how Morrison has been writing Talia lately, my irrational fanboyism of her may cause me to endure the thousand razors of his current storyline just to see how he writes her here.

My only question is, is Morrison still going with the 'Bruce was drugged the night Damian was conceived'? He publicly admitted to stuffing up those details, so I really hope he has fixed it.

Posted by Booster_Bronze

Spoiler Alert: This post contains Morrison hate.

This is the reason I can't read Morrison. He has comic book ADD or something. He can't keep his attention on one plot for more than 3 issues in a row. Yes I know other artists do the flashback story fill-in thing, but Morrison does it in EVERY series he writes! Action Comics' issue timeline is more twisted than a pretzel and it looks like Batman Inc. is going to be the same way. Example: Action comics 1-4 are in one plot, then he takes one issue to write about something happening later on in the timeline with the Legion from the future thrown in, then the next issue is an origin story, then back to the original story to wrap it up, then off to an alternate earth for an alternate superman for an issue, then back to the Superman timeline after the first plot series. Seriously dude, take some ritalin and FOCUS. Also, he loves to do the cliffhanger thing, and then string people along for months for the resolution. I was wiling to overlook "Bat Cow" and considering picking this up just to see how he would resolve Batman Inc 1's ending, but if he's just going to jerk us around while we wait for a resolution, then screw it I'm done.

Posted by entropy_aegis

@Hatutzeraze said:

WOW! I was blown away by how good this was. It touched base on every major Talia al Ghul story ever written, tying them altogether into a seamless whole, while laying the groundwork for rich, thick, enticing future storylines.

The unsatisfied readers here have thought processes that seem utterly alien to me.

Dont worry,most people want "MEESTRY" stories in Batman comics with one dimensional villains that pop outta nowhere and die just as quick without getting any sort of resolution and hidden brothers or best friends who never existed previously, only to be revealed as the "TEH MASTERMIND".

Spectacular issue,really gives the antagonists more character in a single issue as opposed to the other Batman book which has failed to do the same in 10.

Posted by daredevil21134

@entropy_aegis said:

@Hatutzeraze said:

WOW! I was blown away by how good this was. It touched base on every major Talia al Ghul story ever written, tying them altogether into a seamless whole, while laying the groundwork for rich, thick, enticing future storylines.

The unsatisfied readers here have thought processes that seem utterly alien to me.

Dont worry,most people want "MEESTRY" stories in Batman comics with one dimensional villains that pop outta nowhere and die just as quick without getting any sort of resolution and hidden brothers or best friends who never existed previously, only to be revealed as the "TEH MASTERMIND".

Spectacular issue,really gives the antagonists more character in a single issue as opposed to the other Batman book which has failed to do the same in 10.

LOL

Posted by noj

@RainEffect: In the issue it kinda seems like he was drugged but it isnt what made him sleep with her. The way I read it Talia essentially slipped Bruce something that ensured that she would get pregnant or something like that.

Posted by RainEffect
@noj said:

@RainEffect: In the issue it kinda seems like he was drugged but it isnt what made him sleep with her. The way I read it Talia essentially slipped Bruce something that ensured that she would get pregnant or something like that.

Thanks for letting me know, man!
Posted by Hatutzeraze

@entropy_aegis said:

Spectacular issue,really gives the antagonists more character in a single issue as opposed to the other Batman book which has failed to do the same in 10.

To be fair, I actually like the Scott Snyder Batman comic a ton. I just like it in a different way than the way I like (adore) Batman Inc.

Edited by JonesDeini

@entropy_aegis said:

@Hatutzeraze said:

WOW! I was blown away by how good this was. It touched base on every major Talia al Ghul story ever written, tying them altogether into a seamless whole, while laying the groundwork for rich, thick, enticing future storylines.

The unsatisfied readers here have thought processes that seem utterly alien to me.

Dont worry,most people want "MEESTRY" stories in Batman comics with one dimensional villains that pop outta nowhere and die just as quick without getting any sort of resolution and hidden brothers or best friends who never existed previously, only to be revealed as the "TEH MASTERMIND".

Spectacular issue,really gives the antagonists more character in a single issue as opposed to the other Batman book which has failed to do the same in 10.

well we can agree on one thing. Hush is indeed a terrible story. Loving Snyder's Batman despite it's flaws. It's just more my style of Batman. He plays with a lot of the same ideas as Morrison, but I've liked his execution more. I've never been a fan of Morrison's Batman in it's totality. Have highly enjoyed some spots and really been tempted to quit in others (did a few times actually). Love/Like some ideas Hate/dislike some others, like with most of his 2000 onward work. I'm going into Inc and casting my bias aside though since I've been rereading his past works and rediscovering why I ever loved the guy in the first place. So far I've enjoyed both issues highly. Can't shake that feeling that things will go off the rail sooner than later though. Have not been a fan of how he handled Talia in his run...at all. But here he writes her pretty well and provides a little more reasoning behind her recent actions that put some things into perspective.

Posted by Multiverse

1. How old is Damian?

2. Where does Damian's conception fit into Bruce Wayne/Batman's post New 52 timeline?

3. Why would Talia choose to have a kid with Bruce Wayne?

Posted by Hatutzeraze

I'm suspect one of the things that helps me enjoy DC comics these days is the fact that I spend no time at all thinking or caring about the timeline.

Edited by Green_Tea_Light

@Multiverse:

1. He is 10, but was put through genetic alterations while growing up

2. Who knows!! Seeing as Damian's conception was retconned recently from Birth of the Demon by Morrison himself in Batman and Son, I'd say it was probably pretty close as pre-52 (certainly close enough not to get worried about)

3. To birth the pinnacle of human perfection to create the greatest warrior who ever lived, who would some day take over the Al Gual Dynasty

I recommend reading the arc, Batman and Son, it can be easily found in trade and ain't bad either. It's the beginning of Morrison's current batman run, so no prior knowledge is really needed to enjoy that book

Posted by Multiverse

@Green_Tea_Light: To clarify, my basic question is why Ra's al Ghul would think Bruce Wayne was the perfect father for his grandson if, in the New 52, Bruce was about five years from becoming Batman when Damian was born?

Edited by Hatutzeraze

@Multiverse said:

@Green_Tea_Light: To clarify, my basic question is why Ra's al Ghul would think Bruce Wayne was the perfect father for his grandson if, in the New 52, Bruce was about five years from becoming Batman when Damian was born?

I don't think you read Batman Inc. #2, did you?

Bruce Wayne was Batman when he met Talia and Ra's, so Ra's knew they were one and the same. Some time later, Talia and Batman did their thing and Damian was conceived.

Posted by DarthShap

I am a huge Morrison fan but I did not like it.

It does not explain Talia's heel turn. It does not even mention Rucka's run on the character (New Gotham Evolution & Death and the Maidens).

And Talia is waaaaaaayyyy too powerful. How did she get the League to follow her? It does not explain that either.

Things just happen and that is never good.

Posted by DarthShap

@Green_Tea_Light said:

I have been waiting six years for Morrison's work to pay off. I'm still waiting, so for the first time in my life I am dropping a Batman comic.

I agree! It has all become a bit convoluted hasn't it! I think people sometimes mistake confusion for a lack of understanding and thus... Grant Morrison is a genius. When in reality, this story, when put together seems almost forced!

For example, Darksied (or the hyper adapter?) used Dr Hurt to get Batman to lose his mind so he went head on with Darksied so Darkseid could use his omega beams on him? Why didn't Darkseid just go to his house and zap him?! At least I assume that is what happened!! Return of Bruce Wayne was incomprehensible, the dialogue hardly made sense half of the time!

I recently reread: Black Casebook, Batman and Son, Black Glove, RIP, (short break off Morrison here for some Battle for the Cowl and Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader - Actual Genius btw), Batman and Robin 1-16 (which are good right up to when Bruce Wayne returns dragging the Return of Bruce Wayne story with him), Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman inc 1-8, and Leviathan Strikes... and I have to say it was quite unrewarding.

There were parts of each I liked sure, and I'd argue some parts were really masterful, but when you add the actual over arching plot - especially the darkseid stuff, because it doesn't make a lot of sense, it falls very short for me.

It seems that this whole idea of Morrison having a "master plan" helps people forget about the plot holes and incomprehensibly of it all.

Darkseid did not plan on Hurt being created. Hurt was created because the hyper adapter failed.

And he did not create the hyper adapter just to kill Batman but to destroy Earth when he came back from his time travel.

Posted by Multiverse

@Hatutzeraze said:

@Multiverse said:

@Green_Tea_Light: To clarify, my basic question is why Ra's al Ghul would think Bruce Wayne was the perfect father for his grandson if, in the New 52, Bruce was about five years from becoming Batman when Damian was born?

I don't think you read Batman Inc. #2, did you?

Bruce Wayne was Batman when he met Talia and Ra's, so Ra's knew they were one and the same. Some time later, Talia and Batman did their thing and Damian was conceived.

No. I didn't read it. I may pick up a few issues of the series but it isn't one I plan to read regularly. Based on the Batman Annual, my impression was that Bruce Wayne has been Batman for no more than six years in the New 52. If Damian is ten, Bruce has been Batman for six years, and Bruce was Batman when Damian was conceived, there is a continuity problem. I guess it is possible that Damian was conceived about five years ago and aged to a ten year old through comic book science.

Posted by Hatutzeraze

@Multiverse said:

Based on the Batman Annual, my impression was that Bruce Wayne has been Batman for no more than six years in the New 52. If Damian is ten, Bruce has been Batman for six years, and Bruce was Batman when Damian was conceived, there is a continuity problem. I guess it is possible that Damian was conceived about five years ago and aged to a ten year old through comic book science.

They actually showed Damian in a weird-tech test tube in infant form.

On the CBR forums, Chris Burnham, the artist actually said that people who are concerned about the timeline can handily use that to cure any continuity headaches they may be having over this.

EDIT: Can't figure out how to make the link, but here's the address, post #67.

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?416477-Batman-Incorporated-2-Preview-Discussion-SPOILERS/page5

Posted by Multiverse

@Hatutzeraze: Thanks for the info. Damian's birth seems to be one of those things that is confusing because it actually doesn't make sense rather than being confusing until you hear the logical explanation.

Posted by jrock85

Only Morrison can make me tolerate Burnham's art.

Posted by Hatutzeraze

@jrock85 said:

Only Morrison can make me tolerate Burnham's art.

Not true. I will bet you 1 Canadian Loony that Joe Casey can make you "tolerate"* Chris Burnham's art.

* By "tolerate," I secretly mean "adore." The aforementioned Loony cannot be rewarded or earned based on the distinction between the two adjectives. In my heart, though, I know it will be "adore."

Posted by SavageDragon

@Green_Tea_Light said:

I have been waiting six years for Morrison's work to pay off. I'm still waiting, so for the first time in my life I am dropping a Batman comic.

I agree! It has all become a bit convoluted hasn't it! I think people sometimes mistake confusion for a lack of understanding and thus... Grant Morrison is a genius. When in reality, this story, when put together seems almost forced!

For example, Darksied (or the hyper adapter?) used Dr Hurt to get Batman to lose his mind so he went head on with Darksied so Darkseid could use his omega beams on him? Why didn't Darkseid just go to his house and zap him?! At least I assume that is what happened!! Return of Bruce Wayne was incomprehensible, the dialogue hardly made sense half of the time!

I recently reread: Black Casebook, Batman and Son, Black Glove, RIP, (short break off Morrison here for some Battle for the Cowl and Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader - Actual Genius btw), Batman and Robin 1-16 (which are good right up to when Bruce Wayne returns dragging the Return of Bruce Wayne story with him), Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman inc 1-8, and Leviathan Strikes... and I have to say it was quite unrewarding.

There were parts of each I liked sure, and I'd argue some parts were really masterful, but when you add the actual over arching plot - especially the darkseid stuff, because it doesn't make a lot of sense, it falls very short for me.

It seems that this whole idea of Morrison having a "master plan" helps people forget about the plot holes and incomprehensibly of it all.

You put into words the opinion I have had for a few years. Good post.