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Batman, Incorporated #3 - The Hanged Man Review

4

Matches Malone returns as Leviathan continues to widen its grasp across Gotham City.

Note: This issue was meant to be released on July 25 but was pushed back to August 22.

The Good

What is it about having Matches Malone on the cover that immediately amps up the excitement for this issue? What it means is we get to see another side of Bruce. Another method to the way he solves crime. We get to see him use a different set of skills. That's what Matches Malone is about. Most heroes simply charge into a situation or sit around and wait for something to happen. With the threat of Leviathan, that won't work. Just the way he's written and behaves, you would be convinced that this was a completely separate character from Batman. That's what makes the identity work. Where has "he" been all this time? There is a small mention and it's more than enough to make perfect sense.

Matches Malone is doing his thing to try to pick up any information possible on Leviathan. With the attack against Damian in issue #1, this isn't a matter Bruce can take lightly. Besides bringing back Matches, he's even having Nightwing help out a bit. The world believes Robin is dead (apparently) so that means Robin is "grounded."

Seeing the tiny sprouts of the seeds Morrison has been planting is great. At one point we see "Talia's Web" with all the ties to the recent villains and organizations they've had to deal with in BATMAN INCORPORATED. One reason to stand up and cheer for this is it acknowledges what happened pre-New 52 in the Batman comics and works to reassure us older nit-picking fans that those stories still happened (although there are still a couple characters 'missing' that could still be erased from New 52 continuity). The opening pages showing how Leviathan is spreading was great and makes you shudder for would could be bubbling under the surface of Gotham.

I dig Chris Burnham's art more and more each time I see it. For a gritty look at Gotham and the world of Matches Malone, he captures the feel necessary and just feels right at home in Morrison's story.

Besides this we get an appearance from Bat-Cow and the 'first' appearance of Redbird.

The Bad

Of course the first thing we have to ask is how does this fit in with the other Bat-titles? Robin "died" in issue #1 apparently (last issue took a little break with an interesting look at Talia's life). Will we see repercussions in the pages of BATMAN AND ROBIN? While I do support each Bat-title being able to stand on its own, as a Batman fan and comic book reader, how can we not question continuity?

Being Matches Malone is all about wearing a disguise and taking on a different persona. My question is how could Batman look so much taller when 'standing next to' Matches?

Last issue was great but there's a feeling that something was missed from the last page of the first issue to the events here (since issue #2 was all about Talia and flashbacks).

The Verdict

We're one step closer to Grant Morrison's endgame for Batman and Batman Incorporated. After a slight break in the action in issue #2 and a delay imposed by DC, we're back to seeing the next step in Talia's plan of revenge against Batman and Damian. The world believes Robin is dead, unfortunately this something we really get to see. There's a slight feeling as if we missed an issue but the return of Bruce as Matches Malone along with the tiny details that Chris Burnham's art adds makes this an enjoyable reading experience. Plus, we get to see more Bat-Cow. BATMAN INCORPORATED feels like a ticking time bomb. You know an explosive conclusion is coming and you'll be bracing yourself for any explosions along the way.

25 Comments
Posted by KnightRise

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Posted by Batnandez

@KnightRise: You haven't read the black glove have you? There is a flashback where the characters are wearing old costumes and dick is still robin etc...

Posted by Batnandez

As someone who complains about continuity so much it's been explained that the events of batman inc are BEFORE the court of owls so why would their be repercussions in batman and robin?

Posted by DarthShap

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Posted by PortlandsBatman

@Batnandez: Where does it say it is before? I believe you but I am just curious.

Edited by johnny_spam

In the first issue Batman mentioned Nobody from the Batman and Robin arc then Otto Netz so the Batman and Robin series may happen before this and maybe because Batman Inc is such a big story referencing it may cause more confusion or spoilers if mentioned in other books.

Posted by Batnandez

@PortlandsBatman said:

@Batnandez: Where does it say it is before? I believe you but I am just curious.

There are a few places but if you listen to Scott Snyder talk about the court of owls he says Bruce is feeling super confident coming off the events of batman inc indicating that the court takes place after batman inc. There is also an issue of batman inc that says that the events of batman inc take place before flashpoint but I'd have to dig up my old issues, I'll let you know what issue it is when I get time.

Posted by xAnimosity

I still cant get myself to read this series. None of the reviews sound very enticing and there are just to many Bat books right now.

Posted by Hatutzeraze

Continuity in these comics is little more than a mild curiosity, a miniscule sideline at best. If you come at these comics with continuity expectations first and story expectations second, I'm sure they will be a disappointment.

I, on the other hand, was disappointed not at all. Like every issue of Batman Inc., I loved it.

Posted by sho3s22

Matches Malone...meh. Red Bird...yes please!

Posted by nuness1988

I've really enjoyed the three issues put out and felt this was a very strong issue.

I'm getting really annoyed with the comic book community's crazy obsession over continuity. Scott Lobdell can tell me to my face that Tim Drake was never Robin, but I don't care because worrying about every single piece of continuity would just ruin the story for me. Tim Drake was Robin and it's silly to say otherwise, regardless of whatever the current "continuity" is.

What I'm trying to say is that, in twenty years, when I'm re-reading Morrison's story, I'm pretty sure I won't care that they didn't dump a bunch of expository dialogue explaining how this story fits in with the DC Universe at the time or making sure the costumes all match up. As we all know by now, the new 52 will likely be heavily altered within a few years, especially when print sales start dropping again. I've gone back to stories from twenty years ago, and it always comes off as awkward when a brilliant issue of Swamp Thing by Alan Moore is forced to tie into Infinite Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's unnecessary and holds back the story-telling potential of comic books.

Posted by InnerVenom123

I love that this book, at certain points, acts as if the reboot flat out did not happen.

Posted by caen2911

Why are your reviews so flat?

Posted by noj

Great issue though I having read the issue I cant see why it had to be delayed a month. Sure it had violence but nothing similar to the Aurora tragedy. Im not even sure a gun was fired in the issue.

Edited by KnightRise

@Batnandez said:

@KnightRise: You haven't read the black glove have you? There is a flashback where the characters are wearing old costumes and dick is still robin etc...

I have, but thats not the point. Inc 3 is a New 52 issue and Batman was in a suit identical to his current one eight-ten years ago in Batman Inc 2 (by Morrisson), five years ago in Justice League, and one year ago in Red Hood 6. And Dick in a, albiet very hazy flashback, is in a very different Robin costume closer in design to Jason's from Red Hood 6. The image in question from Inc 3 is literally just a tiny scan of the classic Club of Heroes comic. Its frustrating, because its been assumed that the New 52 retcons did away with the briefs and bare legs.

original
Posted by KnightRise

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

Posted by DarthShap

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

That would be missing the point. To Morrison, "everything is in continuity". That is the very core of his entire run.

Posted by KnightRise

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

That would be missing the point. To Morrison, "everything is in continuity". That is the very core of his entire run.

Which was awesome for how here reworked BatMite, Batman of Zur En Arh, Simon Hurt, GA Kathy Kane, Professor Pyg, even the Batmen of All Nations. But the scan still bother me. I'm a stickler and I hated briefs and was glad they're gone.

Posted by entropy_aegis

@InnerVenom123 said:

I love that this book, at certain points, acts as if the reboot flat out did not happen.

Makes me like it even more,I would like to think of it as a slap in the face to Didiot and geoffcon man.

Posted by InnerVenom123

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

That would be missing the point. To Morrison, "everything is in continuity". That is the very core of his entire run.

Which was awesome for how here reworked BatMite, Batman of Zur En Arh, Simon Hurt, GA Kathy Kane, Professor Pyg, even the Batmen of All Nations. But the scan still bother me. I'm a stickler and I hated briefs and was glad they're gone.

You do realize that Batman also said, "The past few YEARS of our lives", even though the DCnU is only 5 years old, right?

Posted by KnightRise

@InnerVenom123 said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

That would be missing the point. To Morrison, "everything is in continuity". That is the very core of his entire run.

Which was awesome for how here reworked BatMite, Batman of Zur En Arh, Simon Hurt, GA Kathy Kane, Professor Pyg, even the Batmen of All Nations. But the scan still bother me. I'm a stickler and I hated briefs and was glad they're gone.

You do realize that Batman also said, "The past few YEARS of our lives", even though the DCnU is only 5 years old, right?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. >five=few

Posted by InnerVenom123

@KnightRise said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

That would be missing the point. To Morrison, "everything is in continuity". That is the very core of his entire run.

Which was awesome for how here reworked BatMite, Batman of Zur En Arh, Simon Hurt, GA Kathy Kane, Professor Pyg, even the Batmen of All Nations. But the scan still bother me. I'm a stickler and I hated briefs and was glad they're gone.

You do realize that Batman also said, "The past few YEARS of our lives", even though the DCnU is only 5 years old, right?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. >five=few

Since the DCnU says most things in Batman's mythos are canon, Batman saying the past few years of his life has been Morrison's run makes no sense when you have to fit everything else in. In other words, it's another thing that makes it seem as if the reboot didn't happen.

Posted by KnightRise

@InnerVenom123 said:

@KnightRise said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

@DarthShap said:

@KnightRise said:

Something that just irks me: and it takes an fairly estute eye to hone in on, when Dick and Bruce are looking at a web of interconnected characters (and Grant Morrison arcs) theres a picture of the Club of Heros from the 70s. Briefs, pixie boots, exposed legs and all. In fact, most of the web is made up of pre-New 52/Golden/Silver Age appearances. Damnit, Morrison follow the established design continuity!!!

Yes Morrison! Can't you just forget everything you have written in the past six years so we can put this "The New 52!" logo on the cover?

Its not about "forgetting" what he's written, and it has almost nothing to do with the story, but all it takes is a redrawn, altered image and a keener eye during editing.

That would be missing the point. To Morrison, "everything is in continuity". That is the very core of his entire run.

Which was awesome for how here reworked BatMite, Batman of Zur En Arh, Simon Hurt, GA Kathy Kane, Professor Pyg, even the Batmen of All Nations. But the scan still bother me. I'm a stickler and I hated briefs and was glad they're gone.

You do realize that Batman also said, "The past few YEARS of our lives", even though the DCnU is only 5 years old, right?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. >five=few

Since the DCnU says most things in Batman's mythos are canon, Batman saying the past few years of his life has been Morrison's run makes no sense when you have to fit everything else in. In other words, it's another thing that makes it seem as if the reboot didn't happen.

Yeh I see. Morrison's awesome, but its hard to get behind his work and still follow the canon the DCnU is trying to push. I just rationalize what doesn't make sense or conflicts.

Posted by Mucklefluga

Morrison is the greatest Batman writer ever. Nuff said.

Posted by YMCMB

This was way better than Batman #12, but you gave Batman 12 a 5 star review and this got a 4. I feel like you are just giving every issue of Batman 5 stars because it's Scott Snyder, regardless of what's even in the issue...