Well, as always we have a lot going on in this issue – so let’s get to it!
Batman has had enough of your shit, Talia. That’s the basic premise of the issue and the set-up for the grand finale in the coming three (!!!) final issues.
Talia seems to show a slight tinge of remorse now and then when speaking of Damian’s death, going so far as to kill the henchmen who shot at Damian during his fight with the Heretic. She even takes a bit of aggression out on the Heretic himself, perhaps projecting a bit of her own self-hate onto him; punishing him for Damian’s death as a proxy for punishing herself.
Either way, it’s certainly sewing the seeds of discontentment – I see a betrayal coming soon as Heretic realizes he is nothing more than another meaningless pawn to Talia.
In other Talia news, it turns out she still has her father locked up, Rapunzel-style, in a tower. Note the black, white and red chess board, a reoccurring motif in Morrison’s theme, here we go a bit further and the ‘dark knight’ actually topples the ‘red queen’ by Ra’s perspective as he cackles on about how she has overlooked a vital detail involving her plot.
Meanwhile, the Bat-family is scattered, while Dick and Tim get a bead on Jason’s whereabouts and rush in to rescue him.
But wait – What is the holy hell is wrong with Dick’s head in this shot?
According to the credits this is a Burnham page too – could have fooled me; I’ve never seen his work this sloppy and disproportionate.
Edit – actually this page is by Andrei Bressan – so the question still stands; WTF Mr. Bressan?
I have no clue what happened here, but it really shakes you out of the issue as you cannot help but to stare at Dick’s thalidomide head.
When we do finally catch up with Jason, we find him held prisoner by a mysterious woman, who perpetually remains in the shadows and who we are led to believe is actually working on the “right” side of the whole battle and that the Bat-family, and in turn us, should trust “her”. It’s never revealed who this “her” is, but if I were to hazard a guess I’d say… Kathy Kane?
Now, let’s talk about Bruce. Bruce has his back up against a wall – all of Gotham has declared him public enemy number one (right along side Bruce Wayne, of course) – Talia is making her final play – and he’s still dealing with Damian’s death. Well now, what is one thing Morrison has taught us about his Batman throughout all the years he has been writing him? If you back him into a corner – and if you piss him off – you’ve made him a hundred fold more ingenious and dangerous. He is, after all, by Morrison’s own admission, the most dangerous man on earth.
So what’s his play? Well, he has had Kirk Langstrom develop an aerosol-based antidote for the Man-Bat serum, providing Bruce with a tool Talia does not expect.
With this he should be able to easily dispatch her Man-Bat army.
Yet also, Bruce has decided to use a form of the man-Bat serum on himself… in a clever nod to the defining line of the Batman mythos “… Yes, father, I shall become a bat.” Morrison has taken the character to its logical extreme here, literally turning Bruce into a Bat – if Zur en Arrh Batman is Batman minus Bruce, then Man-Bat Batman is Batman without any humanity at all; a literal animal, hell-bent on a singular mission to defeat the devil by taking all of his own human weakness out of the equation entirely. Add to this that he has equipped himself with an armored battle suit and Azrael’s suit of sorrows – and, well, you have an unstoppable beast that is headed right for Talia… and is royally pissed off.
Batman has had enough of your shit, Talia.
Woo-hoo, tear it all down, Batsy! We have three issues left and I’ve yet to be disappointed, so bring on the big finale, Grant! We’re ready!
Five out of Five
(As always – if you’re not in the know – catch up with Morrison’s epic story!)
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Stupid question..the scene where Lucius Fox is talking to Bruce and shows him that robo manbat suit..Why was he acting coy about Damian? he does know Bruce is batman right? just was weird how that conversation was written to me
Hey now, there are no stupid questions… only people too stupid to ask questions.
You’re conflating ‘movie’ Lucius Fox with ‘comic’ Lucius Fox – In Nolan’s films he knows Batman’s identity, yet in the comics he does not. He wasn’t playing coy; he truly doesn’t realize Bruce is Batman – he is just supporting Batman Inc. by providing the “gadgets” to Batman.
The story is top-notch, but the art is horrid. Burnham does ok at times, but I’m left staring at pages for minutes on end trying to figure out what the hell just happened. Can we get Quitely or Frazer Irving back please?
While I really like Burnham’s style, I would never say no to Quitely or Irving returning… so damn good.
Additionally, I kinda love how the ending will piss of the Morrison haters even more.. Cos I’m petty. ‘Omfg this is not Batman it’s too cheesey n ridiculous !!’
My favourite line from this issue : ‘the door’s ruined!’
But come on, let them moan – after all, it makes sense within the context of the fiction – nothing cheesy about it in my opinion; Batman always does what is necessary to win and here he is doing something Talia wouldn’t have anticipated, throwing some variables into her equation. I believe this is exactly what Ra’s was hinting at; i.e., Batman will always do something that you cannot prepare for. The king of preparation knows how to subvert that thought pattern.
Batman Incorporated #10 was the most disappointing issue of Grant Morrison’s Batman in a long time. Even number #9 and #7 weren’t as good as they were supposed to be. I’m starting to worry that he is going to end his run on a bad note.
Well I’ve been consistently impressed – Morrison always packs so much into his issues that I usually read them a number of times just to suss out all the bits I initially missed.
Also, not sure if they’re ‘supposed’ to be a certain level of good… I think that’s entirely too subjective to quantify. Even if the ending is a bit sour for you personally at least he still had a good five years leading up to it… right?
I loved the ending, but I am talking about the stuff leading up to it. There were only a few good pages in the whole issue.
Well, hopefully he wins you back with the last three coming up and knocks your proverbial socks off! Thanks for reading.
I hope so.
Hey man, will comment a longer response soon but just wanted to let you know that the weird Dick head is by andre bressan, whoe does fill in for two pages, and actually does a good job mimicing burnham on his other page. That head though….jeeze…
Indeed (I still haven’t gone to the shop to get my floppies this week!) Thanks! I knew it couldn’t be Burnham, good to have it confirmed.
Great review! Despite what the credits say, that mangled Dick head (hah) is surely not Burnham!
Plus there’s three issues left man! Even better!!!
Looks like you’re right on the remaining issue count – I swear I remember Dc saying it was a 12 issue run, guess we do get one more! Nice. Thirteen does make more sense in the Morrison-verse anyway.
Also, not sure if it is just the digital copy I read (haven’t picked up my physical copy yet) but I sure as hell was sure that wasn’t Burnham either, I’ll update that after I take a look at the floppy to confirm it is indeed ‘page 15’ (unless someone else out there can confirm for me first).
Yeah they decided to do an Action Comics, delighted that he’s been given another issue to wrap it up!
Some early reviews have issues with the timing in this issue : how Talia jumps from Gotham to her mountain fortress and back in a short space of time…I get where people may feel this is an inconsistency ..but she’s runs a global crime empire with some prett advanced technology at her disposal..I’d say nipping back to see her dad while Batman licks his wounds is no sweat
Yeah… that seems like a bit of semantic hair-splitting to me. If Morrison keeps his plotting coherent (and unlike a lot of other contemporary writers, Morrison seems to be very focused on weaving a tight plot) and his characters consistent with his previous portrayals then I can easily over look such things as Talia’s travel times. It’s not like the Joker masterminding the ‘death of the family’ nonsense, where he would literally had to of been in multiple places at one AND rely on total happenstance (otherwise known as sloppy plotting) for his plan to work. ;)
Yeah, Talia flying back and forth is much easier to come to terms with. Comic super-realism and all…